History: December 4, 2018


General George Washington tells his closest officers that he will resign as general.

He fully intended to quietly return to civilian life.

The resolute Washington reportedly chocked up and cried briefly while embracing and bidding goodbye to his closest confidants.

The official resignation was delivered to Congress on December 23. Then, he left for Mount Vernon.

He spent 6 relatively quiet years as a farmer. But in 1789, he was elected the first president of the United States.


The concept of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is first reported.

Psychiatrist WH Rivers wrote a report called “The Repression of War Experience.”

It included anecdotal evidence of British soldiers who had returned from combat during World War I. The young men suffered from anxiety and nightmares.

Rivers suggested that the emotional toll could often rival the physical toll that war took on soldiers.


Woodrow Wilson departs Washington on a trip in which he would become the first sitting president to visit Europe on state business.

He traveled by boat, for 9 days aboard the S. S. George Washington.

It docked in France, and Wilson went to Versailles. From there, he sat at the table to seek a formal peace treaty to end World War I.

For his efforts, he would be awarded the 1920 Peace Prize.


By a vote in the Senate, the United States becomes a participating member of the United Nations.

The organization was officially founded by China, France, the Soviet Union, Britain and the U.S. in October that year, following the end of World War II.

With approval from the Senate, the U.S. could constitutionally participate and contribute.

After the failure of the League of Nations after World War I, the country and the world was desperate for an organization that promised to mediate and end all future war conflicts. THANK GOD THAT WORKED.



Amanda Knox is convicted of murder by an Italian Court.

The American student studying abroad was implicated in the murder of her roommate, with her boyfriend as an accomplice.

After a series of appeals, Knox was eventually acquitted in 2011.

History: November 30, 2018


An agreement to terms of peace is forged between American and British delegates in Paris.

The document would eventually become the Treaty of Paris, and was signed officially in September the following year.

Among the negotiators for the Americans were John Jay, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin.

Above all else, the terms included a provision to recognize the United States as a sovereign nation, and that the British Crown relinquish any claim to rights or property therein.


The US Senate begins its third impeachment trial, this time for Supreme Court justice Samuel Chase.

Chase was an irritable Federalist, who detested Thomas Jefferson and his followers. Representative John Randolph led the crusade against Chase, accusing him of allowing juries in politically-charged cases to be stacked with his political allies, and being highly partisan in his rulings — in other words, legislating from the bench.

Chase was acquitted of all charges on March 1st the following year. Since then, the Supreme Court has been relatively immune to attacks by Congress when upset over rulings and judges’ opinions.


The first-ever soccer match between two countries is played.

It pitted Scotland and England against each other at the West of Scotland Cricket’s Club in Patrick, Scotland.

Though the Scots scored a goal in he first half, the refs ruled that the shot didn’t quite make it under the tape that was used to mark the upper crossbar — this was before metal frames, of course.

The match ended uneventfully tied 0-0.


As a sign of events to follow, the United States and Soviet Union engage in talks to reduce the Soviets’ weapons cache.

The meetings in particular were over intermediate-range nuclear forces in Europe. Though talks in the 70s reduced the number of long-range nuclear weapons for both nations, the Reds were still installing shorter-range missiles across their European territory.

President Reagan employed his zero-option, which would have had the US halt shipments of new weapons to western Europe if the Soviets drew down their existing stocks in Eastern Europe.

The talks ended unsuccessfully, but an agreement was eventually reached in December 1987, when Reagan and Gorbachev agreed to equitable terms.


Oil companies Exxon and Mobil sign papers to merge, joining the Number-1 and Number-2 sized oil giants in the world.

The deal took 11 months to get approval from the government, one of the longest in history. The $81 billion merger was approved only when the new company agreed to sell off more than 2400 gas stations across the country.

The companies had originally been one, back in the late 1800s, joined as Standard Oil Company. They were split apart in 1911 by a Supreme Court decision.

History: November 29, 2018


Polish locals rise up against Russian control.

Young Polish officers in Warsaw serving at the military academy revolted, and quickly got widespread public support.

The uprising spread to nearby Lithuania and Belarus. Though the fighters fiercely stood for independence, they were no match for the Imperial Russian Army, which squashed the rebellion less than a year later.


Inventor Thomas Edison first demonstrates his phonograph machine.

He showed it off to editors of the Scientific American magazine. The small machine was able to record sounds, and when a crank was turned, replay them.

The invention was spurred while Edison was trying to find a way of recording telegraph messages.

He got the patent for the invention the following February.


Explorer Richard Byrd and three others fly over the South Pole.

They’re the first to cross the geographical landmark by air. The roundtrip flight from the Ross Ice Shelf and back took 18 hours and 41 minutes.

Byrd dropped an American flag over the exact spot of the pole to commemorate the occasion.


The Constituent Assembly of Yugoslavia declares the country’s monarchy abolished, and replaces it with what they call a republic.

The new regime was in cahoots with the Soviet Union to proliferate communism across Europe and elsewhere from the start. The new leftist state even had the chutzpah to shoot down American planes flying over their airspace the following year.

The US and its allies quickly distrusted the new leader, Josip Tito. But with time their foreign relations softened.


The UN Security Council passes Resolution 678, which demands that Iraqi forces withdraw from Kuwait by January 15 the following year. Members states would have authority to use all necessary means to force Iraq out, should it not comply.

As the deadline approached, on January 14, France proposed that the UN propose another proposal to call on the Iraqis to get out of Kuwait, but actually mean it that time.

But that wouldn’t be the case. Aerial bombings began on January 17th, coordinated by Air Force Lieutenant General Chuck Horner. Norman Schwarzkopf would eventually take over the mission.

November 28, 2018


Portugese explorer Ferdinand Magellan reaches the Pacific Ocean. He becomes the first European to reach the Pacific through the Atlantic.

He and his crew set sail 14 months earlier from Spain, in search of a western sea route to Indonesia.

