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This Day in History: November 15


1533 – Francisco Pizarro arrives in Cuzco, the capital of the Inca Empire.

1777 – American Revolutionary War: After 16 months of debate the Continental Congress approves the Articles of Confederation.

1791 – The first U.S. Catholic college, Georgetown University, opens its doors.

1806 – Pike expedition: Lieutenant Zebulon Pike sees a distant mountain peak while near the Colorado foothills of the Rocky Mountains. (It is later named Pikes Peak.)

1864 – American Civil War: Union General William Tecumseh Sherman burns Atlanta, Georgia and starts Sherman's March to the Sea.

1914 – Harry Turner becomes the first player to die from game-related injuries in the "Ohio League", the direct predecessor to the National Football League.

1920 – First assembly of the League of Nations is held in Geneva, Switzerland.

1926 – The NBC radio network opens with 24 stations.

1939 – In Washington, D.C., US President Franklin D. Roosevelt lays the cornerstone of the Jefferson Memorial.

1942 – World War II: The Battle of Guadalcanal ends in a decisive Allied victory.

1943 – The Holocaust: German SS leader Heinrich Himmler orders that Gypsies are to be put "on the same level as Jews and placed in concentration camps".

1959 – The murders of the Clutter Family in Holcomb, Kansas, which inspired Truman Capote's non-fiction book In Cold Blood.

1966 – Project Gemini: Gemini 12 completes the program's final mission, when it splashes down safely in the Atlantic Ocean.

1967 – The only fatality of the North American X-15 program occurs during the 191st flight when Air Force test pilot Michael J. Adams loses control of his aircraft which is destroyed mid-air over the Mojave Desert.

1969 – Cold War: The Soviet submarine K-19 collides with the American submarine USS Gato in the Barents Sea.

1969 – Vietnam War: In Washington, D.C., 250,000-500,000 protesters staged a peaceful demonstration against the war, including a symbolic "March Against Death".

1971 – Intel releases the world's first commercial single-chip microprocessor, the 4004.

1979 – A package from Unabomber Ted Kaczynski begins smoking in the cargo hold of a flight from Chicago to Washington, D.C., forcing the plane to make an emergency landing.

1985 – A research assistant is injured when a package from the Unabomber addressed to a University of Michigan professor explodes.

1987 – Continental Airlines Flight 1713, a Douglas DC-9-14 jetliner, crashes in a snowstorm at Denver's Stapleton International Airport, killing 28 occupants, while 54 survive the crash.

1990 – Space Shuttle program: Space Shuttle Atlantis launches with flight STS-38.

1990 – The Communist People's Republic of Bulgaria is disestablished and a new republican government is instituted.

2012 – Four people are killed and 16 others are injured in the Midland train crash after a Union Pacific train struck a parade float in Midland, Texas.


1661 – Christoph von Graffenried, Swiss-American settler and author (d. 1743)

1849 – Mary E. Byrd, American astronomer and educator (d. 1934)

1873 – Sara Josephine Baker, American physician and academic (d. 1945)

1881 – Franklin Pierce Adams, American journalist and author (d. 1960)

1887 – Georgia O'Keeffe, American painter and educator (d. 1986)

1891 – Erwin Rommel, German field marshal (d. 1944)

1906 – Curtis LeMay, American general and politician (d. 1990)

1919 – Joseph Wapner, American lieutenant and judge

1940 – Sam Waterston, American actor and producer

1952 – Randy Savage, American wrestler, sportscaster, and actor (d. 2011)

1995 – Karl-Anthony Towns, Dominican-American basketball player


1794 – John Witherspoon, Scottish-American minister and academic (b. 1723)

1945 – Frank Chapman, American ornithologist and photographer (b. 1864)

1954 – Lionel Barrymore, American actor, singer, director, and screenwriter (b. 1878)

1958 – Tyrone Power, American actor, singer, and producer (b. 1914)

1978 – Margaret Mead, American anthropologist and author (b. 1901)

1998 – Stokely Carmichael, Trinidadian-American activist (b. 1941)

2004 – Elmer L. Andersen, American businessman and politician, 30th Governor of Minnesota (b. 1909)

2006 – David K. Wyatt, American historian and author (b. 1937)