Today in History: Nov. 24

“You know that everyday a helpless child is born
Who needs some loving care inside a happy home
Somewhere a wealthy man is sitting on his throne
Waiting for life to go by”
—Freddie Mercury, Brian May, “Is This the World We Created?”

Freddie Mercury died 25 years ago today. At Live Aid in 1985, he and Queen partner Brian May performed a song, “Is This the World We Created,” lyrics by Mercury (after the jump):

 
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Today is Thanksgiving Day in America.

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“I have undertaken, you see, to write not only my life, but my opinions also; hoping and expecting that your knowledge of my character, and of what kind of a mortal I am, by the one, would give you a better relish for the other: As you proceed further with me, the slight acquaintance which is now beginning betwixt us, will grow into familiarity; and that, unless one of us is in fault, will terminate in friendship.”―Laurence Sterne, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman

Laurence Sterne (seen at top) was born in Ireland on this date in 1713. At the time of his death in 1768, he was one of the most famous writers in England, having written two comic novels, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, and A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy. His reputation flagged a bit after his death—Samuel Johnson complained about Shandy‘s many storytelling tricks that, “Nothing odd will do long. Tristram Shandy did not last”—but by the 20th Century Sterne was once again a beloved novelist whose works were thought to be worth study.

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On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin was published on this date in 1859 by John Murray.

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George Raft died on this date in 1980. Big Joe Turner died in 1985 on this date. Pat Morita died 11 years ago today.

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William F. Buckley, Jr. was born on this date in 1925.

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Mayor Ron Dellums is 81 today. Oscar Robertson is 78 today. Pete Best is 75. Billy Connolly is 74 today. From an April episode of Billy Connolly’s Tracks Across America, in which he shares his love of some aspects of Chicago and his thoughts on some other matters:

 
Marlin Fitzwater is 74. Sir Ian Botham is 61. Arundhati Roy is 55. Colin Hanks is 39.

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