It took an astounding 38 days to get through what is now named the Strait of Magellan. The explorer was so overjoyed upon entering the Pacific that he wept for joy.

In 99 days he crossed the newfound ocean, whose waters were remarkably calm. He thus named it after the Latin word “pacificus” — which means “tranquil.”


William Shakespeare marries Anne Hathaway. He was 18, she was 26.

Their first daughter was born 6 months later. Oops.

Shakespeare of course would go on to write numerous plays and sonnets.


John Adams is appointed commissioner to France.

He replaced Silas Deane, who was accused of mismanaging French money sent to America. Though Deane held his innocence, he was forced to live in exile.

When Congress cleared his name in 1842, his heirs were paid $37,000 in reparations.


After four months of closure, the New York Stock Exchange reopens.

It shut down with the outbreak of World War I, after foreign investors cashed out to raise money for war.

Trading resumed on December 12th. That day the Dow Jones Industrial Average tanked 24% in one day — at the time it was its worst fall since its founding in 1896.


The Grand Ole Opry debuts, broadcasting from Nashville.

It started with a one-hour radio program callused “Barn Dance,” broadcast out of Chicago. As its popularity grew, so did the show: in the 1930s it expanded to four hours once a week, and in 1939 was syndicated nationally on NBC Radio.

Since then, country legends like Hank Williams, Ernest Tubb, and Minnie Pearl have all graced the Opry’s stage.


Serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer is killed while serving out his life sentence at Columbia Correctional Institution in Portage, WI.

He and another inmate were serving as janitors in the prison gym. Another prisoner attacked Dahmer with a broomstick handle, causing severe head trauma. Dahmer died on the way to the hospital.

History: November 27, 2018


Pope Urban II orders the first Crusade.

He called all Christians in Europe to go to war against all Muslims in the Holy Land.

Up to 100,000 people would join the march on Jerusalem. While some did so out of devotion to faith, many were looking for wealth and riches.


After two weeks, a freak storm in England finally dissipates, having unleashed wind and inches of rain for over two weeks.

Between 10,000 and 30,000 are estimated to have died.

Much of the death toll is contributed to the Navy ships that were lost. As many as 8,000 soldiers were killed when more than 300 ships were destroyed or sunk.

More than 5,000 homes were leveled.

Daniel Defoe would base his first book off of his experience watching this storm. It was called “The Storm.” He would later write “Robinson Crusoe.”


Confederate soldiers detained in Ohio break out.

Confederate General John Hunt Morgan was known for taking small group of cavalry teams into the North, and attacking strategic points. One mission ran awry, and he was captured outside Salineville, Ohio in July of that year.

After several months in jail, the men were able to dig their way out of prison. Morgan’s cell had a ventilation crawl space, which he was able to use to circumvent the thick prison walls.


San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and city Supervisor Harvey Milk are killed.

The murderer was Dan White, a former member of the board of supervisors for the city.

It is reported he was wildly unhappy with the Mayor’s decision not to reappoint him to the city board. After gunning down the Mayor, he went after Milk, who took his spot.

Even more controversially, Milk was one of the first and most notable openly gay politicians in the country.

White would employ what was called the “Twinkie Defense”: he claimed junk food and distress from his job loss triggered his desire to commit the crimes.

He was convicted of manslaughter but not murder.


Rock stars perform at a 13-year-old girl’s bar mitzvah celebration in Long Island.

Elizabeth Brooks is the daughter David H. Brooks, the CEO of a powerful military contracting company. Brooks spent over $10 million on the Jewish coming-of-age party.

On hand were 50 Cent, Aerosmith, Tom Petty, Don Henley, Stevie Nicks and Kenny G.

Less than two years later, Brooks was indicted for insider trading and tax evasion, as well as stealing money from his company — including the $10 million to pay for this excessive event.

History: November 26, 2018


Lewis Carroll sends a handwritten draft of a story called “Alice’s Adventures Under Ground” to Alice Liddell.

The author was a friend of the Liddell family, who often enjoyed his fantastical stories. Carroll, whose real name was Charles Dodgson, taught mathematics at Oxford. He suffered from a stammer, except when telling stories to children.

Another novelist friend of the Liddell’s, Henry Kingsley, noticed the manuscript during a visit, and encouraged them to have it published. Dodgson would three years later, under the name of Carroll.


A blizzard plasters New England, killing at least 450 people across New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.

Winds up to 40 miles an hour blew in from the ocean, meeting gales of equal strength coming from the West.

Trains were stopped and communication halted as telegraph lines were downed.

100 ships were blown in from Boston Harbor, and 40 were sunk.


The tomb of King Tut is entered for the first time in 3,000 years by 2 British archaeologists.

Inside a pyramid, the tomb was well preserved, and included a treasure trove of artifacts and jewelry.

By that time, many of the tombs had been raided, but these explorers took advantage of Tut’s little-known reign. The boy king reigned from the age of 8 to 18, around 1300 BC.

As the archeologists first entered the antechamber, they saw evidence that it had already been visited. But they pressed further, breaking through another door.

On the floor of the tomb, footprints were even visible of the men who laid King Tut to rest for the last time 3,000 years before.

It would take several years to fully excavate the chambers. Most of the collection is hosted at the Cairo Museum.


President Franklin Roosevelt signs the law that makes the fourth Thursday in November a federal holiday for Thanksgiving.

From colonial times until Abraham Lincoln’s presidency, it was an informal celebration. In 1789, President Washington asked Congress for a special declaration in order to give thanks nationally — for the Constitution.

Abraham Lincoln made the last Thursday of November the official day for giving in thanks in 1863.

Then, FDR butted in in 1939. That year, November had 5 Thursdays, and the president wanted to give stores more time during the Christmas shopping season. So he decreed that November 23, the second-to-last-Thursday, would be Thanksgiving that year.

Many ignored the change. Republicans made it a political issue, saying he was doing an injustice to the legacy of Lincoln.

