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by Allen J. Sheinman | November 04, 2011

The list  

You might think November is a one-trick pony, thanks to Thanksgiving, but a number of momentous firsts have occurred during this month, including the following.

Nov. 3, 1914: The first modern brassiere, invented by one Mary Phelps Jacobs, is awarded an official patent. Women long plagued by the old whalebone-stiffened winch literally breathe a sigh of relief.

Nov. 3, 1952: In perhaps the start of a new Ice Age, Clarence Birdseye markets his first batch of frozen peas.

Nov. 7, 1874: The Republican Party is first portrayed as an elephant by pioneering political cartoonist Thomas Nast in Harper's Weekly. Nast had already given the Democrats their due four years earlier, as a you-know-what. Even earlier, in 1862, he produced the first modern image of Santa Claus, the one character he created that stood for good deeds.

Nov. 10, 1951:
The first coast-to-coast direct-dial phone service in the U.S. is begun, inaugurating the tradition of East Coast callers waking up their West Coast acquaintances by forgetting about the time difference.

Nov. 10, 1969:
PBS debuts the popular children's TV show, Sesame Street; Big Bird quickly becomes a breakout star, demands a renegotiated contract and constantly replenished dressing-room deli tray.

Nov. 13, 1927: The Holland Tunnel, connecting New Jersey to New York City, admits its first automobiles; New Yorkers immediately begin to grouse about "Jersey drivers."

Nov. 14, 1968: Yale University admits its first female students; the school's first panty raid quickly follows.

Nov. 24, 1859: The first edition of On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin is published; many readers are less than thrilled to find out about their ancestors.

Nov. 26, 1716: The first live lion in America is put on exhibit in Boston, leading to the first mass panic attack in the Colonies.

Nov. 28, 1925: Corn leaves the husk far behind when the Grand Ole Opry program debuts on the new medium of radio.

Nov. 28, 1928: A cartoon called Steamboat Willie appears in movie theaters, featuring a new mouse character at the helm. His name is Mickey.