This day in history

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From the archives of History.com…

  • by History.com Editors
    On November 13, 2015, a cell of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant commits a string of terrorist attacks across Paris, killing 131 and injuring over 400. It was the deadliest day in France since World War II, as well as the deadliest operation ISIL has carried out in Europe to date. 2015 had …Continue reading
  • by History.com Editors
    Nevado del Ruiz, the highest active volcano in the Andes Mountains of Colombia, suffers a mild eruption that generates a series of lava flows and surges over the volcano’s broad ice-covered summit. Flowing mixtures of water, ice, pumice and other rock debris poured off the summit and sides of the …Continue reading
  • by History.com Editors
    On November 13, 1979, in the middle of a game at the Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Philadelphia 76ers center Darryl Dawkins leaps over Kansas City Kings forward Bill Robinzine and slam-dunks the basketball, shattering the fiberglass backboard. The result, according to people who were at the …Continue reading
  • by History.com Editors
    The Ballinger-Pinchot scandal erupts when Colliers magazine accuses Secretary of the Interior Richard Ballinger of shady dealings in Alaskan coal lands. It is, in essence, a conflict rooted in contrasting ideas about how to best use and conserve western natural resources. Ballinger was an appointee …Continue reading
  • by History.com Editors
    In an example of the lengths to which the “Red Scare” in America is going, Mrs. Thomas J. White of the Indiana Textbook Commission, calls for the removal of references to the book Robin Hood from textbooks used by the state’s schools. Mrs. Young claimed that …Continue reading
  • by History.com Editors
    On November 13, 1861, President Abraham Lincoln pays a late night visit to General George McClellan, who Lincoln had recently named general in chief of the Union army. The general retired to his chambers before speaking with the president. This was the most famous example of McClellan’s cavalier …Continue reading
  • by History.com Editors
    On November 13, 1974, 28-year-old Karen Silkwood is killed in a car accident near Crescent, Oklahoma, north of Oklahoma City. Silkwood worked as a technician at a plutonium plant operated by the Kerr-McGee Corporation, and she had been critical of the plant’s health and safety procedures. In …Continue reading
  • by History.com Editors
    On November 13, 1775, Continental Army Brigadier General Richard Montgomery takes Montreal, Canada, without opposition. Montgomery’s victory owed its success in part to Ethan Allen’s disorganized defeat at the hand of British General and Canadian Royal Governor Guy Carleton at Montreal on September …Continue reading
  • by History.com Editors
    Near the end of a weeklong national salute to Americans who served in the Vietnam War, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial is dedicated in Washington, D.C. after a march to its site by thousands of veterans of the conflict. The long-awaited memorial was a simple V-shaped black-granite wall inscribed with …Continue reading

Continue reading and come back for more, tomorrow!

Topics in the news around this time of year…

  • by History.com Editors
    Paul Revere was a colonial Boston silversmith, industrialist, propagandist and patriot immortalized in the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem describing Revere’s midnight ride to warn the colonists about a British attack. He gave the local militia a key advantage during the Battles of Lexington and …Continue reading
  • by History.com Editors
    King Philip’s War — also known as the First Indian War, the Great Narragansett War or Metacom’s Rebellion — took place in southern New England from 1675 to 1676. It was the Native Americans' last-ditch effort to avoid recognizing English authority and stop English settlement on their …Continue reading
  • by History.com Editors
    On April 16, 2018, the Pulitzer Prize Board awards the Pulitzer Prize for Music to rapper Kendrick Lamar for his 2017 album, DAMN. It was the first time the award had gone to a musical work outside the genres of classical music and jazz, a watershed moment for the Pulitzers and Lamar and a sign of …Continue reading
  • by History.com Editors
    King Charles VI of France orders the expulsion of all Jews from his kingdom. The culmination of a series of anti-Semitic orders from the monarchs of France, the order outlived the monarchy and remains one of the major contributing factors to the tiny percentage of the French population that …Continue reading
  • by History.com Editors
    On April 13, 1870 the Metropolitan Museum of Art is officially incorporated in New York City. The brainchild of American expatriates in Paris and a number of wealthy New Yorkers, the Met would not put on an exhibition until 1872, but it quickly blossomed into one of the world’s premier repositories …Continue reading
  • by History.com Editors
    For the first time in over 50 years, the presidents of the United States and Cuba meet on April 11, 2015. Barack Obama and Raúl Castro, President of Cuba and brother of Fidel Castro, with whom the United States broke off diplomatic contact in 1961, shook hands and expressed a willingness to put one …Continue reading
  • by History.com Editors
    The “Twin Towers” of the World Trade Center officially open in New York City. The buildings replaced the Empire State Building as the world’s tallest building. Though they would only hold that title for a year, they remained a dominant feature of the city’s skyline and were recognizable the world …Continue reading
  • by History.com Editors
    In 1492, King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castille conquered the Nasrid Kingdom of Granada, finally freeing Spain from Muslim rule after nearly 800 years. Not long after, the monarchs, whose marriage and conquests cemented Spain as a unified kingdom, issued the Alhambra Decree, …Continue reading
  • by History.com Editors
    On April 15, 1997, the 50 anniversary of his first Major League Baseball game, the league retires Jackie Robinson’s number, 42. Robinson, whose breaking of the “color barrier” in 1947 was a major moment in the history of racial integration in the United States, is the only player in MLB history to …Continue reading
  • Historian and author Don Miller discusses how one WWII battle before Thanksgiving would affect the homefront.Continue reading