By 1941, there was enough uproar, and FDR reinstated the fourth Thursday as Thanksgiving.


“Casablanca” premiers in New York City.

The film, starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman would become one of the most well-known in American film history.

In January the next year, it opened nationwide, and would be nominated for 8 Academy Awards, of which it won 3.


France becomes the third country to launch a satellite into space.

Astrix-1 launched onboard a Diamant rocket from Hammaguir, Algeria, which it occupied.

The desert launch base was used by the French to conduct nuclear, missile, and space launch tests.

History: November 9

A fire in Boston kills 14 and levels hundreds of buildings.

The blaze began in a warehouse basement, and quickly spread to nearby homes and small factories. Roofs were widely made of wood, which made the fires spread quickly, especially with strong winds that night.

Boston did have a rudimentary hydrant system, but it proved ineffective. With the help of firefighters from Maine and Connecticut, the fire was put out by the following morning.

In rebuilding the town, Boston set up a financial district that remains today in the areas that were burned to the ground.

President Teddy Roosevelt departs the US on board the battleship Louisiana, en route to Panama.

His visit came on the heels of his support for overthrow of the Colombian government, in part to aide the construction of the Panama Canal.

Roosevelt checked out the beginning phases of construction on the project. Afterward, he toured Puerto Rico.

German police forces push against the Nazi Party.

It had recently gained power and control with the Beer Hall Putsch a few days prior.

In the fighting between police and Nazis, Hitler’s elbow became dislocated, and Hermann Goering took a bullet to the groin.

Ultimately 16 Nazis and 3 German police were killed.

Hitler was captured and tried and convicted of treason. While in prison, he wrote Mein Kampf and honed his oratory skills. When he was released, he relaunched the Nazi Party — and the rest is morbid history.

Robert McNamara is named President of Ford.

He would only hold the post for a month, though, before taking a spot in JFK’s cabinet as Secretary of Defense.

McNamara kept the spot under Johnson, and afterward, became president of the World Bank.

The IRS nails Willie Nelson for the $16.7 million he owed in back taxes.

He was primarily in trouble for hiding money in an illegal tax shelter. The IRS negotiated a $6 million cash payment to forgive the whole bill — but Willie was broke.

Feds seized his house and put it up for auction. A die-hard Willie Nelson fan bought the ranch, which found its way back to the singer’s hands.

Part of the revenues from Nelson’s next album, The IRS Tapes, funded his debt bill. He paid it off entirely in 1993.

History: November 8

The Louvre opens in Paris.
The historic French museum began as an archive and private gallery of royal art. After the French Revolution, it opened to a wider audience.
Today it displays artifacts from more than 11,000 years of human history.

Gunslinger Doc Holliday dies in Glenwood Springs, California, from tuberculosis.
The friend to Wyatt Earp was only 36 years old at the time of his death. He was NOT in his prime.
He famously fought in the 1881 shootout at the OK Corral.

Vladimir Lenin takes control of the brand-new All-Russian Congress of Soviets, one day after the Bolsheviks took over the Russian government.
Lenin called for an end to fighting in World War I.
His Bolshevik party held a 60 percent majority in the legislature. They approved a formal ceasefire between the Soviets and the Central Powers, effective December 2nd.

Adolf Hitler escapes an assassination attempt following a speech commemorating the anniversary of his Beer Hall Putsch.
Hitler famously gave speeches to commemorate his first attempted power grab — 1939 was no different.
The bomb went off 12 minutes after Der Fuhrer left the hall. 7 died and 63 were wounded.
Though the Nazis publicly denounced British intelligence for making the attempt, inner circles suggested it came from homegrown German anti-Nazi rebels.

The United Nations enforces its final an most powerful wrist-slap on Iraqi despot Saddam Hussein.
He had just days to give up his weapons programs, or face military actions. The Security Council voted unanimously to support the resolution. A week later, Iraq complied, but inspectors found no evidence of WMD.
Since then, however, al Qaeda has carried out at least 100 chemical attacks on coalition forces in Iraq, using repurposed chemical warheads from what was once Saddam Hussein’s arsenal. That’s according to Chuck Pfarrer, in his book SEAL TARGET GERONIMO.

History: November 7

Benjamin Franklin’s son-in-law is handed the reins of the Post Office by Congress.
Franklin spent years developing an institutionalized communication system across the American colonies. In 1737 he was named Postmaster General in 1737.
He became the postmaster general of all colonies in 1753, but was fired in 1774 because he opened the correspondence of a British Royal governor.
Some of Franklin’s innovations included overnight postal routes between New York and Philadelphia and a system of charging based on rate and distance.
Franklin gave up the post when he was assigned an ambassadorship to France.

A cartoon by Thomas Nast in Harper’s Weekly depicts the Republican Party as a giant elephant. It’s considered the first use of the image to symbolize the Grand Old Party.
A fox was used to portray the Democratic Party. A different cartoon by Nast in which the Democratic Party was symbolized by a donkey would solidify that image — the ass — as a representation of the Left.
The red-and-blue map — red for the GOP, blue for the Democrats — was commonly adopted after the 2000 presidential election.

The first issue of left-leaning The New Republic is published.
The editorial board held strong stances on domestic and foreign government intervention. In 1917, the magazine encouraged America to enter World War I with the Allies.
After the Russian Revolution, TNR was largely supportive of Soviet policies, but moved to the mainstream with the advent of the Cold War.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt is elected to his fourth term as president.
He beat out Thomas Dewey, who was governor of New York — the office FDR held before running for President.
Franklin was a fifth cousin to turn-of-the-century president Teddy Roosevelt.
Three months into his final term, FDR died. After his death, Congress passed term limit legislation, which limited the amount of time a president could spend in office to two terms.

