#November 3: Today in History

361 – Emperor Constantius II dies of a fever at Mopsuestia in Cilicia, on his deathbed he is baptised and declares his cousin Julian rightful successor. 644 – Umar ibn al-Khattab, the second Muslim caliph, is assassinated by a Persian slave in Medina. 1333 – The River Arno flooding causing massive damage in Florence as recorded by the Florentine chronicler Giovanni Villani. 1468 – Liège is sacked by Charles I of Burgundy's troops. 1492 – Peace of Etaples between Henry VII and Charles VIII. 1493 – Christopher Columbus first sights the island of Dominica in the Caribbean Sea. 1534– English Parliament passes Act of Supremacy, making King Henry VIII head of the English church - a role formerly held by the Pope. 1592 – The city of San Luis Potosí is founded. 1783 – John Austin, a highwayman, is the last person to be publicly hanged at London's Tyburn gallows. 1783 – The American Continental Army is disbanded. 1789 – The first District Court established by the Constitution opens in New York City. 1793 – French playwright, journalist and feminist Olympe de Gouges is guillotined. 1812 – Napoleon's armies are defeated at the Battle of Vyazma. 1817 – The Bank of Montreal, Canada's oldest chartered bank, opens in Montreal. 1838 – The Times of India, the world's largest circulated English language daily broadsheet newspaper is founded as The Bombay Times and Journal of Commerce. 1848 – A greatly revised Dutch constitution, drafted by Johan Rudolph Thorbecke, severely limiting the powers of the Dutch monarchy, and strengthening the powers of parliament and ministers, is proclaimed. 1867 – Giuseppe Garibaldi and his followers are defeated in the Battle of Mentana and fail to end the Pope's Temporal power in Rome (it would be achieved three years later). 1868 – John Willis Menard was the first African American elected to the United States Congress. Because of an electoral challenge, he was never seated. 1883 – American Old West: Self-described "Black Bart the poet" gets away with his last stagecoach robbery, but leaves a clue that eventually leads to his capture. 1898 – France withdraws its troops from Fashoda (now in Sudan), ending the Fashoda Incident. 1903 – With the encouragement of the United States, Panama separates from Colombia. 1911 – Chevrolet officially enters the automobile market in competition with the Ford Model T. 1918 – Austria-Hungary enters into an armistice with the Allies, and the Habsburg-ruled empire dissolves. 1918 – Poland declares its independence from Russia. 1918 – The German Revolution of 1918–19 begins when 40,000 sailors take over the port in Kiel. 1930 – Getúlio Dornelles Vargas becomes Head of the Provisional Government in Brazil after a bloodless coup on October 24. 1932 – Panagis Tsaldaris becomes the 142nd Prime Minister of Greece. 1935 – George II of Greece regains his throne through a popular, though possible fixed, plebiscite. 1942 – World War II: The Koli Point action begins during the Guadalcanal Campaign and ends on November 12. 1943 – World War II: 500 aircraft of the U.S. 8th Air Force devastate Wilhelmshaven harbor in Germany. 1944 – World War II: Two supreme commanders of the Slovak National Uprising, Generals Ján Golian and Rudolf Viest are captured, tortured and later executed by German forces. 1954 – The first Godzilla film is released and marks the first appearance of the character of the same name. 1956 – The Khan Yunis killings are perpetrated by the Israel Defense Forces in Egyptian-controlled Gaza, resulting in the deaths of 275 male Arabs. 1957 – Sputnik program: The Soviet Union launches Sputnik 2. On board is the first animal to enter orbit, a dog named Laika. 1960 – The land that would become the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge was established by an Act of Congress after a year-long legal battle that pitted local residents against Port Authority of New York and New Jersey officials wishing to turn the Great Swamp into a major regional airport for jet aircraft. 1964 – Washington D.C. residents are able to vote in a presidential election for the first time. 1967 – Vietnam War: The Battle of Dak To begins. 1969 – Vietnam War: U.S. President Richard M. Nixon addresses the nation on television and radio, asking the "silent majority" to join him in solidarity on the Vietnam War effort and to support his policies. 1973 – Mariner program: NASA launches the Mariner 10 toward Mercury. On March 29, 1974, it becomes the first space probe to reach that planet. 1975 – Syed Nazrul Islam, A. H. M. Qamaruzzaman, Tajuddin Ahmad, and Muhammad Mansur Ali, Bangladeshi politicians and Sheikh Mujibur Rahman loyalists, murdered in the Dhaka Central Jail. 1978 – Dominica gains its independence from the United Kingdom. 1979 – Greensboro massacre: Five members of the Communist Workers Party are shot dead and seven are wounded by a group of Klansmen and neo-Nazis during a "Death to the Klan" rally in Greensboro, North Carolina, United States. 1982 – The Salang Tunnel fire in Afghanistan kills up to 2,000 people. 1986 – Iran–Contra affair: The Lebanese magazine Ash-Shiraa reports that the United States has been secretly selling weapons to Iran in order to secure the release of seven American hostages held by pro-Iranian groups in Lebanon. 1986 – The Federated States of Micronesia gain independence from the United States of America. 1988 – Sri Lankan Tamil mercenaries try to overthrow the Maldivian government. At President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom's request, the Indian military suppresses the coup attempt within 24 hours. 1996 – Death of Abdullah Çatlı, leader of the Turkish ultra-nationalist organisation Grey Wolves in the Susurluk car-crash, which leads to the resignation of the Turkish Interior Minister, Mehmet Ağar (a leader of the True Path Party, DYP). 1997 – The United States of America imposes economic sanctions against Sudan in response to its human rights abuses of its own citizens and its material and political assistance to Islamic extremist groups across the Middle East and Eastern Africa. 2013 – A solar eclipse sweeps across Africa, Europe and the Eastern United States. 2014 – One World Trade Center officially opensFacebooktwittergoogle_plus

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