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This Day in History: November 16


1532 – Francisco Pizarro and his men capture Inca Emperor Atahualpa at the Battle of Cajamarca.

1776 – American Revolutionary War: British and Hessian units capture Fort Washington from the Patriots.

1776 – American Revolution: The United Provinces (Low Countries) recognize the independence of the United States.

1822 – American Old West: Missouri trader William Becknell arrives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, over a route that became known as the Santa Fe Trail.

1863 – American Civil War: Battle of Campbell's Station near Knoxville, Tennessee: Confederate troops unsuccessfully attack Union forces.

1907 – Indian Territory and Oklahoma Territory join to form Oklahoma, which is admitted as the 46th U.S. state.

1914 – The Federal Reserve Bank of the United States officially opens.

1940 – Holocaust: In occupied Poland, the Nazis close off the Warsaw Ghetto from the outside world.

1940 – New York City's "Mad Bomber" George Metesky places his first bomb at a Manhattan office building used by Consolidated Edison.

1943 – World War II: American bombers strike a hydro-electric power facility and heavy water factory in German-controlled Vemork, Norway.

1944 – World War II: Operation Queen, the costly Allied thrust to the Rur, is launched.

1944 – World War II: Düren, Germany, is destroyed by Allied bombers.

1945 – UNESCO is founded.

1973 – Skylab program: NASA launches Skylab 4 with a crew of three astronauts from Cape Canaveral, Florida for an 84-day mission.

1973 – U.S. President Richard Nixon signs the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Authorization Act into law, authorizing the construction of the Alaska Pipeline.

1990 – Pop group Milli Vanilli are stripped of their Grammy Award because the duo did not sing at all on the Girl You Know It's True album. Session musicians had provided all the vocals.


1806 – Mary Tyler Peabody Mann, American author and educator (d. 1887)

1836 – Kalākaua of Hawaii (d. 1891)

1873 – W. C. Handy, American trumpet player and composer (d. 1958)

1883 – Emil Breitkreutz, American runner and coach (d. 1972)

1889 – George S. Kaufman, American director, producer, and playwright (d. 1961)

1907 – Burgess Meredith, American actor, singer, director, producer, and screenwriter (d. 1997)

1916 – Daws Butler, American voice actor and singer (d. 1988)

1963 – Zina Garrison, American tennis player and coach

1967 – Lisa Bonet, American actress and director


1806 – Moses Cleaveland, American general, lawyer, and politician, founded Cleveland, Ohio (b. 1754)

1911 – A. A. Ames, American physician and politician, 9th Mayor of Minneapolis (b. 1842)

1939 – Pierce Butler, American lawyer and jurist (b. 1866)

1950 – Bob Smith, American physician and surgeon, co-founded Alcoholics Anonymous (b. 1879)

1960 – Clark Gable, American actor and singer (b. 1901)

2005 – Ralph Edwards, American radio and television host and producer (b. 1913)