A bomb detonates inside the US Capitol, near the second floor of the Senate side.
The blast took off the door of Robert Byr’d office, and shattered the glass of the republican cloakroom. Damage estimates neared $250,000. No one was injured, and no structural damage was inflicted.
The alleged perpetrators were members of the Armed Resistance Unit, who were protesting American intervention in Granada and Lebanon.
Radical leftist Linda Evans was sentenced to 40 years for planning the attack. Bill Clinton commuted her sentence on his last day in office.

Americans go to the polls in what would become one of the closest elections in history.
George W. Bush eventually beat out Internet Inventor and Global Warming whistleblower Al Gore, though the former Texas governor lost the popular vote.
The victory came after the Supreme Court intervened to end vote recounts in Florida.

History: November 6


Jefferson Davis is elected president of the Confederate States of America.

Like the Union’s first commander-in-chief George Washington, Davis was unopposed.

He would be the Confederate States of America’s only president. His six year term was not quite completed when the CSA was dissolved in 1865.


President Roosevelt begins a trip to Panama and Puerto Rico.

The trip made him the first president to leave the continent on official state business while in office.

During the trip, he inspected the Panama Canal, which remained under construction. In an iconic picture, Roosevelt was photographed operating a large steam shovel.


Vladimir Lenin leads communist revolutionaries who topple Russia’s provisional government.

Lenin oversaw the first Marxist state in the world. He consolidated power under the banner of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

He died in 1924, and was succeeded by Stalin.


60 years ago today, Elvis Presley did his one and only commercial.

It was on the radio show “Louisiana Hayride” in 1954 for Southern Made Doughnuts, for which he recorded a jingle: “You can get ’em piping hot after four PM, you can get ’em piping hot. Southern Made Doughnuts hit the spot, you can get ’em piping hot after four PM’.”


The United Nations formally condemns apartheid through a resolution.

The document called for all partner countries to end any military and economic aide or support to South Africa, which sanctioned racial segregation against non-whites in the country.

While the white population was a minority in numbers, it nonetheless held control of power in the country.

A new constitution outlawing the injustice was implemented in 1991. Nelson Mandela became president in 1993, after spending 27 years in prison alongside other anti-apartheid leaders.


The Cleveland Browns announce they are moving to Baltimore.

Team owner Art Modell bought the team for $4 million in 1960. With a lackluster performance record and dwindling ticket sales, plus a stadium in disarray, Modell was looking for options.

The city of Cleveland offered $50 million from an excise tax on alcohol on cigarettes, but Modell declined.

Meanwhile, Baltimore offered a $200 million stadium, plus the promise of seat license fees that would earn the ball club lots of money.

Five years later, the Ravens would win the Super Bowl.

History: November 21


The whaling ship Essex is attacked by an 80-ton sperm whale off the coast of South America.

Whales provided materials for oil and their bones had many uses. The crew of the ship got into a tussle with the giant whale, who rammed the boat twice and managed to capsize it.

The whole crew made it into life boats, but only 5 of the 20 survived. They were eventually picked up 83 days later by other ships.

Stories of cannibalism were rampant. It would’ve been the only way to survive. It is legend that men drew straws to see who would be shot in order to be eaten.

The story inspired parts of Herman Melville’s novel “Moby Dick.”



A meddling Senate committee reports that American agents had engineered at least 5 assassination plots of foreign leaders.

The Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities linked the U.S. to a failed attempt on Fidel Castro’s life.  The bureaucrats found no information that an American president ever authorized an assassination.

President Ford decried the report, saying it undermined the country’s foreign policy initiatives.



“Rocky” premiers in New York City.

After it was released two weeks later across the country, it became a huge hit at the box office.

The boxing flick would take home 3 Oscars, including Best Picture.

Then-unknown Sylvester Stallone even wrote the screenplay.



A worldwide television audience of more than 350 million people watch the episode of Dallas that reveals who shot JR.

SPOILER ALERT: It was Kristin Shepard, his wife’s sister and his former mistress.

The CBS drama ran for 12 full seasons, beginning in 1978.

In the US alone, the episode drew in 83 million people. That’s 76 percent of all TV sets in the country at the time.

History: November 13


George Washington finishes his first tour of the new American states as president.

He visited New England, where he was greeted enthusiastically.

Washington wouldn’t visit the southern states for another 2 years.



Pudge Huffelfinger signs a deal to play football for the Allegheny Athletic Association for $500, making him the first pro football player.

It had previously been common for athletes to trade their playing time for services or swag. This was before organized teams and leagues, when athletic associations were formed and played informal match ups and seasons.

Pudge was later an insurance executive and Congressman for Minnesota.



The Voyager I spacecraft reaches Saturn.

The photographs sent back to Earth baffled scientists.

What was thought to be six rings were actually hundreds, composed of rocks and space debris.

Pioneer 11 had been the first spacecraft to rendezvous with Saturn, but it did not have the photographic capabilities of the Voyager probes.

Voyager I is presently the most distant man-made object in space, nearly 19 billion kilometers away from Earth.



The Vietnam War Memorial is dedicated.

The walls featured 57,939 names of those who died. They were commemorated chronologically, not in order of rank.

It is commonplace to make a sketching over the name of family members and loved ones who lost their lives.

History: November 20


New Jersey ratifies the Bill of Rights, the first state to do so.

The addendum to the Constitution grants a list of liberties the Founders did not incorporate into the original draft, but after consideration, were deemed essential to free society.

However, with New Jersey’s approval, they also rejected a measure that forbade Congress from voting itself a pay raise within its own term. That would not become law as the 27th Amendment until 1992.



The whaling ship Essex is attacked by an 80-ton sperm whale off the coast of South America.

Whales provided materials for oil and their bones had many uses. The crew of the ship got into a tussle with the giant whale, who rammed the boat twice and managed to capsize it.

The whole crew made it into life boats, but only 5 of the 20 survived. They were eventually picked up 83 days later by other ships.

Stories of cannibalism were rampant. It would’ve been the only way to survive. It is legend that men drew straws to see who would be shot in order to be eaten.

