This Month in History: November

Fall makes for interesting history…maybe people just do the most interesting things then?


01 November 1512

The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome, one of Michelangelo’s finest works, was opened to the public for the first time.

02 November 1947

The Hughes Flying Boat—at one time the largest aircraft ever built—is piloted by Howard Hughes on its first and only flight. Built with laminated birch and spruce, the massive wooden aircraft had a wingspan longer than a football field and earned the name, the Spruce Goose

03 November 1507

Leonardo da Vinci was commissioned to paint Lisa Gherardini (“Mona Lisa”).

04 November 1842

Abraham Lincoln married Mary Todd in Springfield, Ill.

05 November 1605

Remember remember the 5th of November…on Nov 5th, 1605 Guy Fawkes is betrayed and arrested in an attempt to blow up the British Parliament in the “Gunpowder Plot.” Ever since, England has celebrated Guy Fawkes Day.

06 November 1860

Abraham Lincoln is elected 16th president of the United States.

07 November 1881

After the famous gunfight at the O.K. Corral, Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday, are jailed as the hearings on what happened in the fight approach.

08 November 1889

Montana becomes the 41st state of the Union.

09 November 1989

East German officials opened the Berlin Wall, allowing travel from East to West Berlin. The following day, celebrating Germans began to tear the wall down. 

10 November 1969

A pioneering TV show called Sesame Street debuted and began teaching generations of young children the alphabet and how to count.

11 November 1978

On November 11, 1978, a stuntman on the Georgia set of “The Dukes of Hazzard” launches the show’s iconic automobile, a 1969 Dodge Charger named the General Lee, off a makeshift dirt ramp and over a police car.

12 November 1954

On November 12, 1954, Ellis Island, the gateway to America, shuts it doors after processing more than 12 million immigrants since opening in 1892.

13 November 1835

Texans officially proclaim independence from Mexico, calling itself the Lone Star Republic, until its admission to the Union in 1845.


14 November 1908

Albert Einstein presents his quantum theory of light.

15 November 1956

Love Me Tender, featuring the singer Elvis Presley in his big-screen debut, premiered in New York City at the Paramount Theater.

16 November 2001

Harry Potter—made its big-screen debut with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, which opened in movie theaters across the United States.

17 November 1869

The Suez Canal, connecting the Mediterranean and the Red seas, is opened for use to shipping from all over the world.

18 November 1883

At exactly noon on this day, American and Canadian railroads begin using four continental time zones to end the confusion of dealing with thousands of local times. A bold move that was emblematic of the power shared by the railroad companies

19 November 1863

At the dedication of a military cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania,  President Abraham Lincoln delivered The Gettysburg Address… one of the most memorable speeches in American history and fewer than 275 words. 

20 November 1982

The UC Berkeley football team, won an improbable last-second victory over Stanford when they completed five lateral passes around the Standford marching band, who had wandered onto the field a bit early to celebrate the upset they were sure their team had won, and scored a touchdown.

Cal-Stanford “The Play to beat the Band”

21 November 1980

On November 21, 1980, 350 million people around the world tuned in to television’s popular primetime drama “Dallas” to find out who shot J.R.

22 November 1963

John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States, was assassinated while traveling through Dallas, Texas.

23 November 1963 

Doctor Who  first aired with an episode called An Earthly Child on the British Broadcasting Channel eventually becoming the longest running sci fi tv show. 

24 November 1991

Lead singer of the band Queen, Freddie Mercury, died.

25 November 1783

Nearly three months after the Treaty of Paris was signed ending the American Revolution, the last British soldiers withdrew from New York City.

26 November 1942

On November 26, 1942, Casablanca, the World War II-era drama starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, premiered in New York City; becoming one of the most beloved Hollywood movies in history.

27 November 1940

The actor and martial-arts expert Bruce Lee was born in San Francisco, California

28 November 1962 

Jon Stewart American comedian, actor, television host was born. 

29 November 2001

English musician and songwriter George Harrison dies at the age of 58

30 November 1982 

Michael Jackson’s Thriller is released worldwide and at the time wasThought to be the best selling album of all time, the album, which had only 9 tracks, and later won 8 Grammy Awards.

Published by Scott

The mountains are calling, let me grab a jacket and my kids.

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