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THIS DAY IN HISTORY


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November 8
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1895
German scientist discovers X-rays
On November 8, 1895, physicist Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen (1845-1923) becomes the first person to observe X-rays, a significant scientific advancement that would ultimately benefit a variety of fields, most of all medicine, by making the invisible visible. Röntgen...read more
Art, Literature, and Film History
1900
Margaret Mitchell, author of "Gone with the Wind," is born
Civil War
1864
Abraham Lincoln reelected
Crime
1974
Ted Bundy botches an abduction attempt
Germany
1923
Beer Hall Putsch begins
Inventions & Science
1962
Sun sets on the Ford Rotunda
Sports
1951
Yogi Berra is the AL MVP
U.S. Presidents
1960
John F. Kennedy elected president
U.S. Politics
1973
Maurice Ferré becomes first Puerto Rican to lead a major U.S. mainland city
1994
The Republican Revolution
1994
Salvatore "Sonny" Bono is elected to the U.S. Congress
Vietnam War
1965
Lawrence Joel awarded Medal of Honor
Westward Expansion
1887
Doc Holliday dies of tuberculosis
World War II
1939
Hitler survives assassination attempt
U.S. Government
1994
Proposition 187 is approved in California
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November 9
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1938
Nazis launch Kristallnacht
On November 9, 1938, in an event that would foreshadow the Holocaust, German Nazis launch a campaign of terror against Jewish people and their homes and businesses in Germany and Austria. The violence, which continued through November 10 and was later dubbed "Kristallnacht," or "Night of Broken Glas... read more
Art, Literature, and Film History
1990
Willie Nelson's assets are seized by the IRS
2004
Best-selling Millennium trilogy author Stieg Larsson dies at 50
Civil War
1862
Ambrose Burnside assumes command of the Union Army
Cold War
1989
East Germany opens the Berlin Wall
Crime
1971
A Sunday school teacher murders his family and goes undercover for 18 years
France
1956
Jean-Paul Sartre denounces communism
Natural Disasters & Environment
1965
The Great Northeast Blackout
Vietnam War
1965
Antiwar protestor sets himself afire
1970
Supreme Court refuses to rule on legality of Vietnam War
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November 10
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1969
Sesame Street debuts
On November 10, 1969, "Sesame Street," a pioneering TV show that would teach generations of young children the alphabet and how to count, makes its broadcast debut. "Sesame Street," with its memorable theme song ("Can you tell me how to get/How to get to Sesame Street"), went on to become the most w... read more
Africa
1995
Playwright and activist hanged in Nigeria
American Revolution
1775
Birth of the U.S. Marine Corps
Art, Literature, and Film History
1973
Copies of "Slaughterhouse-Five" are burned in North Dakota
Civil War
1865
Henry Wirz hanged for murder
Inventions & Science
1903
Mary Anderson patents windshield wiper
Native Americans
1808
Osage tribe cedes Missouri and Arkansas lands
Natural Disasters & Environment
1975
Cargo ship suddenly sinks in Lake Superior
Sports
1984
Maryland gets a miracle in Miami
U.S. Presidents
2001
George W. Bush addresses the United Nations regarding terrorism
World War I
1928
WWI novel "All Quiet on the Western Front" is published
World War II
1942
Germans take Vichy France
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November 11
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1918
Armistice Day: World War I ends
At the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the Great War ends. At 5 a.m. that morning, Germany, bereft of manpower and supplies and faced with imminent invasion, signed an armistice agreement with the Allies in a railroad car outside Compiégne, France. The First World War lef... read more
American Revolution
1778
Poor leadership leads to Cherry Valley Massacre
Art, Literature, and Film History
1852
Louisa May Alcott publishes her first story
1978
"The Dukes of Hazzard” makes TV history with a car jump
Crime
1988
Police make a grisly discovery in Dorothea Puente's lawn
Slavery
1831
Nat Turner executed in Virginia
Sports
1973
Soviet Union refuses to play Chile in World Cup Soccer
U.S. Presidents
1921
Dedication of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
World War II
1942
Draft age is lowered to 18
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November 12
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1954
Ellis Island closes
On November 12, 1954, Ellis Island, the gateway to America, shuts it doors after processing more than 12 million immigrants since opening in 1892. Today, an estimated 40 percent of all Americans can trace their roots through Ellis Island, located in New York Harbor off the New Jersey coast and named... read more
