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Re: Today In History by bolataiwo(m): 12:28pm On Oct 20, 2020
TODAY IN HISTORY

Congress investigates Communists in Hollywood

On October 20, 1947, the notorious Red Scare kicks into high gear in Washington, as a Congressional committee begins investigating Communist influence in one of the world’s richest and most glamorous communities: Hollywood.

After World War II, the Cold War began to heat up between the world’s two superpowers—the United States and the communist-controlled Soviet Union. In Washington, conservative watchdogs worked to out communists in government before setting their sights on alleged “Reds” in the famously liberal movie industry. In an investigation that began in October 1947, the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) grilled a number of prominent witnesses, asking bluntly “Are you or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?” Whether out of patriotism or fear, some witnesses—including director Elia Kazan, actors Gary Cooper and Robert Taylor and studio honchos Walt Disney and Jack Warner—gave the committee names of colleagues they suspected of being communists.

A small group known as the “Hollywood Ten” resisted, complaining that the hearings were illegal and violated their First Amendment rights. They were all convicted of obstructing the investigation and served jail terms. Pressured by Congress, the Hollywood establishment started a blacklist policy, banning the work of about 325 screenwriters, actors and directors who had not been cleared by the committee. Those blacklisted included composer Aaron Copland, writers Dashiell Hammett, Lillian Hellman and Dorothy Parker, playwright Arthur Miller and actor and filmmaker Orson Welles.

Some of the blacklisted writers used pseudonyms to continue working, while others wrote scripts that were credited to other writer friends. Starting in the early 1960s, after the downfall of Senator Joseph McCarthy, the most public face of anti-communism, the ban began to lift slowly. In 1997, the Writers’ Guild of America unanimously voted to change the writing credits of 23 films made during the blacklist period, reversing—but not erasing—some of the damage done during the Red Scare.









SPORTS

1968

Dick Fosbury flops to an Olympic high jump record


On October 20, 1968, 21-year-old Oregonian Dick Fosbury wins gold—and sets an Olympic record—when he high-jumps 7 feet 4 1/4 inches at the Mexico City Games. It was the first American victory in the event since 1956. It was also the international debut of Fosbury’s unique jumping ...read more





AFRICA

2011

Libyan dictator Muammar al-Qaddafi is killed


On October 20, 2011, Muammar al-Qaddafi, the longest-serving leader in Africa and the Arab world, is captured and killed by rebel forces near his hometown of Sirte. The eccentric 69-year-old dictator, who came to power in a 1969 coup, headed a government that was accused of ...read more





WORLD WAR II

1944

General MacArthur returns to the Philippines


After advancing island by island across the Pacific Ocean, U.S. General Douglas MacArthur wades ashore onto the Philippine island of Leyte, fulfilling his promise to return to the area he was forced to flee in 1942. The son of an American Civil War hero, MacArthur served as chief ...read more





ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY

1973

Sydney Opera House opens


After 15 years of construction, the Sydney Opera House is dedicated by Queen Elizabeth II. The $80 million structure, designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon and funded by the profits of the Opera House Lotteries, was built on Bennelong Point, in Sydney, Australia. Famous for its ...read more





CHINA

1935

Mao’s Long March concludes


Just over a year after the start of the Long March, Mao Zedong arrives in Shensi Province in northwest China with 4,000 survivors and sets up Chinese Communist headquarters. The epic flight from Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalist forces lasted 368 days and covered 6,000 miles. Civil ...read more





US GOVERNMENT

1973

Watergate special prosecutor dismissed, starting "Saturday Night Massacre"

On October 20, 1973, solicitor General Robert Bork dismisses Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox; Attorney General Richardson and Deputy Attorney General Ruckelshaus resign in protest. Cox had conducted a detailed investigation of the Watergate break-in that revealed that ...read more







U.S. PRESIDENTS

1962

President Kennedy secretly plans blockade of Cuba


On October 20, 1962, the White House press corps is told that President John F. Kennedy has a cold; in reality, he is holding secret meetings with advisors on the eve of ordering a blockade of Cuba. Kennedy was in Seattle and scheduled to attend the Seattle Century 21 World’s ...read more





WESTWARD EXPANSION

1803

U.S. Senate ratifies the Louisiana Purchase


On October 20, 1803, the U.S. Senate approves a treaty with France providing for the purchase of the territory of Louisiana, which would double the size of the United States. At the end of 18th century, the Spanish technically owned Louisiana, the huge region west of the ...read more





ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY

1977

Three members of the southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd die in a Mississippi plane crash


In the summer of 1977, members of the rock band Aerosmith inspected an airplane they were considering chartering for their upcoming tour—a Convair 240 operated out of Addison, Texas. Concerns over the flight crew led Aerosmith to look elsewhere—a decision that saved one band but ...read more





ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY

1853

French poet Arthur Rimbaud is born


On October 20, 1853, Arthur Rimbaud is born in Charleville, France. His father, an army officer, deserted the family when Rimbaud was six. Rimbaud was a brilliant student, and his first poem was published in a French review when he was 16. The following year, he rebelled and ran ...read more





ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY

1994

Actor Burt Lancaster dies


On October 20, 1994, Burt Lancaster, a former circus performer who rose to fame as a Hollywood leading man with some 70 movies to his credit, including From Here to Eternity and Atlantic City, in a career that spanned more than four decades, dies of a heart attack at the age of ...read more





AMERICAN REVOLUTION

1774

Congress creates the Continental Association


On October 20, 1774, the First Continental Congress creates the Continental Association, which calls for a complete ban on all trade between America and Great Britain of all goods, wares or merchandise.

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Re: Today In History by bolataiwo(m): 9:41am On Oct 21, 2020
TODAY IN HISTORY


Guggenheim Museum opens in New York City

On October 21, 1959, on New York City’s Fifth Avenue, thousands of people line up outside a bizarrely shaped white concrete building that resembled a giant upside-down cupcake. It was opening day at the new Guggenheim Museum, home to one of the world’s top collections of contemporary art.

Mining tycoon Solomon R. Guggenheim began collecting art seriously when he retired in the 1930s. With the help of Hilla Rebay, a German baroness and artist, Guggenheim displayed his purchases for the first time in 1939 in a former car showroom in New York. Within a few years, the collection—including works by Vasily Kandinsky, Paul Klee and Marc Chagall—had outgrown the small space. In 1943, Rebay contacted architect Frank Lloyd Wright and asked him to take on the work of designing not just a museum, but a “temple of spirit,” where people would learn to see art in a new way.

Over the next 16 years, until his death six months before the museum opened, Wright worked to bring his unique vision to life. To Wright’s fans, the museum that opened on October 21, 1959, was a work of art in itself. Inside, a long ramp spiraled upwards for a total of a quarter-mile around a large central rotunda, topped by a domed glass ceiling. Reflecting Wright’s love of nature, the 50,000-meter space resembled a giant seashell, with each room opening fluidly into the next.

Wright’s groundbreaking design drew criticism as well as admiration. Some felt the oddly-shaped building didn’t complement the artwork. They complained the museum was less about art and more about Frank Lloyd Wright. On the flip side, many others thought the architect had achieved his goal: a museum where building and art work together to create “an uninterrupted, beautiful symphony.”

Located on New York’s impressive Museum Mile, at the edge of Central Park, the Guggenheim has become one of the city’s most popular attractions. In 1993, the original building was renovated and expanded to create even more exhibition space. Today, Wright’s creation continues to inspire awe, as well as odd comparisons—a Jello mold! a washing machine! a pile of twisted ribbon!—for many of the 900,000-plus visitors who visit the Guggenheim each year.







U.S. PRESIDENTS

1921

President Harding publicly condemns lynching


On October 21, 1921, President Warren G. Harding delivers a speech in Alabama in which he condemns lynchings—extrajudicial murders (usually hangings) committed primarily by white supremacists against Black Americans in the Deep South. Although his administration was much maligned.





19TH CENTURY

1805

Battle of Trafalgar


In one of the most decisive naval battles in history, a British fleet under Admiral Lord Nelson defeats a combined French and Spanish fleet at the Battle of Trafalgar, fought off the coast of Spain. At sea, Lord Nelson and the Royal Navy consistently thwarted Napoleon Bonaparte.





VIETNAM WAR

1967

Thousands protest the war in Vietnam


In Washington, D.C. nearly 100,000 people gather to protest the American war effort in Vietnam. More than 50,000 of the protesters marched to the Pentagon to ask for an end to the conflict. The protest was the most dramatic sign of waning U.S. support for President Lyndon.





WORLD WAR II

1941

Germans massacre men, women and children in Yugoslavia


On October 21, 1941, German soldiers go on a rampage, killing thousands of Yugoslavian civilians, including whole classes of schoolboys. Despite attempts to maintain neutrality at the outbreak of World War II, Yugoslavia finally succumbed to signing a “friendship treaty”.

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Re: Today In History by bolataiwo(m): 8:43am On Oct 23, 2020
TODAY IN HISTORY


Hostage crisis in Moscow theater

On October 23, 2002, about 50 Chechen rebels storm a Moscow theater, taking up to 700 people hostage during a sold-out performance of a popular musical.

The second act of the musical “Nord Ost” was just beginning at the Moscow Ball-Bearing Plant’s Palace of Culture when an armed man walked onstage and fired a machine gun into the air. The terrorists—including a number of women with explosives strapped to their bodies—identified themselves as members of the Chechen Army. They had one demand: that Russian military forces begin an immediate and complete withdrawal from Chechnya, the war-torn region located north of the Caucasus Mountains.

Chechnya, with its predominately Muslim population, had long struggled to assert its independence. A disastrous two-year war ended in 1996, but Russian forces returned to the region just three years later after Russian authorities blamed Chechens for a series of bombings in Russia. In 2000, President Vladimir Putin was elected partly because of his hard-line position towards Chechnya and his public vow not to negotiate with terrorists.

After a 57-hour-standoff at the Palace of Culture, during which two hostages were killed, Russian special forces surrounded and raided the theater on the morning of October 26. Later it was revealed that they had pumped a powerful narcotic gas into the building, knocking nearly all of the terrorists and hostages unconscious before breaking into the walls and roof and entering through underground sewage tunnels. Most of the guerrillas and 120 hostages were killed during the raid. Security forces were later forced to defend the decision to use the dangerous gas, saying that only a complete surprise attack could have disarmed the terrorists before they had time to detonate their explosives.

After the theater crisis, Putin’s government clamped down even harder on Chechnya, drawing accusations of kidnapping, torture and other atrocities. In response, Chechen rebels continued their terrorist attacks on Russian soil, including an alleged suicide bombing in a Moscow subway in February 2004 and another major hostage crisis at a Beslan school that September.







1980S

1989

Gas leak kills 23 at plastics factory


On October 23, 1989, 23 people die in a series of explosions sparked by an ethylene leak at a factory in Pasadena, Texas. The blasts, which took place at a Phillips Petroleum Company plant, were caused by inadequate safety procedures.





ANCIENT ROME

42 B.C.

Brutus dies by suicide


Marcus Junius Brutus, a leading conspirator in the assassination of Julius Caesar, dies by suicide after his defeat at the second battle of Philippi. Two years before, Brutus had joined Gaius Cassius Longinus in the plot against the Roman dictator Julius Caesar.





MIDDLE EAST

1983

Beirut barracks blown up


A suicide bomber drives a truck packed with explosives into the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, killing 241 U.S. military personnel. That same morning, 58 French soldiers were killed in their barracks two miles away in a separate suicide terrorist attack.





INVENTIONS & SCIENCE

1983

U.S. and French military barracks in Beirut hit by massive car bombs


On October 23, a suicide bomber drives a truck filled with 2,000 pounds of explosives into a U.S. Marine Corps barracks at the Beirut International Airport. The explosion killed 220 Marines, 18 sailors and three soldiers.





CRIME

1998

Doctor is killed by anti-abortion radical


Doctor Barnett Slepian is shot to death inside his home in Amherst, New York by an anti-abortion radical. His killing marks the fifth straight year that an abortion-providing doctor in upstate New York and Canada became the victim of a sniper attack.
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Re: Today In History by bolataiwo(m): 8:28am On Oct 24, 2020
TODAY IN HISTORY




First barrel ride down Niagara Falls

On October 24, 1901, a 63-year-old schoolteacher named Annie Edson Taylor becomes the first person to successfully take the plunge over Niagara Falls in a barrel.

After her husband died in the Civil War, the New York-born Taylor moved all over the U. S. before settling in Bay City, Michigan, around 1898. In July 1901, while reading an article about the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, she learned of the growing popularity of two enormous waterfalls located on the border of upstate New York and Canada. Strapped for cash and seeking fame, Taylor came up with the perfect attention-getting stunt: She would go over Niagara Falls in a barrel.

Taylor was not the first person to attempt the plunge over the famous falls. In October 1829, Sam Patch, known as the Yankee Leaper, survived jumping down the 175-foot Horseshoe Falls of the Niagara River, on the Canadian side of the border. More than 70 years later, Taylor chose to take the ride on her birthday, October 24. (She claimed she was in her 40s, but genealogical records later showed she was 63.) With the help of two assistants, Taylor strapped herself into a leather harness inside an old wooden pickle barrel five feet high and three feet in diameter. With cushions lining the barrel to break her fall, Taylor was towed by a small boat into the middle of the fast-flowing Niagara River and cut loose.

Knocked violently from side to side by the rapids and then propelled over the edge of Horseshoe Falls, Taylor reached the shore alive, if a bit battered, around 20 minutes after her journey began. After a brief flurry of photo-ops and speaking engagements, Taylor’s fame cooled, and she was unable to make the fortune for which she had hoped. She did, however, inspire a number of copy-cat daredevils. Between 1901 and 1995, 15 people went over the falls; 10 of them survived. Among those who died were Jesse Sharp, who took the plunge in a kayak in 1990, and Robert Overcracker, who used a jet ski in 1995. No matter the method, going over Niagara Falls is illegal, and survivors face charges and stiff fines on either side of the border.





GERMANY

1648

Thirty Years' War ends


The Treaty of Westphalia is signed, ending the Thirty Years' War and radically shifting the balance of power in Europe. The Thirty Years' War, a series of wars fought by European nations for various reasons, ignited in 1618 over an attempt by the king of Bohemia.





21ST CENTURY

2003

The Concorde makes its final flight


The supersonic Concorde jet makes its last commercial passenger flight, traveling at twice the speed of sound from New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport to London’s Heathrow Airport on October 24, 2003.





ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY

1969

Burton buys Liz a diamond


Movie star Richard Burton dazzles wife Elizabeth Taylor—and their legions of fans—when he buys her a 69-carat Cartier diamond ring costing $1.5 million. It was just another chapter in a tempestuous marriage that began on the Ides of March and continued thereafter in the public.





WORLD WAR II

1945

The United Nations is born


On October 24, 1945, the United Nations Charter, which was adopted and signed on June 26, 1945, is now effective and ready to be enforced. The United Nations was born of perceived necessity, as a means of better arbitrating international conflict and negotiating peace.





VIETNAM WAR

1954

President Eisenhower pledges support to South Vietnam


President Eisenhower pledges support to Diem’s government and military forces. Eisenhower wrote to South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem and promised direct assistance to his government. Eisenhower made it clear to Diem that U.S. aid to his government during Vietnam’s “hour.





U.S. PRESIDENTS

1951

President Truman declares war with Germany is officially over


On October 24, 1951, President Harry Truman finally proclaims that the nation’s war with Germany, begun in 1941, is officially over. Fighting had ended in the spring of 1945. Most Americans assumed that the war with Germany had ended with the cessation of hostilities six years.









WESTWARD EXPANSION

1861

Western Union completes the first transcontinental telegraph line

On October 24, 1861, workers of the Western Union Telegraph Company link the eastern and western telegraph networks of the nation at Salt Lake City, Utah, completing a transcontinental line that for the first time allows instantaneous communication between Washington, D.C.





ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY

1962

James Brown records breakthrough “Live at the Apollo” album


James Brown began his professional career at a time when rock and roll was opening new opportunities for black artists to connect with white audiences. But the path he took to fame did not pass through Top 40 radio or through The Ed Sullivan Show and American Bandstand.





ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY

1969

“Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” opens in wide release


On October 24, 1969, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford as a team of bank robbers in the Old West, opens in theaters around the United States. The film was a commercial and critical success, receiving seven Oscar nominations.





CRIME

1997

Marv Albert faces sentencing in sexual assault case


Circuit Court Judge Benjamin Kendrick announces that he will dismiss the sexual assault case filed against Marv Albert by 42-year-old Vanessa Perhach if the sportscaster agrees to get counseling and stays out of trouble for a year.





INVENTIONS & SCIENCE

1931

George Washington Bridge is dedicated


On October 24, 1931, eight months ahead of schedule, New York governor Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicates the George Washington Bridge over the Hudson River. The 4,760-foot–long suspension bridge, the longest in the world at the time, connected Fort Lee.





WORLD WAR I

1921

Unknown Soldier is selected


On October 24, 1921, in the French town of Chalons-sur-Marne, an American officer selects the body of the first “Unknown Soldier” to be honored among the approximately 77,000 United States servicemen killed on the Western Front during World War I.







WORLD WAR I

1917

Battle of Caporetto


On October 24, 1917, a combined German and Austro-Hungarian force scores one of the most crushing victories of World War I, decimating the Italian line along the northern stretch of the Isonzo River in the Battle of Caporetto, also known as the Twelfth Battle of the Isonzo.

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Re: Today In History by bolataiwo(m): 6:46am On Oct 26, 2020
TODAY IN HISTORY


Shootout at the O.K. Corral

On October 26, 1881, the Earp brothers face off against the Clanton-McLaury gang in a legendary shootout at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona.

