This Week in History we are talking about several presidential births, deaths, and speeches. We are learning about several women who made history, television facts, war battles, and more.
This week’s odd history fact is about television in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. It is a fact that only those that remember the 1970’s and 1980’s will remember.
Do you remember who shot J.R.?
It was November 21, 1980, when we found out who shot J.R Ewing.
For those that don’t remember the Ewing family, Dallas, or who J.R. Ewing was, here are a few facts. “Dallas” was a prime time television show, basically a prime time soap opera, back in the late 1970’s and 1980’s.
This was back long before Netflix, Internet T.V., and the ability to binge watch shows. Over 300 million people from all over the world tuned in to see who shot the television character J.R. Ewing. It remains one of the most ever watched T.V events
In our day and age it seems unimaginable that over 300 million people would tune in to watch one T.V. episode. But this was back when most of us only had a few television stations. We had no internet and no home computers. T.V. was the entertainment. And Dallas was one of the most popular shows on T.V. at that time.
Do you remember “Dallas”? Did you watch the “Who Shot J.R.” episode?
Now for this week in history.
- 1883 The U.S. and Canadian railroads began using time zones. Before this date, time was a local matter and was at times very confusing. The railroad instituting four continental time zones made it less confusing, although it took time for people to embrace the change that had been made.
- 1945 Wilma Mankiller, first female chief of the Cherokee Nation, was born.
- 1959 Ben-Hur the American movie starring Charlton Heston premiered.
- 1831 James Garfield, the twentieth U.S. President, was born.
- 1863 Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address. It became one of the most famous speeches in American history.
- 1923 American inventor Garrett Morgan, patented the automatic traffic signal.
- 1945 The Nuremberg Trials began in Nuremberg, Germany. These trials were conducted to bring Nazi war criminals to justice.
- 1947 Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip were married at Westminster Abbey in London.
- 1877 Thomas Edison announced the invention of the phonograph, which was a way to record and play back sound.
- 1976 The Movie Rocky, starring Sylvester Stallone, debuted.
- 1963 President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. He was the fourth president to be assassinated.
- 1990 Margaret Thatcher, the first woman British Prime Minister, resigned. While Prime Minister her nickname become the ‘Iron Lady” because of her uncompromising political style.
- 2005 Angela Merkel became the first woman Chancellor of Germany.
- 1859 Outlaw and gunman, Billy the Kid, was born.
- 1863 The Civil War Battle, The Battle of Chattanooga, began as Ulysses S. Grant and William T. Sherman drove the Confederate Army out of Tennessee.
- 1784 Zachery Taylor, the twelfth U.S. President, was born.
- 1874 Barbed wire, a product that changed the American West and fencing, was patented.