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This Month In History: November

October 30, 2020

November 23rd, 1890: A queen at the age of ten? Yep! Wilhelmina of the Netherlands ascended (or took over) the throne to reign over the Netherlands from 1890 to 1948. That’s about fifty-eight years of ruling over the country, a time in which the people came to respect her. She was also one of the world’s first billionaires, because she built a company as well! And who came after her? Her daughter Juliana Louise Emma Marie Wilhelmina!

Queen Wilhelmina
Bain Collection United States Library of Congress Public Domain

November 19th, 1963: Did you know that one of the most influential environmental laws started in the United States with the Clean Air Act? The law passed on November 19th, 1963, and was designed to control the amount of air pollution nationwide. It also funded research into air pollution and its sources. The act was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson.

By Mike Geissinger – LBJ Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

November 21st, 1783: If you thought it would be awesome to get on a balloon and float away, you should probably know that the first hot-air balloon flight happened in Paris on this date. Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and Marquis François le Vieux Laurent d’Arlandes took a twenty-five-minute flight in a hot-air balloon that traveled nearly six miles at about three thousand feet above Paris. Many people turned up to watch the spectacle, including Benjamin Franklin!

Artist’s rendition, Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

November 20th, 1858: Author Selma Lagerlöf was born in Sweden. Even though she was a quiet child who read a lot and wrote poetry, her first published work came much later in life. In 1909, her vivid imagination and writing style won her the first Nobel prize ever handed to any woman for literature. She was later depicted on a banknote in Sweden to honor her legacy!

Porträtt från 1881
Selma Lagerlöf sådan hon såg ut när hon först kom till Landskrona, ännu med den långa flätan i behåll. Foto Anna Ollson, Karlstad
By Anna Ollson, Karlstad – Unknown source, Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

November 17th, 1970: If you thought computers always had trackpads to mark movement on the screen, you might want to meet the mighty mouse. No, not a real mouse. The electronic mouse was famous until the 2000s and allowed device users to point and click on objects on the screen. The first electronic mouse was patented on November 17th, 1970, by creator Bill English. Take a look!

First Mouse
By Cern Courier, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1177765