Today in History….November 4

On this day in . . .

  1677, the future Mary II of England marries William, Prince of Orange. They would later jointly reign as William and Mary

  1825, the Erie Canal is completed with Governor DeWitt Clinton performing the Wedding of The Waters ceremony in New York Harbour

  1921, the Sturmabteilung or SA is formally formed by Adolf Hitler, ym”sh

  1922, in Egypt, British archaeologist Howard Carter and his men find the entrance to King Tutankhamun’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings 

  1939, during 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, during World War II: Second Battle of El Alamein — Disobeying a direct order by Adolf Hitler, ym”sh, General Field Marshal Erwin Rommel leads his forces on a five-month retreat

  1952, the United States government establishes the National Security Agency 

  1956, Soviet troops enter Hungary to end the Hungarian revolution against the Soviet Union, that started on October 23. Thousands are killed, more are wounded, and nearly a quarter million leave the country

  1962, in a test of the Nike-Hercules air defense missile, Shot Dominic-Tightrope is successfully detonated 69,000 feet above Johnston Island. It would also be the last atmospheric nuclear test conducted by the United States

  1966, two-thirds of Florence, Italy is submerged as the Arno river floods; together with the contemporaneous flood of the Po River in northern Italy, this leads to 113 deaths, 30,000 made homeless, and the destruction of numerous Renaissance artworks and books

  1970, during the Vietnam War: Vietnamization — The United States turns control of the Binh Thuy Air Base in the Mekong Delta over to South Vietnam. ALSO: Genie, a 13-year-old feral child is found in Los Angeles, California having been locked in her bedroom for most of her life

  1979, the Iran hostage crisis begins: a group of Iranians, mostly students, invades the United States embassy in Tehran and takes 90 hostages (53 of whom are American) 

  1994, the first conference, held in San Francisco, focuses exclusively on the subject of the commercial potential of the World Wide Web

  1995, Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin is assassinated 

  2000, President Bill Clinton vetoed a bill that would have criminalized the leaking of government secrets

  2008, California voters approved Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment outlawing same-gender marriage, overturning a state Supreme Court decision that gave “alternative-lifestyle” couples the right to wed just months earlier

  2010, Republicans gained 63 seats and seized control of the U.S. House of Representatives from Democrats but lost a bid to win the Senate majority 

  2012, Zac Vawter, a 31-year-old amputee from Yelm, Wash., climbed the 103 floors of Chicago’s Willis Tower, becoming the first person ever to complete the task wearing a mind-controlled prosthetic limb

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