CRIMINAL / RECORDS

November 24 in history:

A one-of-a-kind crime in the sky happened on this date in 1971, aboard a Northwest Orient jet.  A passenger who bought a ticket under the name “Dan Cooper” hijacked a flight between Portland, Oregon and Seattle, suggesting that he had a bomb inside a briefcase.  Cooper was given parachutes and $200,000 in cash after the plane landed.  He then jumped out of the plane after it took off again.  Investigators have never figured out what happened to the hijacker, who became known as “D.B. Cooper,” but some of the ransom money did turn up in the woods years later.

Millions of Americans witnessed a real-life crime on live TV when tavern owner Jack Ruby shot and killed Lee Harvey Oswald in front of reporters and television cameras at the Dallas jail on November 24th, 1963.  It was just two days after Oswald was arrested for the assassination of President Kennedy.

The three major networks suspended all regular programming for four days after Kennedy’s death.  One of the cancelled programs that was scheduled for the night of November 24th was a special recapping the 1963 Grammy Awards, at which the Album of the Year award went to the Vaughn Meader satire of Kennedy, “The First Family.”

Marvin Hamlisch won four Grammys for 1974, including Best Pop Instrumental Performance for his recording of “The Entertainer” by Scott Joplin, from the movie “The Sting.”  The film’s ragtime score led to a revival of Joplin’s songs.  Many musicians celebrate November 24th of 1868 as Joplin’s birthday, but now it is believed he was born sometime in 1867.

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