THIS WEEK IN HISTORY

November 11

 

1675: German mathematician and philospher Gottfried Leibniz (1646-1716) demonstrated integral calculus for the first time to find the area under the graph of y = ƒ(x).

1972: Born this day: actors Adam Beach (Walker, Texas Ranger, Joe Dirt), and Tyler Christopher (General Hospital).

1992: The General Synod of the Church of England voted to allow women to become priests.

2008: RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) set sail on her final voyage, to Dubai.

 

November 12

 

1439: Plymouth, England, became the first town incorporated by the English Parliament.

1602: Spanish explorer Sebastián Vizcaíno (1548-1624) landed at, and named, San Diego, California.

1892: William “Pudge” Heffelfinger (1867-1954) became the first professional American football player on record when he played his first paid game for the Allegheny Athletic Association.

1905: Voters in Norway chose monarchy over a republic.

1936: The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge opened to traffic.

1945: Born this day: best-selling science fiction author Michael Bishop; Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Tracy Kidder (The Soul of a New Machine); and singer-songwriter Neil Young (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young).

1948: An international war crimes tribunal in Tokyo sentenced seven Japanese military and government officials, including General Hideki Tojo (1884-1948), to death for their roles in World War II.

1956: The largest iceberg on record, 208 x 60 miles, was discovered near Antarctica by the USS Glacier.

1958: A team of rock climbers led by Warren “Batso” Harding (1924-2002) completed the first ascent of The Nose on El Capitan in Yosemite Valley, California.

November 13

1002: English king Æthelred II (968-1016) ordered the killing of all Danes living in England, known today as the St. Brice’s Day massacre. An unknown but significant number of people were slaughtered.

1833: Thousands of meteors fell during a shower that lasted several hours over the East Coast of the United States.

1841: James Braid (1795-1860) first saw a demonstration of ‘animal magnetism,’ which led to his study of the subject he eventually called hypnotism.

1851: The Denny Party landed at what would become Seattle, Wash.

1926: Born this day: Maryland Gov. Harry Roe Hughes (in office 1979-1987), and actor Don Gordon (Bullitt, Papillon, The Towering Inferno).

1927: The Holland Tunnel opened, becoming the first Hudson River vehicle tunnel linking to New York City to New Jersey.

1932: Born this day: Ku Klux Klan murder victim Willie Edwards (black man beaten to death in 1957 by men displaying Confederate flags to show their hatred of non-whites); and actor Richard Mulligan (Soap, The Golden Girls, Empty Nest, died 2000).

 

November 14

1533: Conquistadors from Spain led by Francisco Pizarro (1471-1541) arrived in Cajamarca, Inca Empire, precipitating the destruction of that empire and culture.

1770: Scottish traveler James Bruce (1730-1794) discovered what he believed to be the source of the Nile.

1840: Impressionist painter Claude Monet was born in France (died 1926).

1936: Born this day: blues harmonica player Carey Bell (Louisiana Red, died 2007); English singer Freddie Garrity (Freddie and the Dreamers, died 2006); and singer Cornell Gunter (The Coasters, died 1990).

1941: German forces engaged in Operation Barbarossa (the invasion of the Soviet Union) murdered 9,000 Jews in a single day, in the city of Slonim, Belarus.

1945: Born this day: film editor Paul Hirsch (The Empire Strikes Back, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Footloose, Carrie, Falling Down); and actress Sue Williams (Gidget, Fireball 500, died 1969).

1947: Born this day: journalist and author P. J. O’Rourke; and accordion player Buckwheat Zydeco.

1948: Born this day: Charles, Prince of Wales; and English author Michael Dobbs (House of Cards, To Play the King, The Final Cut).

1949: Born this day: actor Gary Grubbs (JFK, Davy Crockett: Rainbow in the Thunder); and rock musician James Young (Styx).

1951: Born this day: actress Sandahl Bergman (All That Jazz, Conan the Barbarian, Airplane II: The Sequel);

pop singer-songwriter Stephen Bishop (“Save it For a Rainy Day,” “On and On”); rock bas player Alec John Such (Bon Jovi).

1954: Born this day: Secretary of State (under President George W. Bush) Condoleeza Rice, and Greek new-age musician Yanni.

1965: The first major battle of the Vietnam War between American and North Vietnamese forces, the Battle of Ia Drang, began.

1967: American physicist Theodore Maiman (1927-2007) received a patent for the world’s first practical, working laser.

 

November 15

1630: German mathematician and astronomer Johannes Kepler (born 1571), famous for his laws of planetary motion, died in Regensburg, Bavaria (now Germany).

1791: The first U.S Catholic college, Georgetown University, opened its doors in what is now Washington, D.C.

