THIS MONTH IN HISTORY

NOVEMBER

November 1, 1993 - The European Union came into existence as a result of the Maastricht Treaty.

 

November 1, 1848 - The first medical school for women opened in Boston. The Boston Female Medical School was founded by Samuel Gregory with just twelve students. In 1874, the school merged with the Boston University School of Medicine, becoming one of the first co-ed medical schools.

 

November 3, 1839 - The first Opium War between China and Britain began after British frigates blew up several Chinese junks.

 

November 3, 1957 - Soviet Russia launched the world's first inhabited space capsule, Sputnik II, which carried a dog named Laika.

 

November 4, 1922 - King Tut's tomb was discovered at Luxor, Egypt, by British archaeologist Howard Carter after several years of searching. The child-King Tutankhamen became pharaoh at age nine and died around 1352 B.C. at age 19. The tomb was found mostly intact, containing numerous priceless items now exhibited in Egypt's National Museum in Cairo.

 

November 4, 1979 - About 500 young Iranian militants stormed the U.S. Embassy in Teheran, Iran, and took 90 hostages, including 52 Americans that they held captive for 444 days.

 

November 7, 1917 - Russian Bolsheviks overthrew the provisional government of Alexander Kerensky in Petrograd. The Council of People's Commissars was then established as the new government of Russia, with Nikolai Lenin as chairman, Leon Trotsky as foreign commissar and Josef Stalin as commissar of nationalities. This event was celebrated each year in the former USSR with parades, massive military displays and public appearances by top Soviet leaders.

 

November 8, 1895 - X-rays (electromagnetic rays) were discovered by Wilhelm Roentgen at the University of Wuerzburg in Germany.

 

November 8, 1923 - Hitler's Beer Hall Putsch took place in the Buergerbraukeller in Munich. Hitler, Goering and armed Nazis attempted, but ultimately failed, to forcibly seize power and overthrow democracy in Germany.

November 9, 1872 - The Great Boston Fire started in a dry-goods warehouse then spread rapidly in windy weather, destroying nearly 800 buildings. Damage was estimated at more than $75 million. The fire's bright red glare could be seen in the sky for nearly 100 miles.

November 9, 1918 - German Kaiser Wilhelm II abdicated his throne in the closing days of World War I and fled to Holland. In Germany, Philip Scheidemann, a Socialist leader, then proclaimed a democratic Republic and became its first Chancellor.

November 9-10, 1938 - Kristallnacht (the night of broken glass) occurred in Germany as Nazi mobs burned synagogues and vandalized Jewish shops and homes.

 

November 9, 1989 - The Berlin Wall was opened up after standing for 28 years as a symbol of the Cold War. The 27.9 mile wall had been constructed in 1961.

 

November 11, 1918 - At 5 a.m., in Marshal Foch's railway car in the Forest of Compiegne, the Armistice between the Allied and Central Powers was signed, silencing the guns of World War I effective at 11 a.m. – the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. In many places in Europe, a moment of silence in memory of the millions of fallen soldiers is still observed.

 

November 11, 1972 - The U.S. turned over its military base at Long Binh to the South Vietnamese, symbolizing the end of direct American military participation in the Vietnam War.

 

November 17, 1869 - The Suez Canal was formally opened after more than 10 years of construction.

 

November 18, 1993 - South Africa adopted a new constitution after more than 300 years of white majority rule. The constitution provided basic civil rights to blacks and was approved by representatives of the ruling party, as well as members of 20 other political parties.

November 19, 1978 - The biggest mass suicide in history occurred as Reverend Jim Jones led over 900 followers to their deaths at Jonestown, Guyana. Members of his "Peoples Temple" religious cult were ordered to drink a cyanide-laced fruit drink. Those who refused were forcibly injected. Precipitating the tragedy a day earlier, California Congressman Leo J. Ryan, along with four associates and several reporters, had been shot to death during an ambush at a nearby airstrip. They were attempting to return home after investigating the cult's remote jungle location. Jones and his mistress killed themselves after watching his entire membership die. Only a few cult members managed to escape.

November 20, 1945 - The Nuremberg War Crime Trials began in which 24 former leaders of Nazi Germany were charged with conspiracy to wage wars of aggression, crimes against peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.

 

November 20, 1962 - The Cuban Missile Crisis concluded as President John F. Kennedy announced he had lifted the U.S. Naval blockade of Cuba stating, "the evidence to date indicates that all known offensive missile sites in Cuba have been dismantled."

November 21, 1783 - The first free balloon flight took place in Paris as Jean Francois Pilatre de Rozier and Marquis Francois Laurent d'Arlandes ascended in a Montgolfier hot air balloon. Their flight lasted about 25 minutes and carried them nearly six miles at a height of about 300 feet over Paris. Benjamin Franklin was one of the spectators.

November 21, 1920 - The IRA (Irish Republican Army) shot and killed 14 British soldiers in Dublin in what became known as "Bloody Sunday."

November 22, 1497 - Portuguese navigator Vasco Da Gama, leading a fleet of four ships, became the first to sail round the Cape of Good Hope, while searching for a sea route to India.

 

November 22, 1963 - At 12:30 p.m., on Elm Street in downtown Dallas, President John F. Kennedy's motorcade slowly approached a triple underpass. Shots rang out. The President was struck in the back, then in the head. He was rushed to Parkland Memorial Hospital where fifteen doctors tried to save him. At 1 p.m., John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 35th President of the United States, was pronounced dead. On board Air Force One, at 2:38 p.m., Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in as the 36th President.

 

November 24, 1859 - Charles Darwin's book On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection was first published, theorizing that all the living creatures descended from a common ancestor.

 

November 25, 1992 - The parliament in Czechoslovakia voted to divide the country into separate Czech and Slovak republics.

 

November 28, 1520 - Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan passed through the strait (of Magellan) located at the southern tip of South America, thus crossing from the Atlantic Ocean into the Pacific.

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