The story inspired parts of Herman Melville’s novel “Moby Dick.”



Garrett Morgan receives a patent for the design of the modern traffic signal.

While the first stop-and-go signs were implemented in London in the mid-1800s, Morgan’s design incorporated the “slow down” signal, making traffic crossings and intersections a little safer.

Morgan’s story is truly heroic: His parents had been slaves, and he moved to Ohio for work when he was just 14. He developed a knack for working with his hands, and found work repairing sewing machines.

At the age of 30 he opened his own store, and in 1909 added garment alterations to his services.

Having become rather wealthy, he started his own newspaper, the Cleveland Call, in 1920. Given his wealth, he was able to own a car, and was acutely aware of the needs for improved traffic control in a a time when horses, pedestrians, cars, and bikes packed streets.

His design sold to General Electric for $40,000.



Princess Elizabeth marries Philip Mountbatten.

The ostentatious wedding at Westminster Abbey shook up the royal dynamic of Europe. Philip renounced his titles as Prince of Greece and Denmark to marry Elizabeth.

She was 21, he was 26. With his marriage to the heir to the British throne, he was made duke of Edinburgh.

They had four kids: Charles, Anne, Andrew, and Edward.



Recording producer Phil Spector is indicted for killing actress Lana Clarkson.

Spector worked with the likes of John Lennon, Ike and Tina Turner, and the Ramones.

The trial didn’t begin until 2007. It lasted three and a half months.

The jury was deadlocked, and the judge declared a mistrial.

After a retrial, Spector was convicted of second-degree murder.

He is serving 19-years-to-life. He’ll be eligible for parole when he’s 88 years old.

History: November 12


General Sherman begins his March to the Sea with the destruction of Atlanta.

Union troops had captured the stronghold in September, and Sherman spent time fortifying his position and well-supplying his troops.

When Sherman was ready to push through Georgia, he ordered the city demolished. He didn’t want Confederates to have the chance to recover anything valuable.

When they left on November 15, all that remained was smokey ruins.



Ellis Island shuts down as the processing center for immigrants coming into America.

Beginning in 1892, it was designated the first federal immigration processing center. Prior to then, states handled immigrants individually. Go figure.

Ellis Island was reserved for the poorest passengers, who were inspected to ensure they weren’t carrying some new strain of infectious disease and weren’t on the lam from their home country.

Only about 2 out of 100 immigrants were turned away.

1907 was the busiest year, when 1 million immigrants were processed. That’s about 2,800 a day.

Today, it’s a museum.



President Carter orders an end to any oil imports from Iran.

The move followed the raid on the US Embassy in Tehran on November 4, where 66 Americans remained captive.

Oil prices skyrocketed as supply plummeted.

Carter was handily defeated the following November.



Yuri Andropov becomes General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

He succeeded Lenoid Brezhnev.

Andropov looked to tackle internal social issues, particularly combatting alcoholism, which was running rampant among the Soviet populace.

He also dealt with pressure from President Reagan, who was aggressively anti-communist.

Andropov’s reign was short-lived. He died in February 1984.

History: November 19


President Lincoln dedicates the military cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

Just shy of 300 words, the famous address memorialized those who had died in battle, and why the Union must fight to preserve itself.

Four months earlier, more than 45,000 were killed, injured, captured or missing following three days of bloody fighting. With the subsequent Union victory, Lee was forced to retreat, and never again made a significant punch into Union territory.

On the day of the speech, the crowd that had gathered first heard a two hour speech from Edward Everett, a politician and diplomat.

Only one photo is known to exist of Lincoln at the the dedication. Since his speech was so short, photographers didn’t have ample time to set up.



President Reagan meets with Mikhail Gorbachev in Geneva, Switzerland.

The encounter marked their first summit as leaders, and the first between the American and Soviet leader in more than 8 years.

While no significant policy emerged from the discussion, the men quickly struck up a personal friendship that endured as the Soviet Union eventually collapsed.



The longest bridge to span ice-covered water in the world is completed, in Canada.

The Confederation Bridge spans just over 8 miles, supported by piers 250 meteres apart. It would open to the public the following May, after extensive testing and maintenance.

The bridge is not a straight shot across water. Instead it is curved, helping drivers to see traffic ahead of them.



Kenneth Starr first presents his case against Bill Clinton to the House Judiciary Committee.

The presentation Was the beginning of the end of a $45 million investigation into accusations that the President lied about real estate investments, and expanded into his affair in the White House.

Bill Clinton was eventually acquitted by the Senate.



Santa Barbara County police issue an arrest warrant for Michael Jackson.

It followed an accusation of child molestation against the pop icon, who was increasingly becoming a public freakshow in tabloids and the blabbersphere. His image wasn’t helped by a documentary by Martin Bashir, whose crew had unprecedented and tremendous access to Jackson and his family. Jackson’s admission on camera to sleeping in bed with other children triggered the investigation into his illicit behavior.

In early 2005 his case went to trial, and Jackson was subsequently acquitted. Following the trial, Jackson and his family moved to Bahrain. He returned in 2006.

History: November 15


The world’s first stock ticker debuts in New York City.

The machine printed stock quotes on streams of paper, configured through a telegraph machine.

The same paper would be used for ticker-tape parades. The term “ticker” got its name from the sound of the paper going through the machine’s wheel.



Brazilians depose their last emperor, Pedro II.

67 years after establishing the monarchy, the people of the South American country never took to liking imperial rule, though the last leader was generally successful and benevolent.

Pedro II oversaw a stable country, but alienated military officials and middle class city dwellers.

Pedro survived the military coup — he died in exile in Europe 2 years later.



Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev belligerently challenges the US to a “shooting match” with missiles.

Khrushchev made the claim to an American reporter, making the point that the USSR’s missile capabilities were far superior to the United States’.

He also boasted about the recent success of Sputnik, fueling fears that America was falling behind in both the arms and the space races.