After silver was discovered nearby in 1877, Tombstone quickly grew into one of the richest mining towns in the Southwest. Wyatt Earp, a former Kansas police officer working as a bank security guard, and his brothers, Morgan and Virgil, the town marshal, represented “law and order” in Tombstone, though they also had reputations as being power-hungry and ruthless. The Clantons and McLaurys were cowboys who lived on a ranch outside of town and sidelined as cattle rustlers, thieves and murderers. In October 1881, the struggle between these two groups for control of Tombstone and Cochise County ended in a blaze of gunfire at the OK Corral.

On the morning of October 25, Ike Clanton and Tom McLaury came into Tombstone for supplies. Over the next 24 hours, the two men had several violent run-ins with the Earps and their friend Doc Holliday. Around 1:30 p.m. on October 26, Ike’s brother Billy rode into town to join them, along with Frank McLaury and Billy Claiborne. The first person they met in the local saloon was Holliday, who was delighted to inform them that their brothers had both been pistol-whipped by the Earps. Frank and Billy immediately left the saloon, vowing revenge.

Around 3 p.m., the Earps and Holliday spotted the five members of the Clanton-McLaury gang in a vacant lot behind the OK Corral, at the end of Fremont Street. The famous gunfight that ensued lasted all of 30 seconds, and around 30 shots were fired. Though it’s still debated who fired the first shot, most reports say that the shootout began when Virgil Earp pulled out his revolver and shot Billy Clanton point-blank in the chest, while Doc Holliday fired a shotgun blast at Tom McLaury’s chest. Though Wyatt Earp wounded Frank McLaury with a shot in the stomach, Frank managed to get off a few shots before collapsing, as did Billy Clanton. When the dust cleared, Billy Clanton and the McLaury brothers were dead, and Virgil and Morgan Earp and Doc Holliday were wounded. Ike Clanton and Claiborne had run for the hills.

Sheriff John Behan of Cochise County, who witnessed the shootout, charged the Earps and Holliday with murder. A month later, however, a Tombstone judge found the men not guilty, ruling that they were “fully justified in committing these homicides.” The famous shootout has been immortalized in many movies, including Frontier Marshal (1939), Gunfight at the OK Corral (1957), Tombstone (1993) and Wyatt Earp (1994).







ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY

1985

Whitney Houston earns her first #1 hit with “Saving All My Love For You”


Whitney Houston was the daughter of soul singer Cissy Houston and niece of pop star Dionne Warwick, and she parlayed her vocal gifts and the professional nurturing of her well-connected family into superstardom of a kind rarely matched before or since.





19TH CENTURY

1825

Erie Canal opens


The Erie Canal opens, connecting the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean via the Hudson River. Governor DeWitt Clinton of New York, the driving force behind the project, led the opening ceremonies and rode the canal boat Seneca Chief from Buffalo to New York City.





INVENTIONS & SCIENCE

1984

Infant receives baboon heart

At Loma Linda University Medical Center in Loma Linda, California, Dr. Leonard L. Bailey performs the first baboon-to-human heart transplant, replacing a 14-day-old infant girl’s defective heart with the healthy, walnut-sized heart of a young baboon.





SPORTS

1986

Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner lets ground ball roll through his legs


In the wee hours of the morning on October 26, 1986, Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner lets an easy ground ball dribble between his legs and roll down the right-field line. It was just a routine fielding error, but it was a disaster for the Boston Red Sox:





U.S. PRESIDENTS

2001

George W. Bush signs the Patriot Act


On October 26, 2001, President George W. Bush signs the Patriot Act, an anti-terrorism law drawn up in response to the attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. The USA PATRIOT Act, as it is officially known.





ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY

1946

“Wheel of Fortune” host Pat Sajak is born


On October 26, 1946, Patrick Leonard Sajdak, who will one day be known to millions of game-show fans as the Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak, is born in Chicago. Wheel of Fortune, which debuted in 1975, became the longest-running syndicated game show on American television.







CRIME

1984

An Ozzy Osbourne fan commits suicide


Nineteen-year-old John McCollum is found shot to death on his bed in Indio, California. Although it was quickly determined that the fatal wound was self-inflicted.





CIVIL WAR

1864

“Bloody Bill” Anderson killed


On October 26, 1864, the notorious Confederate guerrilla leader William “Bloody Bill” Anderson is killed in Missouri in a Union ambush. Born in the late 1830s, Anderson grew up in Missouri and moved to Kansas in the late 1850s.





AMERICAN REVOLUTION

1775

King George III speaks to Parliament of American rebellion


On October 26, 1775, King George III speaks before both houses of the British Parliament to discuss growing concern about the rebellion in America, which he viewed as a traitorous action against himself and Great Britain.





AMERICAN REVOLUTION

1776

Benjamin Franklin sets sail for France

On October 26, 1776, exactly one month to the day after being named an agent of a diplomatic commission by the Continental Congress, Benjamin Franklin sets sail from Philadelphia for France, with which he was to negotiate and secure a formal alliance and treaty.





WORLD WAR II

1942

Japanese planes destroy the U.S.S Hornet


On October 26, 1942, the last U.S. carrier manufactured before America’s entry into World War II, the Hornet, is damaged so extensively by Japanese war planes in the Battle of Santa Cruz that it must be abandoned.





WORLD WAR I

1917

Brazil declares war on Germany


On October 26, 1917, Brazil declares its decision to enter the First World War on the side of the Allied powers. As a major player in the Atlantic trading market, Brazil—an immense country occupying nearly one-half of the entire South American continent.

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Re: Today In History by bolataiwo(m): 6:27am On Oct 27, 2020
TODAY IN HISTORY



New York City subway opens

At 2:35 on the afternoon of October 27, 1904, New York City Mayor George McClellan takes the controls on the inaugural run of the city’s innovative new rapid transit system: the subway.

While London boasts the world’s oldest underground train network (opened in 1863) and Boston built the first subway in the United States in 1897, the New York City subway soon became the largest American system. The first line, operated by the Interborough Rapid Transit Company (IRT), traveled 9.1 miles through 28 stations. Running from City Hall in lower Manhattan to Grand Central Terminal in midtown, and then heading west along 42nd Street to Times Square, the line finished by zipping north, all the way to 145th Street and Broadway in Harlem. On opening day, Mayor McClellan so enjoyed his stint as engineer that he stayed at the controls all the way from City Hall to 103rd Street.

At 7 p.m. that evening, the subway opened to the general public, and more than 100,000 people paid a nickel each to take their first ride under Manhattan. IRT service expanded to the Bronx in 1905, to Brooklyn in 1908 and to Queens in 1915. Since 1968, the subway has been controlled by the Metropolitan Transport Authority (MTA). The system now has 26 lines and 472 stations in operation; the longest line, the 8th Avenue “A” Express train, stretches more than 32 miles, from the northern tip of Manhattan to the far southeast corner of Queens.

Every day, some 4.5 million passengers take the subway in New York. With the exception of the PATH train connecting New York with New Jersey and some parts of Chicago’s elevated train system, New York’s subway is the only rapid transit system in the world that runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week. No matter how crowded or dirty, the subway is one New York City institution few New Yorkers—or tourists—could not do without.







COLD WAR

1962

The United States and Soviet Union step back from brink of nuclear war

Complicated and tension-filled negotiations between the United States and the Soviet Union finally result in a plan to end the two-week-old Cuban Missile Crisis. A frightening period in which nuclear holocaust seemed imminent began to come to an end.





1990S

1994

U.S. prison population exceeds one million


The U.S. Justice Department announces that the U.S. prison population has topped one million for the first time in American history. The figure—1,012,851 men and women were in state and federal prisons—did not even include local prisons.





RELIGION

1659

Quakers executed for religious beliefs


William Robinson and Marmaduke Stevenson, two Quakers who came from England in 1656 to escape religious persecution, are executed in the Massachusetts Bay Colony for their religious beliefs. The two had violated a law passed by the Massachusetts General Court that year.





SPORTS

2004

Red Sox win first championship since 1918


On October 27, 2004, the Boston Red Sox win the World Series for the first time since 1918, finally vanquishing the so-called “Curse of the Bambino” that had plagued them for 86 years. “This is for anyone who has ever rooted for the Red Sox,”





U.S. PRESIDENTS

1858

Theodore Roosevelt is born

On October 27, 1858, future President Theodore Roosevelt is born in New York City to a wealthy family. Roosevelt was home-schooled and then attended Harvard University, graduating in 1880. He served in the New York state legislature from 1881 to 1884.





INVENTIONS & SCIENCE

1873

Joseph Glidden applies for a patent on his barbed wire design


On October 27, 1873, a De Kalb, Illinois, farmer named Joseph Glidden submits an application to the U.S. Patent Office for his clever new design for a fencing wire with sharp barbs, an invention that will forever change the face of the American West.







ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY

1970

Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber release “Jesus Christ Superstar” concept album


From the late 1950s to the mid 1960s, it was common for original cast recordings of successful Broadway musicals to find their way up near the top of the pop album charts. Hit shows like West Side Story, The Sound of Music and Funny Girl, among several others, all spun off.





ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY

1932

Poet Sylvia Plath is born


On October 27, 1932, poet Sylvia Plath is born in Boston. Her father, a German immigrant, was a professor of biology and a leading expert on bumblebees. An autocrat at home, he insisted his wife give up teaching to raise their two children.





CRIME

1940

Mafia boss John Gotti is born


John Joseph Gotti, Jr., the future head of the Gambino crime family and a man later nicknamed “the Dapper Don” due to his polished appearance and expensive suits, is born in the Bronx, New York.





INVENTIONS & SCIENCE

2006

Chick-fil-A founder takes last Ford Taurus


On October 27, 2006, the last Ford Taurus rolls off the assembly line in Hapeville, Georgia. The keys to the silver car went to 85-year-old Truett Cathy, the founder of the Chick-fil-A fast-food franchise, who took it straight to his company’s headquarters in Atlanta.

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Re: Today In History by bolataiwo(m): 8:55am On Oct 28, 2020
TODAY IN HISTORY


St. Louis’s Gateway Arch is completed

On October 28, 1965, construction is completed on the Gateway Arch, a spectacular 630-foot-high parabola of stainless steel marking the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial on the waterfront of St. Louis, Missouri.

The Gateway Arch, designed by Finnish-born, American-educated architect Eero Saarinen, was erected to commemorate President Thomas Jefferson’s Louisiana Purchase of 1803 and to celebrate St. Louis’ central role in the rapid westward expansion that followed. As the market and supply point for fur traders and explorers—including the famous Meriwether Lewis and William Clark—the town of St. Louis grew exponentially after the War of 1812, when great numbers of people began to travel by wagon train to seek their fortunes west of the Mississippi River. In 1947-48, Saarinen won a nationwide competition to design a monument honoring the spirit of the western pioneers. In a sad twist of fate, the architect died of a brain tumor in 1961 and did not live to see the construction of his now-famous arch, which began in February 1963.

Completed in October 1965, the Gateway Arch cost less than $15 million to build. With foundations sunk 60 feet into the ground, its frame of stressed stainless steel is built to withstand both earthquakes and high winds. An internal tram system takes visitors to the top, where on a clear day they can see up to 30 miles across the winding Mississippi and to the Great Plains to the west. In addition to the Gateway Arch, the Jefferson Expansion Memorial includes the Museum of Westward Expansion and the Old Courthouse of St. Louis, where two of the famous Dred Scott slavery cases were heard in the 1860s.






19TH CENTURY

1886

Statue of Liberty dedicated


The Statue of Liberty, a gift of friendship from the people of France to the people of the United States, is dedicated in New York Harbor by President Grover Cleveland. Originally known as “Liberty Enlightening the World,” the statue was proposed by the French historian Edouard.





US GOVERNMENT

1919

Congress enforces prohibition


Congress passes the Volstead Act over President Woodrow Wilson’s veto. The Volstead Act provided for the enforcement of the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, also known as the Prohibition Amendment.





WORLD WAR II

1940

Italy invades Greece


On October 28, 1940, Mussolini’s army, already occupying Albania, invades Greece in what will prove to be a disastrous military campaign for the Duce’s forces. Mussolini surprised everyone with this move against Greece; even his ally, Adolf Hitler.





COLD WAR

1962

Nikita Khrushchev orders withdrawal of missiles from Cuba


Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev orders withdrawal of missiles from Cuba, ending the Cuban Missile Crisis. In 1960, Khrushchev had launched plans to install medium and intermediate range ballistic missiles in Cuba.





ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY

1998

President Bill Clinton signs the Digital Millennium Copyright Act into law


According to an ABC news report, it was none other than the pop icon Prince himself who happened upon a 29-second home video of a toddler cavorting to a barely audible background soundtrack of his 1984 hit “Let’s Go Crazy” and subsequently instigated a high-profile legal showdown.





ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY

1905

George Bernard Shaw’s “Mrs. Warren’s Profession” is performed in New York


On October 28, George Bernard Shaw’s play Mrs. Warren’s Profession, which dealt frankly with prostitution, is performed at the Garrick Theater in New York. The play, Shaw’s second, had been banned in Britain.







CRIME

1961

Chuck Berry goes on trial for the second time

The second so-called “Apache trial” begins for rock-and-roller Chuck Berry. Although his earlier conviction for transporting a minor across state lines for immoral purposes in violation of the Mann Act was thrown out on appeal, the prosecution decided to retry Berry.





INVENTIONS & SCIENCE

1992

Leif Erickson Tunnel completes 1,593-mile I-35


On October 28, 1992, Duluth, Minnesota mayor Gary Doty cuts the ribbon at the mouth of the brand-new, 1,480-foot–long Leif Erickson Tunnel on Interstate 35. With the opening of the tunnel, that highway—which stretches 1,593 miles, from Mexico all the way to Canada.





WORLD WAR I

1918

German sailors begin to mutiny


On October 28, 1918, sailors in the German High Seas Fleet steadfastly refuse to obey an order from the German Admiralty to go to sea to launch one final attack on the mighty British navy.

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Re: Today In History by bolataiwo(m): 8:14am On Oct 29, 2020
TODAY IN HISTORY


John Glenn returns to space

Nearly four decades after he became the first American to orbit the Earth, Senator John Hershel Glenn, Jr., is launched into space again as a payload specialist aboard the space shuttle Discovery. At 77 years of age, Glenn was the oldest human ever to travel in space. During the nine-day mission, he served as part of a NASA study on health problems associated with aging.

Glenn, a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps, was among the seven men chosen by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1959 to become America’s first astronauts. A decorated pilot, he had flown nearly 150 combat missions during World War II and the Korean War. In 1957, he made the first nonstop supersonic flight across the United States, flying from Los Angeles to New York in three hours and 23 minutes.

In April 1961, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin was the first man in space, and his spacecraft, Vostok 1, made a full orbit before returning to Earth. Less than one month later, American Alan B. Shepard, Jr., became the first American in space when his Freedom 7 spacecraft was launched on a suborbital flight. American “Gus” Grissom made another suborbital flight in July, and in August Soviet cosmonaut Gherman Titov spent more than 25 hours in space aboard Vostok 2, making 17 orbits. As a technological power, the United States was looking very much second-rate compared with its Cold War adversary. If the Americans wanted to dispel this notion, they needed a multi-orbital flight before another Soviet space advance arrived.

On February 20, 1962, NASA and Colonel John Glenn accomplished this feat with the flight of Friendship 7, a spacecraft that made three orbits of the Earth in five hours. Glenn was hailed as a national hero, and on February 23 President John F. Kennedy visited him at Cape Canaveral. Glenn later addressed Congress and was given a ticker-tape parade in New York City.

Out of a reluctance to risk the life of an astronaut as popular as Glenn, NASA essentially grounded the “Clean Marine” in the years after his historic flight. Frustrated with this uncharacteristic lack of activity, Glenn turned to politics and in 1964 announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate from his home state of Ohio and formally left NASA. Later that year, however, he withdrew his Senate bid after seriously injuring his inner ear in a fall from a horse. In 1970, following a stint as a Royal Crown Cola executive, he ran for the Senate again but lost the Democratic nomination to Howard Metzenbaum. Four years later, he defeated Metzenbaum, won the general election, and went on to win reelection three times. In 1984, he unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination for president.

In 1998, Glenn attracted considerable media attention when he returned to space aboard the space shuttle Discovery. In 1999, he retired from his U.S. Senate seat after four consecutive terms in office, a record for the state of Ohio. Glenn died on December 8, 2016, at age 95.







GREAT DEPRESSION

1929

Stock market crashes on Black Tuesday


Black Tuesday hits Wall Street as investors trade 16,410,030 shares on the New York Stock Exchange in a single day. Billions of dollars were lost, wiping out thousands of investors.



ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY

1971

Guitarist Duane Allman dies in motorcycle accident


Duane Allman, a slide guitarist and the leader of the Allman Brothers Band, is killed on October 29, 1971 when he loses control of his motorcycle and drives into the side of a flatbed truck in Macon, Georgia. He was 24 years old.



VIETNAM WAR

1969

“Chicago Eight” defendant Bobby Seale gagged during his trial


Following several outbursts, the judge orders “Chicago Eight” defendant Bobby Seale gagged and chained to his chair during his trial. Seale and his seven fellow defendants (David Dellinger, Rennie Davis, Thomas Hayden, Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Lee Weiner, and John Froines).



U.S. PRESIDENTS

1901

President William McKinley’s assassin is executed


On October 29, 1901, President William McKinley’s assassin, Leon Czolgosz, is executed in the electric chair at Auburn Prison in New York. Czolgosz had shot McKinley on September 6, 1901; the president succumbed to his wounds eight days later.



WESTWARD EXPANSION

1858

The first store opens in the frontier town of Denver, Colorado

On October 29, 1858, the first store opens in a small frontier town in Colorado Territory that a month later will take the name of Denver in a shameless ploy to curry favor with Kansas Territorial Gover nor James W. Denver.



NATURAL DISASTERS & ENVIRONMENT

1948

Killer smog claims elderly victims


Killer smog continues to hover over Donora, Pennsylvania, on October 29, 1948. Over a five-day period, the smog killed about 20 people and made thousands more seriously ill. Donora was a town of 14,000 people on the Monongahela River in a valley surrounded by hills.



