MASKS, MICHIGAN, AND MICHELANGELO

November 1 in history:

A major artistic marvel was shown to the public for the first time on this date in 1512…Michelangelo’s paintings on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome.  The project took four years to complete, as Michelangelo painted Biblical scenes while lying on his back atop a 60-foot scaffold.

November 1st is the anniversary of two technological marvels used by drivers in Michigan.  A tunnel connecting Windsor, Ontario and Detroit was dedicated on this date in 1930.  The tunnel is located 75 feet below the Detroit River.  The 1st of November in 1957 was the opening day for a five-mile bridge stretching across the Straits of Mackinac, linking Michigan’s Upper and Lower Peninsulas.

A low-tech device that has saved the faces of countless hockey players was used in a National Hockey League game for the first time on November 1st, 1959.  The nose of Montreal Canadiens goalie Jacques Plante was broken by a flying puck during a game that day.  He sat out part of the game, but then returned wearing a fiberglass mask he had used during practices.  Plante’s coach was okay with him going back onto the ice, but didn’t want him to wear the mask.  After the mask became a sort of good-luck charm for the Canadiens, it became standard equipment in the NHL.

A hockey mask is the trademark of serial killer Jason Voorhees from the “Friday the 13th” movies.  In the original 1980 film, the killer behind the mask was not Jason, but his mother, played by Betsy Palmer.  Before “Friday the 13th,” Palmer was best known during the ’50s and ’60s as a perky panelist on “I’ve Got a Secret.”  She was born November 1st, 1926.

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