Nov 28, 1520: Magellan reaches the Pacific
After sailing through the dangerous straits below South America that now bear his name, Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan enters the Pacific Ocean with three ships, becoming the first European explorer to reach the Pacific from the Atlantic.
On September 20, 1519, Magellan set sail from Spain in an effort to find a western sea route to the rich Spice Islands of Indonesia. In command of five ships and 270 men, Magellan sailed to West Africa and then to Brazil, where he searched the South American coast for a strait that would take him to the Pacific. He searched the Rio de la Plata, a large estuary south of Brazil, for a way through; failing, he continued south along the coast of Patagonia. At the end of March 1520, the expedition set up winter quarters at Port St. Julian. On Easter day at midnight, the Spanish captains mutinied against their Portuguese captain, but Magellan crushed the revolt, executing one of the captains and leaving another ashore when his ship left St. Julian in August.
On October 21, he finally discovered the strait he had been seeking. The Strait of Magellan, as it became known, is located near the tip of South America, separating Tierra del Fuego and the continental mainland. Only three ships entered the passage; one had been wrecked and another deserted. It took 38 days to navigate the treacherous strait, and when ocean was sighted at the other end Magellan wept with joy. His fleet accomplished the westward crossing of the ocean in 99 days, crossing waters so strangely calm that the ocean was named "Pacific," from the Latin word pacificus, meaning "tranquil." By the end, the men were out of food and chewed the leather parts of their gear to keep themselves alive. On March 6, 1521, the expedition landed at the island of Guam.
Ten days later, they dropped anchor at the Philippine island of Cebu—they were only about 400 miles from the Spice Islands. Magellan met with the chief of Cebu, who after converting to Christianity persuaded the Europeans to assist him in conquering a rival tribe on the neighboring island of Mactan. In fighting on April 27, Magellan was hit by a poisoned arrow and left to die by his retreating comrades.
After Magellan's death, the survivors, in two ships, sailed on to the Moluccas and loaded the hulls with spice. One ship attempted, unsuccessfully, to return across the Pacific. The other ship, the Vittoria, continued west under the command of Basque navigator Juan Sebastian de Elcano. The vessel sailed across the Indian Ocean, rounded the Cape of Good Hope, and arrived at the Spanish port of Sanlucar de Barrameda on September 6, 1522, becoming the first ship to circumnavigate the globe.
Nov 28, 1954: Enrico Fermi, architect of the nuclear age, dies
On this day in 1954, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Enrico Fermi, the first man to create and control a nuclear chain reaction, and one of the Manhattan Project scientists, dies in Chicago at the age of 53.
Fermi was born in Rome on September 1, 1901. He made his career choice of physicist at age 17, and earned his doctorate at the University of Pisa at 21. After studying in Germany under physicist Max Born, famous for his work on quantum mechanics, which would prove vital to Fermi's later work, he returned to Italy to teach mathematics at the University of Florence. By 1926, he had been made a full professor of theoretical physics and gathered around him a group of other young physicists. In 1929, he became the youngest man ever elected to the Royal Academy of Italy.
The theoretical became displaced by the practical for Fermi upon learning of England's Sir James Chadwick's discovery of the neutron and the Curies' production of artificial radioactivity. Fermi went to work on producing radioactivity by means of manipulating the speed of neutrons derived from radioactive beryllium. Further similar experimentation with other elements, including uranium 92, produced new radioactive substances; Fermi's colleagues believed he had created a new, "transuranic" element with an atomic number of 93, the result of uranium 92 capturing a neuron while under bombardment, thus increasing its atomic weight. Fermi remained skeptical, despite his fellow physicists' enthusiasm. He became a believer in 1938, when he was awarded the Nobel Prize in physics for "his identification of new radioactive elements." Although travel was restricted for men whose work was deemed vital to national security, Fermi was given permission to go to Sweden to receive his prize. He and his wife, Laura, who was Jewish, never returned; both feared and despised Mussolini's fascist regime.
Fermi left Sweden for New York City, Columbia University, specifically, where he recreated many of his experiments with Niels Bohr, the Danish-born physicist, who suggested the possibility of a nuclear chain reaction. Fermi and others saw the possible military applications of such an explosive power, and quickly composed a letter warning President Roosevelt of the perils of a German atomic bomb. The letter was signed and delivered to the president by Albert Einstein on October 11, 1939. The Manhattan Project, the American program to create its own atomic bomb, was the result.
