Condi Rice, Joe McCarthy & Prince Charles Were Born (and other things that happened November 14)


November 14, a seemingly uneventful day, has actually seen several interesting coincidences and _flossy events. We've prepared a list from the past 320 years for your perusal.

"¢ Nell Gwyn and Louise Renée de Penancoët de Kérouaille, rival mistresses of King Charles II of England, both died, in 1687 and 1734, respectively.

"¢ Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz died in 1716. He discovered the binary system and calculus (separately of Newton).

"¢ Several musical relatives were born, including Johann Georg Leopold Mozart (1719), Wolfgang's father and teacher and a musician himself; Johann van Beethoven (1740), Ludwig's father and teacher as well as a musician himself; and Fanny Mendelssohn (1805), sister of Felix and a pianist and composer herself.

"¢ The only Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence, Charles Carroll (===>) of Maryland, died in 1832. He outlived all his other co-signers.

"¢ In 1840, Claude Monet, the founder of French impressionist painting, was born.

"¢ Herman Melville published Moby Dick in 1851.

"¢ Nelly Bly, a New York World reporter inspired by Jules Verne, set out in 1889 to travel the world in less than 80 days. Her final tally: 72 days.

"¢ One of the co-discoverers of insulin, Sir Frederick Grant Banting, was born in 1891. He was a doctor, a scientist, and a Nobel laureate.

"¢ Pulitzer Prize and Academy Award-winning composer Aaron Copland was born in 1900.

"¢ The creator of Shrek, William Steig, was born in 1907. Newsweek named him "King of Cartoons;" he also won a Caldecott Medal.

"¢ Sen. Joseph McCarthy, the face of anti-communism in the U.S., was born in 1908.

"¢ In 1915, Booker T. Washington died. His life was full of accomplishments, including an honorary master's degree from Harvard, an honorary doctorate from Dartmouth, and an invitation to the White House. (He was the first African-American to be invited to the White House.)

"¢ British professional wrestler Shirley Crabtree, Jr., aka Big Daddy, was born in 1930. His fans included both Queen Elizabeth II and Margaret Thatcher.

"¢ Two NASA astronauts were born: Edward Higgins White II (1930) and Fred Wallace Haise, Jr. (1933). White died during an Apollo 1 training accident and was awarded, posthumously, the Congressional Space Medal of Honor and the Purple Heart.

"¢ In 1943, Peter Norton was born. Although he was once a Buddhist monk, he is best known for his line of computer tools, Norton Utilities, and the other programs they spawned. His crossed-arms pose is a registered trademark.

"¢ Charles, Prince of Wales, was born in 1948. His sister, Anne, celebrated her first marriage twenty-five years later, on this same date.

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"¢ Condoleezza Rice (===>) was born in 1954. She is the first African-American woman, the second African-American, and the second woman to serve as Secretary of State.

"¢ Also in 1954, Yanni, a self-taught pianist with perfect pitch, was born.

"¢ Children's Book Week, sponsored by The Children's Book Council, kicks off in the U.S. in 2007.