COLD WAR

1956

Israel invades Egypt; Suez Crisis begins


Israeli armed forces push into Egypt toward the Suez Canal, initiating the Suez Crisis. They would soon be joined by French and British forces, creating a serious Cold War problem in the Middle East.



GREAT BRITAIN

1618

Sir Walter Raleigh executed


Sir Walter Raleigh, English adventurer, writer, and favorite courtier of Queen Elizabeth I, is beheaded in London, under a sentence brought against him 15 years earlier for conspiracy against King James I. During Elizabeth’s reign.

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Re: Today In History by bolataiwo(m): 6:58am On Oct 30, 2020
TODAY IN HISTORY


Orson Welles’s “War of the Worlds” radio play is broadcast

“The War of the Worlds”—Orson Welles's realistic radio dramatization of a Martian invasion of Earth—is broadcast on the radio on October 30, 1938.

Welles was only 23 years old when his Mercury Theater company decided to update H.G. Wells’s 19th-century science fiction novel The War of the Worlds for national radio. Despite his age, Welles had been in radio for several years, most notably as the voice of “The Shadow” in the hit mystery program of the same name. “War of the Worlds” was not planned as a radio hoax, and Welles had little idea of how legendary it would eventually become.

The show began on Sunday, October 30, at 8 p.m. A voice announced: “The Columbia Broadcasting System and its affiliated stations present Orson Welles and the Mercury Theater on the air in ‘War of the Worlds’ by H.G. Wells.”

Sunday evening in 1938 was prime-time in the golden age of radio, and millions of Americans had their radios turned on. But most of these Americans were listening to ventriloquist Edgar Bergen and his dummy “Charlie McCarthy” on NBC and only turned to CBS at 8:12 p.m. after the comedy sketch ended and a little-known singer went on. By then, the story of the Martian invasion was well underway.

Welles introduced his radio play with a spoken introduction, followed by an announcer reading a weather report. Then, seemingly abandoning the storyline, the announcer took listeners to “the Meridian Room in the Hotel Park Plaza in downtown New York, where you will be entertained by the music of Ramon Raquello and his orchestra.” Putrid dance music played for some time, and then the scare began. An announcer broke in to report that “Professor Farrell of the Mount Jenning Observatory” had detected explosions on the planet Mars. Then the dance music came back on, followed by another interruption in which listeners were informed that a large meteor had crashed into a farmer’s field in Grovers Mills, New Jersey.

Soon, an announcer was at the crash site describing a Martian emerging from a large metallic cylinder. “Good heavens,” he declared, “something’s wriggling out of the shadow like a gray snake. Now here’s another and another one and another one. They look like tentacles to me … I can see the thing’s body now. It’s large, large as a bear. It glistens like wet leather. But that face, it… it … ladies and gentlemen, it’s indescribable. I can hardly force myself to keep looking at it, it’s so awful. The eyes are black and gleam like a serpent. The mouth is kind of V-shaped with saliva dripping from its rimless lips that seem to quiver and pulsate.”

The Martians mounted walking war machines and fired “heat-ray” weapons at the puny humans gathered around the crash site. They annihilated a force of 7,000 National Guardsman, and after being attacked by artillery and bombers the Martians released a poisonous gas into the air. Soon “Martian cylinders” landed in Chicago and St. Louis. The radio play was extremely realistic, with Welles employing sophisticated sound effects and his actors doing an excellent job portraying terrified announcers and other characters. An announcer reported that widespread panic had broken out in the vicinity of the landing sites, with thousands desperately trying to flee.

The Federal Communications Commission investigated the unorthodox program but found no law was broken. Networks did agree to be more cautious in their programming in the future. The broadcast helped Orson Welles land a contract with a Hollywood studio, and in 1941 he directed, wrote, produced, and starred in Citizen Kane—a movie that many have called the greatest American film ever made.





EARLY 20TH CENTURY US

1908

Queen of American high society dies


Caroline Schermerhorn Astor, wife of William Waldorf Astor, the wealthy newspaper proprietor, dies at the age of 78. Even before her union with William Astor—the grandson of the American fur magnate John Jacob Astor—Caroline Schermerhorn was prime American aristocracy.





1990S

1995

Quebec separatists narrowly defeated


By a bare majority of 50.6 percent to 49.4 percent, citizens of the province of Quebec vote to remain within the federation of Canada. The referendum asked Quebec’s citizens, the majority of whom are French-speakers.







SPORTS

1974

Muhammad Ali wins the Rumble in the Jungle

On October 30, 1974, 32-year-old Muhammad Ali becomes the heavyweight champion of the world for the second time when he knocks out 25-year-old champ George Foreman in the eighth round of the “Rumble in the Jungle,” a match in Kinshasa, Zaire.





U.S. PRESIDENTS

1735

John Adams is born


On October 30, 1735, John Adams, the son of a farmer and a descendant of Plymouth Rock pilgrims, is born in Braintree, Massachusetts. He enrolled in Harvard University at 16 and went on to teach school and study law before becoming America’s second president.





WESTWARD EXPANSION

1864

The city of Helena, Montana, is founded after miners discover gold


On October 30, 1864, the town of Helena, Montana, is founded by four gold miners who struck it rich at the appropriately named “Last Chance Gulch.” The first major Anglo settlement of Montana had begun just two years before in the summer of 1862.





ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY

1811

“Sense and Sensibility” is published


On October 30, 1811, Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility is published anonymously. A small circle of people, including the Price Regent, learned Austen’s identity, but most of the British public knew only that the popular book had been written “by a Lady.”







NATURAL DISASTERS & ENVIRONMENT

1991

Perfect storm hits North Atlantic

On October 30, 1991, the so-called “perfect storm” hits the North Atlantic producing remarkably large waves along the New England and Canadian coasts. Over the next several days, the storm spread its fury over the ocean off the coast of Canada.





WORLD WAR I

1918

Ottoman Empire signs treaty with Allies


On October 30, 1918, aboard the British battleship Agamemnon, anchored in the port of Mudros on the Aegean island of Lemnos, representatives of Great Britain and the Ottoman Empire sign an armistice treaty marking the end of Ottoman participation in the First World War.





WORLD WAR II

1941

FDR approves Lend-Lease aid to the USSR


On October 30, 1941, President Roosevelt, determined to keep the United States out of the war while helping those allies already mired in it, approves $1 billion in Lend-Lease loans to the Soviet Union.

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Re: Today In History by bolataiwo(m): 7:43am On Oct 31, 2020
TODAY IN HISTORY


Martin Luther posts 95 theses

On October 31, 1517, legend has it that the priest and scholar Martin Luther approaches the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, and nails a piece of paper to it containing the 95 revolutionary opinions that would begin the Protestant Reformation.

In his theses, Luther condemned the excesses and corruption of the Roman Catholic Church, especially the papal practice of asking payment—called “indulgences”—for the forgiveness of sins. At the time, a Dominican priest named Johann Tetzel, commissioned by the Archbishop of Mainz and Pope Leo X, was in the midst of a major fundraising campaign in Germany to finance the renovation of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Though Prince Frederick III the Wise had banned the sale of indulgences in Wittenberg, many church members traveled to purchase them. When they returned, they showed the pardons they had bought to Luther, claiming they no longer had to repent for their sins.

Luther’s frustration with this practice led him to write the 95 Theses, which were quickly snapped up, translated from Latin into German and distributed widely. A copy made its way to Rome, and efforts began to convince Luther to change his tune. He refused to keep silent, however, and in 1521 Pope Leo X formally excommunicated Luther from the Catholic Church. That same year, Luther again refused to recant his writings before the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V of Germany, who issued the famous Edict of Worms declaring Luther an outlaw and a heretic and giving permission for anyone to kill him without consequence. Protected by Prince Frederick, Luther began working on a German translation of the Bible, a task that took 10 years to complete.

The term “Protestant” first appeared in 1529, when Charles V revoked a provision that allowed the ruler of each German state to choose whether they would enforce the Edict of Worms. A number of princes and other supporters of Luther issued a protest, declaring that their allegiance to God trumped their allegiance to the emperor. They became known to their opponents as Protestants; gradually this name came to apply to all who believed the Church should be reformed, even those outside Germany. By the time Luther died, of natural causes, in 1546, his revolutionary beliefs had formed the basis for the Protestant Reformation, which would over the next three centuries revolutionize Western civilization.







RUSSIA

1961

Stalin’s body removed from Lenin’s tomb


Five years after Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev denounced Stalinism and the “personality cult” of Soviet rulers at the 20th Party Congress, Joseph Stalin’s embalmed body is removed from Lenin’s tomb in Moscow’s Red Square. When Vladimir Lenin died in 1924.





ROARING TWENTIES

1926

Celebrated magician Harry Houdini dies


Harry Houdini, the most celebrated magician and escape artist of the 20th century, dies of peritonitis in a Detroit hospital. Twelve days before, Houdini had been talking to a group of students after a lecture in Montreal when he commented on the strength of his stomach muscles.





SPORTS

1950

Earl Lloyd becomes first Black player in the NBA


On October 31, 1950, 21-year-old Earl Lloyd becomes the first African American to play in an NBA game when he takes the court in the season opener for the Washington Capitols. Lloyd grew up in Jim Crow Virginia and went to West Virginia State.





WESTWARD EXPANSION

1864

The U.S. Congress admits Nevada as the 36th state


On October 31, 1864, anxious to have support of the Republican-dominated Nevada Territory for President Abraham Lincoln’s reelection, the U.S. Congress quickly admits Nevada as the 36th state in the Union. In 1864, Nevada had only 40,000 inhabitants.





ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY

1963

Ed Sullivan witnesses Beatlemania firsthand, paving the way for the British Invasion


In the autumn of 1963, Beatlemania was a raging epidemic in Britain, and it was rapidly spreading across the European continent. But in the United States, where the likes of Bobby Vinton and Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs sat atop the pop charts, John, Paul, George and Ringo.





ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY

1993

Actor River Phoenix dies


On October 31, 1993, the 23-year-old actor River Phoenix, who appeared in such films as Stand by Me and My Own Private Idaho, dies of a drug overdose outside a West Hollywood nightclub. At the time of his death, Phoenix was considered one of the most promising actors of his days.







CRIME

1984

The prime minister of India is assassinated


Indira Gandhi, the prime minister of India, is assassinated in New Delhi by two of her own bodyguards. Beant Singh and Satwant Singh, both Sikhs, emptied their guns into Gandhi as she walked to her office from an adjoining bungalow.





AMERICAN REVOLUTION

1776

King George III speaks for first time since American independence declared

On October 31, 1776, in his first speech before British Parliament since the leaders of the American Revolution came together to sign of the Declaration of Independence that summer, King George III acknowledges that all was not going well for Britain in the war with the United State.

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Re: Today In History by bolataiwo(m): 10:57am On Nov 01, 2020
TODAY IN HISTORY


Sistine Chapel ceiling opens to public

The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome, one of Italian artist Michelangelo’s finest works, is exhibited to the public for the first time.

Michelangelo Buonarroti, the greatest of the Italian Renaissance artists, was born in the small village of Caprese in 1475. The son of a government administrator, he grew up in Florence, a center of the early Renaissance movement, and became an artist’s apprentice at age 13. Demonstrating obvious talent, he was taken under the wing of Lorenzo de’ Medici, the ruler of the Florentine republic and a great patron of the arts. After demonstrating his mastery of sculpture in such works as the Pieta (1498) and David (1504), he was called to Rome in 1508 to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel—the chief consecrated space in the Vatican.

Michelangelo’s epic ceiling frescoes, which took several years to complete, are among his most memorable works. Central in a complex system of decoration featuring numerous figures are nine panels devoted to biblical world history. The most famous of these is The Creation of Adam, a painting in which the arms of God and Adam are stretching toward each other. In 1512, Michelangelo completed the work.

After 15 years as an architect in Florence, Michelangelo returned to Rome in 1534, where he would work and live for the rest of his life. That year saw his painting of the The Last Judgment on the wall above the altar in the Sistine Chapel for Pope Paul III. The massive painting depicts Christ’s damnation of sinners and blessing of the virtuous and is regarded as a masterpiece of early Mannerism.

Michelangelo worked until his death in 1564 at the age of 88. In addition to his major artistic works, he produced numerous other sculptures, frescoes, architectural designs, and drawings, many of which are unfinished and some of which are lost. In his lifetime, he was celebrated as Europe’s greatest living artist, and today he is held up as one of the greatest artists of all time, as exalted in the visual arts as William Shakespeare is in literature or Ludwig van Beethoven is in music.





1990S

1993

European Union goes into effect


The Maastricht Treaty comes into effect, formally establishing the European Union (EU). The treaty was drafted in 1991 by delegates from the European Community meeting at Maastricht in the Netherlands and signed in 1992.





U.S. PRESIDENTS

1800

John Adams moves into White House

On November 1, 1800, President John Adams, in the last year of his only term as president, moved into the newly constructed President’s House, the original name for what is known today as the White House. Adams had been living in temporary digs at Tunnicliffe’s City Hotel.





WESTWARD EXPANSION

1924

Legendary western lawman is murdered


On November 1, 1924, William Tilghman is murdered by a corrupt Prohibition agent who resented Tilghman’s refusal to ignore local bootlegging operations. Tilghman, one of the famous marshals who brought law and order to the Wild West, was 71 years old.





NATURAL DISASTERS & ENVIRONMENT

1755

Earthquake takes heavy toll on Lisbon


A devastating earthquake hits Lisbon, Portugal, killing as many as 50,000 people, on November 1, 1755. The city was virtually rebuilt from scratch following the widespread destruction. Lisbon was Portugal’s capital and largest city during the prosperous 18th century.





CRIME

1950

An assassination attempt threatens President Harry S. Truman


On November 1, 1950, Griselio Torresola and Oscar Collazo attempt to assassinate President Harry S. Truman at the Blair House in Washington, D.C. Truman escaped unscathed. In the autumn of 1950, the White House was being renovated and President Truman and his family were living.





COLD WAR

1952

United States tests first hydrogen bomb


The United States detonates the world’s first thermonuclear weapon, the hydrogen bomb, on Eniwetok atoll in the Pacific. The test gave the United States a short-lived advantage in the nuclear arms race with the Soviet Union.






CIVIL WAR

1861

McClellan replaces Scott


On November 1, 1861, President Abraham Lincoln names George Brinton McClellan general in chief of the Union army, replacing the aged and infirm Winfield Scott. In just six months, McClellan had gone from commander of the Ohio volunteers to the head of the Union army.





AMERICAN REVOLUTION

1765

Parliament enacts the Stamp Act


In the face of widespread opposition in the American colonies, Parliament enacts the Stamp Act, a taxation measure designed to raise revenue for British military operations in America.
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Re: Today In History by bolataiwo(m): 7:47am On Nov 02, 2020
TODAY IN HISTORY



Howard Hughes’s “Spruce Goose” flies

The Hughes Flying Boat—at one time the largest aircraft ever built—is piloted by designer Howard Hughes on its first and only flight. Built with laminated birch and spruce (hence the nickname the Spruce Goose) the massive wooden aircraft had a wingspan longer than a football field and was designed to carry more than 700 men to battle.

Howard Hughes was a successful Hollywood movie producer when he founded the Hughes Aircraft Company in 1932. He personally tested cutting-edge aircraft of his own design and in 1937 broke the transcontinental flight-time record. In 1938, he flew around the world in a record three days, 19 hours, and 14 minutes.

Following the U.S. entrance into World War II in 1941, the U.S. government commissioned the Hughes Aircraft Company to build a large flying boat capable of carrying men and materials over long distances. The concept for what would become the “Spruce Goose” was originally conceived by the industrialist Henry Kaiser, but Kaiser dropped out of the project early, leaving Hughes and his small team to make the H-4 a reality. Because of wartime restrictions on steel, Hughes decided to build his aircraft out of wood laminated with plastic and covered with fabric. Although it was constructed mainly of birch, the use of spruce (along with its white-gray color) would later earn the aircraft the nickname Spruce Goose. It had a wingspan of 320 feet and was powered by eight giant propeller engines.

Development of the Spruce Goose cost a phenomenal $23 million and took so long that the war had ended by the time of its completion in 1946. The aircraft had many detractors, and Congress demanded that Hughes prove the plane airworthy. On November 2, 1947, Hughes obliged, taking the H-4 prototype out into Long Beach Harbor, CA for an unannounced flight test. Thousands of onlookers had come to watch the aircraft taxi on the water and were surprised when Hughes lifted his wooden behemoth 70 feet above the water and flew for a mile before landing.

Despite its successful maiden flight, the Spruce Goose never went into production, primarily because critics alleged that its wooden framework was insufficient to support its weight during long flights. Nevertheless, Howard Hughes, who became increasingly eccentric and withdrawn after 1950, refused to neglect what he saw as his greatest achievement in the aviation field. From 1947 until his death in 1976, he kept the Spruce Goose prototype ready for flight in an enormous, climate-controlled hangar at a cost of $1 million per year. Today, the Spruce Goose is housed at the Evergreen Aviation Museum in McMinnville, Oregon.







SPACE EXPLORATION

2000

First residential crew arrives aboard the International Space Station


On November 2, 2000, the first residential crew arrives aboard the International Space Station. The arrival of Expedition 1 marked the beginning of a new era of international cooperation in space and of the longest continuous human habitation in low Earth orbit.





1980S

1982

Truck explosion kills 3,000 in Afghanistan

On November 2, 1982, a truck explodes in the Salang Tunnel in Afghanistan, killing an estimated 3,000 people, mostly Soviet soldiers traveling to Kabul. The Soviet Union’s military foray into Afghanistan was disastrous by nearly every measure.





US POLITICS

1948

Truman defeats Dewey


In one of the greatest upsets in presidential election history, Democratic incumbent Harry S. Truman defeats his Republican challenger, Governor Thomas E. Dewey of New York, by just over two million popular votes.





