What Happened on November 9?

  • The Berlin Wall came down. (1989) The checkpoints between East and West Germany were opened for the first time since August 13, 1961. East and West Germany were reunified less than a year later on October 3, 1990.

  • US President Theodore Roosevelt became the first sitting US President to visit another country on official matters. (1906) President Roosevelt traveled to the Panama Canal to see how construction was coming along.

  • The "Kristallnacht" attacks occurred, unofficially beginning the holocaust. (1938) "Kristallnacht," or "night of broken glass," happened after Herschel Grynszpan, a Jewish resistance soldier, killed a Nazi diplomat. The Nazis began burning and vandalizing Jewish businesses, homes, synagogues and schools. More than 100 Jews were killed, and Nazi forces arrested more than 30,000 Jewish men over two days, sending most of them to concentration camps; many of the men were later released after promising to leave the country.

  • The Northeast Blackout of 1965 occurred. (1965) The blackout, which shut off power to more than 30 million people in the US and Canada, was caused by human error; a maintenance worker set the voltage limit on a safety shut-off too low. People were without power for more than 13 hours in cold winter weather.

  • The US Supreme Court refused to hear a case challenging the legality of the Vietnam War. (1970) The justices voted 6-3 not to hear the Massachusetts v. Laird case, which argued that the Vietnam War wasn't officially declared, and therefore Massachusetts citizens could refuse to serve in the military.

  • Brokerage firms in the US were ordered to pay $1.03 billion US Dollars to cheated investors. (1998) In one of the largest civil lawsuit settlements in the history of the US, a federal judge required the brokerage houses to pay back investors who claimed they lost money on the NASDAQ because of fraudulent price-fixing.

  • The Treaty of Seville was signed, ending the Anglo-Spanish War. (1729) The treaty was the result of a negotiated peace agreement between France, Great Britain and Spain.

  • The Atlantic Monthly was founded. (1857) Now known as simply The Atlantic, the magazine continues to focus on political, literary and cultural commentary. It is read by more than 400,000 subscribers and delivered 10 times per year.

  • The US gained rights to Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. (1887) The Hawaiian Kingdom and the US signed the Reciprocity Treaty of 1875, giving the US access to the sugar trade, which benefited the Hawaiian Kingdom economy, and the US gained access to the land where the Pearl Harbor naval base was built. The land gave the US a permanent strategic military advantage in the Pacific. Hawaii became a US state in 1959.

  • The most destructive natural disaster in the history of the Great Lakes occurred. (1913) The Great Lakes Storm of 1913 was a hurricane-force blizzard that killed more than 250 people and destroyed 19 ships. Much of the damage occurred on Lake Huron, but four of the five Great Lakes suffered damage.

  • Rolling Stone published for the first time. (1967) The music-centric magazine was founded in San Francisco and now has a bi-monthly circulation of more than one million copies.

  • The German government passed a controversial data retention bill. (2007) The Bundestag, a lower-level parliament house in Germany, passed a bill that required the telecommunications traffic of its citizens — including e-mail and phone calls — to be stored, without establishing probable cause, for six months.

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