#November12 : Today in History

Facebooktwittergoogle_plus1028 – Future Byzantine empress Zoe takes the throne as empress consort to Romanos III Argyros. 1330 – Battle of Posada, Wallachian Voievode Basarab I defeats the Hungarian army in an ambush. 1439 – Plymouth, England, becomes the first town incorporated by the English Parliament. 1555 – The Second Statute of Repeal re-establishes Catholicism in England. 1793 – Jean Sylvain Bailly, the first Mayor of Paris, is guillotined. 1892 – William "Pudge" Heffelfinger becomes the first professional American football player on record, participating in his first paid game for the Allegheny Athletic Association. 1893 – The treaty of the Durand Line delineating the border between present day Pakistan and Afghanistan is signed by Sir Mortimer Durand, a British diplomat in British India, and the Afghan Amir Abdur Rahman Khan; the Durand Line has gained international recognition as an international border between the two nations. 1905 – Norway holds a referendum in favor of monarchy over republic. 1912 – King George I of Greece makes a triumphal entry into Thessaloniki after its liberation from 482 years of Ottoman rule. 1912 – The frozen bodies of Robert Scott and his men are found on the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica. 1918 – Austria becomes a republic. 1920 – Italy and the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes sign the Treaty of Rapallo. 1927 – Leon Trotsky is expelled from the Soviet Communist Party, leaving Joseph Stalin in undisputed control of the Soviet Union. 1928 – SS Vestris sinks approximately 200 miles (320 km) off Hampton Roads, Virginia, killing at least 110 passengers, mostly women and children who die after the vessel is abandoned. 1933 – Hugh Gray takes the first known photos alleged to be of the Loch Ness Monster. 1936 – In California, the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge opens to traffic. 1940 – World War II: The Battle of Gabon ends as Free French Forces take Libreville, Gabon, and all of French Equatorial Africa from Vichy French forces. 1940 – World War II: Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov arrives in Berlin to discuss the possibility of the Soviet Union joining the Axis Powers. 1941 – World War II: Temperatures around Moscow drop to -12 °C as the Soviet Union launches ski troops for the first time against the freezing German forces near the city. 1941 – World War II: The Soviet cruiser Chervona Ukraina is destroyed during the Battle of Sevastopol. 1942 – World War II: Naval Battle of Guadalcanal between Japanese and American forces begins near Guadalcanal. The battle lasts for three days and ends with an American victory. 1944 – World War II: The Royal Air Force launches 29 Avro Lancaster bombers, which sink the German battleship Tirpitz, with 12,000 lb Tallboy bombs off Tromsø, Norway. 1945 – Sudirman is elected the first commander-in-chief of the Indonesian Armed Forces. 1948 – In Tokyo, an international war crimes tribunal sentences seven Japanese military and government officials, including General Hideki Tojo, to death for their roles in World War II. 1956 – Morocco, Sudan and Tunisia join the United Nations. 1956 – In the midst of the Suez Crisis, Palestinian refugees are shot dead in the village of Rafah by Israeli soldiers following the invasion of the Gaza Strip. 1958 – A team of rock climbers led by Warren Harding completes the first ascent of The Nose on El Capitan in Yosemite Valley. 1968 – Equatorial Guinea joins the United Nations. 1969 – Vietnam War: My Lai Massacre: Independent investigative journalist Seymour Hersh breaks the My Lai story. 1970 – The Oregon Highway Division attempts to destroy a rotting beached Sperm whale with explosives, leading to the now infamous "exploding whale" incident. 1970 – The 1970 Bhola cyclone makes landfall on the coast of East Pakistan becoming the deadliest tropical cyclone in history. 1971 – Vietnam War: As part of Vietnamization, US President Richard Nixon sets February 1, 1972 as the deadline for the removal of another 45,000 American troops from Vietnam. 1975 – The Comoros joins the United Nations. 1978 – Pope John Paul II takes possession of his Cathedral Church, the Basilica of St. John Lateran, as the Bishop of Rome. 1979 – Iran hostage crisis: In response to the hostage situation in Tehran, US President Jimmy Carter orders a halt to all petroleum imports into the United States from Iran. 1980 – The NASA space probe Voyager I makes its closest approach to Saturn and takes the first images of its rings. 1981 – Space Shuttle program: Mission STS-2, utilizing the Space Shuttle Columbia, marks the first time a manned spacecraft is launched into space twice. 1982 – In the Soviet Union, Yuri Andropov becomes the General Secretary of the Communist Party's Central Committee, succeeding Leonid I. Brezhnev. 1990 – Crown Prince Akihito is formally installed as Emperor Akihito of Japan, becoming the 125th Japanese monarch. 1990 – Tim Berners-Lee publishes a formal proposal for the World Wide Web. 1991 – Santa Cruz massacre: Indonesian forces open fire on a crowd of student protesters in Dili, East Timor. 1993 – The first Ultimate Fighting Championship event, UFC 1, is held in Denver, Colorado. 1996 – A Saudi Arabian Airlines Boeing 747 and a Kazakh Ilyushin Il-76 cargo plane collide in mid-air near New Delhi, killing 349. The deadliest mid-air collision to date. 1997 – Ramzi Yousef is found guilty of masterminding the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. 1999 – The Düzce earthquake strikes Turkey with a magnitude of 7.2 on the Richter scale. 2001 – In New York City, American Airlines Flight 587, an Airbus A300 en route to the Dominican Republic, crashes minutes after takeoff from John F. Kennedy International Airport, killing all 260 on board and five on the ground. 2001 – War in Afghanistan: Taliban forces abandon Kabul, ahead of advancing Afghan Northern Alliance troops. 2003 – Iraq War: In Nasiriyah, Iraq, at least 23 people, among them the first Italian casualties of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, are killed in a suicide bomb attack on an Italian police base. 2003 – Shanghai Transrapid sets a new world speed record (501 kilometres per hour (311 mph)) for commercial railway systems, which remains the fastest for unmodified commercial rail vehicles. 2011 – Silvio Berlusconi tenders his resignation as Prime Minister of Italy, effective November 16, due in large part to the European sovereign debt crisis. 2014 – The Philae lander, deployed from the European Space Agency's Rosetta probe, reaches the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko.

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