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This Day in History: November 4


1791 – The Western Confederacy of American Indians wins a major victory over the United States in the Battle of the Wabash.

1861 – The University of Washington opens in Seattle as the Territorial University.

1864 – American Civil War: Battle of Johnsonville: Confederate troops bombard a Union supply base and destroy millions of dollars in material.

1924 – Nellie Tayloe Ross of Wyoming is elected the first female governor in the United States.

1939 – World War II: U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt orders the United States Customs Service to implement the Neutrality Act of 1939, allowing cash-and-carry purchases of weapons by belligerents.

1942 – World War II: Second Battle of El Alamein: Disobeying a direct order by Adolf Hitler, General Field Marshal Erwin Rommel leads his forces on a five-month retreat.

1952 – The United States government establishes the National Security Agency, or NSA.

1962 – The United States concludes Operation Fishbowl, its final above-ground nuclear weapons testing series, in anticipation of the 1963 Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

1970 – Vietnam War: Vietnamization: The United States turns control of the Binh Thuy Air Base in the Mekong Delta over to South Vietnam.

1970 – Genie, a 13-year-old feral child is found in Los Angeles having been locked in her bedroom for most of her life.

1979 – Iran hostage crisis: A mob of Iranians, mostly students, overruns the US embassy in Tehran and takes 90 hostages (53 of whom are American).

2008 – Barack Obama becomes the first person of African descent to be elected President of the United States.


1809 – Benjamin Robbins Curtis, American lawyer and jurist (d. 1874)

1879 – Will Rogers, American actor and screenwriter (d. 1935)

1887 – Alfred Lee Loomis, American physicist and philanthropist (d. 1975)

1916 – Walter Cronkite, American journalist, voice actor, and producer (d. 2009)

1918 – Art Carney, American actor and singer (d. 2003)

1928 – Hannah Weiner, American poet and author (d. 1997)

1937 – Loretta Swit, American actress and singer

1946 – Laura Bush, American educator, 45th First Lady of the United States


1895 – Eugene Field, American journalist, author, and poet (b. 1850)

1950 – Grover Cleveland Alexander, American baseball player and coach (b. 1887)

1955 – Robert E. Sherwood, American playwright and screenwriter (b. 1896)

1955 – Cy Young, American baseball player and manager (b. 1867)

1995 – Morrie Schwartz, American sociologist, author, and academic (b. 1916)

1997 – Richard Hooker, American novelist (b. 1924)

2010 – Sparky Anderson, American baseball player and manager (b. 1934)

2011 – Andy Rooney, American journalist and author (b. 1919)