On This Day … 14 November

Events

  • 1812 – Napoleonic Wars: At the Battle of Smoliani, French Marshals Victor and Oudinot are defeated by the Russians under General Peter Wittgenstein.
  • 1862 – American Civil War: President Abraham Lincoln approves General Ambrose Burnside’s plan to capture the Confederate capital at Richmond, Virginia, leading to the Battle of Fredericksburg.
  • 1886 – Friedrich Soennecken first develops the hole puncher, a type of office tool capable of punching small holes in paper.
  • 1910 – Aviator Eugene Burton Ely performs the first takeoff from a ship in Hampton Roads, Virginia, taking off from a makeshift deck on the USS Birmingham in a Curtiss pusher.
  • 1918 – Czechoslovakia becomes a republic.
  • 1922 – The British Broadcasting Company begins radio service in the United Kingdom.
  • 1940 – World War II: In England, Coventry is heavily bombed by German Luftwaffe bombers.
    • Coventry Cathedral is almost completely destroyed.
  • 1941 – World War II: The aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal sinks due to torpedo damage from the German submarine U-81 sustained on November 13.
  • 1941 – World War II: German troops, aided by local auxiliaries, murder nine thousand residents of the Słonim Ghetto in a single day.
  • 1965 – Vietnam War: The Battle of Ia Drang begins: The first major engagement between regular American and North Vietnamese forces.
  • 1967 – American physicist Theodore Maiman is given a patent for his ruby laser systems, the world’s first laser.
  • 1973 – In the United Kingdom, Princess Anne marries Captain Mark Phillips, in Westminster Abbey.
  • 1973 – The Athens Polytechnic uprising, a massive demonstration of popular rejection of the Greek military junta of 1967–74, begins.
  • 1975 – With the signing of the Madrid Accords, Spain abandons Western Sahara.
  • 1978 – France conducts the Aphrodite nuclear test as 25th in the group of 29 1975–78 French nuclear tests.
  • 1979 – US President Jimmy Carter issues Executive Order 12170, freezing all Iranian assets in the United States in response to the hostage crisis.
  • 1990 – After German reunification, the Federal Republic of Germany and Poland sign a treaty confirming the Oder–Neisse line as the border between Germany and Poland.
  • 2001 – War in Afghanistan: Afghan Northern Alliance fighters take over the capital Kabul.
  • 2012 – Israel launches a major military operation in the Gaza Strip, as hostilities with Hamas escalate.

  • 1828 – James B. McPherson, American general (d. 1864).
  • 1875 – Gregorio del Pilar, Filipino general and politician (d. 1899).
  • 1908 – Joseph McCarthy, American captain, lawyer, and politician (d. 1957).
  • 1917 – Park Chung-hee, South Korean general and politician, 3rd President of South Korea (d. 1979).
  • 1920 – Mary Greyeyes, the first First Nations woman to join the Canadian Armed Forces (d. 2011).
  • 1930 – Ed White, American colonel, engineer, and astronaut (d. 1967).
  • 1933 – Fred Haise, American pilot, engineer, and astronaut.
  • 1967 – Leo Kunnas, Estonian colonel and author.

  • 1944 – Trafford Leigh-Mallory, English air marshal (b. 1892).
  • 1966 – Peter Baker, English captain, author, and politician (b. 1921).
  • 1988 – Haywood S. Hansell, American general (b. 1903).
  • 1996 – John A. Cade, American soldier and politician (b. 1929).
  • 2006 – Sumner Shapiro, American admiral (b. 1926).
  • 2012 – Ahmed Jabari, Palestinian commander (b. 1960).
  • 2014 – Glen A. Larson, American director, producer, and screenwriter, created Battlestar Galactica (b. 1937).
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