HOLIDAYS

1983

MLK federal holiday declared


President Ronald Reagan signs a bill in the White House Rose Garden designating a federal holiday honoring Martin Luther King, Jr., to be observed on the third Monday of January. Martin Luther King, Jr., was born in Atlanta in 1929, the son of a Baptist minister.





WORLD WAR I

1917

Balfour Declaration letter written


On November 2, 1917, Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour writes an important letter to Britain’s most illustrious Jewish citizen, Baron Lionel Walter Rothschild, expressing the British government’s support for a Jewish homeland in Palestine.





SPORTS

1986

Grete Waitz wins her eighth New York City Marathon

On November 2, 1986, Norwegian distance runner Grete Waitz wins her eighth New York City marathon. She finished the 26-mile, 385-yard course in 2:28.6, more than a mile ahead of the second- and third-place women in the race.





U.S. PRESIDENTS

1865

Warren G. Harding is born


On November 2, 1865, Warren Gamaliel Harding, the future 29th American president, is born in Corsica, Ohio. In 1891, Harding married Florence Mabel Kling De Wolfe. Florence was influential throughout Harding’s political career.





U.S. PRESIDENTS

1795

James Polk is born


On November 2, 1795, James Knox Polk is born in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. Polk grew up on his father’s plantation in Tennessee and attended the University of North Carolina, from which he graduated with honors in 1818.





ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY

1960

"Lady Chatterley’s Lover" obscenity trial ends


On November 2, 1960, a landmark obscenity case over Lady Chatterley’s Lover, by D.H. Lawrence, ends in the acquittal of Penguin Books. The publisher had been sued for obscenity in publishing an unexpurgated version of Lawrence’s novel.





CRIME

1989

A nurse's aide gets life imprisonment for murder


Gwendolyn Graham is sentenced to life imprisonment with no possibility of parole for killing five elderly female residents of the Alpine Manor Nursing Home near Grand Rapids, Michigan. Both Graham and her criminal and romantic partner, Catherine Wood, had been employed as nurses.





VIETNAM WAR

1963

Ngo Dinh Diem assassinated in South Vietnam


Following the overthrow of his government by South Vietnamese military forces the day before, President Ngo Dinh Diem and his brother are captured and killed by a group of soldiers. The death of Diem caused celebration among many people in South Vietnam.





AMERICAN REVOLUTION

1777

John Paul Jones sets sail


On November 2, 1777, the USS Ranger, with a crew of 140 men under the command of John Paul Jones, leaves Portsmouth, New Hampshire, for the naval port at Brest, France, where it will stop before heading toward the Irish Sea to begin raids on British warships.

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Re: Today In History by bolataiwo(m): 7:06am On Nov 03, 2020
TODAY IN HISTORY


One World Trade Center officially opens in New York City, on the site of the Twin Towers

One World Trade Center officially opens in Manhattan on November 3, 2014. The new tower, along with the rest of the World Trade Center complex, replaced the Twin Towers and surrounding complex, which were destroyed by terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

As the city and the nation reeled from the attacks, which set into motion the series of U.S-led military operations dubbed the War on Terror, it was decided that the Twin Towers should be replaced by new office buildings, parks, a museum, and a memorial to those who died. In 2002, after cleanup and recovery efforts had concluded, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation announced a competition to find the chief architect of the new structure. Daniel Libeskind, a Polish-American architect then in charge of a studio in Berlin, won and became the site’s master planner. In reality, however, a number of people and entities, including then-Governor George Pataki, leaseholder Larry Silverstein, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, wrestled over what would happen to the space commonly referred to as “Ground Zero.”

The initial plans for the site were steeped in post-9/11 patriotic sentiment. Libeskind designed an asymmetrical tower that evoked the Statue of Liberty and stood at the same height as the original World Trade Center, topped with a spire rising to 1,776 feet. Pataki dubbed it the “Freedom Tower,” a name which became commonplace but had largely faded from use by the time One World Trade Center opened.

In 2004, Silverstein’s preferred architect, David Childs, officially took over, with Libeskind staying on as the planner of the site. Childs’ “final” design, a symmetrical and more traditional tower that tapers into an octagon at its midway point and then back into a rectangular prism, was unveiled in 2005. The New York Police Department requested further alterations, most notably a windowless, solid concrete base. Meant to protect against truck bombs and other potential attacks, the base has was criticized as “a grotesque attempt to hide [the building’s] underlying paranoia” by New York Times architecture critic Nicolai Ourousoff.

Though its cornerstone was laid in 2004, construction on One World Trade did not begin until the summer of 2006. The slow pace of construction—the tower “topped off” in August 2012 and the spire was not installed until May 2013—was a frequent source of consternation for the building’s developers and the city. At the same time, it allowed space for the tower to become more than a reminder of what had been lost. As architecture critic Kurt Andersen put it, “The fact that it’s taken more than a decade to finish, I think —the gradualism—makes that sense of emblematic rebirth more acute and irresistible.”

Prior to the opening, media conglomerate Condé Nast announced that it would move its New York headquarters from Times Square to One World Trade Center, occupying floors 20 through 44. Its location and the legacy of the original World Trade Center made the tower a natural choice for many financial institutions, but the building’s developers made an effort to bring in a diverse group of tenants, including media and tech companies. Known for its floor-to-ceiling, 360 degree views of Manhattan, Long Island, New Jersey and New York Harbor, One World Trade is now one of the most notable features of the Manhattan skyline, a tribute to the buildings that preceded it but a 21st century New York phenomenon in its own right.





AMERICAN REVOLUTION

1777

George Washington learns of effort to discredit him


General George Washington is informed that a conspiracy is afoot to discredit him with Congress and have him replaced by General Horatio Gates. Thomas Conway, who would be made inspector general of the United States less than two months later on December 14.



ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY

1962

The Crystals earn a #1 hit with “He’s A Rebel”


In an incident familiar to all fans of pop music scandals, a great hue and cry was raised in the press and in the music industry when the late 1980s dance sensation Milli Vanilli was exposed as mere lip-sync artists. Suddenly exposed as illegitimate, the duo that had earned a #1.



LATIN AMERICA

1903

Panama declares independence from Colombia


With the support of the U.S. government, Panama issues a declaration of independence from Colombia. The revolution was engineered by a Panamanian faction backed by the Panama Canal Company, a French-U.S.



SPACE EXPLORATION

1957

Soviet Union launches a dog into space


The Soviet Union launches the first animal into space—a dog name Laika—aboard the Sputnik 2 spacecraft. Laika, part Siberian husky, lived as a stray on the Moscow streets before being enlisted into the Soviet space program.



1970S

1979

Communists and Klansmen clash in Greensboro


Five members of the Communist Workers Party, participating in a “Death to the Klan” rally in Greensboro, North Carolina, are shot to death by a group of Klansmen and neo-Nazis. Several others were wounded in what became known as the Greensboro massacre.



US POLITICS

1964

D.C. residents cast first presidential votes


On November 3, 1964, residents of the District of Columbia cast their ballots in a presidential election for the first time. The passage of the 23rd Amendment in 1961 gave citizens of the nation’s capital the right to vote for a commander in chief and vice president.





VIETNAM WAR

1969

President Nixon calls on the “silent majority”


President Richard Nixon goes on television and radio to call for national solidarity on the Vietnam War effort and to gather support for his policies; his call for support is an attempt to blunt the renewed strength of the antiwar movement.



SPORTS

1998

Former wrestler Jesse “The Body” Ventura is elected governor of Minnesota


On November 3, 1998, former professional wrestler Jesse “The Body” Ventura is elected governor of Minnesota with 37 percent of the vote. His opponents, seasoned politicians Hubert Humphrey III (son of Lyndon Johnson’s vice-president and the attorney general of Minnesota).



US POLITICS

1948

Newspaper mistakenly declares “Dewey Defeats Truman”


On November 3, 1948, the Chicago Tribune jumps the gun and mistakenly declares New York Governor Thomas Dewey the winner of his presidential race with incumbent Harry S. Truman in a front-page headline: “Dewey Defeats Truman.”



CRIME

1883

Black Bart makes his last stagecoach robbery


Authorities almost catch the California bandit and infamous stagecoach robber called Black Bart; he manages to make a quick getaway, but drops an incriminating clue that eventually sends him to prison. Black Bart was born Charles E. Boles.



ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY

1844

William Makepeace Thackeray completes his novel “Barry Lyndon”


On November 3, 1844, William Makepeace Thackeray completes The Luck of Barry Lyndon: A Romance of the Last Century, which is published in Fraser’s Magazine. Thackeray was born in Calcutta in 1811. As a young man, he attended Cambridge but left without a degree.



CRIME

1984

A serial killer abducts and rapes his teenage victim


Bobby Joe Long kidnaps and rapes 17-year-old Lisa McVey in Tampa, Florida. The victim’s subsequent courage and bravery led to the capture and arrest of Long, who was eventually found guilty of 10 murders committed in the Tampa area during the early 1980s.





US POLITICS

1964

Lyndon B. Johnson defeats Barry Goldwater for presidency


In one of the most crushing victories in the history of U.S. presidential elections, incumbent Lyndon Baines Johnson defeats Republican challenger Barry Goldwater, Sr. With over 60 percent of the popular vote.



WORLD WAR I

1918

Central Powers face rebellion on the home front


As the First World War draws to a close, angry rebels in both Germany and Austria-Hungary revolt on November 3, 1918, raising the red banner of the revolutionary socialist Communist Party and threatening to follow the Russian example in bringing down their imperialist.

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Re: Today In History by bolataiwo(m): 9:19am On Nov 04, 2020
TODAY IN HISTORY


Entrance to King Tut’s tomb discovered

British archaeologist Howard Carter and his workmen discover a step leading to the tomb of King Tutankhamen in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt.

When Carter first arrived in Egypt in 1891, most of the ancient Egyptian tombs had been discovered, though the little-known King Tutankhamen, who had died when he was 18, was still unaccounted for. After World War I, Carter began an intensive search for “King Tut’s Tomb,” finally finding steps to the burial room hidden in the debris near the entrance of the nearby tomb of King Ramses VI in the Valley of the Kings. On November 26, 1922, Carter and fellow archaeologist Lord Carnarvon entered the interior chambers of the tomb, finding them miraculously intact.

Thus began a monumental excavation process in which Carter carefully explored the four-room tomb over several years, uncovering an incredible collection of several thousand objects. The most splendid architectural find was a stone sarcophagus containing three coffins nested within each other. Inside the final coffin, which was made out of solid gold, was the mummy of the boy-king Tutankhamen, preserved for more than 3,000 years. Most of these treasures are now housed in the Cairo Museum.







21ST CENTURY

2016

Paris Agreement comes into effect


On November 4, 2016, the Paris Agreement comes into effect. A sweeping international pledge to dramatically reduce carbon emissions, the Agreement remains a potential turning point in the history of human relations with the Earth’s climate.





U.S. PRESIDENTS

2008

Barack Obama elected as America’s first Black president


On November 4, 2008, Senator Barack Obama of Illinois defeats Senator John McCain of Arizona to become the 44th U.S. president, and the first African American elected to the White House. The 47-year-old Democrat garnered 365 electoral votes and nearly 53 percent of the popular Votes.





CRIME

1995

Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin assassinated

Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin is fatally shot after attending a peace rally held in Tel Aviv’s Kings Square in Israel. Rabin later died in surgery at Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv. The 73-year-old prime minister was walking to his car when he was shot in the arm.





MIDDLE EAST

1979

Iran hostage crisis begins after U.S. embassy in Tehran is stormed


Student followers of the Ayatollah Khomeini send shock waves across America when they storm the U.S. embassy in Tehran. The radical Islamic fundamentalists took 90 hostages. The students were enraged that the deposed Shah had been allowed to enter the United States for medical treatment.





RUSSIA

1956

Soviets put a brutal end to Hungarian revolution


A spontaneous national uprising that began 12 days before in Hungary is viciously crushed by Soviet tanks and troops on November 4, 1956. Thousands were killed and wounded and nearly a quarter-million Hungarians fled the country. The problems in Hungary began in October 1956.





U.S. PRESIDENTS

1842

Abraham Lincoln marries Mary Todd


On November 4, 1842, struggling lawyer Abraham Lincoln marries Mary Anne Todd, a Kentucky native, at her sister’s home in Springfield, Illinois. Mary Todd, whose nickname was Molly, was the child of wealthy parents and received her education in prestigious all-girls schools.







ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY

1948

T.S. Eliot wins Nobel Prize in Literature


On November 4, 1948, T.S. Eliot wins the Nobel Prize in Literature, for his profound effect on the direction of modern poetry. Eliot was born in St. Louis, Missouri, to a long-established family. His grandfather had founded Washington University in St. Louis.





ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY

1990

“Dances with Wolves” premieres in theaters


On November 4, 1990, Dances with Wolves, a film about an American Civil War-era soldier and a group of Sioux Native Americans that stars Kevin Costner and also marks his directorial debut, premieres in Los Angeles. The film, which opened across the United States on November 21.





CRIME

1928

One of New York’s most notorious gamblers is shot to death


Arnold Rothstein, New York’s most notorious gambler, is shot and killed during a poker game at the Park Central Hotel in Manhattan. After finding Rothstein bleeding profusely at the service entrance of the hotel.





WORLD WAR I

1918

Poet Wilfred Owen killed in action


On November 4, 1918, just one week before the armistice was declared, ending World War I, the British poet Wilfred Owen is killed in action during a British assault on the German-held Sambre Canal on the Western Front.

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Re: Today In History by bolataiwo(m): 9:01am On Nov 05, 2020
TODAY IN HISTORY


The order is given: Bomb Pearl Harbor

On November 5, 1941, the Combined Japanese Fleet receive Top-Secret Order No. 1: In just over a month's time, Pearl Harbor is to be bombed, along with Mayala (now known as Malaysia), the Dutch East Indies and the Philippines.

Relations between the United States and Japan had been deteriorating quickly since Japan’s occupation of Indochina in 1940 and the implicit menacing of the Philippines (an American protectorate), with the occupation of the Cam Ranh naval base approximately 800 miles from Manila. American retaliation included the seizing of all Japanese assets in the States and the closing of the Panama Canal to Japanese shipping. In September 1941, President Roosevelt issued a statement, drafted by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, that threatened war between the United States and Japan should the Japanese encroach any further on territory in Southeast Asia or the South Pacific.

The Japanese military had long dominated Japanese foreign affairs; although official negotiations between the U.S. secretary of state and his Japanese counterpart to ease tensions were ongoing, Hideki Tojo, the minister of war who would soon be prime minister, had no intention of withdrawing from captured territories. He also construed the American “threat” of war as an ultimatum and prepared to deliver the first blow in a Japanese-American confrontation: the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

And so Tokyo delivered the order to all pertinent Fleet commanders, that not only the United States—and its protectorate the Philippines—but British and Dutch colonies in the Pacific were to be attacked. War was going to be declared on the West.







CRIME

2009

Army major kills 13 people in Fort Hood shooting spree


On November 5, 2009, 13 people are killed and more than 30 others are wounded, nearly all of them unarmed soldiers, when a U.S. Army officer goes on a shooting rampage at Fort Hood in central Texas. The deadly assault, carried out by Major Nidal Malik Hasan, an Army psychiatrist.





INDIA

1556

Mughal victory assures Akbar’s ascension


Fifty miles north of Delhi, a Mughal army defeats the forces of Hemu, a Hindu general who was trying to usurp the Mughal throne from 14-year-old Akbar, the recently proclaimed emperor. The Mughals, whose culture blended Perso-Islamic and regional Indian elements.





U.S. PRESIDENTS

1912

Woodrow Wilson wins landslide victory


Democrat Woodrow Wilson is elected the 28th president of the United States, with Thomas R. Marshall as vice president. In a landslide Democratic victory, Wilson won 435 electoral votes against the eight won by Republican incumbent William Howard Taft and the 88 won by third-party.





GREAT BRITAIN

1605

King James learns of Gunpowder Plot


Early in the morning, King James I of England learns that a plot to explode the Parliament building has been foiled, hours before he was scheduled to sit with the rest of the British government in a general parliamentary session.





SPORTS

1994

George Foreman becomes oldest heavyweight champ


On November 5, 1994, George Foreman, age 45, becomes boxing’s oldest heavyweight champion when he defeats 26-year-old Michael Moorer in the 10th round of their WBA fight in Las Vegas. More than 12,000 spectators at the MGM Grand Hotel watched Foreman dethrone Moorer.





U.S. PRESIDENTS

1977

George W. Bush marries Laura Welch in Midland, Texas


On November 5, 1977, 31-year-old future President George W. Bush marries 31-year-old Laura Welch at the First United Methodist Church in her hometown of Midland, Texas. Bush was the son of George H.W. Bush, the 41st president of the United States.







NATIVE AMERICAN HISTORY

1862

300 Santee Sioux sentenced to hang in Minnesota


In Minnesota, more than 300 Santee Sioux are found guilty of raping and murdering Anglo settlers and are sentenced to hang. A month later, President Abraham Lincoln commuted all but 39 of the death sentences. One of the Native Americans was granted a last-minute reprieve.





ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY

2007

Writers strike stalls production of TV shows, movies


Members of the Writers Guild of America, East, and Writers Guild of America, West—labor organizations representing television, film and radio writers—go on strike in Los Angeles and New York after negotiations break down with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television.





US POLITICS

1968

Richard Nixon elected president


Winning one of the closest elections in U.S. history, Republican challenger Richard Nixon defeats Vice President Hubert Humphrey. Because of the strong showing of third-party candidate George Wallace, neither Nixon nor Humphrey received more than 50 percent of the popular vote.





CIVIL WAR

1862

Lincoln removes General McClellan from Army of the Potomac


A tortured relationship ends when President Abraham Lincoln removes General George B. McClellan from command of the Army of the Potomac. McClellan ably built the army in the early stages of the war but was a sluggish and paranoid field commander.





