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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Writer's Life 11/22 - 1963 & Beyond

Since 1963, November 22 has always been a creepy day. I was a freshman at Lafayette H.S. in Brooklyn, on a staircase between classes, when I heard the news of the president's assassination. It was scary. Since then there have been thousands of books published on the subject. Although I was unable to find an exact figure, I came across an eye-opening one in a 2013 article by Cory Matteson, who estimates that at that time there were more than 40,000 titles in print. I just ran a search at Amazon and found 23 more titles published in 2016 alone. It is a story that only time will diminish. The theories are many. Nothing I've read or seen has convinced me that anyone but Lee Harvey Oswald was involved, although I would not rule out a possible conspiracy. It is a mystery unlikely to be solved to any satisfaction. Anyone who might have been connected is either dead or soon will be.

Here are facts about 1963:
The population of the United States is 188,483,000. (2016: 322,761,807)
National Debt is 310.3 Billion. (2016: $20 trillion).
Unemployment is 5.5%.
Life Expectancy: 70.1 years. (2016: 78.8)
Academy Award : Lawrence of Arabia.
Grammy Award : I Left My Heart in San Francisco (Album) What Kind of Fool Am I (Song).
Pulitzer Prize : The Reivers (Fiction) by William Faulkner.
Patsy Cline, country music superstar, is killed in a plane crash.
The U.S. Supreme Court rules that the poor must have lawyers, paving the way for the Public Defenders Office.
Alcatraz Island is ordered shut by Attorney General Robert Kennedy.
General Hospital debuts.
The Coca-Cola Company announces its first diet drink, TAB cola. (Yuck!).
George C. Wallace is elected Alabama Governor on a platform which promised racial segregation.
ZIP Codes are used for the first time in the U.S.
Pro Football Hall of Fame opens in Canton, Ohio.
Doctor Who debuts on BBC.
Instant Replay invented by Tony Verna, a CBS-TV director.
The first woman in space was Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova aboard the USSR’s Vostok 6 spacecraft.
The Beatles release I Want to Hold Your Hand and I Saw Her Standing There, in the US.
Harvey Ball draws the now iconic smiley face symbol for an advertising campaign.
Debuting on TV were: My Favorite Martian, The Fugitive and Petticoat Junction.
New film genre emerged, the beach movie, Beach Party the first of many.

The NFL maintained status quo this week. The Giants, 7-3, won their fourth consecutive game in unimpressive fashion against the weak Bears. They are on pace to have the lowest average margin of victory in NFL history. They probably will squeak by the 0-11 Browns in Cleveland this week, at least I hope they'll win.

Also in football. Fans of Ohio St. and Michigan are gearing up for the big game this Saturday in Columbus. Both teams are 10-1. The pranks are underway. One joker placed red tape over each M in a plaque honoring legendary Buckeyes coach Woody Hayes. Here's a pic:

With the wind still a nuisance at my usual nook, I took the floating book shop to an alternate site. My thanks to Bob, who bought A Hitch in Twilight, to the gentleman who bought a book on creative breakfast dishes, and the elderly woman who purchased Danielle Steel's Journey.
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