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…

A Brief History On November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas.  In the aftermath, Lee Harvey Oswald shot and killed officer J.D. Tippet, a 39-year-old, 11-year veteran of the police department. Digging Deeper Oswald was actually initially arrested for the murder of Tippet, not for the assassination of Kennedy, but law enforcement quickly determined that Oswald was the main suspect in the Kennedy shooting as well. J.D. Tippet was making a lousy $490 a month as a Dallas police officer at the time of his murder, equaling about $1.50 an hour.  That was pretty bad pay even…

From the Series Lil’ History Chips On November 21, 1959, music DJ and rock and roll legend Alan Freed was fired by WABC in New York for refusing to sign a statement that he had never taken “payola,” bribes from record companies to play and promote certain records. Freed is credited with being the man who popularized the term “rock and roll” while he worked as a DJ and song promoter in Cleveland.  In the 1950s, he appeared in movies that brought rock to the big screen, and he even had his own television show similar to what American Bandstand later became.  Sadly, his television show was cancelled after…

A Brief History On November 20, 1980, Texaco, the petroleum and gasoline company with the red star logo, accidentally penetrated a salt mine as it drilled an oil well beneath a Louisiana lake, causing the water to drain.  As the lake refilled, the sportsmen’s lake became a saltwater lake, no longer hospitable to wildlife or suitable for fishing. Digging Deeper With over 1,100 acres of surface area and at about 10 feet deep, Lake Peigneur was no small pond.  As the lake water rushed into the salt mine, it created tremendous suction and a whirlpool effect resembling a giant bathtub mid drain.  The…

A Brief History On November 19, 1990, the pop “singing” duo Milli Vanilli was stripped of the Grammy music award they had been given for “Best New Artist.”  After Fab Morvan and Rob Pilatus, who made up the duo, had met with success in Germany two years earlier, they managed to be successful internationally and in the U.S. as well with their debut album Girl You Know It’s True in 1990. Digging Deeper Their fame soon turned to notoriety when Chuck Phillips of the Los Angeles Times revealed that the vocals on the album were not actually sung by the duo.  As…

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