WORLD WAR II

1940

FDR re-elected for a third term


On November 5, 1940, Franklin Delano Roosevelt is re-elected for an unprecedented third term as president of the United States. Roosevelt was elected to a third term with the promise of maintaining American neutrality as far as foreign wars were concerned.

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Re: Today In History by bolataiwo(m): 8:50am On Nov 06, 2020
TODAY IN HISTORY


UN condemns apartheid in South Africa

On November 6, 1962, the United Nations General Assembly adopts a resolution condemning South Africa’s racist apartheid policies and calling on all its members to end economic and military relations with the country.

In effect from 1948 to 1993, apartheid, which comes from the Afrikaans word for “apartness,” was government-sanctioned racial segregation and political and economic discrimination against South Africa’s non-white majority. Among many injustices, Black South Africans were forced to live in segregated areas and couldn’t enter whites-only neighborhoods unless they had a special pass. Although white South Africans represented only a small fraction of the population, they held the vast majority of the country’s land and wealth.



Following the 1960 massacre of unarmed demonstrators at Sharpeville near Johannesburg, South Africa, in which 69 Black people were killed and over 180 were injured, the international movement to end apartheid gained wide support. However, few Western powers or South Africa’s other main trading partners favored a full economic or military embargo against the country. Nonetheless, opposition to apartheid within the U.N. grew, and in 1973 a U.N. resolution labeled apartheid a “crime against humanity.” In 1974, South Africa was suspended from the General Assembly.

After decades of strikes, sanctions and increasingly violent demonstrations, many apartheid laws were repealed by 1990. Finally, in 1991, under President F.W. de Klerk, the South African government repealed all remaining apartheid laws and committed to writing a new constitution. In 1993, a multi-racial, multi-party transitional government was approved and, the next year, South Africa held its first fully free elections. Political activist Nelson Mandela, who spent 27 years in prison along with other anti-apartheid leaders after being convicted of treason, became South Africa’s new president.

In 1996, the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), established by the new government, began an investigation into the violence and human rights violations that took place under the apartheid system between 1960 and May 10, 1994 (the day Mandela was sworn in as president). The commission’s objective was not to punish people but to heal South Africa by dealing with its past in an open manner. People who committed crimes were allowed to confess and apply for amnesty. Headed by 1984 Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the TRC listened to testimony from over 20,000 witnesses from all sides of the issue—victims and their families as well as perpetrators of violence. It released its report in 1998 and condemned all major political organizations—the apartheid government in addition to anti-apartheid forces such as the African National Congress—for contributing to the violence. Based on the TRC’s recommendations, the government began making reparation payments of approximately $4,000 (U.S.) to individual victims of violence in 2003.







RUSSIA

1917

Bolsheviks revolt in Russia


Led by Bolshevik Party leader Vladimir Lenin, leftist revolutionaries launch a nearly bloodless coup d’État against Russia’s ineffectual Provisional Government. The Bolsheviks and their allies occupied government buildings and other strategic locations in the Russian capital.





U.S. PRESIDENTS

1860

Abraham Lincoln elected president


Abraham Lincoln is elected the 16th president of the United States over a deeply divided Democratic Party, becoming the first Republican to win the presidency. Lincoln received only 40 percent of the popular vote but handily defeated the three other candidates.





VIETNAM WAR

1963

General Minh takes over leadership of South Vietnam


In the aftermath of the November 1 coup that resulted in the murder of President Ngo Dinh Diem, Gen. Duong Van Minh, leading the Revolutionary Military Committee of the dissident generals who had conducted the coup, takes over leadership of South Vietnam.





U.S. PRESIDENTS

1906

Teddy Roosevelt travels to Panama


On November 6, 1906, President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt embarks on a 17-day trip to Panama and Puerto Rico, becoming the first president to make an official diplomatic tour outside of the continental United States.





WESTWARD EXPANSION

1528

Spanish explorer Cabeza de Vaca lands in Texas


The Spanish conquistador Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca is shipwrecked on a low sandy island off the coast of Texas. Starving, dehydrated, and desperate, he is the first European to set foot on the soil of the future Lone Star state.





NATURAL DISASTERS & ENVIRONMENT

1977

Dam gives way in Georgia


On November 6, 1977, the Toccoa Falls Dam in Georgia gives way and 39 people die in the resulting flood. Ninety miles north of Atlanta, the Toccoa (Cherokee for “beautiful”) Falls Dam was constructed of earth across a canyon in 1887.







CRIME

1982

A woman ices her husband with anti-freeze


Shirley Allen is arrested for poisoning her husband, Lloyd Allen, with ethylene glycol, commonly known as anti-freeze. After witnessing her mother spike Lloyd’s drinks with the deadly substance, Shirley’s own daughter turned her in to the authorities.





COLD WAR

1988

Renowned Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov visits United States


Soviet scientist and well-known human rights activist Andrei Sakharov begins a two-week visit to the United States. During his visit, he pleaded with the American government and people to support Russian leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s policies of glasnost (political openness).





CIVIL WAR

1861

Jefferson Davis elected Confederate president


On November 6, 1861, Jefferson Davis is elected president of the Confederate States of America. He ran without opposition, and the election simply confirmed the decision that had been made by the Confederate Congress earlier in the year.





WORLD WAR I

1917

British victory at Passchendaele


After more than three months of bloody combat, the Third Battle of Ypres effectively comes to an end on November 6, 1917, with a hard-won victory by British and Canadian troops at the Belgian village of Passchendaele. Launched on July 31, 1917.

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Re: Today In History by bolataiwo(m): 9:46am On Nov 07, 2020
TODAY INHISTORY


FDR wins unprecedented fourth term

On November 7, 1944, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt is elected to an unprecedented fourth term in office. FDR remains the only president to have served more than two terms.

Roosevelt rose above personal and political challenges to emerge as one of the nation’s most revered and influential presidents. In 1921, at the age of 39, he contracted polio and thereafter was burdened with leg braces; eventually, he was confined to a wheelchair. From the time he was first elected to the presidency in 1932 to mid-1945, when he died while in office, Roosevelt presided over two of the biggest crises in U.S. history: the Great Depression of the 1930s and World War II.

FDR implemented drastic and oft-criticized legislation to help boost America out of the Great Depression. Although he initially tried to avoid direct U.S. involvement in World War II, which began in 1939, the bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1941 thrust American headlong into the conflict.

By the time Roosevelt was elected to his fourth term, the war had taken a turn in favor of the Allies, but FDR’s health was already on the decline. His arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) had been worsened by the stress of serving as a war-time president. In April 1945, seven months before the war finally ended in an Allied victory, FDR died of a stroke at his vacation home in Warm Springs, Georgia.

In 1947, with President Harry Truman, Roosevelt’s vice president, in office, Congress proposed a law that would limit presidents to two consecutive terms. Up to that time, presidents had either voluntarily followed George Washington’s example of serving a maximum of two terms, or were unsuccessful in winning a third. (In 1912, Theodore Roosevelt ran for a third non-consecutive term, but lost.) In 1951, the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution was passed, officially limiting a president’s tenure in office to two terms of four years each.







US POLITICS

2000

Hillary Clinton is elected to the U.S. Senate


On November 7, 2000, Hillary Clinton is elected to represent New York in the U.S. Senate, becoming the first First Lady to win elected office. Clinton’s resume was unique among First Ladies and among senators. After meeting her husband, Bill, at Yale Law School.





U.S. PRESIDENTS

2000

Election results between Al Gore and George Bush too close to call


This date in 2000 was a pivotal moment in U.S. history, as the presidential election results in a statistical tie between Democrat Al Gore and Republican George Bush. The results in Florida were unclear by the end of election night and resulted in a recount.







BLACK HISTORY

1989

Two African American firsts in politics


In New York, former Manhattan borough president David Dinkins, a Democrat, is elected New York City’s first African American mayor, while in Virginia, Lieutenant Governor Douglas Wilder, also a Democrat, becomes the first elected African American state governor in American history.





19TH CENTURY

1885

Canada’s transcontinental railway completed


At a remote spot called Craigellachie in the mountains of British Columbia, the last spike is driven into Canada’s first transcontinental railway. In 1880, the Canadian government contracted the Canadian Pacific Railroad to construct the first all-Canadian line to the West Coast.





SPORTS

1991

Magic Johnson announces he is HIV-positive


On November 7, 1991, basketball legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson stuns the world by announcing his sudden retirement from the Los Angeles Lakers, after testing positive for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. At the time, many Americans viewed AIDS as a gay white man’s disease.





VIETNAM WAR

1972

Nixon re-elected president


Richard Nixon defeats Senator George McGovern (D-South Dakota) and is re-elected President of the United States. With only 55 percent of the electorate voting, the lowest turnout since 1948, Nixon carried all states but Massachusetts, taking 97 percent of the electoral votes.





US POLITICS

1916

Jeannette Rankin becomes first U.S. congresswoman


On November 7, 1916, Montana suffragist Jeannette Rankin is elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. She is the first woman in the history of the nation to win a seat in the federal Congress. Born and raised on a ranch near Missoula, Montana.





ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY

1943

Singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell is born


“The moment I began to write, my music was not folk music.” Performing solo with her acoustic guitar and long, straight, blond hair, the woman born Roberta Joan Anderson in Fort MacLeod, Alberta, Canada, on November 7, 1943.





ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY

1980

“King of Cool” Steve McQueen dies


On November 7, 1980, the actor Steve McQueen, one of Hollywood’s leading men of the 1960s and 1970s and the star of such action thrillers as Bullitt and The Towering Inferno, dies at the age of 50 in Mexico, where he was undergoing an experimental treatment for cancer.





NATURAL DISASTERS & ENVIRONMENT

1940

Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapses


The Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapses due to high winds on November 7, 1940. The Tacoma Narrows Bridge was built in Washington during the 1930s and opened to traffic on July 1, 1940. It spanned the Puget Sound from Gig Harbor to Tacoma, which is 40 miles south of Seattle.





CRIME

1983

A family is brutally murdered


David Hendricks, a businessman traveling in Wisconsin, calls police in Bloomington, Illinois, to request that they check on his house and family. According to Hendricks, no one had answered the phone all weekend and he was worried.





CIVIL WAR

1861

Battle of Belmont, Missouri


On November 7, 1861, Union forces under Ulysses S. Grant overrun a Confederate camp at the Battle of Belmont, Missouri, but are forced to flee when additional Confederate troops arrive.





WORLD WAR II

1944

Soviet master spy is hanged by the Japanese

On November 7, 1944, Richard Sorge, a half-Russian, half-German Soviet spy, who had used the cover of a German journalist to report on Germany and Japan for the Soviet Union, is hanged by his Japanese captors. Sorge fought in World War I in the German army.





WORLD WAR I

1914

First issue of "The New Republic" published


While World War I rages in Europe, the first issue of a new magazine, The New Republic, is published in the United States. The New Republic’s editorial board was presided over by the journalist Herbert Croly, author of the influential 1909 book The Promise of American Life.

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Re: Today In History by bolataiwo(m): 7:59am On Nov 08, 2020
TODAY IN HISTORY


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's discovery occurred accidentally in his Wurzburg, Germany, lab, where he was testing whether cathode rays could pass through glass when he noticed a glow coming from a nearby chemically coated screen. He dubbed the rays that caused this glow X-rays because of their unknown nature.

X-rays are electromagnetic energy waves that act similarly to light rays, but at wavelengths approximately 1,000 times shorter than those of light. Röntgen holed up in his lab and conducted a series of experiments to better understand his discovery. He learned that X-rays penetrate human flesh but not higher-density substances such as bone or lead and that they can be photographed.

Röntgen's discovery was labeled a medical miracle and X-rays soon became an important diagnostic tool in medicine, allowing doctors to see inside the human body for the first time without surgery. In 1897, X-rays were first used on a military battlefield, during the Balkan War, to find bullets and broken bones inside patients.

Scientists were quick to realize the benefits of X-rays, but slower to comprehend the harmful effects of radiation. Initially, it was believed X-rays passed through flesh as harmlessly as light. However, within several years, researchers began to report cases of burns and skin damage after exposure to X-rays, and in 1904, Thomas Edison’s assistant, Clarence Dally, who had worked extensively with X-rays, died of skin cancer. Dally’s death caused some scientists to begin taking the risks of radiation more seriously, but they still weren’t fully understood.

During the 1930s, 40s and 50s, in fact, many American shoe stores featured shoe-fitting fluoroscopes that used X-rays to enable customers to see the bones in their feet; it wasn’t until the 1950s that this practice was determined to be risky business.

Wilhelm Röntgen received numerous accolades for his work, including the first Nobel Prize in physics in 1901, yet he remained modest and never tried to patent his discovery. Today, X-ray technology is widely used in medicine, material analysis and devices such as airport security scanners.









US GOVERNMENT

1994

Proposition 187 is approved in California


On November 8, 1994, 59 percent of California voters approve Proposition 187, banning undocumented immigrants from using the state’s major public services. Despite its wide margin of victory, the ballot measure never takes effect.





US POLITICS

1973

Maurice Ferré becomes first Puerto Rican to lead a major U.S. mainland city


On November 8, 1973, Maurice Ferré is elected Mayor of Miami, Florida. In addition to becoming the first Puerto Rican to lead a major city in the mainland United States and the first Hispanic Mayor of Miami.





VIETNAM WAR

1965

Lawrence Joel awarded Medal of Honor


For action this day in the Iron Triangle northwest of Saigon, Specialist Five Lawrence Joel, a medic with the 1st Battalion, 503rd Airborne Infantry, 173rd Airborne Brigade is awarded the Medal of Honor, becoming the first living African American since the Spanish-American War.





GERMANY

1923

Beer Hall Putsch begins


Adolf Hitler, president of the far-right Nazi Party, launches the Beer Hall Putsch, his first attempt at seizing control of the German government. After World War I, the victorious allies demanded billions of dollars in war reparations from Germany.





ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY

1994

Salvatore “Sonny” Bono is elected to the U.S. Congress


If you had made a friendly wager back in 1974 as to which recent or current pop-music figure might go on to serve in the United States Congress in 20 years’ time, you might have picked someone with an apparent political agenda, like Joan Baez.





US POLITICS

1994

The Republican Revolution


For the first time in 40 years, the Republican Party wins control of both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate in midterm congressional elections. Led by Representative Newt Gingrich of Georgia, who subsequently replaced Democrat Tom Foley of Washington as speaker.







SPORTS

1951

Yogi Berra is the AL MVP


On November 8, 1951, Yankees catcher Yogi Berra (1925-2015) is voted the American League’s most valuable player for the first time in his career. St. Louis Browns’ ace pitcher and slugger Ned Garver almost won the award.





WESTWARD EXPANSION

1887

Doc Holliday dies of tuberculosis


Doc Holliday–gunslinger, gambler, and occasional dentist–dies from tuberculosis. Though he was perhaps most famous for his participation in the shootout at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona, John Henry “Doc” Holliday earned his bad reputation well before that famous feud.





ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY

1900

Margaret Mitchell, author of “Gone with the Wind,” is born


On November 8, 1900, Margaret Mitchell, author of Gone with the Wind (1936), is born in Atlanta, Georgia. Mitchell worked as a journalist for the Atlanta Journal for six years. She quit after an ankle injury limited her mobility.





CRIME

1974

Ted Bundy botches an abduction attempt


Salt Lake City, Utah, resident Carol DaRonch narrowly escapes being abducted by serial killer Ted Bundy. DaRonch had been shopping at a mall when a man claiming to be a police detective told her that there was an attempted theft of her car and she needed to file a police report.





U.S. PRESIDENTS

1960

John F. Kennedy elected president


John F. Kennedy, 43, becomes the youngest man ever to be elected president of the United States, narrowly beating Republican Vice President Richard Nixon. He was also the first Catholic to become president. The campaign was hard fought and bitter.





CIVIL WAR

1864

Abraham Lincoln reelected

On November 8, 1864, Northern voters overwhelmingly endorse the leadership and policies of President Abraham Lincoln when they elect him to a second term. With his re-election, any hope for a negotiated settlement with the Confederacy vanished.







INVENTIONS & SCIENCE

1962

Sun sets on the Ford Rotunda


On November 8, 1962, the famous Ford Rotunda stands in Dearborn, Michigan for the last time: the next day, it is destroyed in a massive fire. Some 1.5 million people visited the Rotunda each year, making it the fifth most popular tourist attraction in the U.S.





WORLD WAR II

1939

Hitler survives assassination attempt


On November 8, 1939, on the 16th anniversary of Hitler’s Beer Hall Putsch, a bomb explodes just after Hitler has finished giving a speech. He was unharmed. Hitler had made an annual ritual on the anniversary of his infamous 1923 coup attempt.

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Re: Today In History by bolataiwo(m): 10:22am On Nov 09, 2020
TODAY IN HISTORY


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 Glass,” after the countless smashed windows of Jewish-owned establishments, left approximately 100 Jews dead, 7,500 Jewish businesses damaged and hundreds of synagogues, homes, schools and graveyards vandalized. An estimated 30,000 Jewish men were arrested, many of whom were then sent to concentration camps for several months; they were released when they promised to leave Germany. Kristallnacht represented a dramatic escalation of the campaign started by Adolf Hitler in 1933 when he became chancellor to purge Germany of its Jewish population.

The Nazis used the murder of a low-level German diplomat in Paris by a 17-year-old Polish Jew as an excuse to carry out the Kristallnacht attacks. On November 7, 1938, Ernst vom Rath was shot outside the German embassy by Herschel Grynszpan, who wanted revenge for his parents’ sudden deportation from Germany to Poland, along with tens of thousands of other Polish Jews. Following vom Rath’s death, Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels ordered German storm troopers to carry out violent riots disguised as “spontaneous demonstrations” against Jewish citizens. Local police and fire departments were told not to interfere. In the face of all the devastation, some Jews, including entire families, committed suicide.

