November 25, 2021

#ThrowbackThursday – 25 November

From a three-month-old marriage to laying to rest one of the most well-regarded statesmen in America, take a look at these five events that went down in history on 25 November:

1867 – Peace Awards Pioneer Patents Deadly Invention

For some people, Alfred Nobel is best known for his philanthropy and establishing the prestigious Nobel Awards. For others, his inventing background stands out, specifically one of his inventions.

In 1867, Nobel filed a patent for an explosive that he dubbed “dynamite”: he did so by improving the properties of nitroglycerin by mixing it with sorbents and stabilisers. Dynamite soon became used by the mining industry to blast tunnels.

The invention made Nobel quite rich, but it was only 11 years later that he came to rue it somewhat – his brother, Ludwig, has died, but newspapers accidentally ran obituaries about the inventor instead, one of which labelled him as a “merchant of death” that left behind a sordid legacy, no thanks to his inventions.

This prompted Nobel to devote his fortunes towards instituting the Nobel Prizes, which awards people from various fields for improving society and making a positive impact on the world.

1963 – RIP, JFK

Three days after his shocking assassination, US President John F. Kennedy was laid to rest.

Kennedy was on a five-city tour of Texas when he was shot by Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas on 22 November. He was pronounced dead 30 minutes after the shooting occurred. Oswald himself was killed two days later by Jack Ruby, a nightclub owner who was presumably distraught by the president’s untimely death.

On 25 November in Washington, D.C., a casket bearing Kennedy’s body was transported by a caisson platoon from the White House to Arlington National Cemetery. Citizens lined Pennsylvania Avenue, weeping as the platoon passed. At the cemetery itself, his wife Jackie, their children, his brothers, and guests made up of statesmen and representatives from more than 100 countries paid their respects and bid farewell to the fallen president.

1969 – Lennon Returns MBE

The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) is considered one of the most important honours to receive. But in a rare move, one of its famous awardees returned it in protest over the United Kingdom’s involvement in the Nigerian Civil War.

In 1965, John Lennon and his fellow Beatles band-mates were awarded MBEs by Queen Elizabeth for their services to the British industry. Two years later, war broke out between the Nigerian government and the then-secessionist state of Biafra. Desperate to protect its interests in Nigerian oil, Britain supplied ammunition and heavy weaponry to the government.

In protest of their involvement, Lennon gave up his MBE in 1969: he sent his medal to Buckingham Palace, along with a letter decrying their actions. As such, the medal was stored away in the vault of the Chancery Department for 40 years until it was rediscovered in 2009.

2002 – The End of a Whirlwind Marriage

After only 107 days of marriage, Nicolas Cage and Lisa-Marie Presley had broken up.

The “Mandy” actor and the songstress first became an item in 2000: during this time, the former was riding out the finalisation of his divorce from actress Patricia Arquette, while the latter had formally ended her engagement to singer John Oszajca.

On 10 August 2002, the couple got married, but on 25 November, Cage filed for divorce from Presley due to irreconcilable differences. It wasn’t until May 2004 that they both finally reached an agreement, allowing the divorce to be finalised.

Cage went on to marry a further three times (he married Riko Shibata in 2021), while Presley married guitarist Michael Lockwood in 2006 (only to divorce ten years later).

2013 – “Frozen” Album Makes its Debut

Eight years ago, an album containing the biggest earworm to ever come out of a Disney movie was released.

Consisting of 32 songs and arrangements, the “Frozen: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack” was released as an accompaniment to the animated film of the same name. It features tracks such as “Love is an Open Door”, “In Summer”, and of course, the wildly popular, Idina Menzel-fronted song, “Let It Go” (along with the Demi Lovato version, but most “Frozen” fans hold the original closer to their hearts).

The album was well received by critics and fans alike, and it went on to win two of its three nominations at the 57th Grammy Awards: one for Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media, and the other specifically for “Let It Go” in the Best Song Written for Visual Media category.

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