It fell to Fermi to produce the first nuclear chain reaction, without which such a bomb was impossible. He created a jury-rigged laboratory, complete with his own "atomic pile," in a squash court in the basement of Stagg Field at the University of Chicago. It was there that Fermi, with other physicists looking on, produced the first controlled chain reaction on December 2, 1942. The nuclear age was born. "The Italian navigator has just landed in the new world," was the coded message sent to a delighted President Roosevelt.
The first nuclear device, the creation of the Manhattan Project scientists, was tested on July 16, 1945. It was followed less than a month later by the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. After the war, Fermi, now an American citizen, became a Distinguished Service Professor of Nuclear Studies at the University of Chicago, consulting on the construction of the first large-particle accelerator. He went on to receive the Congressional Medal of Merit and to be elected a foreign member of the Royal Society of London.
Among other honors accorded to Fermi: The element number 100, fermium, was named for him. Also, the Enrico Fermi Award, now one of the oldest and most prestigious science and technology awards given by the U.S. government, was created in his honor.
Nov 28, 1925: The Grand Ole Opry begins broadcasting
The Grand Ole Opry, one of the longest-lived and most popular showcases for western music, begins broadcasting live from Nashville, Tennessee. The showcase was originally named the Barn Dance, after a Chicago radio program called the National Barn Dance that had begun broadcasting the previous year.
Impressed by the popularity of the Chicago-based National Barn Dance, producers at WSM radio in Nashville decided to create their own version of the show to cater to southern audiences who could not receive the Chicago signal. Both the Grand Ole Opry and the National Barn Dance aired on Saturday nights and featured folk music, fiddling, and the relatively new genre of country-western music. Both shows created a growing audience for a uniquely American style of music and were launching grounds for many of America's most-loved musicians--the singing cowboy Gene Autry got his first big break on the National Barn Dance. The WSM producers recognized that Americans were growing nostalgic for the rural past, so all live performers at the Grand Ole Opry were required to dress in hillbilly costumes and adopt old-time names.
The four-and-a-half-hour Grand Ole Opry program became one of the most popular broadcasts in the South, and like its Chicago cousin, helped make country-western an enduring part of the popular American musical landscape.
Here's a more detailed look at events that transpired on this date throughout history:
587 - Treaty of Andelot: King Guntram takes cousin Childebert II as heir
1340 - Battle of Salado Spain: last Moor invasion driven back
1443 - Albanian George Kastriotis Skanderbeg and his forces liberate Kruja in Middle Albania from the Ottomans and raise the Albanian flag.
1520 - Ferdinand Magellan begins crossing Pacific Ocean
1569 - Duke of Alva forces bishop Nicolaas van Nieuwland of Haarlem to resign
1660 - The Royal Society forms in London
1670 - Pierre Corneille's "Tite et Berenice" premieres in Paris
1710 - Battle at Brihuega: English General Stanhope captured
1729 - Natchez Indians massacre 138 Frenchmen, 35 French women, and 56 children at Fort Rosalie, near the site of modern-day Natchez, Mississippi.
1745 - -29] French troops attack indians of Saratoga, NY
1757 - England condemns ceasefire of Kloster-Seven
1775 - 2nd Continental Congress formally establishes US Navy
1785 - The Treaty of Hopewell is signed.
1795 - US pays $800,000 & a frigate as tribute to Algiers & Tunis
1813 - Kosacks occupy Utrecht
1814 - The Times in London is for the first time printed by automatic, steam powered presses built by the German inventors Friedrich Koenig and Andreas Friedrich Bauer, signaling the beginning of the availability of newspapers to a mass audience.
1821 - Panama declares independence from Spain
1833 - Charles Darwin rides through Las Pietras, returning to Montevideo
1843 - Ka Lahui: Hawaiian Independence Day - The Kingdom of Hawaii is officially recognized by the United Kingdom and France as an independent nation.
Naturalist Charles DarwinNaturalist Charles Darwin 1847 - Bologna: church San Francisco dei Minori Conventuali initiated with premier of Rossini's Tantum ergo
1853 - Olympia forms as capital of Washington Territory
1854 - Dutch army stops Chinese uprising in Borneo
1861 - Confederate congress officially admits Missouri to Confederate Army
1862 - Battle at Cane Hill, Arkansas (475 casualties)
1862 - Battle of Hooly Spring, MS
1864 - 3rd day of Battles at Waynesboro/Jones's Plantation, Georgia
1864 - Battle of New Creek, WV (Rosser's Raid, Ft Kelly)
1871 - Ku Klux Klan trials began in Federal District Court in SC
1875 - Verney Cameroon reaches East Africa
1879 - Battle at Lydenburg South Africa: Gen Wolseley beats Sekhukhenes Pedi-Zulu
1893 - Women vote in a national election for the first time: the New Zealand general election.
