Home Today's History Lesson TODAY’S HISTORY LESSON: NOV 12



1954 – Ellis Island, the immigration station in New York Harbor, closed after processing more than 20 million immigrants since 1892. 

0764 – Tibetan troops occupy Chang’an, the capital of the Chinese Tang Dynasty, for fifteen days

1028 – Future Byzantine empress Zoe marries Romanus Argyrus according to the wishes of the dying Constantine VIII.

1035 – King Canute dies at Shaftesbury at age 39 His four sons are unable to control England, and Norway breaks away from Denmark

1468 – Duke of Burgundy Charles the Bold occupies and plunders Liège

1555 – The English Parliament re-establishes Catholicism

1660 – John Bunyan an English Baptist minister is jailed for preaching without a licence

1723 – Ambrose Godfrey patents a gunpowder fueled fire extinguisher system in England

1793 – Jean Sylvain Bailly, the first Mayor of Paris, is guillotined

1799 – Andrew Ellicott Douglass witnesses the Leonids meteor shower from a ship off the Florida Keys.

1847 – Sir James Young Simpson, a British physician, is the first to use chloroform as an anaesthetic.

1859 – The first flying trapeze act was performed by Jules Leotard at Cirque Napoleon in Paris, France. He was also the designer of the garment that is named after him.

1867 – Mt. Vesuvius erupts.

1892 – William “Pudge” Heffelfinger became the first professional football player when he was paid a $500 bonus for helping the Allegheny Athletic Association beat the Pittsburgh Athletic Club.

1893 – The treaty of the Durand Line is signed between present day Pakistan and Afghanistan the Durand Line has gained international recognition as an international border between the two sister nations.

1905 – (November 12 & November 13) Norway holds a referendum in favor of monarchy over republic.

1912 – The frozen bodies of Robert Scott and his men are found on the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica.

1918 – Austria and Czechoslovakia were declared independent republics.

1920 – Judge Keneshaw Mountain Landis was elected the first commissioner of the American and National Leagues.

1921 – Representatives of nine nations gathered for the start of the Washington Conference for Limitation of Armaments.

1926 – The first recorded aerial bombing on US soil took place in Williamson County, Illinois, during a feud between rival liquor gangs, the Sheltons and the Birgers

1927 – Joseph Stalin became the undisputed ruler of the Soviet Union. Leon Trotsky was expelled from the Communist Party leading to Stalin coming to power.

1933 – 1st NFL football game on a Sunday at Philadelphia’s Baker Bowl – sporting events on Sunday had been illegal on Sundays; Eagles tie Chicago Bears, 3-3

1935 – Egas Moniz performs the first modern brain surgery on the frontal lobes to treat mental disorders, at Santa Marta Hospital in Lisbon, Portugal

1938 – Hermann Gring announces Nazi Germany plans to make Madagascar the “Jewish homeland”, an idea that actually was first considered by 19th century journalist Theodor Herzl.

1939 – Jews of Lodz Poland are ordered to wear yellow armbands

1940 – Walt Disney released “Fantasia.”

1942 – During World War II, naval battle of Guadalcanal began between Japanese and American forces. The Americans won a major victory.

1944 – During World War II, the German battleship “Tirpitz” was sunk off the coast of Norway

1946 – Walt Disney’s “Song Of The South” released

1948 – The war crimes tribunal sentenced Japanese Premier Hideki Tojo and six other World War II Japanese leaders to death.

1953 – The National Football League (NFL) policy of blacking out home games was upheld by Judge Allan K. Grim of the U.S. District Court in Philadelphia.

1954 – Ellis Island, the immigration station in New York Harbor, closed after processing more than 20 million immigrants since 1892.  https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/ellis-island-closes

1956 – Largest observed iceberg, 208 by 60 miles, first sighted

1960 – Military coup against Republic of Vietnamese President Ngô Đình Diệm fails

1966 – 18-year-old US High schooler Robert Smith kills 5 people at Arizona’s Rose-Mar Beauty College for fame

1968 – US Supreme Court: Epperson v. Arkansas, court declares unconstitutional Arkansas law banning teaching evolution in public schools

1969 – Vietnam War: My Lai Massacre Independent investigative journalist Seymour Hersh breaks the My Lai story.

