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This Day in Pop Culture for December 1

Rosa Parks

1955: Rosa Parks is Jailed

It was on this day in 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama that “the mother of the civil rights movement,” Rosa Parks, was jailed for not giving up her bus seat to a white man, a direct violation of the city’s racial segregation law. During that time, African Americans were required to sit at the back of public buses and were required to give up their seats to white people if asked. Sitting in the first row of the “black section,” Parks refused to give up her seat when a white man demanded that she do so. Soon after, many African American activists called for bus boycott beginning on December 5 of that same year. The boycott lasted for more than a year. (Image: Wikimedia)

1885: The Doctor (Pepper) is in

Believe it or not, the soft drink, Dr Pepper is actually one year older than Coca-Cola, but their origin stories are similar. Created from 23 different flavors, the soda was made by Charles Alderton, a pharmacist who worked at Morrison’s Old Corner Drug Store in Waco, Texas. The U.S. Patent Office recognizes that the very first time that the soda was served was on this day in 1885 when Alderton offered his concoction to the store’s owner, Wade Morrison. Word soon got out about the new beverage. Eventually, Alderton gave the formula for the beverage to Morrison. (It is believed that the recipe was split in two with two halves stored in two different safe deposit boxes for extra safety.) Dr Pepper was introduced nationally during the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in 1904. Like Coca-Cola, early advertisements promoted the drink as an aid to digestion while also serving as an energy tonic. Despite what you’ve heard, the drink has never been made with prune juice and while there are some theories, nobody knows for sure how the drink got its name.

Movies Released

  • National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)
  • Richie Rich (1994)
  • The Shape of Water (2017)

TV Series Debuts

  • Storage Wars (2010)

Famous Birthdays

  • 1929: David Doyle (actor)
  • 1933: Lou Rawls (singer)
  • 1935: Woody Allen (film director)
  • 1940: Richard Pryor (comedian)
  • 1945: Bette Midler (actress)
  • 1951: Treat Williams (actor)
  • 1970: Sarah Silverman (comedian)
  • 1972: Bart Millard (singer)
  • 1985: Janelle Monae (singer)
  • 1988: Zoe Kravitz (actress)

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Jeffrey Totey View All

I write about pop culture, arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.

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