The “missile gap” would become a key debate point in the 1960 presidential campaign.



The National Assembly of Bulgaria reestablishes the country as a free state.

The body changed the name from the People’s Republic of Bulgaria to the Republic of Bulgaria.

It also voted to undo the Bulgarian Communist Party’s logo from the country’s flag.



A bomb makes its way onto the cargo hold of a passenger flight from Chicago to Washington DC.

It began smoking halfway through the flight, causing the pilot to land early. Some passengers had to be treated of smoke inhalation. Were it not for a faulty timing mechanism, it would have destroyed the whole plane.



An attack on a University of Michigan professor almost kills 2.

The bomb was sent to Dr. James Mcconnell’s house, disguised as a pile of papers. McConnell’s research assistant opened the package, when it exploded. McConnell suffered hearing loss and the assistant received shrapnel wounds.

Ted Kaczynski is presently serving life in prison with no chance of parole.

History: November 16


Conquistador Francisco Pizarro captures Incan emperor Atahualpa.

Pizarro tricked the native king into attending what was supposed to be a peaceful feast held in his honor.

When Atahualpa arrived with his escort of Incans, the Spaniards open fire on them, killing them all.

Pizarro eventually forced Atahualpa to convert to Christianity. Then he killed them.



The ragtags trying to run the budding American government establish the Articles of Confederation.

It took 16 months to finalize the document. It was designed to give power to the states individually, with a small federal government.

Much of that changed with the passage of the US Constitution 11 years later.



Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky is sentenced to death for publicly decrying the government.

He was a part of the Petrashevsky Circle, a group of intellectual radicals who opposed the Tsar.

Just before he was scheduled to be shot by firing squad, someone in the Russian monarchy changed their mind; he was instead sentenced to spend 4 years working in a Siberian labor camp. This was as good as a death sentence, though some survived.

He would later write his most notable work, The Brothers Karamazov, in 1880.



The US starts herding German scientists across the Atlantic, to get their help developing rocket technology.

Most of the recruits worked for the Nazis, though not all willingly.

The US was eager to get its hands on the technology that powered the V-1 and V-2 German rockets.

In order to avoid public outcry for getting their help, the military said they were simply volunteers coming to work after the war for small stipends. Officially, the scientists were in American “protective custody.”



A small electric car breaks the world record for fastest automobile, a title held for 10 years.

The device was called the Torpedo Racer, and it was a glorified platform on bike wheels.

It hit speeds of 57 miles per hour.



To wild fanfare and box office glory, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone opens in theaters stateside.

Christopher Columbus was the director, who followed suit for the second movie, but quit after that.

The franchise of course spans 7 books, which turned into 8 movies, and made Rowling a kajillionaire.

The films have become the most successful in history, selling more in ticket sales than Star Wars. But with Episode 7 in the works, who knows?

History: November 14


Herman Melville’s novel Moby Dick is published.

It follows the whaling ship Pequod, and its captain, Ahab, in pursuit of a giant white whale.

The first words are among the most famous in American literature: “Call me Ishmael.”

At first the book didn’t sell very well, which disappointed Melville, who had written several successful novels. After his death, in the early 1920s, Moby Dick resurfaced, and became the must-read it is today.



Britain amends its speed limit for horseless carriages.

Some 30 motorists had taken to the streets of London, and some were causing trouble. Parliament had recently repealed the “Red Flag Act.” This was a bizarre law that required cars to be accompanied by someone walking alongside it, holding a red flag to alert pedestrians and horses to its presence. The Red Flag Act limited speeds to 4 miles per hour.

The new law increased the speed limit to 14 miles per hour.



Eugene Ely becomes the first pilot to get a plane airborne from a naval vessel.

With 83 feet of runway sloped five degrees, Ely managed to get his plane airborne off the bow of the scout cruiser Birmingham.

Ely was also the first man to land a plan on a ship, a feat he achieved the following year.



The British Broadcasting Company begins its daily radio news updates.

It featured a 6pm nightly newscast, originating in London.

A broadcast license fee cost 10 shillings at the time — that’s about $30 today. The BBC was looking to cheaply spread its programming and build an extensive network.



The second manned mission to the moon blasts off from Cape Canaveral.

On board are Charles Conrad Jr, Richard F Gordon Jr, and Alan Bean. President Nixon was on hand to witness the launch.

On liftoff, a bolt of lightning shocked the rocket, killing the power. Miraculously, the ascent continued and power was eventually restored.

The third and fourth men on the moon conducted more tests, and looked into the crash site of the Surveyor 3 probe, which impacted the moon in 1967.



A plane carrying the Marshall University football team crashes over West Virginia, killing more than 60 players, doctors, and coaches.

The team had lost their game earlier that day.

Huntington, North Carolina was the home of the university, and it uncharacteristically shut down in the days after the crash.

The next season, a new coach started to build a new team from scratch — and it managed to win its first home game since the crash.

History: November 5

President Abraham Lincoln removed one of his top generals from command.
George McClellan was commanding the Army of the Potomac. Though he was an adept and capable leader, he was often paranoid and unaggressive in the field. As experienced as he was, he was no match for Robert E. Lee.
Two years later, McClellan challenged Lincoln for the presidency. He won the Democratic nomination, but lost handily in the general.

George W. Bush marries Laura Welch in Texas.
He would of course spend time as an oil man and GM of the Texas Rangers before becoming president in 2000.

George Foreman becomes the oldest heavyweight champ on record.
At 45 years old, Foreman squared off with Michael Moorer in Las Vegas. His opponent was only 26.
12,000 came out for the fight, where Foreman knocked out Moorer in the 10th round.
Foreman’s return to fighting was to pay his bills, having squandered the millions he earned earlier in his career.
He retired in 1997. Since then he’s made money shilling his electoral grill and pitching other products on TV.