In the aftermath of Kristallnacht, the Nazis blamed the Jews and fined them 1 billion marks (or $400 million in 1938 dollars) for vom Rath’s death. As repayment, the government seized Jewish property and kept insurance money owed to Jewish people. In its quest to create a master Aryan race, the Nazi government enacted further discriminatory policies that essentially excluded Jews from all aspects of public life.

Over 100,000 Jews fled Germany for other countries after Kristallnacht. The international community was outraged by the violent events of November 9 and 10. Some countries broke off diplomatic relations in protest, but the Nazis suffered no serious consequences, leading them to believe they could get away with the mass murder that was the Holocaust, in which an estimated 6 million European Jews died.







ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY

2004

Best-selling Millennium trilogy author Stieg Larsson dies at 50


On November 9, 2004, Swedish writer Stieg Larsson dies suddenly of a heart attack at age 50, only months after turning in the manuscripts for three crime thrillers—“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” “The Girl who Played with Fire” and “The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest”.





FRANCE

1956

Jean-Paul Sartre denounces communism


The French philosopher and author Jean-Paul Sartre–long an admirer of the Soviet Union–denounces both the USSR and its communist system following the brutal Soviet invasion of Hungary. Jean-Paul Sartre, born in Paris in 1905, was a leading exponent of existentialism.





ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY

1990

Willie Nelson’s assets are seized by the IRS


“We try to work with taxpayers,” Internal Revenue Service spokeswoman Valerie Thornton told The New York Times in the autumn of 1991, “[a]nd if we have to come up with some creative payment plan, that’s what we’re going to do, because it’s in everyone’s best interest.”





NATURAL DISASTERS & ENVIRONMENT

1965

The Great Northeast Blackout


At dusk, the biggest power failure in U.S. history occurs as all of New York state, portions of seven neighboring states, and parts of eastern Canada are plunged into darkness. The Great Northeast Blackout began at the height of rush hour, delaying millions of commuters.





VIETNAM WAR

1970

Supreme Court refuses to rule on legality of Vietnam War


The Supreme Court refuses to hear a challenge by the state of Massachusetts regarding the constitutionality of the Vietnam War. By a 6-3 vote, the justices rejected the effort of the state to bring a suit in federal court in defense of Massachusetts residents claiming protection.





VIETNAM WAR

1965

Antiwar protestor sets himself afire


In the second such antiwar incident within a week, Roger Allen LaPorte, a 22-year-old member of the Catholic Worker movement, immolates himself in front of the United Nations headquarters in New York.







CRIME

1971

A Sunday school teacher murders his family and goes undercover for 18 years


John Emil List slaughters his entire family in their Westfield, New Jersey, home and then disappears. Though police quickly identified List as the most likely suspect in the murders, it took 18 years for them to locate him and close the case.





COLD WAR

1989

East Germany opens the Berlin Wall


East German officials today opened the Berlin Wall, allowing travel from East to West Berlin. The following day, celebrating Germans began to tear the wall down. One of the ugliest and most infamous symbols of the Cold War was soon reduced to rubble that was quickly snatched up.





CIVIL WAR

1862

Ambrose Burnside assumes command of the Union Army


On November 9, 1862, General Ambrose Burnside assumes command of the Union Army of the Potomac following the removal of George B. McClellan. McClellan was well liked by many soldiers, and had a loyal following among some in the command structure.

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Re: Today In History by bolataiwo(m): 8:37am On Nov 11, 2020
TODAY IN HISTORY



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 left nine million soldiers dead and 21 million wounded, with Germany, Russia, Austria-Hungary, France and Great Britain each losing nearly a million or more lives. In addition, at least five million civilians died from disease, starvation, or exposure.

On June 28, 1914, in an event that is widely regarded as sparking the outbreak of World War I, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian empire, was shot to death with his wife by Bosnian Serb Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo, Bosnia. Ferdinand had been inspecting his uncle’s imperial armed forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina, despite the threat of Serbian nationalists who wanted these Austro-Hungarian possessions to join newly independent Serbia. Austria-Hungary blamed the Serbian government for the attack and hoped to use the incident as justification for settling the problem of Slavic nationalism once and for all. However, as Russia supported Serbia, an Austro-Hungarian declaration of war was delayed until its leaders received assurances from German leader Kaiser Wilhelm II that Germany would support their cause in the event of a Russian intervention.

On July 28, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, and the tenuous peace between Europe’s great powers collapsed. On July 29, Austro-Hungarian forces began to shell the Serbian capital, Belgrade, and Russia, Serbia’s ally, ordered a troop mobilization against Austria-Hungary. France, allied with Russia, began to mobilize on August 1. France and Germany declared war against each other on August 3. After crossing through neutral Luxembourg, the German army invaded Belgium on the night of August 3-4, prompting Great Britain, Belgium’s ally, to declare war against Germany.

For the most part, the people of Europe greeted the outbreak of war with jubilation. Most patriotically assumed that their country would be victorious within months. Of the initial belligerents, Germany was most prepared for the outbreak of hostilities, and its military leaders had formatted a sophisticated military strategy known as the “Schlieffen Plan,” which envisioned the conquest of France through a great arcing offensive through Belgium and into northern France. Russia, slow to mobilize, was to be kept occupied by Austro-Hungarian forces while Germany attacked France.

The Schlieffen Plan was nearly successful, but in early September the French rallied and halted the German advance at the bloody Battle of the Marne near Paris. By the end of 1914, well over a million soldiers of various nationalities had been killed on the battlefields of Europe, and neither for the Allies nor the Central Powers was a final victory in sight. On the western front—the battle line that stretched across northern France and Belgium—the combatants settled down in the trenches for a terrible war of attrition.

In 1915, the Allies attempted to break the stalemate with an amphibious invasion of Turkey, which had joined the Central Powers in October 1914, but after heavy bloodshed the Allies were forced to retreat in early 1916. The year 1916 saw great offensives by Germany and Britain along the western front, but neither side accomplished a decisive victory. In the east, Germany was more successful, and the disorganized Russian army suffered terrible losses, spurring the outbreak of the Russian Revolution in 1917. By the end of 1917, the Bolsheviks had seized power in Russia and immediately set about negotiating peace with Germany. In 1918, the infusion of American troops and resources into the western front finally tipped the scale in the Allies’ favor. Germany signed an armistice agreement with the Allies on November 11, 1918.

World War I was known as the “war to end all wars” because of the great slaughter and destruction it caused. Unfortunately, the peace treaty that officially ended the conflict—the Treaty of Versailles of 1919—forced punitive terms on Germany that destabilized Europe and laid the groundwork for World War II.







AMERICAN REVOLUTION

1778

Poor leadership leads to Cherry Valley Massacre


On November 11, 1778, Patriot Colonel Ichabod Alden refuses to believe intelligence about an approaching hostile force. As a result, a combined force of Loyalists and Native Americans, attacking in the snow, killed more than 40 Patriots, including Alden.





U.S. PRESIDENTS

1921

Dedication of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier


Exactly three years after the end of World War I, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is dedicated at Arlington Cemetery in Virginia during an Armistice Day ceremony presided over by President Warren G. Harding.





SLAVERY

1831

Nat Turner executed in Virginia


Nat Turner, the leader of a bloody revolt of enslaved people in Southampton County, Virginia, is hanged in Jerusalem, the county seat. Turner, an enslaved man and educated minister, believed that he was chosen by God to lead his people out of slavery.





ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY

1852

Louisa May Alcott publishes her first story


The Saturday Evening Gazette publishes “The Rival Painters: A Story of Rome,” by Louisa May Alcott, who will later write the beloved children’s book Little Women (1868). Alcott, the second of four daughters, was born in Pennsylvania but spent most of her life in Concord.





CRIME

1988

Police make a grisly discovery in Dorothea Puente’s lawn


Authorities unearth a corpse buried in the lawn of 59-year-old Dorothea Puente’s home in Sacramento, California. Puente operated a residential home for elderly people, and an investigation led to the discovery of six more bodies buried on her property.





SPORTS

1973

Soviet Union refuses to play Chile in World Cup Soccer


The Soviet Union announces that, because of its opposition to the recent overthrow of the government of Chilean President Salvador Allende, it would not play a World Cup Soccer match against the Chilean team on November 21, if the match were held in Santiago.





INVENTIONS & SCIENCE

1978

The General Lee jumps into history in “The Dukes of Hazzard”


On November 11, 1978, a stuntman on the Georgia set of “The Dukes of Hazzard” launches the show’s iconic automobile, a 1969 Dodge Charger named the General Lee, off a makeshift dirt ramp and over a police car. That jump, 16 feet high and 82 feet long.





THIS DAY IN HISTORY

1918

World War I ends


At 11 o’clock in the morning of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, World War I–known at the time as the Great War–comes to an end. By the end of autumn 1918, the alliance of the Central Powers was unraveling in its war effort against the better supplied and coordinated.





WORLD WAR II

1942

Draft age is lowered to 18


On November 11, 1942, Congress approves lowering the draft age to 18 and raising the upper limit to age 37. In September 1940, Congress, by wide margins in both houses, passed the Burke-Wadsworth Act, and the first peacetime draft was imposed in the history of the United States.

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Re: Today In History by bolataiwo(m): 9:09am On Nov 12, 2020
TODAY IN HISTORY



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, tens of millions of Americans can trace their roots through Ellis Island, located in New York Harbor off the New Jersey coast and named for merchant Samuel Ellis, who owned the land in the 1770s.

On January 2, 1892, 15-year-old Annie Moore, from Ireland, became the first person to pass through the newly opened Ellis Island, which President Benjamin Harrison designated as America’s first federal immigration center in 1890. Before that time, the processing of immigrants had been handled by individual states.

Not all immigrants who sailed into New York had to go through Ellis Island. First- and second-class passengers submitted to a brief shipboard inspection and then disembarked at the piers in New York or New Jersey, where they passed through customs. People in third class, though, were transported to Ellis Island, where they underwent medical and legal inspections to ensure they didn’t have a contagious disease or some condition that would make them a burden to the government. Only two percent of all immigrants were denied entrance into the U.S.

Immigration to Ellis Island peaked between 1892 and 1924, during which time the 3.3-acre island was enlarged with landfill (by the 1930s it reached its current 27.5-acre size) and additional buildings were constructed to handle the massive influx of immigrants. During the busiest year of operation, 1907, over 1 million people were processed at Ellis Island.

With America’s entrance into World War I, immigration declined and Ellis Island was used as a detention center for suspected enemies. Following the war, Congress passed quota laws and the Immigration Act of 1924, which sharply reduced the number of newcomers allowed into the country and also enabled immigrants to be processed at U.S. consulates abroad. After 1924, Ellis Island switched from a processing center to serving other purposes, such as a detention and deportation center, a hospital for wounded soldiers during World War II and a Coast Guard training center. In November 1954, the last detainee, a Norwegian merchant seaman, was released and Ellis Island officially closed.

Beginning in 1984, Ellis Island underwent a $160 million renovation, the largest historic restoration project in U.S. history. In September 1990, the Ellis Island Immigration Museum opened to the public and today is visited by almost 2 million people each year.







INVENTIONS & SCIENCE

1799

First meteor shower on record


Andrew Ellicott, an early American astronomer, witnesses the Leonids meteor shower from a ship off the Florida Keys. Ellicott wrote in his journal that the “whole heaven appeared as if illuminated with sky rockets, flying in an infinity of directions.





JAPAN

1990

Akihito enthroned as emperor of Japan


Crown Prince Akihito, the 125th Japanese monarch along an imperial line dating back to 660 B.C., is enthroned as emperor of Japan two years after the death of his father. Akihito, the only son of the late Emperor Hirohito.





VIETNAM WAR

1969

Seymour Hersh breaks My Lai Massacre story


In a cable filed through Dispatch News Service and picked up by more than 30 newspapers, investigative journalist Seymour Hersh reveals the extent of the U.S. Army’s charges against 1st Lt. William L. Calley at My Lai.





U.S. PRESIDENTS

1979

Jimmy Carter shuts down oil imports from Iran

On November 12, 1979, President Jimmy Carter responds to a potential threat to national security by stopping the importation of petroleum from Iran. Earlier that month, on November 4, 66 Americans at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran had been taken hostage by a radical Islamic group.





21ST CENTURY

2001

Plane crashes in Rockaway, New York


An American Airlines flight out of John F. Kennedy (JFK) Airport in New York City crashes into a Queens neighborhood after takeoff on November 12, 2001, killing 265 people. Although some initially speculated that the crash was the result of terrorism.





CRIME

2004

Scott Peterson convicted of murder


On November 12, 2004, Scott Peterson is convicted of murdering his wife Laci and their unborn son. A jury of six men and six women delivered the verdict 23 months after Laci Peterson, who was pregnant, disappeared on Christmas Eve from Modesto, California.







CRIME

1996

High school sweethearts murder their newborn child


Young lovers Amy Grossberg and Brian Peterson check into a Delaware motel. During their stay, Grossberg gave birth to a 6 pound, 2 ounce baby. When the infant was later found dead in a trash container behind the motel, the strange and unsettling story drew national attention.





COLD WAR

1982

Yuri Andropov assumes power in the Soviet Union


Following the death of long-time Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev two days earlier, Yuri Andropov is selected as the new general secretary of the Communist Party in the Soviet Union. It was the culmination of a long, but steady march up the Communist Party hierarchy for Andropov.





CIVIL WAR

1864

The destruction of Atlanta begins


On November 12, 1864, Union General William T. Sherman orders the business district of Atlanta, Georgia, destroyed before he embarks on his famous March to the Sea. When Sherman captured Atlanta in early September 1864, he knew that he could not remain there for long.





AMERICAN REVOLUTION

1775

Abigail Adams leads rhetorical charge against Britain


Upon hearing of England’s rejection of the so-called Olive Branch Petition on November 12, 1775, Abigail Adams writes to her husband, John, “Let us separate, they are unworthy to be our Brethren. Let us renounce them and instead of supplications as formerly for their prosperity.

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Re: Today In History by bolataiwo(m): 8:53am On Nov 13, 2020
TODAY IN HISTORY


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 the names of the 57,939 Americans who died in the conflict, arranged in order of death, not rank, as was common in other memorials.

The designer of the memorial was Maya Lin, a Yale University architecture student who entered a nationwide competition to create a design for the monument. Lin, born in Ohio in 1959, was the daughter of Chinese immigrants. Many veterans’ groups were opposed to Lin’s winning design, which lacked a standard memorial’s heroic statues and stirring words. However, a remarkable shift in public opinion occurred in the months after the memorial’s dedication. Veterans and families of the dead walked the black reflective wall, seeking the names of their loved ones killed in the conflict. Once the name was located, visitors often made an etching or left a private offering, from notes and flowers to dog tags and cans of beer.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial soon became one of the most visited memorials in the nation’s capital. A Smithsonian Institution director called it “a community of feelings, almost a sacred precinct,” and a veteran declared that “it’s the parade we never got.” “The Wall” drew together both those who fought and those who marched against the war and served to promote national healing a decade after the divisive conflict’s end.





FRANCE

2015

ISIL stages series of terrorist attacks in Paris, culminating in massacre at Bataclan theater


On November 13, 2015, a cell of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant commits a string of terrorist attacks across Paris, killing 131 and injuring over 400. It was the deadliest day in France since World War II, as well as the deadliest operation ISIL has carried out in Europe.





NATURAL DISASTERS & ENVIRONMENT

1985

The eruption of Nevado del Ruiz


Nevado del Ruiz, the highest active volcano in the Andes Mountains of Colombia, suffers a mild eruption that generates a series of lava flows and surges over the volcano’s broad ice-covered summit. Flowing mixtures of water, ice, pumice and other rock debris poured off the summit.





SPORTS

1979

Darryl Dawkins breaks his first backboard


On November 13, 1979, in the middle of a game at the Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Philadelphia 76ers center Darryl Dawkins leaps over Kansas City Kings forward Bill Robinzine and slam-dunks the basketball, shattering the fiberglass backboard.





WESTWARD EXPANSION

1909

Ballinger-Pinchot scandal erupts


The Ballinger-Pinchot scandal erupts when Colliers magazine accuses Secretary of the Interior Richard Ballinger of shady dealings in Alaskan coal lands. It is, in essence, a conflict rooted in contrasting ideas about how to best use and conserve western natural resources.





RED SCARE

1953

Indiana Textbook Commission member charges that Robin Hood is communist


In an example of the lengths to which the “Red Scare” in America is going, Mrs. Thomas J. White of the Indiana Textbook Commission calls for the removal of references to the book Robin Hood from textbooks used by the state’s schools.





CIVIL WAR

1861

General George McClellan snubs President Lincoln


On November 13, 1861, President Abraham Lincoln pays a late night visit to General George McClellan, who Lincoln had recently named general in chief of the Union army. The general retired to his chambers before speaking with the president.





INVENTIONS & SCIENCE

1974

Karen Silkwood dies in mysterious one-car crash


On November 13, 1974, 28-year-old Karen Silkwood is killed in a car accident near Crescent, Oklahoma, north of Oklahoma City. Silkwood worked as a technician at a plutonium plant operated by the Kerr-McGee Corporation, and she had been critical of the plant’s health and safety.





AMERICAN REVOLUTION

1775

Patriots take Montreal


On November 13, 1775, Continental Army Brigadier General Richard Montgomery takes Montreal, Canada, without opposition. Montgomery’s victory owed its success in part to Ethan Allen’s disorganized defeat at the hand of British General and Canadian Royal Governor Guy Carleton.

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Re: Today In History by bolataiwo(m): 8:03am On Nov 14, 2020
TODAY IN HISTORY


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 City in 1819. As a young man, he spent time in the merchant marines, the U.S. Navy and on a whaling ship in the South Seas. In 1846, he published his first novel, Typee, a romantic adventure based on his experiences in Polynesia. The book was a success and a sequel, Omoo, was published in 1847. Three more novels followed, with mixed critical and commercial results.

