Browsing: November 23

A Brief History On November 23, 1889, the Palais Royale Saloon in San Francisco became the home of the first public jukebox, a coin operated contraption that played records on demand.  Once found in malt shops, bars, restaurants and even strip joints, the big chrome and glass machines were a great part of Americana and were celebrated in song and prominently featured in many a movie or television show.  A big manufacturer of juke boxes, Rock-Ola, even made M-1 carbines for the US military during World War II.  With the passing of the vinyl record, jukeboxes turned to playing CD’s,…

A Brief History On November 23, 1953, a United States Air Force F-89C interceptor fighter jet was scrambled to intercept an unknown radar contact over Lake Michigan.  The jet, both crewmen (pilot and radar operator) were never seen or heard from again.  Was this Air Force jet and its crew abducted by aliens?  You be the judge. Digging Deeper On the fateful day, 1st Lieutenant Felix Moncla, Jr. was the pilot and 2nd Lieutenant Robert Wilson was the F-89’s radar operator.  The Northrup F-89 Scorpion was a first generation all-weather jet interceptor, powered by 2 turbojet engines and capable of…

A Brief History On November 23, 1948, one of major league baseball’s greatest hitters and onetime highest paid player in the National League died penniless, and no one, not even his own son, would claim the body. Wilson played for the Giants, Cubs, Dodgers and Phillies, but his heyday was with the Cubs. Digging Deeper Lewis Robert “Hack” Wilson was born in Ellwood City, Pennsylvania in 1900, and went on to a short but remarkable baseball career where in 12 years he hit 244 home runs, 1063 RBI’s, and batted .307 for his career. In 1930 Wilson hit 56 home…

A Brief History On November 23, 1976, Frenchman Jacques Mayol became the first free diver (no scuba or other source of air) to reach the incredible depth of 100 meters. Digging Deeper Born in Shanghai, China, Mayol was 49 years old at the time of his (then) record dive.  At age 56 he bested this effort with a free dive to 105 meters.  An accomplished free diver, Mayol had many records over the years to go along with his bench mark dive in 1976.  He had met fellow free diving pioneer Enzo Maiorca, and the 2 men had a friendly…

A Brief History On November 23, 1992, society took another giant step forward with the introduction of the IBM Simon Personal Communicator, the world’s first “smart phone.”   In 1994 and 1995, IBM sold 50,000 of these handheld mobile devices that combined a touchscreen cellular phone with a personal digital assistant (PDA). Digging Deeper Are you too young to remember a time without cell phones?  If you are, then this will not seem like such a big deal, but in reality, the first smart phone was an enormous leap toward what is so common today that it is taken for granted.  Like many so-called…

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