This Week in Boomer History: ‘Sesame Street’ ... ‘Catch-22’

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Notable events from our shared experience

Published Nov. 10, 1961, Joseph Heller’s antiwar novel Catch-22 over the years spawns a catchphrase for paradoxical futility.  Alan Arkin, Martin Balsam, Richard Benjamin and Art Garfunkel star in a 1970 movie version.

Carl Stokes becomes the first black mayor of a major American city when he takes the reins in Cleveland on Nov. 13, 1967. After two terms, he becomes New York City’s first African American  TV news anchorman in 1972.

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On Nov. 10, 1951, Mayor M. Leslie Denning of Englewood, N.J., dials a three-digit area code and a seven-digit phone number. Eighteen seconds later, Mayor Frank Osborne of Alameda, Calif., answers his phone and  coast-to-coast direct-dial telephone service is born.

Bill Gates introduces Windows 1.0 on Nov. 10, 1983, two years before the computer operating system is available to the public. Instead of typing commands, users instruct the computer through graphic images. Thirty years later, Windows remains  the dominant system for desktop computers.

On Nov. 14, 1970, a plane carrying the Marshall University football team, along with coaches, staff and boosters,  crashes into a hillside, killing all 75 aboard. The worst tragedy in collegiate sports history inspires the school to build a powerhouse team, a story documented in the film We Are Marshall starring Matthew McConaughey.

On Nov. 16, 1966, a jury acquits physician Sam Sheppard of murdering his pregnant wife, Marilyn, in 1954. The U.S. Supreme Court had thrown out Sheppard’s conviction on the charge in a previous trial on grounds that media hoopla surrounding the case denied him a chance for a fair trial.

Kermit the Frog, Cookie Monster, Big Bird and other puppet creations of Jim Henson star in the Nov. 10, 1969, premiere of Sesame Street on National Educational Television. Now in its 45th season, the show that aims to prepare toddlers for school airs local versions in more than 150 countries.

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Images — Catch 22 cover: Wikipedia; Telephone: Wikipedia User ProhibitOnions; Kermit the Frog and Jim Henson: Frank Edwards/Fotos International/Archive Photos/Getty Images

Audio — Test Drive: Zapac via ccMixter

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