Melville’s sixth book, Moby-Dick, was first published in October 1851 in London, in three volumes titled The Whale, and then in the U.S. a month later. Melville had promised his publisher an adventure story similar to his popular earlier works, but instead, Moby-Dick was a tragic epic, influenced in part by Melville’s friend and Pittsfield, Massachusetts, neighbor, Nathaniel Hawthorne, whose novels include The Scarlet Letter.

After Moby-Dick‘s disappointing reception, Melville continued to produce novels, short stories (Bartleby) and poetry, but writing wasn’t paying the bills. In 1865, he returned to New York to work as a customs inspector—a job he held for 20 years.

Melville died in 1891, largely forgotten by the literary world. By the 1920s, scholars had rediscovered his work, particularly Moby-Dick, which would eventually become a staple of high school reading lists across the United States. Billy Budd, Melville’s final novel, was published in 1924, 33 years after his death.







SPACE EXPLORATION

1969

Apollo 12 lifts off


Apollo 12, the second manned mission to the surface of the moon, is launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, with astronauts Charles Conrad, Jr.; Richard F. Gordon, Jr.; and Alan L. Bean aboard. President Richard Nixon viewed the liftoff from Pad A at Cape Canaveral.





WORLD WAR I

1914

Ottoman Empire declares a holy war


On November 14, 1914, in Constantinople, capital of the Ottoman Empire, the religious leader Sheikh-ul-Islam declares an Islamic holy war on behalf of the Ottoman government, urging his Muslim followers to take up arms against Britain, France, Russia, Serbia and Montenegro.





VIETNAM WAR

1965

Major battle erupts in the Ia Drang Valley


In the first major engagement of the war between regular U.S. and North Vietnamese forces, elements of the 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) fight a pitched battle with Communist main-force units in the Ia Drang Valley of the Central Highlands.





SPORTS

1970

Plane crash devastates Marshall University football team


On November 14, 1970, a chartered jet carrying most of the Marshall University football team clips a stand of trees and crashes into a hillside just two miles from the Tri-State Airport in Kenova, West Virginia, killing everyone onboard.





WESTWARD EXPANSION

1882

Frank Leslie kills Billy “The Kid” Claiborne


The gunslinger Frank “Buckskin” Leslie shoots the Billy “The Kid” Claiborne dead in the streets of Tombstone, Arizona. The town of Tombstone is best known today as the site of the infamous shootout at the O.K. Corral. In the 1880s, however, Tombstone was home to many gunmen.





ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY

1941

Cary Grant stars in Hitchcock’s “Suspicion”


On November 14, 1941, Suspicion, a romantic thriller starring Cary Grant and Joan Fontaine and directed by Alfred Hitchcock, makes its debut. The film, which earned a Best Picture Academy Award nomination and a Best Actress Oscar for Fontaine.







NATURAL DISASTERS & ENVIRONMENT

1985

Volcano erupts in Colombia and buries nearby towns


On November 14, 1985, a volcano erupts in Colombia, killing well over 20,000 people as nearby towns are buried in mud, ice and lava. The Nevado del Ruiz volcano is situated in the north-central part of Colombia.





COLD WAR

1951

United States gives military and economic aid to communist Yugoslavia


In a surprising turn of events, President Harry Truman asks Congress for U.S. military and economic aid for the communist nation of Yugoslavia. The action was part of the U.S. policy to drive a deeper wedge between Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union.





INVENTIONS & SCIENCE

2006

Last day for Texas’ celebrated drive-in Pig Stands


On November 14, 2006, state officials close the last two of Texas’ famed Pig Stand restaurants, the only remaining pieces of the nation’s first drive-in restaurant empire. The restaurants’ owners were bankrupt, and they owed the Texas comptroller more than $200,000 in unpaid deficit.





AMERICAN REVOLUTION

1776

English newspaper announces Benjamin Franklin has joined rebellion in America

On November 14, 1776, the St. James Chronicle of London carries an item announcing “The very identical Dr. Franklyn [Benjamin Franklin], whom Lord Chatham [former leading parliamentarian and colonial supporter William Pitt] so much caressed, and used to say he was proud of.

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Re: Today In History by bolataiwo(m): 7:23am On Nov 15, 2020
TODAY IN HISTORY


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 has been around since 1792, traveled by mail or messenger.

The ticker was the brainchild of Edward Calahan, who configured a telegraph machine to print stock quotes on streams of paper tape (the same paper tape later used in ticker-tape parades). The ticker, which caught on quickly with investors, got its name from the sound its type wheel made.

The last mechanical stock ticker debuted in 1960 and was eventually replaced by computerized tickers with electronic displays. A ticker shows a stock’s symbol, how many shares have traded that day and the price per share. It also tells how much the price has changed from the previous day’s closing price and whether it’s an up or down change. A common misconception is that there is one ticker used by everyone. In fact, private data companies run a variety of tickers; each provides information about a select mix of stocks.





21ST CENTURY

2001

Microsoft releases Xbox gaming console


Microsoft releases the Xbox gaming console on November 15, 2001, dramatically influencing the history of consumer entertainment technology. Microsoft CEO Bill Gates first decided to venture into the video game market because he feared that gaming consoles would soon compete with personal computer.





INVENTIONS & SCIENCE

1984

Baby Fae, infant who received baboon heart transplant, dies


“Baby Fae,” a month-old infant who had received a baboon-heart transplant, dies at Loma Linda University Medical Center in Loma Linda, California. The infant, named Baby Fae by doctors to protect her parents’ anonymity, was born with hypoplastic left-heart syndrome.





WORLD WAR I

1917

Georges Clemenceau named French prime minister


On November 15, 1917, with his country embroiled in a bitter international conflict that would eventually take the lives of over 1 million of its young men, 76-year-old Georges Clemenceau is named prime minister of France for the second time.





INVENTIONS & SCIENCE

1965

Craig Breedlove sets new land-speed record


On November 15, 1965 at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, 28-year-old Californian Craig Breedlove sets a new land-speed record—600.601 miles an hour—in his car, the Spirit of America, which cost $250,000 and was powered by a surplus engine from a Navy jet.





U.S. PRESIDENTS

1977

President Carter hosts shah of Iran


On November 15, 1977, President Jimmy Carter welcomes Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the shah of Iran, and his wife, Empress (or “Shahbanou”) Farrah, to Washington. Over the next two days, Carter and Pahlavi discussed improving relations between the two countries.





WESTWARD EXPANSION

1806

Zebulon Pike spots an imposing mountain


Approaching the Colorado foothills of the Rocky Mountains during his second exploratory expedition, Lieutenant Zebulon Pike spots a distant mountain peak that looks “like a small blue cloud.” The mountain was later named Pike’s Peak in his honor.







ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY

1859

Final installment of “A Tale of Two Cities” is published


On November 15, 1859, Charles Dickens’ serialized novel, A Tale of Two Cities, comes to a close, as the final chapter is published in Dickens’ circular, All the Year Round. Dickens was born in 1812 and attended school in Portsmouth. His father, a clerk in the navy pay office.





ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY

1956

Elvis makes movie debut in “Love Me Tender”


On November 15, 1956, Love Me Tender, featuring the singer Elvis Presley in his big-screen debut, premieres in New York City at the Paramount Theater. Set in Texas following the American Civil War, the film, which co-starred Richard Egan and Debra Paget,





CRIME

1923

Accused of rape, James Montgomery’s struggle for justice begins


Mamie Snow, a mentally disabled white woman from Waukegan, Illinois, claims that James Montgomery, a Black veteran and factory worker, raped her. Montgomery, who was promptly thrown in jail, spent more than 25 years in prison before his conviction was overturned.





COLD WAR

1957

Nikita Khrushchev challenges United States to a missile “shooting match”


In a long and rambling interview with an American reporter, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev claims that the Soviet Union has missile superiority over the United States and challenges America to a missile “shooting match” to prove his assertion.





CIVIL WAR

1864

Union General Sherman’s scorched-earth March to the Sea campaign begins

On November 15, 1864, Union General William T. Sherman begins his expedition across Georgia by torching the industrial section of Atlanta and pulling away from his supply lines. For the next six weeks, Sherman’s army destroyed most of the state before capturing the Confederate.





AMERICAN REVOLUTION

1777

Articles of Confederation adopted


After 16 months of debate, the Continental Congress, sitting in its temporary capital of York, Pennsylvania, agrees to adopt the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union on November 15, 1777.







WORLD WAR II

1943

Himmler orders Roma to concentration camps


Heinrich Himmler makes public an order that Romani people (often referred to as Gypsies) are to be put on “the same level as Jews and placed in concentration camps.” Himmler was determined to prosecute Nazism racial policies, which dictated the elimination from Germany.

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Re: Today In History by bolataiwo(m): 11:08am On Nov 16, 2020
TODAY IN HISTORY

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 massacre the Incans and capture Atahualpa, forcing him to convert to Christianity before eventually killing him.

Pizarro’s timing for conquest was perfect. By 1532, the Inca Empire was embroiled in a civil war that had decimated the population and divided the people’s loyalties. Atahualpa, the younger son of former Incan ruler Huayna Capac, had just deposed his half-brother Huascar and was in the midst of reuniting his kingdom when Pizarro arrived in 1531, with the endorsement of Spain’s King Charles V. On his way to the Incan capital, Pizarro learned of the war and began recruiting soldiers still loyal to Huascar.

Pizarro met Atahualpa just outside Cajamarca, a small Incan town tucked into a valley of the Andes. Sending his brother Hernan as an envoy, Pizarro invited Atahualpa back to Cajamarca for a feast in honor of Atahualpa’s ascendance to the throne. Though he had nearly 80,000 soldiers with him in the mountains, Atahualpa consented to attend the feast with only 5,000 unarmed men. He was met by Vicente de Valverde, a friar traveling with Pizarro. While Pizarro’s men lay in wait, Valverde urged Atahualpa to convert and accept Charles V as sovereign. Atahualpa angrily refused, prompting Valverde to give the signal for Pizarro to open fire. Trapped in tight quarters, the panicking Incan soldiers made easy prey for the Spanish. Pizarro’s men slaughtered the 5,000 Incans in just an hour. Pizarro himself suffered the only Spanish injury: a cut on his hand sustained as he saved Atahualpa from death.

Realizing Atahualpa was initially more valuable alive than dead, Pizarro kept the emperor in captivity while he made plans to take over his empire.In response, Atahualpa appealed to his captors’ greed, offering them a room full of gold and silver in exchange for his liberation. Pizarro consented, but after receiving the ransom, Pizarro brought Atahualpa up on charges of stirring up rebellion. By that time, Atahualpa had played his part in pacifying the Incans while Pizarro secured his power, and Pizarro considered him disposable. Atahualpa was to be burned at the stake—the Spanish believed this to be a fitting death for a heathen—but at the last moment, Valverde offered the emperor clemency if he would convert. Atahualpa submitted, only to be executed by strangulation. The day was August 29, 1533.

Fighting between the Spanish and the Incas would continue well after Atahualpa’s death as Spain consolidated its conquests. Pizarro’s bold victory at Cajamarca, however, effectively marked the end of the Inca Empire and the beginning of the European colonization of South America.






EARLY 20TH CENTURY US

1907

Oklahoma enters the Union


Indian Territory and Oklahoma Territory collectively enter the United States as Oklahoma, the 46th state. Oklahoma, with a name derived from the Choctaw Indian words okla, meaning “people,” and humma, meaning “red,” has a history of human occupation dating back 15,000 years.




WORLD WAR II

1941

Joseph Goebbels publishes his screed of hate


On November 16, 1941, Joseph Goebbels publishes in the German magazine Das Reich that “The Jews wanted the war, and now they have it”—referring to the Nazi propaganda scheme to shift the blame for the world war onto European Jews.





VIETNAM WAR

1971

U.S. provides support to beleaguered Cambodians


As the fighting gets closer to Phnom Penh, the United States steps up its air activities in support of the Cambodian government. U.S. helicopter gunships struck at North Vietnamese emplacements at Tuol Leap, 10 miles north of Phnom Penh.



VIETNAM WAR

1961

President Kennedy increases military aid to Saigon


President John F. Kennedy decides to increase military aid to South Vietnam without committing U.S. combat troops. Kennedy was concerned at the advances being made by the communist Viet Cong, but did not want to become involved in a land war in Vietnam.





ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY

1959

“The Sound of Music” premieres on Broadway


Did the young Austrian nun named Maria really take to the hills surrounding Salzburg to sing spontaneously of her love of music? Did she comfort herself with thoughts of copper kettles.





ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY

1849

Fyodor Dostoevsky is sentenced to death


On November 16, 1849, a Russian court sentences Fyodor Dostoevsky to death for his allegedly antigovernment activities linked to a radical intellectual group. His execution is stayed at the last minute.









ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY

2001

First Harry Potter film opens


On November 16, 2001, the British author J.K. Rowling’s star creation—bespectacled boy wizard Harry Potter—makes his big-screen debut in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, which opens in movie theaters across the United States.





CRIME

1957

Ed Gein kills final victim Bernice Worden


Infamous killer Edward Gein murders his last victim, Bernice Worden of Plainfield, Wisconsin. His grave robbing, necrophilia and cannibalism gained national attention, and may have provided inspiration for the characters ofNorman Bates in Psycho and serial killer Buffalo Bill.





COLD WAR

1945

German scientists brought to United States to work on rocket technology


In a move that stirs up some controversy, as part of "Operation Paperclip," the United States ships 88 German scientists to America to assist the nation in its production of rocket technology. Most of these men had served under the Nazi regime and critics in the United States.





AMERICAN REVOLUTION

1776

British capture Fort Washington


Hessian Lieutenant General Wilhelm von Knyphausen and a force of 3,000 Hessian mercenaries and 5,000 Redcoats lay siege to Fort Washington at the northern end and highest point of Manhattan Island. Throughout the morning, Knyphausen met stiff resistance from the Patriot riflemen.

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Re: Today In History by bolataiwo(m): 6:28am On Nov 17, 2020
TODAY IN HISTORY


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 legislation and made efforts to restore the pope to supremacy in England. A Protestant rebellion ensued, and Queen Mary imprisoned Elizabeth, a Protestant, in the Tower of London on suspicion of complicity. After Mary’s death, Elizabeth survived several Catholic plots against her; though her ascension was greeted with approval by most of England’s lords, who were largely Protestant and hoped for greater religious tolerance under a Protestant queen. Under the early guidance of Secretary of State Sir William Cecil, Elizabeth repealed Mary’s pro-Catholic legislation, established a permanent Protestant Church of England, and encouraged the Calvinist reformers in Scotland.

In foreign affairs, Elizabeth practiced a policy of strengthening England’s Protestant allies and dividing her foes. Elizabeth was opposed by the pope, who refused to recognize her legitimacy, and by Spain, a Catholic nation that was at the height of its power. In 1588, English-Spanish rivalry led to an abortive Spanish invasion of England in which the Spanish Armada, the greatest naval force in the world at the time, was destroyed by storms and a determined English navy.

With increasing English domination at sea, Elizabeth encouraged voyages of discovery, such as Sir Francis Drake’s circumnavigation of the world and Sir Walter Raleigh’s expeditions to the North American coast.

The long reign of Elizabeth, who became known as the “Virgin Queen” for her reluctance to endanger her authority through marriage, coincided with the flowering of the English Renaissance, associated with such renowned authors as William Shakespeare. By her death in 1603, England had become a major world power in every respect, and Queen Elizabeth I passed into history as one of England’s greatest monarchs.







CIVIL WAR

1863

Siege of Knoxville, Tennessee, begins


On November 17, 1863, Confederate General James Longstreet places the city of Knoxville, Tennessee, under siege. After two weeks and one failed attack, he abandoned the siege and rejoined General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia.





ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY

1839

Verdi’s first opera opens


Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi’s first opera, Oberto, conte di San Bonifacio, debuts in Milan. The premiere was held at La Scala, Italy’s most prestigious theater. Oberto was received favorably, and the next day the composer was commissioned by Bartolomeo Merelli.





AFRICA

1869

Suez Canal opens

The Suez Canal, connecting the Mediterranean and the Red seas, is inaugurated in an elaborate ceremony attended by French Empress Eugénie, wife of Napoleon III. In 1854, Ferdinand de Lesseps, the former French consul to Cairo, secured an agreement with the Ottoman governor.





VIETNAM WAR

1970

My Lai trial begins


The court-martial of 1st Lt. William Calley begins. Calley, a platoon leader in Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry, 11th Infantry Brigade (Light) of the 23rd (Americal) Division, had led his men in a massacre of Vietnamese civilians, including women and children.





VIETNAM WAR

1965

1st Cavalry unit ambushed in the Ia Drang Valley


During part of what would become known as the Battle of the Ia Drang Valley, a battalion from the 1st Cavalry Division is ambushed by the 8th Battalion of the North Vietnamese 66th Regiment.





SPORTS

1968

TV viewers become outraged as football game is cut off to air “Heidi”


On November 17, 1968, the Oakland Raiders score two touchdowns in nine seconds to beat the New York Jets—and no one sees it, because they’re watching the movie Heidi instead.







U.S. PRESIDENTS

1973

Nixon insists that he is “not a crook”


In the midst of the Watergate scandal that eventually ended his presidency, President Richard Nixon tells a group of newspaper editors gathered at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, that he is “not a crook.”





ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY

1958

The Kingston Trio brings folk music to the top of the U.S. pop charts


On November 17, 1958, the Kingston Trio’s “Tom Dooley” hits #1 on the Billboard pop chart. While they might not have wanted to acknowledge it, the fans of 1960s protest folk probably owed the very existence of the movement to three guys in crew cuts and candy-striped shirts.





ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY

2003

“The Terminator” becomes “The Governator” of California


On November 17, 2003, the actor and former bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger is sworn in as the 38th governor of California at the State Capitol in Sacramento. Schwarzenegger, who became a major Hollywood star in the 1980s with such action movies as Conan the Barbarian.





