On this day in 1995 I was a Sophomore at Roseburg High School in some obsolete computer class when OJ Simpson was found not guilty of the murders of Ron Goldman and his ex-wife Nicole Brown-Simpson. It was a good thing that he spent all of his money on those lawyers because he was found liable for their deaths and ordered to pay $33 million in the civil suit. So wait, he's not guilty in the criminal court, but financially responsible for their deaths? God bless America!
On this day in 1863 president Abraham Lincoln in a speech written by Secretary of State William Seward proclaimed the fourth Thursday in November as a day of Thanksgiving. It was supposed to be in honor of the Union troops and their victory at Gettysburg. What, no pilgrims, no natives, no maize? Actually Seward reintroduced an idea of George Washington's from 1789. Still no pilgrims, natives, or maize. Although not a greeting card holiday, it is a holiday of commercial extravagance. I call it Black Friday's Eve.
Hey! Speaking of the Civil War, on this day in 1895 Stephen Crane's The Red Badge of Courage is published for the first time. Although born six years after the war had ended Crane was able to believably tell a story from the point of view of an ordinary story. Many Civil War veterans thanked Crane for accuracy. He died at the age of 28 and is one of my favorite authors.
On this day in 1951 Bobby Thompson of the New York Giants hit "the shot hear round the world". Back when only the top teams from each league made the World Series, the Giants made up 13 games in a month to tie the Brooklyn Dodgers atop the National League. It came down to a one game playoff in which Thompson came to the plate with his team trailing 4-2 in the bottom of the 9th inning with runners on 2nd and 3rd with 1 out. Most thought Dodgers reliever Ralph Branca would walk Thompson to get to rookie Willie Mays. But Thompson sent the second pitch into the left field bleachers sending his team to the World Series with one swing of the bat. For further reading check out Pafco at the Wall.