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Today in History for November

Nov 01

When did poker become a popular game?

November 1, 1834 — Today marks the first published reference to poker, as a Mississippi riverboat game. It was played in a variety of forms, with 52 cards, and included both straight poker and stud. 20 card poker was a variant for two...

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Nov 02

What is President Franklin Pierce best known for?

November 2, 1852 — Franklin Pierce is elected the 14th president of United States today. Historians and other political commentators rank Pierce's presidency among the worst. Pierce was a northern Democrat who saw the abolitionist movement as a fundamental threat to the unity of the...

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Nov 03

Who was the first vice president to also be elected president?

November 3, 1796 — John Adams is elected president of the United States of America today. The American lawyer, author, statesman, and diplomat, of Welsh decent served as the first Vice President (1789–1797) under George Washington, and the second President (1797–1801). Historians explain that the founding father was a...

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Nov 03

Happy National Sandwich Day: How did the sammie get its start?

November 3, 1762 — Today is Sandwich Day in celebration of the day that British nobleman John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, popularized the delicacy during the Revolutionary War. For years, early Americans considered eating a sandwich to be un-patriotic. Here's how the story goes: Food...

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Nov 05

Who said: “Anyone who supports the Tea Act is an enemy to America”?

November 5, 1773 — John Hancock is elected today as moderator at a Boston town meeting that resolves that anyone who supports the Tea Act is an "enemy to America." A merchant, smuggler, statesman, and prominent Patriot of the American Revolution, Hancock served as president of the Second Continental Congress and...

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Nov 06

Who were the Republicans that ran against Lincoln in 1860?

November 6, 1860 — Abraham Lincoln (Rep-R-Ill) becomes the 16th US president today. It was a tough battle. Other Republican candidates included: William Seward, Senator, New York • Simon Cameron, Senator, Pennsylvania • Salmon P. Chase, Governor of Ohio • Edward Bates, former representative, Missouri • John McLean, Associate...

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Nov 07

What is Londoner John Austin best known for?

November 7, 1783 — Highwayman John Austin is the last man to be publicly hanged at London's Tyburn gallows today. The hanging marked the end of Tyburn, a village then in the county of Middlesex, which was the site of executions for nearly 600 years....

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Nov 09

What is the Napoleonic Code?

November 9, 1799 — Napoleon Bonaparte became the first dictator of France today, and soon after began instituting a number of government reforms including the famous Napoleonic Code. It said that government positions would not be appointed based on a person's birth or...

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Nov 11

What is the history of the Chrysanthemum?

November 11, 1790 — Chrysanthemums are believed to have been introduced today in 1790 by the Chinese, who call it “Chu.” The Chinese city of Chu-Hsien (which means Chrysanthemum City) was named to honor the flower. Described in writings as early as the 15th Century...

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Nov 12

Who was the first doctor to use chloroform as an anaesthetic?

November 12, 1847 — Scottish obstetrician James Young Simpson is the first to use chloroform as an anesthetic today in 1847. Yes, Sir Humphry Davy used the first anaesthetic in 1799 — nitrous oxide (aka: laughing gas). But Simpson discovered the properties of chloroform while sitting in...

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Nov 15

Who was the first 40something president to be elected?

November 5, 1844 — James K. Polk was 49 when he was elected the 11th president of the US today. During his tenure, three states were added, the first Women’s Rights Convention was held, the sewing machine,gas lighting, and the rotary printing...

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Nov 19

Who succeeded William Wordsworth as the Poet Laureate?

November 19, 1850 — Victorian poet Alfred Tennyson became the British Poet Laureate today, succeeding William Wordsworth. Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Leigh Hunt had also been considered. He held the position until his own death in 1892, the longest tenure of any laureate before or since....

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Nov 21

Which future president is admitted to the bar today?

November 21, 1787 — Today, Andrew Jackson is admitted to bar. Noted by historians to be one of the most critical and controversial figures in American history, he was a dominant player in the pivotal years between Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln. The seventh President of the...

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Nov 22

Which active stratovolcano erupted today in 1842?

November 22, 1842 — Mount St Helens in Washington state erupted today. The active stratovolcano located in Skamania County, Washington, in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, is 96 miles south of Seattle, Washington, and 50 miles northeast of Portland, Oregon. It takes its English name from the British...

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Nov 23

When was Annapolis the capital of the US?

November 23, 1783 — Annapolis, Maryland became the US capital of the newly forming American nation when the Continental Congress met from in November 1783 (from the 26th to June 3, 1784). In fact, this city is where the Treaty of Paris...

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Nov 24

Which groundbreaking work did Charles Darwin publish today in 1859?

November 24, 1859 — Today, Charles Darwin published, "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life." Considered to be the foundation of evolutionary biology, the book introduced the scientific theory that populations evolve over...

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Nov 25

What is “Evacuation Day?”

November 25, 1783 — Today marks the day that British troops departed from New York Town on Manhattan Island at the end of the American Revolutionary War. Gen. George Washington triumphantly led the Continental Army from his former headquarters, north of the City, across the Harlem River south down Manhattan through The Battery at the...

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Nov 27

What was the impetus for the Seminole Wars?

November 27, 1817 — US soldiers attack the Florida Indian village, beginning the Seminole Wars. Also known as the Florida Wars, there were three conflicts in Florida between the US Army and the Seminoles — which was the collective name given to the amalgamation of...

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Nov 28

What is the Treaty of Hopewell?

November 28, 1785 — The first Treaty of Hopewell was signed today between U.S. representatives Benjamin Hawkins, Andrew Pickens (pictured right), and Joseph Martin and members of the Cherokee People. Signed at Hopewell Plantation, the treaty laid out a western boundary for...

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Nov 29

Who invented invisible ink?

November 29, 1775 — During the Revolutionary War, both the British and the Americans used invisible ink. Chief British intelligence officer, Major John Andre, had agents put a letter in the corner of their correspondence to inform the recipient as to...

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Nov 30

What did the Treaty of Paris accomplish?

November 30, 1782 — The Treaty of Paris was signed today, officially ending the Revolutionary War between Great Britain and the United States. It recognized American independence and established borders for the new nation. After the British defeat at Yorktown,...

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