1970 – The Oregon Highway Division attempts to destroy a rotting beached Sperm whale with explosives, leading to the now infamous exploding whale incident

1971 – Vietnam War: As part of Vietnamization, US President Richard M. Nixon sets February 1, 1972 as the deadline for the removal of another 45,000 American troops from Vietnam

1974 – A salmon is discovered in the River Thames, England, for the first time since 1833

1975 – U.S. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas retired because of failing health, ending a record 36½-year term.

1979 – U.S. President Carter ordered a halt to all oil imports from Iran in response to 63 Americans being taken hostage at the U.S. embassy in Tehran, Iran on November 4.

1980 – The U.S. space probe Voyager I came within 77,000 miles of Saturn while transmitting data back to Earth.

1982 – Yuri V. Andropov was elected to succeed the late Leonid I. Brezhnev as general secretary of the Soviet Communist Party’s Central Committee.

1985 – In Norfolk, VA, Arthur James Walker was sentenced to life in prison for his role in a spy ring run by his brother, John A. Walker Jr.

1987 – The American Medical Association issued a policy statement that said it was unethical for a doctor to refuse to treat someone solely because that person had AIDS or was HIV-positive.

1990 – Japanese Emperor Akihito formally assumed the Chrysanthemum Throne.

1991 – Dili massacre | Several pro-independence protesters were shot at the Santa Cruz cemetery in Dili, East Timor by Indonesian soldiers. about 250 people were killed in this event, which is also known as the Dili massacre or the Santa Cruz massacare

1995 – The space shuttle Atlantis blasted off on a mission to dock with the Russian space station Mir.

1997 – Four Americans and their Pakistani driver were shot to death in Karachi, Pakistan. The Americans were oil company employees.

1998 – Daimler-Benz completed a merger with Chrysler to form Daimler-Chrysler AG.

2001 – It was reported that the Northern Alliance had taken the Kabul, Afghanistan, from the ruling Taliban. The Norther Alliance at this point was reported to have control over most of the northern areas of Afghanistan.

2002 – Stan Lee filed a lawsuit against Marvel Entertainment Inc. that claimed the company had cheated him out of millions of dollars in movie profits related to the 2002 movie “Spider-Man.” Lee was the creator of Spider-Man, the Incredible Hulk and Daredevil.

2003 – Iraq war: In Nasiriya, Iraq, at least 23 people, among them the first Italian casualties of the 2003 Iraq war are killed in a suicide bomb attack on an Italian police base

2006 – Former Soviet republic of South Ossetia holds a second referendum on independence from Georgia

2011 – Silvio Berlusconi resigns as Prime Minister of Italy due, in large part, to the European sovereign debt crisis.

2013 – In New York, it was announced that the new World Trade Center was the tallest building in the United States. The height was measured at 1,776 feet. The building was also the fourth tallest building in the world at the time.

2014 – The European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft used its lander Philae to perform the first soft landing on a comet. The comet was 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

2015 – Suicide bombings in Lebanon kill 43, Isis claim responsibility

2018 – Israeli secret operation in Gaza kills eight including one Israeli and an Hamas Commander, igniting tensions with retaliatory rocket attack from Gaza

2019 – Israeli forces kill senior commander of Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group in the Gaza Strip with Palestinian militants setting off retaliatory rockets at Israel

2021 – At least 68 inmates killed in new fighting at Ecuadorean prison, the Litoral Penitentiary, Guayaquil, following earlier violence in September

2022 – US Mid-term elections: Democrats retain control of the Senate with Catherine Cortez Masto’s victory in Nevada 50-49, with run-off in Georgia still to be decided

REFERENCE: history.net, onthisday.com, thepeopleshistory.com, timeanddate.com, scopesys.com, on-this-day.com

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