NATURAL DISASTERS & ENVIRONMENT

1421

Thousands die in massive flood at European shores of North Sea


On November 17, 1421, a storm in the North Sea batters the European coastline. Over the next several days, approximately 10,000 people in what is now the Netherlands died in the resulting floods. The lowlands of the Netherlands near the North Sea were densely populated.





CRIME

2003

Washington, D.C. sniper John Muhammad convicted


On November 17, 2003, ex-soldier John Muhammad is found guilty of one of a series of sniper shootings that terrorized the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area and dominated national headlines in October 2002. Police charged that Muhammad and his 17-year-old accomplice, Lee Boyd.





CRIME

1972

A wealthy heiress is murdered by her son


Wealthy socialite Barbara Baekeland is stabbed to death with a kitchen knife by her 25-year-old son, Antony, in her London, England, penthouse. When police arrived at the scene, Antony was calmly placing a telephone order for Chinese food.







COLD WAR

1969

SALT I negotiations begin


Soviet and U.S. negotiators meet in Helsinki to begin the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT). The meeting was the climax of years of discussions between the two nations concerning the means to curb the Cold War arms race.





AMERICAN REVOLUTION

1777

Articles of Confederation submitted to the states


On November 17, 1777, Congress submits the Articles of Confederation to the states for ratification. The Articles had been signed by Congress two days earlier, after 16 months of debate.

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Re: Today In History by bolataiwo(m): 8:55am On Nov 18, 2020
TODAY IN HISTORY


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 gunpoint. The final death toll at Jonestown that day was 909; a third of those who perished were children.

Jim Jones was a charismatic churchman who established the Peoples Temple, a Christian sect, in Indianapolis in the 1950s. He preached against racism, and his integrated congregation attracted many African Americans. In 1965, he moved the group to Northern California, settling in Ukiah and after 1971 in San Francisco. In the 1970s, his church was accused by the media of financial fraud, physical abuse of its members and mistreatment of children. In response to the mounting criticism, the increasingly paranoid Jones invited his congregation to move with him to Guyana, where he promised they would build a socialist utopia. Three years earlier, a small group of his followers had traveled to the tiny nation to set up what would become Jonestown on a tract of jungle.

Jonestown did not turn out to be the paradise their leader had promised. Temple members worked long days in the fields and were subjected to harsh punishments if they questioned Jones’ authority. Their passports were confiscated, their letters home censored and members were encouraged to inform on one another and forced to attend lengthy, late-night meetings. Jones, by then in declining mental health and addicted to drugs, was convinced the U.S. government and others were out to destroy him. He required Temple members to participate in mock suicide drills in the middle of the night.

In 1978, a group of former Temple members and concerned relatives of current members convinced U.S. Congressman Leo Ryan, a Democrat of California, to travel to Jonestown and investigate the settlement. On November 17, 1978, Ryan arrived in Jonestown with a group of journalists and other observers. At first the visit went well, but the next day, as Ryan’s delegation was about to leave, several Jonestown residents approached the group and asked them for passage out of Guyana. Jones became distressed at the defection of his followers, and one of Jones’ lieutenants attacked Ryan with a knife. The congressman escaped from the incident unharmed, but Jones then ordered Ryan and his companions ambushed and killed at the airstrip as they attempted to leave. The congressman and four others were murdered as they boarded their charter planes.

Back in Jonestown, Jones commanded everyone to gather in the main pavilion and commit what he termed a “revolutionary act.” The youngest members of the Peoples Temple were the first to die, as parents and nurses used syringes to drop a potent mix of cyanide, sedatives and powdered fruit juice into children’s throats. Adults then lined up to drink the poison-laced concoction while armed guards surrounded the pavilion.

When Guyanese officials arrived at the Jonestown compound the next day, they found it carpeted with hundreds of bodies. Many people had perished with their arms around each other. A few residents managed to escape into the jungle as the suicides took place, while at least several dozen more Peoples Temple members, including several of Jones’ sons, survived because they were in another part of Guyana at the time.







1990S

1991

Terry Waite released after four-year kidnapping in Lebanon


Shiite Muslim kidnappers in Lebanon free Anglican Church envoy Terry Waite after more than four years of captivity. Waite, looking thinner and his hair grayer, was freed along with American educator Thomas M. Sutherland after intense negotiations by the United Nations.





SPORTS

1966

L.A. Dodgers’ ace pitcher Sandy Koufax retires


On November 18, 1966, Sandy Koufax, the ace pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers, retires from baseball. He was just 30 years old, and he was retiring after a great season–he’d led the Dodgers to a National League pennant and won his third Cy Young award.





19TH CENTURY

1883

Railroads create the first time zones


At exactly noon on this day, American and Canadian railroads begin using four continental time zones to end the confusion of dealing with thousands of local times. The bold move was emblematic of the power shared by the railroad companies.





1990S

1999

12 die in bonfire at Texas A&M University


For nearly a century, students at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, created a massive bonfire—self-proclaimed to be “the world’s largest”—prior to their school’s annual football game against their archrival, the University of Texas.





CRIME

1996

High-profile expert on exotic birds is sentenced for smuggling parrots


Tony Silva, a world-renowned expert and outspoken protector of exotic birds, is sentenced to seven years in prison without parole for leading an illegal parrot smuggling operation. Silva was only one of many to be arrested during “Operation Renegade,”





US GOVERNMENT

1987

Congress issues final report on Iran-Contra scandal


After nearly a year of hearings into the Iran-Contra scandal, the joint Congressional investigating committee issues its final report. It concluded that the scandal, involving a complicated plan whereby some of the funds from secret weapons sales to Iran were used to finance the Contra war against the Sandinista government in Nicaragua, was one in which the administration of Ronald Reagan exhibited “secrecy, deception, and disdain for the law.”





CIVIL WAR

1863

President Lincoln travels to Gettysburg


On November 18, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln boards a train for Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, to deliver a short speech the following day at the dedication of a cemetery of soldiers killed during the battle there on July 1 to July 3, 1863.





WORLD WAR II

1940

Hitler furious over Italy’s debacle in Greece


On November 18, 1940, Adolf Hitler meets with Italian Foreign Minister Galeazzo Ciano over Mussolini’s disastrous invasion of Greece. Mussolini surprised everyone with a move against Greece.





WORLD WAR I

1916

Battle of the Somme ends


On November 18, 1916, British Commander in Chief Sir Douglas Haig calls a halt to his army’s offensive near the Somme River in northwestern France, ending the epic Battle of the Somme after more than four months of bloody conflict.

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Re: Today In History by bolataiwo(m): 8:43am On Nov 19, 2020
TODAY IN HISTORY


President Lincoln delivers Gettysburg Address

On November 19, 1863, at the dedication of a military cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, during the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln delivers one of the most memorable speeches in American history. In fewer than 275 words, Lincoln brilliantly and movingly reminded a war-weary public why the Union had to fight, and win, the Civil War.

The Battle of Gettysburg, fought some four months earlier, was the single bloodiest battle of the Civil War. Over the course of three days, more than 45,000 men were killed, injured, captured or went missing. The battle also proved to be the turning point of the war: General Robert E. Lee’s defeat and retreat from Gettysburg marked the last Confederate invasion of Northern territory and the beginning of the Southern army’s ultimate decline.

Charged by Pennsylvania’s governor, Andrew Curtin, to care for the Gettysburg dead, an attorney named David Wills bought 17 acres of pasture to turn into a cemetery for the more than 7,500 who fell in battle. Wills invited Edward Everett, one of the most famous orators of the day, to deliver a speech at the cemetery’s dedication. Almost as an afterthought, Wills also sent a letter to Lincoln—just two weeks before the ceremony—requesting “a few appropriate remarks” to consecrate the grounds.

At the dedication, the crowd listened for two hours to Everett before Lincoln spoke. Lincoln’s address lasted just two or three minutes. The speech reflected his redefined belief that the Civil War was not just a fight to save the Union, but a struggle for freedom and equality for all, an idea Lincoln had not championed in the years leading up to the war. This was his stirring conclusion: “The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Reception of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address was initially mixed, divided strictly along partisan lines. Nevertheless, the “little speech,” as he later called it, is thought by many today to be the most eloquent articulation of the democratic vision ever written.







WORLD WAR II

1942

Soviets launch counterattack at Stalingrad


The Soviet Red Army under General Georgy Zhukov launches Operation Uranus, the great Soviet counteroffensive that turned the tide in the Battle of Stalingrad. On June 22, 1941, despite the terms of the Nazi-Soviet Pact of 1939.





SPORTS

1969

Soccer legend Pelé scores 1,000th goal


Brazilian soccer great Pelé scores his 1,000th professional goal in a game, against Vasco da Gama in Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana stadium. It was a major milestone in an illustrious career that included three World Cup championships. Pelé, considered one of the greatest soccer Star.





ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY

2003

An arrest warrant is issued for Michael Jackson


Rumors had swirled around Michael Jackson since the first public allegations of sexual misconduct with a minor child were aired amidst a 1993 civil lawsuit that was eventually settled out of court.





ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY

1975

“One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” opens in theaters


One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, a film about a group of patients at a mental institution, opens in theaters. Directed by Milos Forman and based on a 1962 novel of the same name by Ken Kesey, the film starred Jack Nicholson and was co-produced by the actor Michael Douglas.





CRIME

1976

Patty Hearst out on bail


Patricia Campbell Hearst, a granddaughter of the legendary publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst, is released on bail pending the appeal of her conviction for participating in a 1974 San Francisco bank robbery that was caught on camera.





COLD WAR

1985

Reagan and Gorbachev hold their first summit meeting


For the first time in eight years, the leaders of the Soviet Union and the United States hold a summit conference. Meeting in Geneva, President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev produced no earth-shattering agreements.

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Re: Today In History by bolataiwo(m): 9:40am On Nov 20, 2020
TODAY IN HISTORY


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 its kind in history, and the defendants faced charges ranging from crimes against peace, to crimes of war, to crimes against humanity. Lord Justice Geoffrey Lawrence, the British member, presided over the proceedings, which lasted 10 months and consisted of 216 court sessions.

On October 1, 1946, 12 architects of Nazi policy were sentenced to death. Seven others were sentenced to prison terms ranging from 10 years to life, and three were acquitted. Of the original 24 defendants, one, Robert Ley, committed suicide while in prison, and another, Gustav Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach, was deemed mentally and physically incompetent to stand trial. Among those condemned to death by hanging were Joachim von Ribbentrop, Nazi minister of foreign affairs; Hermann Goering, leader of the Gestapo and the Luftwaffe; Alfred Jodl, head of the German armed forces staff; and Wilhelm Frick, minister of the interior.

On October 16, 10 of the architects of Nazi policy were hanged. Goering, who at sentencing was called the “leading war aggressor and creator of the oppressive program against the Jews,” committed suicide by poison on the eve of his scheduled execution. Nazi Party leader Martin Bormann was condemned to death in absentia (but is now believed to have died in May 1945). Trials of lesser German and Axis war criminals continued in Germany into the 1950s and resulted in the conviction of 5,025 other defendants and the execution of 806.





GREAT BRITAIN

1947

Princess Elizabeth marries Philip Mountbatten


In a lavish wedding ceremony at Westminster Abbey in London, Princess Elizabeth marries her distant cousin, Philip Mountbatten, a dashing former prince of Greece and Denmark who renounced his titles in order to marry the English princess.





19TH CENTURY

1820

American vessel sunk by sperm whale


The American whaler Essex, which hailed from Nantucket, Massachusetts, is attacked by an 80-ton sperm whale 2,000 miles from the western coast of South America. The 238-ton Essex was in pursuit of sperm whales.





SPORTS

1982

Cal beats Stanford as band blocks field


On November 20, 1982, the UC Berkeley football team, referred to as Cal, wins an improbable last-second victory over Stanford when they complete five lateral passes around members of the Cardinals’ marching band.





CRIME

1903

Tom Horn is hanged in Wyoming for the murder of Willie Nickell


On November 20, 1903, the infamous hired killer Tom Horn is hanged for having allegedly murdered Willie Nickell, the 14-year-old son of a southern Wyoming sheep rancher. Some historians have since questioned whether Horn really killed the boy.





ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY

2003

Music producer Phil Spector indicted for murder of actress


On November 20, 2003, Phil Spector, the influential, eccentric music producer who worked with a long list of performers including The Righteous Brothers, The Ronettes, Ike and Tina Turner, John Lennon and the Ramones, is indicted in the murder of actress Lana Clarkson.





INVENTIONS & SCIENCE

1923

Garrett Morgan patents three-position traffic signal


On November 20, 1923, the U.S. Patent Office grants Patent No. 1,475,074 to 46-year-old inventor and newspaperman Garrett Morgan for his three-position traffic signal. Though Morgan’s was not the first traffic signal (that one had been installed in London in 1868).

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Re: Today In History by bolataiwo(m): 9:02am On Nov 21, 2020
TODAY IN HISTORY


Millions tune in to find out who shot J.R.

On November 21, 1980, 350 million people around the world tune in to television’s popular primetime drama “Dallas” to find out who shot J.R. Ewing, the character fans loved to hate. J.R. had been shot on the season-ending episode the previous March 21, which now stands as one of television’s most famous cliffhangers. The plot twist inspired widespread media coverage and left America wondering “Who shot J.R.?” for the next eight months. The November 21 episode solved the mystery, identifying Kristin Shepard, J.R.’s wife’s sister and his former mistress, as the culprit.

The CBS television network debuted the first five-episode pilot season of “Dallas” in 1978; it went on to run for another 12 full-length seasons. The first show of its kind, “Dallas” was dubbed a “primetime soap opera” for its serial plots and dramatic tales of moral excess. The show revolved around the relations of two Texas oil families: the wealthy, successful Ewing family and the perpetually down-on-their-luck Barnes family. The families’ patriarchs, Jock Ewing and Digger Barnes, were former partners locked in a years-long feud over oil fields Barnes claimed had been stolen by Ewing. Ewing’s youngest son Bobby (Patrick Duffy) and Barnes’ daughter Pam (Victoria Principal) had married, linking the battling clans even more closely. The character of J.R. Ewing, Bobby’s oldest brother and a greedy, conniving, womanizing scoundrel, was played by Larry Hagman.

As J.R. had many enemies, audiences were hard-pressed to guess who was responsible for his attempted murder. That summer, the question “Who Shot J.R.?” entered the national lexicon, becoming a popular t-shirt slogan, and heightening anticipation of the soap’s third season, which was to air in the fall. After a much-talked-about contract dispute with Hagman was finally settled, the season was delayed because of a Screen Actors Guild strike, much to the dismay of “Dallas” fans. When it finally aired, the episode revealing J.R.’s shooter became one of television’s most watched shows, with an audience of 83 million people in the U.S. alone—a full 76 percent of all U.S. televisions on that night were tuned in—and helped put “Dallas” into greater worldwide circulation. It also popularized the use of the cliffhanger by television writers.

The shooting of J.R. wasn’t “Dallas'”only notorious plot twist. In September 1986, fans learned that the entire previous season, in which main character Bobby Ewing had died, was merely a dream of Pam’s. The show’s writers had killed the Bobby character off because Duffy had decided to leave the show. When he agreed to return, they featured him stepping out of the shower on the season-ending cliffhanger, and then were forced the next season to explain his sudden reappearance.

The last premiere episode of “Dallas” aired on May 3, 1991. A spin-off, “Knots Landing,” aired from December 27, 1979 until May 13, 1993. “Dallas” remains in syndication around the world.







INVENTIONS & SCIENCE

1877

Thomas Edison announces his invention of the phonograph


Thomas Edison announces his invention of the phonograph, a way to record and play back sound. Edison stumbled on one of his great inventions—the phonograph—while working on a way to record telephone communication at his laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey.





ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY

1934

Ella Fitzgerald wins Amateur Night at Harlem’s Apollo Theater

On the evening of November 21, 1934, a young and gangly would-be dancer took to the stage of Harlem’s Apollo Theater to participate in a harrowing tradition known as Amateur Night. Finding herself onstage as a result of pure chance after her name was drawn out of a hat.





FRANCE

1783

Men fly over Paris in hot air balloon


French physician Jean-François Pilatre de Rozier and François Laurent, the marquis d’ Arlandes, make the first untethered hot-air balloon flight, flying 5.5 miles over Paris in about 25 minutes.





U.S. PRESIDENTS

1864

President Lincoln allegedly writes to mother of Civil War casualties


Legend holds that on November 21, 1864, President Abraham Lincoln composes a letter to Lydia Bixby, a widow and mother of five men who had been killed in the Civil War. A copy of the letter was then published in the Boston Evening Transcript on November 25.





ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY

1976

“Rocky” opens in theaters


On November 21, 1976, Rocky, starring Sylvester Stallone as the underdog prizefighter Rocky Balboa, debuts in New York City. The movie, which opened in theaters across the United States on December 3, 1976, was a huge box-office hit and received 10 Academy Award nominations.





NATURAL DISASTERS & ENVIRONMENT

1916

Britannic, sister ship to the Titanic, sinks in Aegean Sea


The Britannic, sister ship to the Titanic, sinks in the Aegean Sea on November 21, 1916, killing 30 people. More than 1,000 others were rescued. In the wake of the Titanic disaster on April 14, 1912.







CRIME

1986

Iran-Contra scandal begins with shredded documents


National Security Council staff member Oliver North and his secretary, Fawn Hall, begin shredding documents that would have exposed their participation in a range of illegal activities regarding the sale of arms to Iran and the diversion of the proceeds to a rebel Nicaraguan.





AMERICAN REVOLUTION

1776

George Washington orders General Lee to New Jersey


In what proved a fateful decision on November 21, 1776, Continental Commander in Chief General George Washington writes to General Charles Lee in Westchester County, New York, to report the loss of Fort Lee, New Jersey, and to order Lee to bring his forces to New Jersey.

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