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This Day in History: November 11


1620 – The Mayflower Compact is signed in what is now Provincetown Harbor near Cape Cod.

1750 – The F.H.C. Society, also known as the Flat Hat Club, is formed at Raleigh Tavern, Williamsburg, Virginia. It is the first college fraternity.

1778 – Cherry Valley massacre: Loyalists and Seneca Indian forces attack a fort and village in eastern New York during the American Revolutionary War, killing more than forty civilians and soldiers.

1813 – War of 1812: Battle of Crysler's Farm: British and Canadian forces defeat a larger American force, causing the Americans to abandon their Saint Lawrence campaign.

1831 – In Jerusalem, Virginia, Nat Turner is hanged after inciting a violent slave uprising.

1839 – The Virginia Military Institute is founded in Lexington, Virginia.

1864 – American Civil War: Sherman's March to the Sea: General William Tecumseh Sherman begins burning Atlanta, Georgia to the ground in preparation for his march south.

1887 – August Spies, Albert Parsons, Adolph Fischer and George Engel are executed as a result of the Haymarket affair.

1889 – The State of Washington is admitted as the 42nd state of the United States.

1911 – Many cities in the Midwestern United States break their record highs and lows on the same day as a strong cold front rolls through.

1918 – World War I: Germany signs an armistice agreement with the Allies in a railroad car in the forest of Compiègne, France. The fighting officially ends at 11:00 a.m., (the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month) and this is commemorated annually with a two-minute silence. The war officially ends on the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on 28 June 1919.

1919 – The Centralia Massacre in Centralia, Washington results the deaths of four members of the American Legion and the lynching of a local leader of the Industrial Workers of the World.

1921 – The Tomb of the Unknowns is dedicated by US President Warren G. Harding at Arlington National Cemetery.

1926 – The United States Numbered Highway System is established.

1930 – Patent number US1781541 is awarded to Albert Einstein and Leó Szilárd for their invention, the Einstein refrigerator.

1940 – Armistice Day Blizzard: An unexpected blizzard kills 144 in the U.S. Midwest.

1966 – NASA launches Gemini 12.

1967 – Vietnam War: In a propaganda ceremony in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, three American prisoners of war are released by the Viet Cong and turned over to "new left" antiwar activist Tom Hayden.

1968 – Vietnam War: Operation Commando Hunt initiated. The goal is to interdict men and supplies on the Ho Chi Minh trail, through Laos into South Vietnam.

1972 – Vietnam War: Vietnamization: The United States Army turns over the massive Long Binh military base to South Vietnam.

1993 – A sculpture honoring women who served in the Vietnam War is dedicated at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.


1836 – Thomas Bailey Aldrich, American poet and author (d. 1907)

1885 – George S. Patton, American general (d. 1945)

1904 – Alger Hiss, American lawyer and spy (d. 1996)

1922 – Kurt Vonnegut, American soldier, author, and academic (d. 2007)

1962 – Demi Moore, American actress, director, and producer

1974 – Leonardo DiCaprio, American actor and producer



1831 – Nat Turner, American slave and rebel leader (b. 1800)

1880 – Lucretia Mott, American activist (b. 1793)

1887 – Haymarket affair defendants:

          George Engel, German-American businessman and activist (b. 1836)

          Adolph Fischer, German-American printer and activist (b. 1858)

          Albert Parsons, American journalist and activist (b. 1848)

          August Spies, American journalist and activist (b. 1855)

1917 – Liliuokalani of Hawaii (b. 1838)

1945 – Jerome Kern, American composer (b. 1885)

1984 – Martin Luther King, Sr., American pastor, missionary, and activist (b. 1899)

2004 – Yasser Arafat, Palestinian engineer and politician, 1st President of the Palestinian National Authority, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1929)

2016     Robert Vaughn, American actor (b. 1932)