Today in History – November 10

1766 – The last colonial governor of New Jersey, William Franklin, signed the charter of Queen’s College (later renamed Rutgers University).

1775 – The United States Marine Corps was founded at Tun Tavern in Philadelphia by Samuel Nicholas.

1847 – The passenger ship Stephen Whitney wrecked in thick fog off the southern coast of Ireland and killed 92 of the 110 on board. The disaster resulted in the construction of the Fastnet Rock lighthouse.

1865 – Major Henry Wirz, the superintendent of a prison camp in Andersonville, Georgia, was hanged.  He was one of only three American Civil War soldiers executed for war crimes.

1871 – Henry Morton Stanley located missing explorer and missionary, Dr David Livingstone in Ujiji, near Lake Tanganyika, famously greeting him with the words, “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?”.

1885 – German engineer Gottlieb Daimler unveiled the world’s first motorcycle.

1891 – Granville T. Woods patented the electric railway.

1898 – Beginning of the Wilmington insurrection of 1898, the only instance of a municipal government being overthrown in United States history.

1918 – The Western Union Cable Office in North Sydney, Nova Scotia, received a top-secret coded message from Europe (that would be sent to Ottawa and Washington, D.C.) that said on November 11, 1918, all fighting would cease on land, sea and in the air.

1940 – The 1940 Vrancea earthquake struck Romania which killed an estimated 1,000 and injured approximately 4,000 more.

1940 – Walt Disney began serving as an informer for the Los Angeles office of the FBI; his job was to report back information on Hollywood subversives.

1944 – The ammunition ship USS Mount Hood exploded at Seeadler Harbour, Manus, Admiralty Islands, and killed at least 432 and wounded 371.

1950 – Nobel Peace Prize for literature was awarded to William Faulkner.

1951 – With the rollout of the North American Numbering Plan, direct-dial coast-to-coast telephone service began in the United States.

1951 – First long distance telephone call without operator assistance.

1954 – U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower dedicated the USMC War Memorial (Iwo Jima memorial) in Arlington Ridge Park in Arlington County, Virginia.

1958 – The Hope Diamond was donated to the Smithsonian Institution by New York diamond merchant Harry Winston.

1969 – National Educational Television (the predecessor to the Public Broadcasting Service) in the United States debuted Sesame Street.

1970 – Vietnam War: Vietnamization: For the first time in five years, an entire week ended with no reports of American combat fatalities in Southeast Asia.

1972 – Southern Airways Flight 49 from Birmingham, Alabama was hijacked and, at one point, was threatened with crashing into the nuclear installation at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. After two days, the plane landed in Havana, Cuba, where the hijackers were jailed by Fidel Castro.

1973 – “Ship Ahoy” album by The O’Jays was released (Billboard Album of the Year 1974).

1975 – The 729-foot-long freighter SS Edmund Fitzgerald sank during a storm on Lake Superior, killing all 29 crew on board.

1979 – A 106-car Canadian Pacific freight train carrying explosive and poisonous chemicals from Windsor, Ontario, Canada derailed in Mississauga, Ontario, just west of Toronto, which caused a massive explosion and the largest peacetime evacuation in Canadian history and one of the largest in North American history.

1980 – Dan Rather refused to pay his cabbie, CBS paid the $12.55 fare.

1983 – Bill Gates introduced Windows 1.0.

1986 – Columbia Records released Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band “Live/1975-85”, a 5 LP box set of concert recordings.

1989 – Germans began to tear down the Berlin Wall.

1990 – John Hughes’ film “Home Alone”, directed by Chris Columbus and starring Macaulay Culkin, premiered in Chicago.

1997 – WorldCom and MCI Communications announced a $37 billion merger (the largest merger in US history at the time).

1998 – “Star Trek: Insurrection” film directed by Jonathan Frakes and starring Patrick Stewart and Jonathan Frakes, premiered.

2002 – Veteran’s Day Weekend Tornado Outbreak: A tornado outbreak stretching from Northern Ohio to the Gulf Coast, one of the largest outbreaks recorded in November. The strongest tornado, an F4, hit Van Wert, Ohio, during the early to mid afternoon and destroyed a movie theater, which had been evacuated.

2006 – The National Museum of the Marine Corps in Quantico, Virginia was opened and dedicated by U.S. President George W. Bush, who announced that Marine Corporal Jason Dunham would posthumously receive the Medal of Honor.

2008 – Over five months after landing on Mars, NASA declared the Phoenix mission concluded after communications with the lander were lost.

2010 – Alan Menken, famous Disney composer, received the 2,442nd star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

2014 – “The Hunger Games” Mockingjay – Part 1″ directed by Francis Lawrence and starring Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson, premiered in London.

2014 – Ethel Kennedy was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama.


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