August 25 in history:
Thirty-five years after being launched from Earth, the Voyager 1 space probe left the solar system on August 25th of 2012. It became the first man-made object to enter interstellar space
On August 25th of 1609, Galileo Galilei demonstrated his first telescope to lawmakers in Venice, hoping they would purchase it. His introduction of the telescope was once parodied on “The Carol Burnett Show.” In the sketch, when a spectator looked through the telescope and complained that he couldn’t see anything, Galileo responded that you had to put a dime in first.
The New York Sun newspaper claimed in 1835 that a powerful new telescope revealed an unknown civilization on the moon. In a series of stories beginning on August 25th, the Sun told of oceans, beaches, and trees seen on the lunar surface. What became known as the “Great Moon Hoax” also included reports of beavers walking on two legs, and winged humans called “man-bats.”
Moviegoers went batty for “Batman” when director Tim Burton made two movies about the comic-book hero. Burton, born August 25th, 1958, has a fanciful film resume that includes “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure,” “Beetlejuice,” “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” and new versions of “Alice in Wonderland” and the TV drama “Dark Shadows.”
On the same day Tim Burton was born, the game show “Concentration” made its debut. The show requiring players to match hidden prizes and solve a rebus ran for 15 years on NBC before going into syndication and returning to NBC as “Classic Concentration” in the 1980s. Two men famous for hosting other popular game shows share an August 25th birthday: Monty Hall of “Let’s Make a Deal” (born 1921), and Regis Philbin of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” (1931).
November 8 in history:
Two Roosevelts were elected president on November 8th — 28 years apart. The first was Teddy Roosevelt in 1904, winning a full term after filling out the unexpired term of William McKinley. And Franklin D. Roosevelt defeated Herbert Hoover in 1932 for the first of his four presidential wins.
In other famous elections on November 8th…John F. Kennedy narrowly beat Richard Nixon for the White House in 1960, Ronald Reagan was elected governor of California in 1966, and Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential race over Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Trump may be the only U.S. president who inspired a board game before becoming Chief Executive. “Trump: The Game,” a real estate contest, was introduced by the Milton Bradley Company in 1989. Inventor Milton Bradley was born on this day in 1836. The company is known for “The Game of Life,” “Candyland,” and “Chutes and Ladders,” as well as for home versions of popular TV game shows.
The panel show “What’s My Line?” inspired a couple of U.S. home versions, neither one made by Milton Bradley. Columnist Dorothy Kilgallen was a regular panelist on “Line” for 15 years, until her sudden death on November 8th, 1965, a few hours after appearing live on the Sunday night program. Conspiracy theorists have suggested someone murdered Kilgallen for knowing too much about the JFK assassination, or UFOs, or something else. By coincidence, Kilgallen’s death was announced on CBS just after her pre-taped appearance on the November 8th daytime episode of “To Tell the Truth.” On that same day, the NBC soap opera “Days of Our Lives” made its debut, beginning a run that continues today.