November 16 in history:
On November 16th, 1907, Oklahoma was admitted to the Union. The U.S. flag would bear 46 stars after that, until New Mexico and Arizona became states in 1912.
The 50th anniversary of Oklahoma’s statehood, on November 16th, 1957, was not a happy day for fans of the Oklahoma Sooners football team. The Sooners’ 47-game winning streak, dating back to 1953, was ended with a 7-0 loss to Notre Dame.
“Oklahoma!” was the first hit musical written by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. Their last show, “The Sound of Music,” opened on Broadway on November 16th, 1959, with Mary Martin as Maria.
Another Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, “Carousel,” was based on a Hungarian play called “Liliom.” Actor Burgess Meredith played the title role in “Liliom” on Broadway in 1940. Meredith’s long career included the “Rocky” and “Grumpy Old Men” movies, appearances on “The Twilight Zone,” and the role of the Penguin on “Batman” in the ’60s. Meredith was born on this date in 1907, the same day Oklahoma became a state.
July 12th in history:
Geraldine Ferraro made history on this day in 1984, when Walter Mondale announced that she would be his running mate in the presidential election. Ferraro was a former school teacher who became a lawyer and eventually a New York Congresswoman. She became the first woman nominated for vice-president by a major party.
Ferraro was nominated for VP the same year that “The Cosby Show” began a successful eight-year run on NBC. Actor and comedian Bill Cosby, born July 12th, 1937, has starred in many TV series, including “I Spy,” “The Electric Company,” and the Saturday morning cartoon show “Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids,” which was based on routines from his early comedy albums.
Cosby earned a Doctor of Education degree from the University of Massachusetts. Teenage political activist Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan has traveled the world, advocating education for young girls, and has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. Malala, born on this day in 1997, has survived being shot in the head during an assassination attempt to stop her campaign to let girls attend school.
The sons and daughters of the King of Siam are taught by governess Anna Leonowens in the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical “The King and I.” Oscar Hammerstein II, born on July 12th, 1895, wrote the book and lyrics to “King and I” and other famous musicals, including “Show Boat,” “The Sound of Music,” and “South Pacific.”