Today in History
November 11

1499 Pretender to the English throne Perkin Warbeck is executed.
1778 Indians, led by William Butler, massacre the inhabitants of Cherry Valley, N.Y.
1831 Nat Turner, a slave who led a revolt against slave owners, is hanged in Jerusalem, Virginia.
1889 Washington becomes the 42nd state of the Union.
1909 Construction begins on the naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.
1918 German leaders sign the armistice ending World War I.
1919 The first two-minutes’ silence is observed in Britain to commemorate those who died in the Great War.
1921 The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington Cemetery is dedicated.
1922 Canada’s Vernon McKenzie urges his government to fight U.S. propaganda with taxes on U.S. magazines.
1933 The first of the great dust storms of the 1930s hits North Dakota.
1935 Albert Stevens and Orvil Anderson set a new altitude record in South Dakota, when they float to 72,395 feet in a balloon.
1938 Irving Berlin‘s “God Bless America” is performed for the first time by singer Kate Smith.
1940 Britain’s Royal Navy attacks the Italian fleet at Taranto.
1944 Private Eddie Slovik is convicted of desertion and sentenced to death for refusing to join his unit in the European Theater of Operations.
1953 The polio virus is identified and photographed for the first time in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
1966 The United States launches Gemini 12, a two-man spacecraft, into orbit.
1970 U.S. Army Special Forces raid the Son Tay prison camp in North Vietnam but find no prisoners.
1973 Israel and Egypt sign a cease-fire.
1973 The Soviet Union is kicked out of World Cup soccer for refusing to play Chile.
1987 An unidentified person buys Vincent Van Gogh’s painting “Irises” from the estate of Joan Whitney Payson for $53.9 million at Sotheby’s in New York.
1993 A sculpture honoring women who served in the Vietnam War is dedicated at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC.
1999 The House of Lords Act reforming Britain’s House of Lords, is given Royal Assent; the act removed the right to hereditary seats (sitting members were permitted to remain).
2001 Journalists Pierre Billaud (France), Johanne Sutton (France) and Voker Handlock (Germany) are killed in Afghanistan during an attack on the convoy in which they were traveling.
2004 New Zealand’s Tomb of the Unknown Warrior is dedicated at the National War Museum, Wellington.
2004 The Palestine Liberation Organization confirms the death of its longtime chairman Yasser Arafat; the cause of death has never been conclusively determined.
2006 Queen Elizabeth II unveils the New Zealand War Memorial in London.
2008 RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2)sets sail on her final voyage, bound for Dubai.
Born on November 11
1050 Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor.
1821 Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky, Russian novelist and political revolutionary (The Brothers Karamazov, Crime and Punishment).
1885 George S. Patton, U.S. Army commander in World War II.
1898 Rene Clair, French film director.
1922 Kurt Vonnegut, American novelist (Slaughterhouse Five).
1925 Jonathan Winters, comedian.
1928 Carlos Fuentes, Mexican novelist and essayist.
1945 Chris Dreja, musician; guitarist and bass player for The Yardbirds.
1945 Daniel Ortega, President of Nicaragua (2007– ).
1962 Demi Moore, actress (Ghost, A Few Good Men); in 1996 she became the highest-paid actress in film history when she received $12.5 million to star in Striptease.
1974 Leonardo DiCaprio, actor; (Titanic, The Great Gatsby) won a Golden Globe for Best Actor (The Aviator, 2004).
1974 Bettina Goislard, the first United Nations worker to be killed in Afghanistan (Nov. 16, 2003) since the fall of the Taliban in December 2001; she was a French employee of the UN High Commission for Refugees.

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