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Photo of JFK moments before he was assassinated

Major historical anniversaries in November

Image: Photograph taken moments before John F. Kennedy was assassinated | Public Domain

From the Gunpowder Plot to the first living thing in space, discover what major historical events have taken place in the month of November.

1 November

Birth of the EU (1993)

The European Union was formally established when the Maastricht Treaty came into effect on this day in 1993. Today, the political and economic union contains 27 member states.

3 November

The first known living creature travels to space (1957)

Some four years before Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space, the Russians sent Sputnik II into orbit with a street dog called Laika onboard. Laika became the first living animal to venture into the cosmos, but she sadly passed away during the mission.

4 November

Tutankhamun’s tomb is discovered (1922)

After several years of searching, British archaeologist Howard Carter finally discovered the tomb of King Tutankhamun in Luxor, Egypt. In February of the following year, Carter opened the door to the tomb, uncovering one of the greatest archaeological finds in history.

5 November

The Gunpowder Plot (1605)

During the night of 4th-5th November 1605, Guy Fawkes was arrested after being found guarding 36 barrels of gunpowder stashed away in a vault under the House of Lords in London. He, along with 12 other co-conspirators, planned to blow up the protestant King James I and his government on the opening day of parliament.

7 November

Marie Curie is born (1867)

The Polish-born physicist and chemist won multiple Nobel prizes for her pioneering research on radioactivity. Her work led to the development of treatments for cancer.

8 November

X-rays are discovered (1895)

German physicist Wilhelm Roentgen accidentally discovered X-rays (electromagnetic rays) in his lab at the University of Wurzburg, Germany. The discovery became a medical miracle, allowing doctors to see inside the human body without surgery.

Cortés meets Montezuma (1519)

Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés met Montezuma II (the ninth Aztec emperor) at the gates of the Aztec city of Tenochtitlá. It was one of the most critical meetings in the history of the Americas, as after this moment everything changed with Spanish colonialisation sweeping the continent.

9 November

The Night of Broken Glass (1938)

Known as Kristallnacht (The Night of Broken Glass), the Nazi regime conducted a wave of antisemitic violence against the Jewish population in Germany. The event was named after the shattered glass that littered the streets the following day after the vandalism and destruction of Jewish-owned businesses, synagogues, and homes.

Berlin Wall falls (1989)

After standing for more than 28 years, the wall dividing East and West Berlin was finally torn down during the collapse of the Soviet Union. The event became one of the most iconic moments of the 20th century.

11 November

Armistice Day: The Great War comes to an end (1918)

After four years of bitter and bloody warfare, the First World War finally came to an end. The Armistice came into effect at 11 a.m. - the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.

12 November

First ever photo of Nessy taken (1933)

The first ever image of Scotland’s Loch Ness Monster was taken by a man called Hugh Gray.

14 November

Battle of Ia Drang begins (1965)

The Battle of Ia Drang was the first major confrontation between U.S. and North Vietnamese forces during the Vietnam War. Taking place in the Ia Drang Valley of the Central Highlands, the short but bloody conflict that raged there soon gave the area a new nickname - the Valley of Death.

17 November

Queen Elizabeth I ascended to the throne (1558)

Known as the Virgin Queen, Elizabeth I is one of Britain’s most successful and popular rulers. The daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, she was the last of the monarchs from the house of Tudor and her reign (known as the Elizabethan era) lasted 44 years.

22 November

JFK is assassinated (1963)

American President John F. Kennedy was shot and killed by Lee Harvey Oswald as his motorcade travelled through the city of Dallas, Texas.

Death of Blackbeard (1718)

Edward Teach (aka Blackbeard) met his end after British Lieutenant Robert Maynard hunted the infamous pirate down. Although his reign of terror lasted just a year, Blackbeard was one of the most feared pirates of his time and amassed a vast fortune from pillaging the seas during the Golden Age of Piracy.

24 November

Charles Darwin publishes ‘On the Origin of Species’ (1859)

Famous British naturalist Charles Darwin published his ground-breaking scientific work called On the Origin of Species. In it, Darwin laid out his theory of evolution, forever changing how we look at the world around us.

30 November

Winston Churchill is born (1874)

Regarded as one of the greatest Britons to have ever lived, Winston Churchill was Prime Minister of the country during its darkest hour in WWII. Known for his inspirational speeches, Churchill steered Britain to victory against the Nazis.

The Winter War begins (1939)

After signing a non-aggression pact with Adolf Hitler, the Soviet Union invaded its Nordic neighbour Finland. Fighting in temperatures that dropped to -43°C, the conflict became known as the Winter War. It ended the following spring with Finland retaining its independence but ceding 10% of its territory to the Soviets.