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In the Good Old Days Antiques Corner This Week in History
This Week in History

A State Song, The Mad Bomber and Racing Chariots

-- On Nov. 14, 1960: The song Georgia on My Mind, performed by Ray Charles, reached No. 1 on the Billboard charts. The song was written by Hoagy Carmichael and Stuart Gorrell in 1930. Born in Albany, Ga., Charles' ode to his home state was his first No. 1 hit and is arguably the best-known version of the song. Georgia on My Mind was selected as the official state song of Georgia in 1979.

-- On Nov. 16, 1940: George Metesky planted a bomb at the Manhattan office building of Consolidated Edison. Known by the nickname "the Mad Bomber," Metesky set more than 30 bombs around New York during the 1940s and '50s. However, he did not set any bombs when the United States was at war during World War II, citing patriotism in a note to police that he signed "F.P." A former employee of Consolidated Edison who had lost his job after being injured at work, Metesky was arrested in 1957. Although he set many bombs, only 15 people suffered injuries. Metesky claimed he deliberately built his bombs so that no one would be killed. He was found incompetent to stand trial and was hospitalized in an asylum for the criminally insane until 1973. He died at the age of 90.

-- On Nov. 18, 1959: The epic film Ben-Hur, starring Charlton Heston as Judah Ben-Hur, premiered in New York City. Ben Hur was an incredibly expensive film to produce and included a large sea battle and the now-famous chariot race. Fortunately for MGM, the film was also the largest grossing film of that year, and was just behind Gone with the Wind as the highest grossing film at that time. The film won a record 11 Academy Awards including Best Picture.

-- Compiled by M. Moeller

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