Today in History – November 5

1492 – Christopher Columbus first learned about growing and harvesting maize (corn) from Cuba’s indigenous population.

1605 – Guy Fawkes was arrested for his part in the Gunpowder Plot, a failed assassination attempt against King James I by a group of provincial English Catholics led by Robert Catesby who sought to restore the Catholic monarchy from the Church of England after decades of intolerance against Catholics. 

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

1773 – John Hancock was elected as moderator at a Boston town meeting that resolved that anyone who supports the Tea Act is an “Enemy to America”.

1831 – Nat Turner, American slave leader, was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death in Virginia.

1862 – American Civil War: Abraham Lincoln removed George B. McClellan as commander of the Army of the Potomac.

1862 – American Indian Wars: In Minnesota, 303 Dakota warriors were found guilty of rape and murder of whites and were sentenced to hang. 38 were ultimately executed and the others reprieved.

1872 – Women’s suffrage in the United States: In defiance of the law, suffragist Susan B. Anthony voted for the first time, and was later fined $100.  

1895 – George B. Selden was granted the first U.S. patent for an automobile.

1912 – Woodrow Wilson was elected the 28th President of the United States.  He defeated incumbent William Howard Taft.

1916 – The Everett massacre took place in Everett, Washington as political differences led to a shoot-out between the Industrial Workers of the World organizers and local police.

1917 – Lenin called for the October Revolution.

1925 – Secret agent Sidney Reilly, the first “super-spy” of the 20th century, was executed by the OGPU, the secret police of the Soviet Union.

1935 – Parker Brothers launched the game of Monopoly.

1940 – Franklin D. Roosevelt became the first and only President of the United States to be elected to a third term.

1943 – World War II: First of two bombings of the Vatican.

1946 – John F. Kennedy was elected to the US House of Representatives.

1955 – After being destroyed in World War II, the rebuilt Vienna State Opera reopened with a performance of Beethoven’s Fidelio.

1955 – Date returned to in “Back to the Future” by Marty McFly.

1956 – The Nat King Cole Show debuted on NBC, the first variety program to be hosted by an African-American.

1957 – Mrs. Nellie McGrail won $574,658 on a 2½ cent soccer pool ticket.

1967 – New Orleans Saints won their first NFL victory when they beat the Philadelphia Eagles 31-24.

1967 – The Hither Green rail crash occurred in the United Kingdom and killed 49 people. The survivors included Bee Gee Robin Gibb.

1968 – Republican candidate Richard Nixon was elected President of the United States.  He defeated Democrat candidate Hubert Humphrey and Independent candidate George Wallace.

1970 – The Military Assistance Command in Vietnam reported the lowest weekly American soldier death toll in five years (24).

1982 – George Harrison released “Gone Troppo” album.

1983 – Byford Dolphin diving bell accident killed five and left one severely injured.

1986 – USS Rentz, USS Reeves and USS Oldendorf visited Qingdao (Tsing Tao) China – the first US Naval visit to China since 1949.

1990 – Rabbi Meir Kahane, founder of the far-right Kach movement, was shot dead after a speech at a New York City hotel.

1995 – André Dallaire attempted to assassinate Prime Minister Jean Chrétien of Canada. He was thwarted when the Prime Minister’s wife locked the door.

1996 – Bill Clinton was reelected President of the United States.

2006 – Saddam Hussein, former president of Iraq, and his co-defendants Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti and Awad Hamed al-Bandar, were sentenced to death in the al-Dujail trial for their roles in the 1982 massacre of 148 Shi’a Muslims.

2007 – China’s first lunar satellite, Chang’e 1, went into orbit around the Moon.

2007 – Android mobile operating system was unveiled by Google.

2009 – U.S. Army Major Nidal Hasan murdered 13 and wounded 32 at Fort Hood, Texas in the deadliest mass shooting at a U.S. military installation.

2013 – India launched the Mars Orbiter Mission, its first interplanetary probe.

2017 – Devin Patrick Kelley killed 26 and injured 22 in a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

2018 – NASA’s Voyager 2 probe left the solar system and became the second human-made object to reach interstellar space.


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