This Week In History November 4 -10


by Dianne Hermann

“The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.”
– Winston Churchill

Week of November 4-10, 2013

November 4

1646 – Massachusetts uses the death penalty as punishment for denying that the Holy Bible is God’s word.

1845 – The first nationally observed uniform Election Day is held in the United States. Election Day is now the Tuesday after the first Monday in November.

1862 – Dr. Richard Gatling of Indianapolis, Indiana, patents the Gatling machine gun. It could fire 200+ rounds per minute with 6-10 rotating barrels using a manually operated hand crank. In contrast, the modern Gatling gun fires thousands of rounds per minute.


1879 – James Ritty patents the first cash register to combat stealing by bartenders in his Dayton, Ohio saloon. It registered the time and amount of the sale but had no cash drawer.


1924 – Nellie Tayloe Ross (D-Wyoming) is elected as the first female governor in the U.S.

1939 – The first air-conditioned automobile (Packard) is exhibited in Chicago, Illinois.

1960 – “Misfits” premieres and is the final movie for both Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe. Gable died less than two weeks later on November 16 at age 59 and Monroe died in August of 1962 at age 36. (Monroe started filming “Something’s Got To Give” in 1962 but was fired before its completion.)


1980 – Ronald Reagan (R) defeats President Jimmy Carter (D) by a landslide. Reagan wins 44 states.

1981 – Dr. George Nichopoulas is acquitted of overprescribing addictive drugs for Elvis Presley.


November 5

1639 – The first post office in the colonies is set up in Massachusetts.

1895 – George B. Selden is granted the first U.S. patent for an internal-combustion gasoline fueled automobile. TIS_5_Seldon_driving_car


1940 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt (D) wins an unprecedented third term by beating Wendell Willkie (R). He is elected to a fourth term on November 7, 1944 by defeating Thomas Dewey but FDR dies in April of 1945 at age 63. Vice President Harry S. Truman succeeds FDR.

1967 – The spacecraft ATS-3 is launched by the U.S. and takes the first pictures of the full Earth.


1979 – Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini declares that the U.S. is “The Great Satan.” He died in 1989.

2009 – U.S. Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan kills 13 and wounds 43 at Fort Hood, Texas, in the largest mass shooting ever at a U.S. military installation. He is convicted and sentenced to death by a military jury in August of this year.


November 6

1789 – Pope Pius VI appoints Father John Carroll as the first Catholic bishop in the United States.


1861 – Jefferson Davis is elected to a 6-year term as Confederate president. He died in 1889 at the age of 81.

1938 – The three DiMaggio brothers (Vince, Joe, and Dominic) play baseball together in a west coast charity game. They are the only trio of brothers to have been All-Stars. Over 350 sets of brothers (including sets of twins) have played major league baseball.


1966 – For the first time the entire TV lineup is televised in color on NBC.

1990 – A fire destroys some of Universal Studios stages. The fire causes $25 million in damage and is started by a security guard who is sentenced to four years in prison after pleading guilty to arson.



November 7

1786 – The oldest musical organization in the United States is founded as the Stoughton Musical Society.

1872 – The cargo ship Mary Celeste sails from New York to Genoa. It is mysteriously found abandoned 4 weeks later with all the crew’s effects and cargo intact.


1874 – Thomas Nast creates the first cartoon depicting an elephant as the symbol for the Republican Party. He also creates the modern version of Santa Claus.



1910 – The first air freight shipment (from Dayton, Ohio, to Columbus, Ohio) is undertaken by the Wright Brothers and department store owner Max Moorehouse.

1916 – Jeannette Rankin (R-Montana) is elected to Congress as its first woman Representative in Congress.

1929 – The Museum of Modern Art opens in the Heckscher Building in New York City.

1932 – “Buck Rogers in the 25th century” is first broadcast on CBS-radio. It airs until 1936 but is revived several times. It debuts as a comic strip in 1929. Buck Rogers is a movie serial starting in 1939 and a short-lived TV series in 1950-51. More recently it airs as a TV show starring Gil Gerard from 1979 to 1981.

1940 – The Tacoma Narrows Bridge (Galloping Gertie) collapses in Washington.


1982 – Liz Taylor divorces for the seventh time, this time from Senator John Warner.


1991 – Magic Johnson announces he has HIV virus and retires from the LA Lakers basketball team.


November 8

1731 – Benjamin Franklin opens the first U.S. library in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

1864 – Abraham Lincoln (R) is elected to his second term as President. He is assassinated on April 15, 1865.

1966 – Movie actor Ronald Reagan is elected governor of California. He first appeared in a movie in 1937 and finished his career in 1965 in the TV series Death Valley Days. He is elected president in 1980 and 1984. He died in 2004 at age 93.


1984 – Anna Fisher becomes the first “mom” to go into orbit when the Space Shuttle Discovery (Mission STS 51-A) launches. She has a 16-month-old daughter at the time of the mission.

1990 – Gina Marie Tolleson of the United States, age 21, is crowned the 40th Miss World.



November 9

1857 – Atlantic Monthly magazine is first published, billing itself as a “journal of literature, politics, science, and the arts.” It is still in publication.

1906 – Teddy Roosevelt is the first President to visit other countries when he travels to Puerto Rico and Panama.

1935 – The Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) labor union forms. The American Federation of Labor (AFL) forms in 1886. The two unions merge in 1955 as the AFL-CIO.

1982 – Sugar Ray Leonard retires from boxing for the first time. He retires again in 1984. He comes out of retirement in 1987 to defeat Marvelous Marvin Hagler. Sugar Ray retires again in 1991 only to return to the ring in 1997 at age 40. He retires for the last time in 1997 following a TKO and is inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame later that same year.


1984 – “The Three Servicemen” Memorial is completed. It is designed and created to complement the controversial design of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.



November 10

1766 – The last Colonial governor of New Jersey, William Franklin, signs the charter of Queen’s College. It is later renamed Rutgers University.

1775 – Congress forms the U.S. Marine Corps. Major Samuel Nicholas is the first Commandant (1775-1783).

1891 – The first Woman’s Christian Temperance Union meeting is held in Boston.

1891 – Granville T. Woods patents the electric railway. Known as the “Black Edison,” Woods receives close to 60 patents, 15 for inventions or improvements for electric railroads.


1911 – Andrew Carnegie forms the Carnegie Corporation for scholarly and charitable works.

1954 – The Iwo Jima Memorial is dedicated in Arlington, Virginia.


1969 – “Sesame Street” premieres on PBS TV.

1982 – The Cleveland Cavaliers lose their 24th consecutive basketball game, breaking an NBA record – until they set a new record by losing 26 consecutive games in 2011.

1982 – The Vietnam Veterans Memorial opens in Washington, DC. Chinese-American Ohio-born Maya Ying Lin’s design is chosen from more than 1,400 submissions.


1983 – The federal government shuts down (again).

1997 – The 1960s pop artist Peter Max pleads guilty to tax fraud and time served. Max is now 86 years old.


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