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This Day in History: November 8


1519 – Hernán Cortés enters Tenochtitlán and Aztec ruler Moctezuma welcomes him with a great celebration.

1837 – Mary Lyon founds Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, which later becomes Mount Holyoke College.

1861 – American Civil War: The "Trent Affair": The USS San Jacinto stops the British mail ship Trent and arrests two Confederate envoys, sparking a diplomatic crisis between the UK and US.

1889 – Montana is admitted as the 41st U.S. state.

1892 – The New Orleans general strike begins, uniting black and white American trade unionists in a successful four-day general strike action for the first time.

1898 – The Wilmington insurrection of 1898, the only instance of an attempted coup d'état in American history.

1923 – Beer Hall Putsch: In Munich, Adolf Hitler leads the Nazis in an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the German government.

1933 – Great Depression: New Deal: US President Franklin D. Roosevelt unveils the Civil Works Administration, an organization designed to create jobs for more than 4 million unemployed.

1939 – In Munich, Adolf Hitler narrowly escapes the assassination attempt of Georg Elser while celebrating the 16th anniversary of the Beer Hall Putsch.

1942 – World War II: French Resistance coup in Algiers, in which 400 civilian French patriots neutralize Vichyist XIXth Army Corps after 15 hours of fighting, and arrest several Vichyst generals, allowing the immediate success of Operation Torch in Algiers.

1950 – Korean War: United States Air Force Lt. Russell J. Brown, while piloting an F-80 Shooting Star, shoots down two North Korean MiG-15s in the first jet aircraft-to-jet aircraft dogfight in history.

1957 – A Boeing 377 Stratocruiser disappeared en route from San Francisco, California to Honolulu, Hawaii. Wreckage and bodies were discovered a week later.

1960 – John F. Kennedy defeats Richard Nixon in one of the closest presidential elections of the twentieth century to become the 35th president of the United States.

1965 – The 173rd Airborne is ambushed by over 1,200 Viet Cong in Operation Hump during the Vietnam War, while the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment fight one of the first set-piece engagements of the war between Australian forces and the Viet Cong at the Battle of Gang Toi.

1966 – Former Massachusetts Attorney General Edward Brooke becomes the first African American elected to the United States Senate since Reconstruction.

1966 – U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson signs into law an antitrust exemption allowing the National Football League to merge with the upstart American Football League.

1972 – HBO launches its programming, with the broadcast of the 1971 movie Sometimes a Great Notion, starring Paul Newman and Henry Fonda.

1973 – The right ear of John Paul Getty III is delivered to a newspaper together with a ransom note, convincing his father to pay US$2.9 million.

1994 – Republican Revolution: On the night of the 1994 United States midterm elections, Republicans make historic electoral gains by securing massive majorities in both houses of congress (54 seats in the House and eight seats in the Senate, additionally). Thus bringing a close to four decades of Democratic domination.

2004 – War in Iraq: More than 10,000 U.S. troops and a small number of Iraqi army units participate in a siege on the insurgent stronghold of Fallujah.

2016 – Donald Trump becomes the first person elected U.S. President with no military or political experience, even though he has about 3 million less popular votes than his opponent.  (He does win the electoral vote 304-227)


1656 – Edmond Halley, English astronomer and mathematician (d. 1742)

1836 – Milton Bradley, American businessman, founded the Milton Bradley Company (d. 1911)

1897 – Dorothy Day, American journalist and activist (d. 1980)

1900 – Margaret Mitchell, American journalist and author (d. 1949)

1922 – Christiaan Barnard, South African surgeon and academic (d. 2001)

1927 – Patti Page, American singer and actress (d. 2013)


1887 – Doc Holliday, American dentist and poker player (b. 1851)

1959 – Frank S. Land, American activist, founded the DeMolay International (b. 1890)

1965 – Dorothy Kilgallen, American journalist and actress (b. 1913)

1978 – Norman Rockwell, American painter and illustrator (b. 1894)

2011 – Bil Keane, American cartoonist (b. 1922)

2012 – Lee MacPhail, American businessman (b. 1917)