The Writers Guild of America begins its strike, stalling TV shows mid-season.
By some estimates, the organized labor strike cost $3 billion in lost advertising sales and other economic opportunities in Los Angeles.
At play was the stake writers would get from DVD sales and streaming opportunities, which allowed for increased exposure of their shows after their initial run.
An agreement was struck February the following year.

Major Nidal Hasan opens fire on other soldiers and civilians at Fort Hood in Texas.
13 were killed and 32 wounded.
Hasan himself was an Army psychiatrist. He was reportedly upset over being deployed to Afghanistan later that month, and feared having to kill other Muslims.

History: November 2

North and South Dakota become the 39th and 40th states admitted to the union.
The Dakotas became populated by Americans after railroads were laid and transportation of goods became easier and cheaper, in the late 19th century.
The Enabling Act of 1889 built the framework to admit these states, as well as Montana and Washington. Following Benjamin Harrison’s election, he officially admitted North and South Dakota to the Union.
Since then, there’s been animosity over which was was actually admitted first. President Harrison wanted the official signed documents making them states pulled at random. No one knows which was officially first — but since N comes before S alphabetically, North Dakota usually gets credit for being Number 39.

Howard Hughes’ “Spruce Goose” takes flight.
It was the largest aircraft ever built. Hughes designed the project, and was at the helm for the maiden flight.
It had been commissioned in 1941, at the outset of America’s entrance into World War II. $23 million and 5 years later, it was finished, after fighting ended.

President Truman holds the presidency, after defeating Thomas Dewey.
Truman won by just more than two million votes.
It was a squeaker election, but many had thought the win was a lock for Dewey. The Chicago Tribune infamously pulled the trigger on the wrong headline before the results were in: Dewey Defeats Truman.

Charles Van Doren admits to Congress that the game show “Twenty One” was rigged, and that he had been given the questions and their answers before appearing on the show.
Twenty One celebrated great ratings and regular captive audiences, but it turned out the progression of contestants through the ranks was entirely rigged.
Van Doren would go on to be a well-published academic and writer, who actively edited the Encyclopedia Britannica.

The first short-term residents of the International Space Station enter the orbiting capsule.
One American and two Russians began the four-month mission. They were running on limited power and living out of only two rooms. In December, Shuttle Endeavor would arrive carrying full solar panels, in order to allow expansion and full power.

History: November 1, 2018

The public is able to view the ceiling of the Sistene Chapel in Rome for the first time.

The work is heralded as among the master Michaelangelo’s finest.

The most famous of the nine ceiling panels depicting biblical stories is “The Creation of Adam,” which shows God giving the spark of life to Adam.

British Parliament approves the Stamp Act, which forced American colonists to use special paper for all printing purposes. It was designed to raise money for the British Army serving in America.

Organizations like the Sons of Liberty sprang up in reaction to the measure.

The outcry was loud enough that Parliament did repeal the Stamp Act the following March; however, they also passed the Declaratory Acts, which asserted Parliament’s legislative supremacy over the colonies.

Of course, the back-and-forth culminated in the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War in 1775.

John Adams moves into the President’s House in Washington, D.C.

Only a few months of his presidency remained, which was fortunate: there remained much work to be done to complete the house.

The remaining winter months were indeed cold and uncomfortable. Abigail Adams insisted that fires be lit in every room to warm the place. She had to hang her laundry indoors, in what is today the East Room.

Two lame assassins botch an even lamer assassination attempt on president Truman.

The commander in chief and his family had been living in Blair House, across the street from the White House, which was undergoing renovations.

The two assassins, Grisello Torresola and Oscar Collazo ran up to the front door and stated shooting, willy nilly.

They were quickly subdued by poise officers and secret service, one of whom died in the fight. Torresola was also killed.

Collazo later admitted that their plan was ill-conceived. They were even unsure whether the president was home at 2 pm that afternoon, the time of the attack.

Truman kept his schedule that day. His only remarks: “A president has to expect these things.”

The world’s first thermonuclear bomb is detonated over Eniwetok atoll in the Pacific Ocean.

The blast came 7 years after the explosion of of the atomic bombs over Japan. The Soviets caught up in 1949 with their own atom bomb. In the meantime, this gave the United States the most powerful weapon in the world. It was 1,000 times more destructive than other atomic bombs.

The Soviets caught up the following year, with the detonation of their own hydrogen weapon.

With the passage of the Maastricht Treaty, the European Union becomes a real institution.

Named for the town in the Netherlands where negotiations over formation of the EU took place, the Maastricht Treaty called for a centralized European parliament, a central European bank, and universal foreign policy across the member nations.

It was also the first step for the foundation of the Euro currency.

History: October 31, 2018

Martin Luther nails a piece of paper with his 95 theses written on them to the front door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany.

The document outlined Luther’s contempt for the corruption in the Catholic Church. More than anything, he decried “indulgences” — by which Catholics could pay the church to forgive their sins faster.

While the Church tried to silence Luther, they failed. He then embarked on translating the Bible to German, which took 10 years.

In his first public speech since receiving the Declaration of Independence, King George III admits that the war is not going well.

He said that even though the Brits had won a few key victories, the resolve of the colonists to maintain independence was strong. Worse, there would be need for more fighting.

It was largely assumed that the rebellion in the colonies in the New World would be short-lived, especially in the context of a free, non-monarchical society that was supposed to emerge from it.

The first print of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes is printed.

It was the first collection of Detective Sherlock Holmes stories; previously they had only appeared in magazines, since 1887.

The author, Arthur Conan Doyle, was knighted in 1902, not for his work as an author, but for his field work as a doctor.

The first US Headquarters for Toyota opens, in Hollywood.

The building itself was formerly a Rambler dealership.

Toyota was leveraging their cheap Crown sedans against other domestically-produced cars.

By 1975, Toyota became the best-selling import in the US.

Nikita Khrushchev orders that Joseph Stalin’s embalmed corpse be taken from the special mosoleum next to Vladimir Lenin.

The move came as Khrushchev liberalized the communist society, and sought to get rid of its more despotic history.

