Today in History
November 2

1570   A tidal wave in the North Sea destroys the sea walls from Holland to Jutland. More than 1,000 people are killed.
1772   The first Committees of Correspondence are formed in Massachusetts under Samuel Adams.
1789   The property of the church in France is taken away by the state.
1841   The second Afghan War begins.
1869   Sheriff Wild Bill Hickok loses his re-election bid in Ellis County, Kan.
1880   James A. Garfield is elected the 20th president of the United States.
1882   Newly elected John Poe replaces Pat Garrett as sheriff of Lincoln County, New Mexico Territory.
1889   North Dakota is made the 39th state.
1889   South Dakota is made the 40th state.
1889   The Boers begin their 118-day siege of Ladysmith, South Africa. [From MHQ—The Quarterly Journal of Military History]
1892   Lawmen surround outlaws Ned Christie and Arch Wolf near Tahlequah, Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma). It will take dynamite and a cannon to dislodge the two from their cabin.
1903   London’s Daily Mirror newspaper is first published.
1914   Russia declares war with Turkey.
1920   The first radio broadcast in the United States is made from Pittsburgh.
1920   Charlotte Woodward, who signed the 1848 Seneca Falls Declaration calling for female voting rights, casts her ballot in a presidential election.
1921   Margaret Sanger and Mary Ware Dennett form the American Birth Control League.
1923   U.S. Navy aviator H.J. Brown sets a new world speed record of 259 mph in a Curtiss racer.
1926   The Air Commerce Act is passed, providing federal aid for airlines and airports.
1936   The first high-definition public television transmissions begin from Alexandra Palace in north London by the BBC.
1942   Lieutenant General Dwight D. Eisenhower arrives in Gibraltar to set up an American command post for the invasion of North Africa.
1943   The Battle of Empress Augusta Bay in Bougainville ends in a U.S. Navy victory over Japan.
1947   Howard Hughes’ Spruce Goose flies for the first and last time.
1948   Harry S Truman is elected the 33rd president of the United States.
1959   Charles Van Doren confesses that the TV quiz show 21 is fixed and that he had been given the answers to the questions asked him.
1960   A British jury determines that Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence is not obscene.
1963   South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem is assassinated.
1976   Jimmy (James Earl) Carter is elected the 39th president of the United States.
1983   President Ronald Reagan signs a bill establishing Martin Luther King, Jr., Day.
1984   Serial killer Velma Barfield becomes the first woman executed in the US since 1962.
2000   The first resident crew arrives at the International Space Station.
Born on November 2
1734   Daniel Boone, American frontiersman and explorer.
1755   Marie Antoinette, Queen of France, executed during the French Revolution.
1795   James Polk, 11th president of the United States (1845-49).
1865   Warren G. Harding, 29th president of the United States (1921-23).
1885   Harlow Shapley, astronomer who discovered the Sun is not at the center of the galaxy.
1906   Luchino Visconti, film director (Obsession, Death in Venice).
1913   Burt Lancaster, American film actor.
1929   Richard Taylor, Nobel Prize-winning physicist who proved the existence of quarks.
1932   Melvin Schwartz, physicist who won the Nobel Prize for work on neutrinos.
1936   Rose Bird, first female Chief Justice of California (1977-87); also the first Chief Justice in California history to be removed from office by voters.
1938   Jay Black, lead singer of the group Jay and the Americans (“Come a Little Bit Closer,” “This Magic Moment”).
1938   Pat Buchanan, American conservative political commentator, syndicated columnist, author; a senior advisor to presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan.
1938   Queen Sofia of Spain (1975– ).
1949   Lois McMaster Bujold, science fiction and fantasy author (The Mountains of Morning; Paladin of Souls); her many awards include four Hugos for best novel, which ties Robert A. Heinlein’s record.
1952   Maxine Nightingale, British R&B and soul singer (“Right Back Where We Started From”).
1961   k.d. lang, Grammy-winning Canadian pop and country singer-songwriter, actress, social activist (“Constant Craving”).
1972   Samantha Womack, English actress, singer, director (TV and stage); best known for her roles as Mandy Wilkins in Game On and Ronnie Mitchell in EastEnders.

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