21st Century
2001
Plane crashes in Rockaway, New York
American Revolution
1775
Abigail Adams leads rhetorical charge against Britain
Civil War
1864
The destruction of Atlanta begins
Cold War
1982
Yuri Andropov assumes power in the Soviet Union
Crime
1996
High school sweethearts murder their newborn child
2004
Scott Peterson convicted of murder
Inventions & Science
1799
First meteor shower on record
Japan
1990
Akihito enthroned as emperor of Japan
U.S. Presidents
1979
Jimmy Carter shuts down oil imports from Iran
Vietnam War
1969
Seymour Hersh breaks My Lai Massacre story
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November 13
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1982
Vietnam Veterans Memorial dedicated
Near the end of a weeklong national salute to Americans who served in the Vietnam War, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial is dedicated in Washington, D.C. after a march to its site by thousands of veterans of the conflict. The long-awaited memorial was a simple V-shaped black-granite wall inscribed with ... read more
American Revolution
1775
Patriots take Montreal
Civil War
1861
General George McClellan snubs President Lincoln
France
2015
ISIL stages series of terrorist attacks in Paris, culminating in massacre at Bataclan theater
Inventions & Science
1974
Karen Silkwood dies in mysterious one-car crash
Natural Disasters & Environment
1985
The eruption of Nevado del Ruiz
Red Scare
1953
Indiana Textbook Commission member charges that Robin Hood is communist
Sports
1979
Darryl Dawkins breaks his first backboard
2020
Kim Ng named first female MLB general manager
Westward Expansion
1909
Ballinger-Pinchot scandal erupts
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November 14
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1851
Herman Melville publishes "Moby-Dick"
Moby-Dick is now considered a great classic of American literature and contains one of the most famous opening lines in fiction: "Call me Ishmael." Initially, though, the book about Captain Ahab and his quest to catch a giant white whale was a flop. Its author, Herman Melville was born in New York C... read more
American Revolution
1776
English newspaper announces Benjamin Franklin has joined rebellion in America
Art, Literature, and Film History
1941
Cary Grant stars in Hitchcock's "Suspicion"
Cold War
1951
United States gives military and economic aid to communist Yugoslavia
Inventions & Science
2006
Last day for Texas' celebrated drive-in Pig Stands
Space Exploration
1969
Apollo 12 lifts off
Sports
1970
Plane crash devastates Marshall University football team
Vietnam War
1965
Major battle erupts in the Ia Drang Valley
Westward Expansion
1882
Frank Leslie kills Billy “The Kid” Claiborne
World War I
1914
Ottoman Empire declares a holy war
CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT
1960
Ruby Bridges desegregates her school
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November 15
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1867
First stock ticker debuts
On November 15, 1867, the first stock ticker is unveiled in New York City. The advent of the ticker ultimately revolutionized the stock market by making up-to-the-minute prices available to investors around the country. Prior to this development, information from the New York Stock Exchange, which h... read more
21st Century
2001
Microsoft releases Xbox gaming console
American Revolution
1777
Articles of Confederation adopted
Art, Literature, and Film History
1859
Final installment of "A Tale of Two Cities" is published
1956
Elvis makes movie debut in "Love Me Tender"
Civil War
1864
Union General Sherman's scorched-earth March to the Sea campaign begins
Cold War
1957
Nikita Khrushchev challenges United States to a missile "shooting match"
Crime
1923
Accused of rape, James Montgomery's struggle for justice begins
Inventions & Science
1965
Craig Breedlove sets new land-speed record
1984
Baby Fae, infant who received baboon heart transplant, dies
U.S. Presidents
1977
President Carter hosts shah of Iran
Westward Expansion
1806
Zebulon Pike spots an imposing mountain
World War I
1917
Georges Clemenceau named French prime minister
World War II
1943
Himmler orders Roma to concentration camps
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November 16
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1532
Francisco Pizarro traps Incan emperor Atahualpa
On November 16, 1532, Francisco Pizarro, the Spanish explorer and conquistador, springs a trap on the Incan emperor, Atahualpa. With fewer than 200 men against several thousand, Pizarro lures Atahualpa to a feast in the emperor's honor and then opens fire on the unarmed Incans. Pizarro's men massacr... read more