Lenin remains on display.

A Soyuz spacecraft carries the first long-term crew to the International Space Station.

On board are 2 russians and an American, William Shepherd. Under designation Expedition 1, the crew stayed on board until March 2001, when they returned to Earth on an American Space Shuttle.

History: October 30, 2018

The Continental Congress begins laying the groundwork to form the American Navy.
Seven men were appointed to acquire and staff a fleet of ships that would be used to fight the British in the sea.
The committee included John Adams and Silas Deane, among other revolutionaries.
By the time fighting began in earnest, there would be 40 armed ships.
This fighting force was disbanded following the end of the American Revolution. It was formally reestablished in April 1798.

Oakland, California becomes one of the first large cities to outlaw major drugs.
Opium, morphine, and cocaine would only be available with a prescription.
Ironically, Oakland was one of the cities in recent history that has been the home to the debate over legalizing marijuana.

The “War of the Worlds” radio broadcast spooks Americans across the country.
The performance dramatized the broadcast of a martian invasion of Earth. Orson Welles helmed the adaptation of the science fiction novel by H.G. Wells. Orson had found fame as a radio character actor, and was well-known.
Despite his notoriety and repeated announcements that the ensuing broadcast was indeed fiction, an uproar followed.
By some estimates, a million people actually believed Earth was being taken over by aliens.
Highways were clogged and panic erupted.
Soon news of the hysteria reached the studio, and Welles broke character to remind everyone they were performing theater.
Welles thought he was through — but three years later he directed, wrote, produced and starred in Citizen Kane, one of the greatest movies of American cinema ever.

Muhammad Ali wins his second heavyweight championship.
The “Rumble in the Jungle” pitted Ali against George Foreman.
The fight took place in Zaire. It did well for Zaire’s local economy — the country’s president, Mobutuu Sese Seko personally paid each fighter $5 million just to make the trip.
Ali knocked down Foreman in the fifth round.
With the win, he became the second dethroned champion to win the title again.

The citizens of Quebec narrowly reject a legislative effort to secede from Canada.
Some of the largely French-speaking populace was opposed to the encroaching British and American influences across the rest of Canada. They feared they’d lose their relative autonomy and unique culture.

History: October 29, 2018

Sir Walter Raleigh is executed in London.

Raleigh was a prominent explorer who headed three trips to the New World. He helped set up the the lost Roanoke colony in 1587, which was also the first British settlement in America.

While he was in the good graces of the Royal Court, he was later ostracized for having a secret marriage to one of the queen’s handmaidens. It’s likely she was just ticked he didn’t want to sleep with her.

After Elizabeth’s death, King James I had him imprisoned and sentenced to death because he didn’t like him. Raleigh was freed to prospect for gold in South America, but he returned empty-handed.

So he was beheaded.

John Hancock resigns as President of the Continental Congress.

Hancock may be best known in Pop Culture as being the first to sign the Declaration of Independence in an oversized scrawl. He was also the wealthiest man in New England for some time.

He later would serve as the first governor of Massachusetts and shaped its first constitution in 1780.

Leon Czolgosz (CHALL-gots) is executed for assassinating President McKinley.

McKinley was shot on September 6 that year at the Pan-American Exhibition in Buffalo.

The president would die 8 days later, dying from gangrene in the internal wound.

Czolgosz was detained and swiftly prosecuted. It is reported that Thomas Edison filmed the execution.

The Galileo space probe becomes the closest manmade object to inspect an asteroid.

It came within a thousand miles of Gaspra, passing at about 5 miles a second. Gaspra orbits around the sun between Mars and Jupiter.

John Glenn becomes the oldest astronaut to travel to space.

He was the first American to orbit the Earth in 1962. Following his career at NASA, he was encouraged by Bobby Kennedy to run against the incumbent Senator in Ohio.

Following an accident in 1964, Glenn withdrew from the Senate campaign, and was unable to continue at NASA. He was actually with Bobby Kennedy in 1968 when Bobby was assassinated.

Two years later, Glenn won the Ohio Senate seat, where he continued to serve until 1999.

His trip into space in 1998 also made him the only sitting Senator to travel to space.

History: October 26

New York Governor DeWitt Clinton leads the ceremony to open the Erie Canal.

The project linked the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean, by way of the Hudson River. Once open, commerce and settlers moved into Western New York and the Midwest, including Wisconin.

Shipping costs were reduced 90 percent, and traveled twice as fast. Barges carrying agricultural products flooded Eastward, while manufactured goods produced on the coast poured into new territories.

A bloody shootout at the OK Corral in Tombstone, Arizona leaves 3 dead and 3 wounded.

The fight culminated weeks of tension between Wyatt Earp and the Clanton-McLaury gang. It took only 30 seconds, and an estimated 30 rounds were fired.

Virgil Earp shot Billy Clanton at point-blank, right in the chest. Doc Holliday shot dead Tom McLaury, and Wyatt Earp put a round through Frank McLaury’s stomach.

Wyatt’s brothers Virgial and Morgan were wounded, as was Doc Holliday.

Ike Clanton and Billy Claiborne ran away … like a couple of curs.

The First World War escalates with Brazil’s entry into the conflict.

Brazilian merchants had been susceptible to Germany’s unrestricted submarine warfare; at least four commercial barges had been sunk by U-Boats that year.

There were a few Brazilian troops involved in the war – which is to say, about 50. Troops were limited to a medical team and pilots.

Muhammad Reza Pahlavi declares himself Shah of Iran.

Coincidentally, it was his 48th birthday.

Though the Shah led many efforts to modernize the Islamic republic, he was eventually chased out of the country by revolutionaries backed by the US and UK. The Shah took asylum in Egypt.

George W Bush signs the PATRIOT Act into law.

Within 3 years of its passage, it helped the federal government file charges against 310 people for suspected terrorist activity, of which 179 were convicted or plead guilty.