Today in History

November 16
1776   British and Hessian troops under General William Howe take Fort Washington and 2,818 prisoners, securing the northern part of Manhattan. [From MHQ—The Quarterly Journal of Military History]
1798   British seamen board the U.S. frigate Baltimore and impress a number of crewmen as alleged deserters, a practice that will contribute to the War of 1812.
1813   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, N.M., on the route that will become known as the Santa Fe Trail.
1846   General Zachary Taylor takes Saltillo, Mexico.
1864   Union General William T. Sherman departs Atlanta and begins his “March to the Sea.”
1892   King Behanzin of Dahomey (now Benin), leads soldiers against the French.
1902   A cartoon appears in the Washington Star, prompting the Teddy Bear Craze, after President Teddy Roosevelt refused to kill a captive bear tied up for him to shoot during a hunting trip to Mississippi.
1907   The Indian and Oklahoma territories are unified to make Oklahoma, which becomes the 46th state.
1913   Swann’s Way, the first volume of Marcel Proust’s 7-part novel Remembrance of Things Past, is published.
1920   Metered mail is born in Stamford, Connecticut with the first Pitney Bowes postage meter.
1945   Eighty-eight German scientists, holding Nazi secrets, arrive in the United States.
1948   President Harry S Truman rejects four-power talks on Berlin until the blockade is removed.
1953   The United States joins in the condemnation of Israel for its raid on Jordan.
1955   The Big Four talks, taking place in Geneva on German reunification, end in failure.
1960   After the integration of two all-white schools, 2,000 whites riot in the streets of New Orleans.
1965   In the last day of the fighting at Landing Zone X-Ray, regiments of the U.S. 1st Cavalry Division repulse NVA forces in the Ia Drang Valley.
1967   U.S. planes hit Haiphong shipyard in North Vietnam for the first time.
1979   American Airlines is fined $500,000 for improper DC-10 maintenance.
1982   The space shuttle Columbia completes its first operational flight.
1989   A Salvadoran Army death squad kills six Jesuit priests and two others at Jose Simeon Canas University.
1992   Eric Lawes, while using a metal detector to search for a friend’s lost hammer near Hoxne, Suffolk, England, discovers the Hoxne Hoard, the largest hoard of Roman silver and gold ever found in Britain, and the largest collection of 4th and 5th century coins found anywhere within the bounds of the former Roman Empire.
1997   Pro-democracy Chinese dissident Wei Jingsheng is released from prison after 18 years, for health reasons.
Born on November 16
42 BC   Tiberius Claudius Nero, Roman Emperor.
1811   John Bright, British Victorian radical who founded the Anti-Corn Law League.
1839   Louis-Honore Frechette, Canadian poet.
1873   W.C. Handy, father of the blues, famous for “St. Louis Blues.”
1889   George S. Kaufman, American playwright and collaborator with Moss Hart (You Can’t Take it With You , The Man Who Came to Dinner).
1907   Burgess Meredith, actor; the first man to win the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor twice, and a winner of several Emmys, he is considered one of the most accomplished actors of the 20th century.
1914   Edward Chapman, spy; after becoming a spy for Nazi Germany, he became a double agent serving his native England.
1930   Chinua Achebe, Nigerian novelist.
1935   Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah, Lebanese Twelver Shi’a scholar; sometimes called the “spiritual mentor” of Hezbollah.
1952   Peter Keefe, TV producer (Voltron); credited with introducing American audiences to Japanese animation.

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