This Weekend In History…

Iranian Hostage Crisis

November 4, 1979

The U.S. Embassy in Tehran, Iran is seized and 63 American hostages are taken and held for 444 days. The embassy was taken over by Iranian students who believed the U.S. was attempting to undermine the Iranian Revolution. They also opposed U.S. support of the Shah of Iran who, after being overthrown, went to the U.S. for cancer treatment. They wanted him returned to stand trial for crimes against the Iranian people.

Flux Capacitor Invented

November 5, 1955

According to the Back to the Future movie franchise, Dr. Emmett L. Brown (Doc) conceives of the idea for his flux capacitor when he slipped on the edge of his toilet while hanging a clock in his bathroom and hit his head on the sink. The flux capacitor requires 1.21 gigawatts of electrical power and as the DeLorean time machine nears 88 mph, light coming from the flux capacitor begins pulsing more rapidly until it becomes a steady stream. This coupled with the DeLorean’s stainless steel body is what makes time travel possible. Ironically, the factory DeLorean’s speedometer only went to 85 mph as it was the law in the U.S. at the time that automobile speedometers could only go up to 85 mph. The car used in the Back to the Future movies had a sticker placed over the speedometer that went up to 95 mph. This law was in effect from 1979 to 1982.

Laura Bush Kills Friend in Auto Accident

November 6, 1963

Laura Welch, the 17-year-old future first lady Laura Bush (wife of U.S. President George W. Bush), runs a stop sign striking a car and killing its sole occupant, 17-year-old Michael Douglass. Douglass was her close friend and classmate. Bush and her 17-year-old passenger were treated for minor injuries. She was not charged in the incident. In her book Spoken from the Heart, she says that the crash caused her to lose her faith “for many, many years.”