1806: Lt. Zebulon Pike (1779-1813) saw a distant mountain peak while near the Colorado foothills of the Rocky Mountains. It was later named Pikes Peak.

1859: The first modern revival of the Olympic Games took place in Athens, Greece.

1887: Born this day: Pulitzer Prize winning poet and author Marianne Moore (died 1972), and renowned painter Georgia O’Keeffe (died 1986).

1891: Born this day: New York Gov. W. Averell Harriman (in office 1955-1958, died 1986), and Nazi German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel (took cyanide 1944).

1914: Harry Turner (age unknown) became the first football player to die from game-related injuries in the Ohio League, the predecessor to the National Football League.
1969: Dave Thomas  (1932-2002) opened the first Wendy’s restaurant in Columbus, Ohio.

1971: Intel released the world’s first commercial single-chip microprocessor, the 4004.

1972: Born this day: English actors Jessica Hynes (Never Mind the Buzzcocks,  World’s Most Dangerous Roads, Midsomer Murders, Doctor Who), and Jonny Lee Miller (Dexter, Doctor Who, Trainspotting, Keeping Up Appearances, Inspector Morse).

1979: A package from the Unabomber Ted Kaczynski (born 1942) began smoking in the cargo hold of a flight from Chicago to Washington, D.C., forcing the plane to make an emergency landing.

1982: Born this day: National Football League players D. J. Fitzpatrick (New York Jets, Buffalo Bills), Joe Kowalewski (New York Jets, Miami Dolphins), and Lofa Tatupu (Seattle Seahawks).

 

November 16

1904: English engineer John Ambrose Fleming (1849-1945) received a patent for the vacuum tube.

1907: Oklahoma was admitted to the Union as the 46th state.

1914: The Federal Reserve Bank of the United States officially opened.

1916: Born this day: actor Harold Baigent (Mad Max 2, died

1938: LSD was synthesized for the first time by Swiss chemist Dr. Albert Hofmann (1906-2008) at the Sandoz Laboratories in Basel, Switzerland.

1940: New York City’s “Mad Bomber” George Metesky (1903-1994) placed his first bomb at a Manhattan office building used by Consolidated Edison. (He terrorized New York City for 16 years in the 1940s and 1950s with explosives that he planted in theaters, terminals, libraries, and offices. After capture in 1957, he was tried and committed to Matteawan State Hospital for the Criminally Insane).

1950: Born this day: actor David Leisure (Empty Nest, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Diagnosis: Murder, Honey I Shrunk the Kids), and screenwriter John Swartzwelder (The Simpsons).

1952: Born this day: TV producer Peter Keefe (Voltron, The Mr. Bogus Show, died 2010), and Japanese video game designer Shigeru Miyamoto (created Mario and The Legend of Zelda).

 

November 17

1777: The Articles of Confederation were submitted to the states for ratification.

1800: The United States Congress held its first session in Washington, D.C.

1810: Sweden declared war on its ally, the United Kingdom, beginning the Anglo-Swedish War. (The war was settled on July 18, 1812, by the Treaty of Örebro, with no actual battles fought between the two nations.)

1820: U.S. Navy Captain Nathaniel Palmer (1799-1877) became the first American to see Antarctica. (The Palmer Peninsula was later named after him.)

1855: David Livingstone (1813-1873) became the first European to see Victoria Falls in what is now Zambia-Zimbabwe.

1869: The Suez Canal linking the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea was opened in Egypt.

1871: The National Rifle Association was granted it first charter, by the state of New York.

1896: The Western Pennsylvania Hockey League began play at Pittsburgh’s Schenley Park Casino. (It later became the first ice hockey league to openly trade and hire players.)

November 18

1493: Christopher Columbus (1450-1506) first sighted the island now known as Puerto Rico.

1626: St. Peter’s Basilica was consecrated.

1803: The Battle of Vertières, the last major battle of the Haitian Revolution, was fought, leading to the establishment of the Republic of Haiti, the first, and so far only, black republic in the Western Hemisphere.

1865: The short story “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” by Mark Twain (1835-1910) was published in the New York Saturday Press.

1883: American and Canadian railroads established five standard continental time zones, ending the confusion of thousands of local times.

1926: George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) refused to accept the money for his Nobel Prize, saying, “I can forgive Alfred Nobel for inventing dynamite, but only a fiend in human form could have invented the Nobel Prize.”

1942: Born this day: actresses Linda Evans (The Big Valley, Dynasty), and Susan Sullivan (Another World, Falcon Crest, Castle).

1947: Ballantyne’s Department Store in Christchurch, New Zealand, went up in flames, killing 41 people in the worst fire disaster in New Zealand history.