19th Century
1907
Oklahoma enters the Union
American Revolution
1776
British capture Fort Washington
Art, Literature, and Film History
1849
Fyodor Dostoevsky is sentenced to death
1959
"The Sound of Music" premieres on Broadway
2001
First Harry Potter film opens
Cold War
1945
German scientists brought to United States to work on rocket technology
Crime
1957
Ed Gein kills final victim Bernice Worden
Vietnam War
1961
President Kennedy increases military aid to Saigon
1971
U.S. provides support to beleaguered Cambodians
World War II
1941
Joseph Goebbels publishes his screed of hate
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November 17
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1558
Elizabethan Age begins
Queen Mary I, the monarch of England and Ireland since 1553, dies and is succeeded by her 25-year-old half-sister, Elizabeth. The two half-sisters, both daughters of King Henry VIII, had a stormy relationship during Mary's five-year reign. Mary, who was brought up as a Catholic, enacted pro-Catholic... read more
1980s
1989
Velvet Revolution begins in Czechoslovakia
Africa
1869
Suez Canal opens
American Revolution
1777
Articles of Confederation submitted to the states
Art, Literature, and Film History
1839
Verdi's first opera opens
1958
The Kingston Trio brings folk music to the top of the U.S. pop charts
2003
"The Terminator" becomes "The Governator" of California
Civil War
1863
Siege of Knoxville, Tennessee, begins
Cold War
1969
SALT I negotiations begin
Crime
1972
A wealthy heiress is murdered by her son
2003
Washington, D.C. sniper John Muhammad convicted
Natural Disasters & Environment
1421
Thousands die in massive flood at European shores of North Sea
Sports
1968
TV viewers become outraged as football game is cut off to air "Heidi"
U.S. Presidents
1973
Nixon insists that he is "not a crook"
Vietnam War
1965
1st Cavalry unit ambushed in the Ia Drang Valley
1970
My Lai trial begins
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November 18
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1978
Mass suicide at Jonestown
On November 18, 1978, Peoples Temple founder Jim Jones leads hundreds of his followers in a mass murder-suicide at their agricultural commune in a remote part of the South American nation of Guyana. Many of Jones' followers willingly ingested a poison-laced punch while others were forced to do so at... read more
 
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1990s
1991
Terry Waite released after four-year kidnapping in Lebanon
1999
12 die in bonfire at Texas A&M University
19th Century
1883
Railroads create the first time zones
Civil War
1863
Lincoln travels to Gettysburg
Crime
1996
High-profile expert on exotic birds is sentenced for smuggling parrots
Sports
1966
L.A. Dodgers' ace pitcher Sandy Koufax retires
U.S. Government
1987
Congress issues final report on Iran-Contra scandal
World War I
1916
Battle of the Somme ends
World War II
1940
Hitler furious over Italy's debacle in Greece
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November 19
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1863
President Lincoln delivers Gettysburg Address
At the dedication of a military cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, during the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln delivers one of the most memorable speeches in American history: the Gettysburg Address. read more
Art, Literature, and Film History
1975
"One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" opens in theaters
2003
An arrest warrant is issued for Michael Jackson
Cold War
1985
Reagan and Gorbachev hold their first summit meeting
Crime
1976
Patty Hearst out on bail
Sports
1969
Soccer legend Pelé scores 1,000th goal
2004
NBA players and fans brawl at infamous "Malice at the Palace" game
World War II
1942
Soviets launch counterattack at Stalingrad
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November 20
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1945
Nuremberg trials begin
Twenty-four high-ranking Nazis go on trial in Nuremberg, Germany, for atrocities committed during World War II. The Nuremberg Trials were conducted by an international tribunal made up of representatives from the United States, the Soviet Union, France and Great Britain. It was the first trial of it... read more
19th Century
1820
American vessel sunk by sperm whale
Art, Literature, and Film History
2003
Music producer Phil Spector indicted for murder of actress
Crime
1903
Tom Horn is hanged in Wyoming for the murder of Willie Nickell
Great Britain
1947
Princess Elizabeth marries Philip Mountbatten
Inventions & Science
1923
Garrett Morgan patents three-position traffic signal
Sports
1982
Cal beats Stanford as band blocks field
WORLD WAR I
1917
British launch surprise tank attack at Cambrai
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