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November a month for memories

Kelli Du Fresne

November is full of noteworthy anniversaries. The most obvious is, of course, my mother’s birthday that was ushered in with a Carson Street parade.

Others include the marking of Armistice Day, the anniversary of the death of pioneer journalist Alf Doten, my aunt’s birthday, the assassination of John F. Kennedy and, oh, Thanksgiving, the anniversary of that oh so famous dinner in 1621 between the pilgrims and the American Indians.

Thanks to the work of the folks at the Comstock History Store, Nevada Magazine and The Associated Press I’ve compiled a few notes to jolt your memory.

On Nov. 30, 1835, Samuel Clemens is born in Florida, Mo. Thank him for the boyhood yarns of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn.

Some other dates of note for November include the first publication of Herman Melville’s novel “Moby Dick” Nov. 14, 1851. I have yet to make it more than three-fourths of the way through this epic tale of a whale.

Carson City was founded Nov. 18, 1858, with the opening of the post office. It makes me wonder if that’s all it takes, why aren’t there more cities?

On Nov. 24, 1859, British naturalist Charles Darwin began the everlasting debate between the believers and the non by publishing “On the Origin of Species,” in which he tried to explain his theory of evolution.

The next year, the Territorial Enterprise picks up its roots in Carson City and puts out its first edition Nov. 4, 1860, in Virginia City. A year earlier, almost to the day, the Enterprise relocated to Carson from Genoa, Nov. 9, 1859.

Early in the next decade, on Nov. 19, 1863, President Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address dedicating a national cemetery at the site of the Civil War battlefield in Pennsylvania.

Nevada holds its first election as a state, Nov. 8, 1864.

The telephone is used for the first time in Virginia City at the Consolidated Virginia Mine, Nov. 16, 1877.

Adolph Sutro, brain-trust for the Sutro Tunnel Co., is elected mayor of San Francisco, Nov. 6, 1894.

Women earned the right to vote in Nevada, Nov. 3, 1914, in the state election.

The USS Carson City, a 303-foot Navy frigate is launched in Los Angeles Harbor in Nov. 13, 1943.

On Nov. 21, 1963, President Kennedy and his wife, Jacqueline, began a two-day tour of Texas.

President Kennedy was shot to death while riding in a motorcade in Dallas. Texas Gov. John B. Connally, in the same limousine as Kennedy, was seriously wounded. Lee Harvey Oswald, suspected of assassinating the president, was arrested. This all happened within a few hours Nov. 22, 1963. Those few hours changed history.

The next day, President Johnson proclaimed Nov. 25 a day of national mourning following the assassination of President Kennedy.

On Nov. 24, 1963, Jack Ruby shot and mortally wounded Oswald, the accused assassin of President Kennedy, in a scene, the first of its kind, captured on live television.

On Nov. 25, 1963, the body of President Kennedy was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery.

On Nov. 29, 1963, President Johnson named a commission headed by Earl Warren to investigate the assassination of President Kennedy.

After the crushing assassination, a half-dozen years later, on Nov. 14, 1969, Apollo 12 blasted off for the moon. Five days later, Nov. 19, 1969, Apollo 12 astronauts Charles Conrad and Alan Bean made man’s second landing on the moon.

Financier-diplomat Joseph P. Kennedy died in Hyannis Port, Mass., at age 81, Nov. 18, 1969.

On Nov. 21, 1973, President Nixon’s attorney, J. Fred Buzhardt, revealed the existence of an 18 1/2-minute gap in one of the White House tape recordings related to Watergate. The second American conspiracy to raise its head in little more than a decade and the second to unseat a president.

In 1978, California Congressman Leo J. Ryan and four other people were killed in Jonestown, Guyana, by members of the Peoples Temple; the killings were followed by a night of mass murder and suicide by 912 cult members.

In Nov. 21, 1980, 87 people died in a fire at the MGM Grand Hotel-Casino in Las Vegas.

Nov. 28, 2001, Enron Corp., once the world’s largest energy trader, collapsed after would-be rescuer Dynegy Inc. backed out of an $8.4 billion takeover deal.

There are big gaps in this timeline, but the items serve as a reminder for us to give thanks for our time on Earth.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Kelli Du Fresne, features editor for the Nevada Appeal, is dipping a toe in the Pacific and celebrating with her family in Waldport, Ore. When she returns, contact her at kdufresne@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1261.