Stories in the news…

  • by Una McIlvenna
    One of the world’s most instantly recognizable cultural icons, Napoleon Bonaparte is usually depicted with one hand in his waistcoat—and short and aggressive. His supposedly small stature and fiery temper has inspired the term the Napoleon Complex, a popular belief that short men tend to …Continue reading
  • by Sheila Mulrooney Eldred
    When Harry S. Truman enlisted in the army in World War I, he was struck by the number of men deemed unfit for service due to poor health. “He felt it was a reflection of inadequate health care for parts of the population,” says Randy Sowell, an archivist at the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library …Continue reading
  • by Christopher Klein
    On an early December morning in 1941, waves of Japanese bombers roared through American airspace. While air sirens wailed and guns blazed, American nationals took cover as a surprise attack in the Pacific sank U.S. battleships and crippled the largest aggregation of American warplanes outside of …Continue reading
  • by Sarah Pruitt
    In May 1942, things were going Japan’s way. Since their surprise attack on U.S. forces at Pearl Harbor the previous December, the Japanese had struck Allied targets across the Pacific and Far East, seizing Burma (Myanmar), the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia) and the Philippines, as well as Guam and …Continue reading
  • by Erin Blakemore
    Ida Siekmann had been holed up for days. Nine days earlier, workers had sealed the border to her country by dead of night. Three days earlier, the front entrance to her apartment had been blocked off by police. She had committed no crime, but Siekmann was in the wrong place at the wrong time: …Continue reading
  • by Jesse Greenspan
    Since its founding in 1776, the United States has fought in about a dozen major wars—and intervened militarily on hundreds of others—with every generation of Americans witnessing combat in one form or another. As such, tens of millions of Americans have suited up for the armed forces, including …Continue reading
  • by Christopher Klein
    In the early 1800s, the sovereign Cherokee nation covered a vast region that included northwest Georgia and adjacent land in Tennessee, North Carolina and Alabama. Under the terms of an 1819 treaty, the United States guaranteed that Cherokee land would be off-limits to white settlers forever. …Continue reading
  • by Sarah Pruitt
    In May 1942, U.S. and Australian naval and air forces were facing off against the Imperial Japanese Navy in the Battle of the Coral Sea in the South Pacific. But in a windowless basement at Pearl Harbor, a group of U.S. Navy codebreakers had intercepted Japanese radio messages suggesting Japan was …Continue reading
  • by Jeffrey A. Lockwood
    Beehive catapults. Scorpion bombs. Bug pit prisons. For thousands of years, military strategists have used insects as weapons of war—not only to inflict debilitating pain on enemies, but also to deliver deadly pathogens and destroy agriculture, with the intent of causing widespread misery, …Continue reading
  • by Andrew Knighton
    In late 16th-century England, Queen Elizabeth was a Protestant royal who faced perpetual threats to her life and reign. Real enemies and exaggerated fears led to paranoia—and the royal court responded with a secret war. In what would become England’s first great brush with espionage, spies and …Continue reading
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