History: November 16

November 16

42BC Birth: Tiberius Claudius Nero, second Roman emperor (14-37 AD). His rule will be one of cruelty and debauchery.

1532 Pizarro seizes Incan emperor Atahualpa after victory at Cajamarca.

1621 The Papal Chancery first adopts January 1st as the beginning of the calendar year. Previously, March is the first month, which explains why our modern names for the 9th-12th months begin instead with prefixes meaning 7-sept, 8-octo, 9-nov and 10-dec.

1676 The first colonial prison is organized at Nantucket, Massachusetts.

1776 US Revolutionary War: British troops capture Fort Washington. "...In November 1776 the last position the Americans held on Manhattan Island was the area around Fort Washington on the northern tip, known as Harlem Heights. General Nathan Greene commanded the American positions with a discretion to withdraw if he considered it necessary. General Howe planned three attacks. Brigadier Lord Percy was to attack from the South up the island. Brigadier Matthews with the light infantry and Guards to cross the Harlem River and attack Baxter on the east side, supported by Lord Cornwallis with the grenadiers and the 33rd Foot. The main attack was to be on Rawlings’ position by Hessian troops commanded by General Von Knyphausen. An additional assault was to be carried out on the same side by the 42nd under Colonel Sterling. (the grenadiers, light infantry, Guards, 33rd and 42nd were the corps regularly used for particularly demanding assignments. It is interesting that the 33rd had a consistently high reputation throughout the 1740s and 1750s). Early on the 15th November Howe called on the fort to surrender. This was refused. A bombardment broke out from British batteries across the Harlem River and the frigate Pearl on the American positions. At 10am Percy advanced to the attack. At noon Matthews landed on Manhattan and began his assault. Baxter was killed and is militia fled into the fort.

Knyphausen crossed onto Manhattan at Kingsbridge and at 10am began his move south. The two Hessian columns assaulted American positions and after a hard fight with Rawlings’ riflemen the Americans fell back into the fort. Percy attacked Cadwallader in the South and the 42nd landed on the east side and pushed inland behind Cadwallader’s position, forcing the Americans to fall back to the fort. With all his troops pinned in Fort Washington under heavy fire, Magaw was forced to surrender to the Hessian general Knyphausen. Casualties: The British side suffered 450 casualties of which 320 were Hessians. The Americans suffered 2,900 casualties of which the preponderance were prisoners. Follow-up: Following the battle Fort Lee on the west bank of the Hudson was abandoned and Washington and the Continental Arm retreated to the Delaware."

1798 British seamen board the US frigate Baltimore and impress a number of crewmen as alleged deserters; a practice that will contribute to the War of 1812.

1811 Birth: John Bright, British Victorian radical who will found the Anti-Corn Law League.

1813 War of 1812: The British announce a blockade of Long Island Sound, leaving only the New England coast open to shipping.

1821 Trader William Becknell reaches Santa Fe, New Mexico, on the route that will become known as the Santa Fe Trail.

1841 Napoleon E. Guerin of New York City patents the cork life preserver, a jacket containing 18 to 20 quarts of grated cork.

1846 Mexican Wars: General Zachary Taylor takes Saltillo, Mexico.

1864 US Civil War: Union General William T. Sherman departs Atlanta and begins his 'March to the Sea.'

1875 Dr. William G. Arlington Bonwill of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania patents the dental mallet used to impact gold into cavities.

1885 Death: Louis Riel, French rebel who fought against Canada, executed at 41 for high treason.

1888 Birth: Clinton Golden, in Pennsylvania, will found the United Steelworkers of America.

1892 King Behanzin of Dahomey (now Benin), leads his soldiers against the French.

1894 6,000 Armenians are massacred by Turks in Kurdistan.

1894 Death: James McCosh, at 83, Scottish-born theologian and educator. President of Princeton from 1868-88, McCosh was one of the first orthodox clergymen in America to accept and defend the theory of evolution.

1900 A woman hurls an ax at Kaiser Wilhelm, and misses.

1901 Auto racer A. C. Bostwick, competing on the Ocean Parkway racetrack in Brooklyn, New York, becomes the first American racer to exceed the speed of a mile a minute. In a race sponsored by the Long Island Automobile Club, Bostwick achieves an average speed of 63.83 mph along a one-mile straightway on the course, thus completing the mile in 56.4 seconds. European car manufacturers and drivers had dominated early motor racing, a phenomenon reflected in the first seven speed records. However, in 1902, just under a year after Bostwick's historic run, William K. Vanderbilt, Jr., a businessman and racing enthusiast, will become the first American to enter the land speed record books when he will travel a mile in 47.32 seconds, or at an average speed of 76.086 mph. The Mors automobile that Vanderbilt will drive will also be the first vehicle with an internal combustion engine to enter the speed record books.

1902 A cartoon appears in the Washington Star, prompting the Teddy Bear Craze, after President Teddy Roosevelt had refused to kill a captive bear tied up for him to shoot during a hunting trip to Mississippi.

1907 The Indian and Oklahoma territories collectively enter the United States as Oklahoma, becoming the 46th state. Oklahoma, with a name derived from the Choctaw Indian words okla, meaning people, and humma, meaning red, was first set aside as Indian Territory in 1834.

