This Week In History

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Cat Madish, Editor-In-Chief

  • Before Fyodor Dostoevsky wrote his most famous novels, he faced awas faced a firing squad. On Nov. 16, 1849, Dostoevsky was convicted for high treason and sentenced to death due to activities related to a radical literary group that discussed banned books. After a month in prison, Dostoevsky was led to a firing squad but was pardoned at the last second. Instead of facing death, he was sent to work for four years at a Siberian labor camp. After that, he was forced to endure four years of military service. When he was released, he continued to be a soldier for two more years. Around 1859, he eventually founded a magazine and practiced as a journalist. However, Dostoevsky developed a gambling problem and his magazine went into debpt. It wasn’t until 1866 that when he published one of his most popular novels, Crime and Punishment. After marrying a stenographer in 1867, Dostoevsky fled to Europe to escape his debt. He published The Brothers Karamazov, his most famous book, in 1880 and died a year later.
  • On Nov. 21 1934 Ella Fitzgerald made her most important debut when she won Amateur Night at Harlem’s Apollo Theater. Apparently, she had entered the competition on a bet and had intended to dance if called, b. But on a split-second decision, Fitzgerald decided to sing. This chance opportunity led her to become the musical legend that she is today. She won first place and the chance to sing for a week at the Apollo Theater. However, the theater didn’t afford her that prize due to her awkward and gangly appearance. A year later, she won the chance to perform for a week at the Harlem Opera House where she was introduced to Chick Webb who was trying to find a female singer. Despite her gawky and disheveled appearance, Webb claimed she was a diamond in the rough and offered to let her test with his band when they played at Yale University. This skyrocketed her career. Fitzgerald was singing till the end, when she died on June 15, 1966.
  • On Nov 17, 1968, NBC made the decision to cut a football game short to air a scheduled showing of “Heidi.””. The game showcased a match betweenwas against the Oakland Raiders and the New York Jets. Due to the intensity fueled by a strong rivalry, they suffered an abnormal amount of penalties and timeouts, which was causing the game to run long. Before the screens turned switched to Heidi, the Jets had a 32-29 lead. What everyone missed, besides those seeing it live, is what made this go down in history; the Raiders scored two touchdowns within nine seconds, winning the game 43-32. Unfortunately, no one outside the Oakland Coliseum knew. Apparently, NBC had planned to run Heidi no matter what, but changed their minds last second. However, they could get through to the NBC programmer, Dick Cline, due to the thousands of people calling NBC and telling them to run Heidi as scheduled, and even more football fans calling and telling them to let the game stay on there. Due to this, all the telephone lines were busy and any orders were unable to get through to Dick Cline. After NBC apologized, they guaranteed that all future games would be played out in full, even installing a special phone, dubbed the Heidi Pphone, so that a disaster like that would never happen again.