November 3 – Some important events on this day.
644 👉🏼 Umar ibn al-Khattab, second Muslim caliph, is killed by a Persian slave in Medina
1394 👉🏼 Jews are expelled from France by Charles VI
1534 👉🏼 English parliament passes Act of Supremacy: Henry VIII and subsequent monarchs become Head of Church of England
1620 👉🏼 Great Patent granted to Plymouth Colony
1640 👉🏼 English Long Parliament forms
1838 👉🏼 The Times of India, world’s largest circulated English language daily broadsheet newspaper founded as The Bombay Times and Journal of Commerce
1903 👉🏼 Panama declares independence from Colombia
1906 👉🏼 International Radiotelegraph Conference in Berlin selects “SOS” (· · · – – – · · ·) distress signal as the worldwide standard for help
1928 👉🏼 Turkey switches from Arabic to Roman alphabet
1957 👉🏼 Soviet Union launches Sputnik 2 with space dog Laika aboard, a mostly-Siberian husky, the 1st animal in space.
Russian dog Laika was sent up in the spaceship Sputnik II to orbit Earth on this day.
Laika was a stray that had been picked up on the streets of Moscow. And at the time there was no technology or plans to bring her back to Earth.
One of the technicians preparing her capsule said that “after placing Laika in the container and before closing the hatch, we kissed her nose and wished her bon voyage, knowing that she would not survive the flight.”
The launch was designed to show that a living passenger could survive being thrust into orbit and endure micro-gravity, paving the way for space travel by humans.
However, it also paved the way for furious protest across the world, nowhere more so than in Britain. The BBC’s switchboard was jammed by irate callers even before an announcer had finished reading the news bulletin of the event. And as the protests grew, the National Canine Defence League appealed for one minute of silence across the country at 11am every day.
So what happened to Laika? Although Moscow long insisted that she expired painlessly after about a week in orbit, an official with the Institute for Biological Problems leaked the truth in 2002: Laika died from panic and overheating within hours of takeoff.
The spacecraft circled Earth every hour and 42 minutes, travelling at 18,000 mph. But after five to seven hours into the flight, all signs of life received from the spacecraft stopped.
Over five months later, after 2,570 orbits, Sputnik II—including Laika’s remains—disintegrated during re-entry on April 14, 1958.
Did you know?
One Vietnamese farmer, really bewildered by it all, complained: “I don’t understand. Dogs are supposed to be eaten, not carted around through space.”
1960 👉🏼 Ivory Coast adopts constitution
1970 👉🏼 US President Richard Nixon promises gradual troop removal of Vietnam
1989 👉🏼 100s of Bulgarian demonstrate in Sofia for democratic rights
2014 👉🏼 New York’s 104-storey One World Trade Center officially opens 13 years after the September 11 attacks