October 31


1864: Nevada became the 36th state.

1892: The Sherlock Holmes detective stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) were published for the first time in book form as a collection of short stories. They had been published only in magazines.

1926: Magician Harry Houdini (born 1874) died in Detroit of gangrene and peritonitis from a ruptured appendix, as a result of being suckerpunched on Oct. 22.

1941: Mount Rushmore was completed after 14 years of work by sculptor Gutzon Borglum (1867-1941) and his son Lincoln Borglum (1912-1986). The destroyer USS Reuben James became the first U.S. Navy vessel sunk by enemy action in World War II when it was torpedoed by a German U-boat near Iceland. Over 100 U.S. sailors died.

2011: The global population of humans reached seven billion. This day is now recognized by the United Nations as Seven Billion Day.


November 1

1611: William Shakespeare’s romantic comedy The Tempest was performed for the first time, at Whitehall Palace, London.

1800: John Adams (1735-1826) became the first president of the United States to live in the Executive Mansion (later renamed the White House).

1960: U.S. presidential candidate John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) announced his idea of the Peace Corps during a speech in Ann Arbor, Mich.

1968: The Motion Picture Association of America introduced its film rating system, with the ratings G, M, R, and X.

November 2

1889: North Dakota and South Dakota became the 39th and 40th states.

1932: The Producers News newspaper in Plentywood, Mont., ran a front-page headline that urged voters to “Vote Communist Tuesday Nov. 8.”

1947: The largest fixed-wing aircraft ever built, the “Spruce Goose,” took its first and only flight near Long Beach, Calif., with designer Howard Hughes (1905-1976) at the controls. (It remains on display at Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum in McMinnville, Ore.)

Ronald Reagan (1911-2004) signed a bill creating Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

November 3

1900: The first national automobile show was held in New York.

1911: Chevrolet officially entered the automobile market in competition with the Ford Model T.

1914: New York socialite Mary Phelps Jacob (1891-1970) received the first patent for a modern bra, which she called the “backless brassiere.”

1969: President Richard M. Nixon (1913-1994) coined the term “silent majority” in a national speech seeking widespread public support for the war in Vietnam. 1987: Born this day: San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, and actress Gemma Ward (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides).


November 4

1783: Symphony No. 36 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) was performed for the first time in Linz, Austria.

1922: British archaeologist Howard Carter (1874-1939) and his men found the entrance to the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun (1332 BC-1323 BC) in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt.

1924: Democrat Nellie Tayloe Ross (1876-1977) of Wyoming was elected the first female governor in the United States. (She remains the only female governor of Wyoming.)


November 5


1872: Suffragist Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906) defied the law and voted for the first time, in Rochester, N.Y. (She was later fined $100, which she never paid, and which authorities never tried to collect.)

1895: George B. Selden (1846-1922) was granted the first U.S. patent for an automobile, 16 years after filing the original patent application. The patent was for an engine powered by gasoline vapor in a four-wheeled vehicle.

1912: Thomas Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) was elected president of the United States, with Thomas Riley Marshall (1854-1925) as vice president.


November 6

1869: The first official intercollegiate football game took place in New Brunswick, N.J., when Rutgers College defeated Princeton University (then known as the College of New Jersey), 6-4.

1947: NBC’s Meet the Press had its TV debut.

Gulf War was extinguished.

1995: Art Modell (1925-2012) announced that he signed a deal that would relocate the Cleveland Browns to Baltimore to become the Baltimore Ravens, the first time since 1983 that the city had a football team (the Baltimore Colts).

2012: Tammy Baldwin (born 1962), a Democrat from Wisconsin, became the first openly gay politician elected to the United States Senate.