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This Day in History: November 10


1702 – English colonists under the command of James Moore besiege Spanish St. Augustine during Queen Anne's War.

1766 – The last colonial governor of New Jersey, William Franklin, signs the charter of Queen's College (later renamed Rutgers University).

1775 – The United States Marine Corps is founded at Tun Tavern in Philadelphia by Samuel Nicholas.

1865 – Major Henry Wirz, the superintendent of a prison camp in Andersonville, Georgia, is hanged, becoming one of only three American Civil War soldiers executed for war crimes.

1898 – Beginning of the Wilmington insurrection of 1898, the only instance of a municipal government being overthrown in US history.

1910 – The date of Thomas A. Davis' opening of the San Diego Army and Navy Academy, though the official founding date is November 23, 1910.

1918 – The Western Union Cable Office in North Sydney, Nova Scotia, receives a top-secret coded message from Europe (that would be sent to Ottawa and Washington, D.C.) that said on November 11, 1918, all fighting would cease on land, sea and in the air.

1919 – The first national convention of the American Legion is held in Minneapolis, ending on November 12.

1942 – World War II: Germany invades Vichy France following French Admiral François Darlan's agreement to an armistice with the Allies in North Africa.

1944 – The ammunition ship USS Mount Hood explodes at Seeadler Harbour, Manus, Admiralty Islands, killing at least 432 and wounding 371.

1951 – With the rollout of the North American Numbering Plan, direct-dial coast-to-coast telephone service begins in the United States.

1954 – U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower dedicates the USMC War Memorial (Iwo Jima memorial) in Arlington National Cemetery.

1958 – The Hope Diamond is donated to the Smithsonian Institution by New York diamond merchant Harry Winston.

1969 – National Educational Television (the predecessor to the Public Broadcasting Service) in the United States debuts the children's television program Sesame Street.

1970 – Vietnam War: Vietnamization: For the first time in five years, an entire week ends with no reports of American combat fatalities in Southeast Asia.

1972 – Southern Airways Flight 49 from Birmingham, Alabama is hijacked and, at one point, is threatened with crashing into the nuclear installation at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. After two days, the plane lands in Havana, Cuba, where the hijackers are jailed by Fidel Castro.

1975 – The 729-foot-long freighter SS Edmund Fitzgerald sinks during a storm on Lake Superior, killing all 29 crew on board.

1983 – Bill Gates introduces Windows 1.0.

1984 – The first Breeders' Cup takes place at Hollywood Park Racetrack.

1989 – German citizens begin to bring the Berlin Wall down.

1997 – WorldCom and MCI Communications announce a $37 billion merger (the largest merger in US history at the time).

2002 – Veteran's Day Weekend Tornado Outbreak: A tornado outbreak stretching from Northern Ohio to the Gulf Coast, one of the largest outbreaks recorded in November. The strongest tornado, an F4, hits Van Wert, Ohio during the early to mid-afternoon and destroys a movie theater but the theater is evacuated prior to the hit.

2006 – The National Museum of the Marine Corps in Quantico, Virginia is opened and dedicated by U.S. President George W. Bush, who announces that Marine Corporal Jason Dunham will receive the Medal of Honor.

2008 – Over five months after landing on Mars, NASA declares the Phoenix mission concluded after communications with the lander were lost.


1801 – Samuel Gridley Howe, American physician and activist (d. 1876)

1871 – Winston Churchill, American author and painter (d. 1947)

1895 – Jack Northrop, American businessman, founded the Northrop Corporation (d. 1981)

1909 – Johnny Marks, American composer and songwriter (d. 1985)

1939 – Russell Means, American actor and activist (d. 2012)

1956 – Sinbad, American comedian, actor, and producer

1964 – Kenny Rogers, American baseball player and coach

1992 – Teddy Bridgewater, American football player


1727 – Alphonse de Tonty, French-American sailor and explorer (b. 1659)

1777 – Cornstalk, American tribal chief (b. 1720)

1982 – Leonid Brezhnev, Ukrainian-Russian general and politician, 4th Head of State of the Soviet Union (b. 1906)

1982 – Marie Z. Chino, Acoma Pueblo (Native American) potter (b. 1907)

2001 – Ken Kesey, American author and activist (b. 1935)

2007 – Norman Mailer, American novelist and essayist (b. 1923)

2014 – Dorian "Doc" Paskowitz, American surfer and physician (b. 1921)