By 1880, dozens of tribes, forced into relocation by European immigration and the US government, had moved to the territory. In 1889, the federal government, under pressure by cattlemen, opened nearly two million acres in central Oklahoma for settlement. At noon on 22 April, a pistol shot signaled the opening of the new land, and tens of thousands of people rushed to stake claims. Those who had already made illegal entry to beat the starting gun were called 'Sooners', hence Oklahoma's state nickname. In 1890, the region was divided into Indian Territory and Oklahoma Territory, and seventeen years later is united into the State of Oklahoma on this day.

1914 The US Federal Reserve System formally sets up shop.

1918 WW1: British and French warships enter the Black Sea. They are followed through the Dardenelles and the Bosporus by troop ships. French and Greek troops land in Odessa under the cover of battleships.

1925 The American Association for the Advancement of Atheism is formed in New York.

1933 Roosevelt recognizes the Soviet Government as the legitimate government of Russia and establishes diplomatic relations.

1937 Holocaust: Only in rare cases can German Jews now obtain passports for foreign travel. (Persecution)

1937 The House of Commons votes to erect air-raid shelters in British cities.

1938 Neville Chamberlain suggests that Jewish refugees come to Britain as a temporary measure. (Edelheit)

1939 Martial law is declared in Prague after shootings by antifascists.

1940 Holocaust: The Warsaw ghetto is sealed. It's ten-foots walls and guarded gates enclose nearly half a million Jews. (Apparatus)

1940 WW2: The Greeks, with little mechanized equipment and an obsolete air force, valiantly turn back the Italian invaders and penetrate into Albania. Mussolini, expecting a speedy and overwhelming victory, is embarrassed by the failure of the poorly planned invasion.

1942 Holocaust: The deportation of German Gypsies to Auschwitz begins.

1948 Berlin Crisis: President Harry Truman rejects four-power talks on Berlin until the blockade is removed.

1950 The UN receives approval from the US government for issuing postage stamps.

1953 The United States joins in the near universal condemnation of Israel for its raid on Jordan.

1955 The Big Four talks begin. Taking place in Geneva on German reunification, the talks are doomed to failure from the start.

1955 D. M. Campbell becomes the first person to pilot a speedboat at a speed in excess of 200 miles per hour (322 kph).

1958 Six inches of snow falls on Tucson, Arizona, catching autumn golfers quite by surprise.

1960 After the integration of two all-white schools, 2,000 whites riot in the streets of New Orleans.

1961 Death: Sam Rayburn, Speaker of the House for 17 long and tortuous years.

1965 The Nam: In the last day of the fighting at Landing Zone X-Ray, regiments of the US 1st Cavalry Division repulse NVA forces in the Ia Drang Valley.

1967 The Nam: US planes hit Haiphong shipyard in North Vietnam for the first time.

1969 The Nam: The US Army brings charges against several soldiers accused in the massacre and subsequent cover-up at My Lai, Vietnam, in March 1968. 1

1973 Skylab 4 and its 3 crew are launched into earth orbit from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on an 84-day mission that will end up being the final Skylab mission.

1973 President Nixon authorizes construction of the Alaskan pipeline.

1974 The first intentional interstellar radio message is sent from the Arecibo telescope, towards M41, a cluster of stars some 25,000 light years away. Just great. Now the Klingons know exactly where we are.

1988 Benazir Bhutto wins the first free Pakistani elections in 11 years.

1988 Estonia's parliament declares the Baltic republic a 'sovereign,' but stops short of complete independence.

1989 Six Jesuit priests and two other people are slain by uniformed gunmen at the Jose Simeon Canas University in El Salvador.

1990 Manuel Noriega claims the US denied him a fair trial.

1992 In their first post-Soviet elections, Lithuania's Democratic Labor Party of ex-communists, wins a crushing victory.

1995 A UN tribunal charges Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and his military commander Ratko Mladic with genocide.

1997 China's most prominent pro-democracy campaigner, Wei Jingsheng, arrives in the United States after being released on medical parole after nearly 18 years in prison.

2000 The Russians make the decision to destroy the Mir space station after 14 years in orbit.

2001 US air strikes reportedly kill Mohammed Atef (on right, Laden on left), a key lieutenant to Osama bin Laden and the al-Qaeda network. Atef is a close personal friend of bin Laden, and Atef's daughter is married to bin Laden's son.

2001 An Iranian radio report claims Osama bin Laden has slipped into Pakistan. Pakistani officials say this claim is "preposterous and "mischievous", and US Defense Secretary Rumsfeld responds, "I suspect he is still in the country."

2001 US jets strike sites in Kandahar and Kunduz while Mullah Mohamad Omar hints at an agreement to pull out of Kandahar. Pentagon sources say it is still unclear who controls parts of Afghanistan, and there are ongoing battles with pockets of Taliban forces in Jalalabad and Ghazni.

2001 The Northern Alliance leadership warns British forces that it does not want foreign forces in Kabul. The Northern Alliance begins broadcasting on Radio Kabul, and have occupied the important government offices including the defense, interior, and foreign ministries.

2001 Muslims around the world recognize the first day of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month.

2001 The US Congress approves a federal takeover of air security, and National Guard troops will soon screen bags until mandated screening machines arrive.

2001 A man running through security, to catch a flight, causes chaos and turmoil at Atlanta's Hartsfield International Airport, and the world's busiest airport is shut down for over three hours.

2001 Investigators find an anthrax tainted letter addressed to US Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy. The letter is found in a quarantined batch of unopened Capitol Hill mail. The handwriting on the letter is similar to the letter sent to Tom Daschle.









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