#TodayInHistory – November 43 min read
November 4 – Some important events on this day.
1333 👉🏼 Flood of the Arno River, causing massive damage in Florence as recorded by the Florentine chronicler Giovanni Villani.
1429 👉🏼 Joan of Arc and Charles d’Albret liberate the heavily fortified town of Saint-Pierre-le-Moûtier after a siege
1576 👉🏼 Eighty Years’ War: In Flanders, Spanish defeat Walloon and capture Antwerp
1819 👉🏼 Māori Chiefs Hongi Hika and Rewa sell 13,000 acres (5260 hectares) at Kerikeri to the Church Missionary Society for 48 felling axes, New Zealand
1841 👉🏼 First wagon train arrives in California
1854 👉🏼 Lighthouse built on Alcatraz Island
1862 👉🏼 Dr Richard Gatling patents Gatling machine gun in Indianapolis
1879 👉🏼 African American inventor Thomas Elkins patents refrigerating apparatus
1879 👉🏼 James Ritty patents first cash register, to combat stealing by bartenders in his saloon in Dayton, Ohio
1918 👉🏼 Just one week before the armistice was declared, ending World War I, British Poet Wilfred Owen killed is killed in action during a British assault on the German-held Sambre Canal on the Western Front.
1922 👉🏼 Howard Carter discovers tomb of Tutankhamun in Egypt.
When Carter first arrived in Egypt in 1891, most of the ancient Egyptian tombs had been discovered, though the little-known King Tutankhamen, who had died when he was 18, was still unaccounted for. After World War I, Carter began an intensive search for “King Tut’s Tomb,” finally finding steps to the burial room hidden in the debris near the entrance of the nearby tomb of King Ramses VI in the Valley of the Kings. On November 26, 1922, Carter and fellow archaeologist Lord Carnarvon entered the interior chambers of the tomb, finding them miraculously intact.
Thus began a monumental excavation process in which Carter carefully explored the four-room tomb over several years, uncovering an incredible collection of several thousand objects. The most splendid architectural find was a stone sarcophagus containing three coffins nested within each other. Inside the final coffin, which was made out of solid gold, was the mummy of the boy-king Tutankhamen, preserved for more than 3,000 years. Most of these treasures are now housed in the Cairo Museum.
1924 👉🏼 California legalizes professional boxing (illegal since 1914)
1963 👉🏼 John Lennon utters his infamous line at a Royal Variety Performance “Will the people in the cheaper seats clap your hands? And for the rest of you, if you’ll just rattle your jewelry…” in London
1973 👉🏼 The Netherlands experiences the first Car Free Sunday caused by the 1973 oil crisis. Highways are deserted and are solely used by cyclists and roller skaters.
1979 👉🏼 500 Iranian students loyal to Ayatollah Khomeini seize the US Embassy in Tehran, taking 90 hostages for 444 days.
In 1979, a year of enormous social unrest in Iran came to a head with the collapse of the country’s monarchy and the establishment by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini of an Islamic Republic. Iran went from being a pro-Western, American-backed nation to one of its arch enemies.
This new state of affairs is best symbolized by the 444-day hostage crisis at the US Embassy in Tehran. On this day, students broke through the gates of the compound and took most of the staff hostage. Six who had evaded capture were rescued by a Canadian-American effort in early 1980.
For over a year the standoff continued. US President Jimmy Carter, coming to the end of his term, authorized a disastrous rescue attempt called Operation Eagle Claw, which resulted in the deaths of eight American soldiers. After long and tense negotiations, Iran released the remaining hostages on January 20, 1981, at the exact moment that newly sworn-in President Ronald Reagan completed his inaugural address.
The hostage crisis remains the longest in recorded history.
2001 👉🏼 “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” 1st film adaptation of the books by J. K. Rowling, premieres starring Daniel Radcliffe
2008 👉🏼 Barack Obama becomes the first African-American to be elected President of the United States, defeating Republican candidate John McCain