A new month is upon us. And so another page of the calendar gets torn off and thrown away and now there is a whole new month laid out before us. Let’s have a look at November down through the years.
• Do you remember anything special about the November weather back in 1976? I know, that’s too far back and your memory has faded. Welcome to the club. But, according to weather records, the year of 1976 was the driest November in Winnipeg since weather records began back in 1872. Our city had only 0.8 millimetres of precipitation.
That’s like — nothing. In fact, no measurable rain or snow fell for 47 days from October 8 to November 24, the longest dry-spell ever.
Now does November ’76 ring a familiar weather bell? Still nothing, eh? Oh well, you can join me in the “my mind is fading” club.
• Ironically, on November 5, 1975, just a year before this little weather item, Winnipeg experienced the warmest November day ever, when it was a summerlike 24°C. That balmy statistic is pretty hard to believe when you consider how bitterly cold and wintry recent Novembers have been in this neck of the winter woods. Which means we’re due for a repeat of that 1975 warm spell, right? Come on El Nino, where the heck are you?
• And speaking of November 5, do you remember Guy Fawkes Day? It’s an important day in British history and it’s rather unusual in the sense that it recalls a man who failed to do something.
On November 5, 1605, Guy Fawkes was arrested beneath the House of Lords in London and the famous Gunpowder Plot was foiled. He and his co-conspirators were preparing to light the fuse on 36 barrels of gunpowder. Their plan was to take the lives of King James I and the assembled Parliament. If the plot had succeeded, a Catholic monarchy would have been installed and the course of history would have been changed.
• Sunday, November 2 — The annual return to Standard Time. Clocks go back an hour, as in: “Spring forward, Fall back.” The sun will now set earlier and earlier each day until around the middle of December when it sets about 4:27 p.m. This is when you go to work in the dark and return home in the dark. Groan. Then, after the winter solstice around December 21, the sun starts to set a little later, but not much.
Long June evenings will not seem imminent.
• November 11, 1985 — The case of the inopportune snowball. Put an errant snowball together with professional football and you have the makings of a gridiron loss. Here’s how it happened. It was a snowy day in Denver and the Broncos were hosting the 49ers. A fan threw a snowball onto the field and into the play just as San Fran’s Matt Cavanaugh was setting the ball for a place kick. Cavanaugh was distracted by the snowball, bobbled the snap and the field goal was never kicked. An important point? It certainly was, since the 49ers eventually lost the game by just one point!
• November 17, 1973 — U.S. President Richard Nixon defended himself against charges of political wrongdoing, declaring that he was “not a crook.” As it turned out, he was wrong. Nixon resigned the following year.
• November 30, 1974 — Here’s a classic for sports-trivia lovers. This day produced one of the most remarkable turn-arounds in the history of U.S. college football. Southern California, behind 24-0 near half-time, scored eight touchdowns in 18 minutes to defeat Notre Dame 55-24.
And the moral of the story? Take your pick: “It’s not over ’til it’s over,” “When you’re hot, you’re hot,” “On any given day, in any sports arena, there’s just no telling what will happen,” “Don’t count your chickens before they hatch,” “We may be down, but we’re not out yet,” “We’ve got ’em right where we want ’em,” etc.