Friday, November 19, 2010
869 – St. Edmund the Martyr, King of East Anglia, is shot with arrows and beheaded after he is captured by Danes and refuses to submit to a pagan overlord.
1194 –Emperor Henry VI completes his conquest of the Kingdom of Sicily by taking Palermo. Henry promptly has the 8-year-old Sicilian king William III blinded and castrated.
1789 – New Jersey becomes the first state to ratify the U.S. Bill of Rights.
1820 – Two thousand miles from the west coast of South America, the 238-ton Nantucket whaler Essex is attacked and sunk by a large sperm whale. Herman Melville, reading later of the event, decides that this might make a good story.
1866 – Future lawyer, judge, and baseball commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis is born at Millville, Ohio. He got his name because that was the battle where his father, a Union Army physician, lost a leg.
1910 – In San Antonio, Texas, Mexican exiles led by Francisco Madero issue the Plan de San Luis Potosi, calling for the overthrow of dictatorial President Porfirio Díaz, effectively igniting the Mexican Revolution.
1984 – The SETI Institute is incorporated to search for intelligent extraterrestrial life. You’d think they’d have tried to find some one earth, first.
1985 – Microsoft Corporation issues Windows 1.0. It will be a success.