This Week in History November 29th-December 5th


Ashley Thoms, Writer

November 29th:

  1. 1864 – The Sand Creek Massacre occurred in Colorado when a militia led by Colonel John Chivington killed at least 400 peaceful Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians who had surrendered and had been given permission to camp.
  2. 1963 – U.S. President Johnson named a commission headed by Earl Warren to investigate the assassination of President Kennedy.
  3. 1975 – Bill Gates adopted the name Microsoft for the company he and Paul Allen had formed to write the BASIC computer language for the Altair.
  4. 1988 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the rights of criminal defendants are not violated when police unintentionally fail to preserve potentially vital evidence.
  5. 1998 – Swiss voters overwhelmingly rejected legalizing heroin and other narcotics.


November 30th:

  1. 1782 – The United States and Britain signed preliminary peace articles in Paris, ending the Revolutionary War.
  2. 1956- CBS played the program “Douglas Edward and the News” which was the first broadcast via videotape.
  3. 1981 – The U.S. and the Soviet Union opened negotiations in Geneva that were aimed at reducing nuclear weapons in Europe.
  4. 1982 – The motion picture Ghandi had its world premiere in New Delhi.
  5. 1986 – “Time” magazine published an interview with U.S. President Reagan. In the article, Reagan described fired national security staffer Oliver North as a “national hero.”


December 1st:

  1. 1835 – Hans Christian Andersen published his first book of fairy tales.
  2. 1913 – Ford Motor Co. began using a new movable assembly line that ushered in the era of mass production.
  3. 1955 – Rosa Parks, a black seamstress in Montgomery, AL, refused to give up her seat to a white man. Mrs. Parks was arrested, marking a milestone in the civil rights movement in the U.S.
  4. 1959 – 12 countries, including the U.S. and USSR, signed a treaty that set aside Antarctica as a scientific preserve, which would be free from military activity.
  5. 1969 – The U.S. government held its first draft lottery since World War II.


December 2nd:

  1. 1823 – U.S. President James Monroe outlined his doctrine opposing European expansion in the Western Hemisphere.
  2. 1917 – During World War I, hostilities were suspended on the Eastern Front.
  3. 1961 – Cuban leader Fidel Castro declared in a nationally broadcast speech that he was a Marxist-Leninist and that he was going to lead Cuba to communism.
  4. 1982- The first artificial heart was implanted at the University of Utah. The operation was performed on Barney Clark who lived 112 days with the device.
  5. 1998 – Microsoft Corp. chairman Bill Gates donated $100 million to help immunize children in developing countries.


December 3rd

  1. 1792 – The trial of France’s King Louis XVI began. He was eventually put to death for the 33 charges.
  2. 1818 – Illinois was admitted as the 21st state of the union.
  3. 1828 – Andrew Jackson was elected president of the United States.
  4. 1948 – The “Pumpkin Papers” came to public light. The House Un-American Activities Committee announced that former Communist spy Whittaker Chambers had produced microfilm of secret documents hidden inside a pumpkin on his Maryland farm.
  5. 1973 – Pioneer 10 sent back the first close-up images of Jupiter. The first outer-planetary probe had been launched from Cape Canaveral, FL, on March 2, 1972.


December 4th:

  1. 1791 – Britain’s Observer newspaper was first published.
  2. 1942 – U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered the dismantling of the Works Progress Administration. The program had been created in order to provide jobs during the Great Depression.
  3. 1942 – U.S. bombers attacked the Italian mainland for the first time during World War II.
  4. 1973 – Pioneer 10 reached Jupiter.
  5. 1991 – Associated Press correspondent Terry Anderson was released after nearly seven years in captivity in Lebanon.


December 5th:

  1. 1492 – Christopher Columbus discovered Hispaniola.
  2. 1776 – In Williamsburg, VA, at the College of William and Mary the first scholastic fraternity in America, Phi Beta Kappa, was organized.
  3. 1782 – The first native U.S. president, Martin Van Buren, was born in Kinderhook, NY.
  4. 1848 – U.S. President Polk triggered the Gold Rush of ’49 by confirming the fact that gold had been discovered in California.
  5. 1901 – Movie producer Walt Disney was born in Chicago. He created his first Mickey Mouse cartoon at the age of 27.