November 13


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.

1940: The animated musical film, Fantasia, by Walt Disney (1901-1966), was first released at New York’s Broadway Theatre.

1947: The Soviet Union completed development of the AK-47, the first assault rifle.

1982: The Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C.

2001: President George W. Bush (born 1946) signed an executive order allowing military tribunals against foreigners suspected of connections to terrorist acts, or planned acts on the United States, in the first such act since World War II.

November 14

1889: Inspired by Jules Verne’s fictional character Phileas Fogg in Around the World in 80 Days, pioneering female journalist Nellie Bly (real name Elizabeth Cochrane, 1864-1922) began an attempt to travel around the world in less than 80 days (she completed the trip in 72 days).

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.

1995: A budget standoff between majority Republicans and minority Democrats in Congress forced the federal government to temporarily close national parks and museums, and to run most government offices with greatly reduced staffs.



November 15

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

1939: President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945) laid the cornerstone of the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C.

1958: Actor Tyrone Power, 44, suffered a heart attack and died during the filming of a fencing scene in Solomon and Sheba in Madrid, Spain.

1969: Dave Thomas  (1932-2002) opened the first Wendy’s restaurant in Columbus, Ohio.

microprocessor, the 4004.


November 16

1800: First Lady Abigail Smith Adams (born 1744) arrived for the first time in the nation’s new capital, Washington, D.C.

1821: Missouri trader William Becknell (1787-1865) arrived in Santa Fe, New Mexico, over a route he established that became known as the Santa Fe Trail.

1959: The Sound of Music premiered on Broadway.

1973: President Richard Nixon (1913-1994) signed the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Authorization Act into law, authorizing the construction of the Alaska Pipeline.


November 17

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

1962: President John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) dedicated Washington Dulles International Airport, which serves the region around Washington D.C.

1968: Viewers of the Raiders-Jets football game in the eastern United States were denied the opportunity to watch the game’s exciting finish when NBC interrupted with a scheduled broadcast of Heidi, prompting changes to sports broadcasting in the United States.

1980: Vincent Pilkington, age unknown, of Cootehill, County Cavan, Republic of Ireland, set a world record when he  plucked a turkey in 1 minute 30 seconds.



November 18

1307: William Tell (circa 1280-1354) shot an apple off his son’s head with a crossbow and bolt in Altdorf, Austria.

1626: St. Peter’s Basilica was consecrated.

1886: 21st President Chester Alan Arthur (born 1829) died in New York City.


November 19


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

1863: President Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) delivered the Gettysburg Address at the dedication of the military cemetery ceremony at Gettysburg, Pa.

1916: Samuel Goldwyn (born Szmuel Gelbfisz, 1879-1974) and Edgar Selwyn (1875-1944) established Goldwyn Pictures in Hollywood, Calif.

1955: William F. Buckley (1925-2008) published the first edition of his ultra-conservative bimonthly magazine, National Review, in New York.

1959: Ford Motor Co. discontinued the unpopular Edsel.

1985: President Ronald Reagan (1911-2004) and Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev (born 1931) met for the first time, in Geneva, Switzerland.

1990: Pop duo Milli Vanilli were stripped of their Grammy Award because they did not sing at all on the Girl You Know It’s True album. Session musicians had provided all the vocals.