1895 - America's 1st auto race starts; 6 cars, 55 miles, winner avg 7 MPH
1899 - Battle of Mud river (Boer general. Cronjé beats British gen Methuen)
1901 - Gustav Mahler's 4th Symphony in G, premieres
1904 - Germany defeats Hottentotten in Warmbad SW-Africa
1905 - Arthur Griffith forms Sinn Fein in Dublin
1906 - Tommy Burns & Jack O'Brien fight to a draw in 20 for hw boxing title
1907 - In Haverhill, Massachusetts, scrap-metal dealer Louis B. Mayer opens his first movie theater.
1908 - 154 men die in coal mine explosion at Marianna Pa
1911 - Zapata proclaims Plan of Ayala Mexico
1912 - Albania declares it's Indepenence from Turkey
1913 - Heavyweight Jack Johnson KOs Andre Spaul in Paris
1914 - World War I: Following a war-induced closure in July, the New York Stock Exchange re-opens for bond trading.
1916 - 1st (German) air attack on London
1917 - Sigmund Rombergs revue "Over the Top" premieres in NYC
1918 - Emperor Wilhelm of Prussia & Germany abdicates
1918 - Bucovina voted for the union with the Kingdom of Romania.
1919 - US-born Lady Astor elected 1st female member of British Parliament
1920 - Kilmichael Ambush, Battle of the Irish War of Independence.
1921 - Ascension of 'Abdu'l-Baha (Baha'i festival-Qawl 6, 78)
1922 - 6 ex-minsters executed in Greece
1922 - Capt Cyril Turner (RAF) gives 1st skywriting exhibition (NYC) Turner spelled out "Hello USA. Call Vanderbilt 7200." 47,000 called
1924 - Pieter Jelle Troelstra leaves 2nd Chamber
1925 - 7th French government of Briand sworn-in
1925 - Grand Ole Opry premieres as WSM Barn Dance on WSM radio Nashville Tn
1925 - NHL goalie Georges Vezina collapses & dies of TB 4 months later
1927 - J McHugh & D Fields' musical "Delmar's Revels" premieres in NYC
1929 - Adm Richard E Byrd makes 1st South Pole flight
1929 - Ernie Nevers scores all 40 pts for Chic Cards vs Bears (NFL record)
1930 - Howard Hanson's 2nd Symphony "Romantic" premieres
1931 - Bradman scores 226, the 1st Test Cricket century at Gabba, v South Africa
1932 - France & USSR signs not-attack treaty
Comedian Groucho MarxComedian Groucho Marx 1932 - Groucho Marx performed on radio for 1st time
1934 - Churchill tells Premier Baldwin not to under estimate German air power
1938 - 4th Heisman Trophy Award: Davey O'Brien, Texas Christian (QB)
1939 - Nazi Gov-Gen of Poland, Hans Frank organizes Judenrat
1939 - Soviet government revokes Russian-Finnish non-attack treaty
1940 - Cleveringa arrested by nazis
1941 - German troops vacate Rostov
1942 - 492 die in a fire that destroyed Cocoanut Grove nightclub in Boston
1943 - FDR, Churchill & Stalin met at Tehran to map out strategy
1944 - 1st allied ship sails into Schelde Antwerp
1944 - 400 Rotterdammers attack coal warehouse
1944 - Hal Newhouser is named AL MVP
1944 - In reprisal 40 Dutch men are executed by Nazis
1944 - US 121st Infantry regiment occupies Hurtgen
1945 - Aust Services draw second Victory Test Cricket v India at Calcutta
32nd US President Franklin D. Roosevelt32nd US President Franklin D. Roosevelt 1946 - French government of Bidault, resigns
1946 - Landverrader Anton Mussert to death sentenced
1948 - "Hopalong Cassidy" premieres on TV
1948 - 1st Polaroid camera sold
1949 - "Texas, Li'l Darlin'" opens at Mark Hellinger NYC for 293 perfs
1950 - Walter O'Malley fires Burt Shotton as Dodgers manager
1951 - John Van Druten's "I am a Camera," premieres in NYC
1951 - Military coup under Col Adib el-Shishakli in Syria
1953 - "Wish You Were Here" closes at Imperial Theater NYC after 597 perfs
1953 - 41st CFL Grey Cup: Hamilton Tiger-Cats defeats Winn Blue Bombers, 12-6
1954 - 1st pro football game in Netherlands
1954 - Cleveland Browns' Horace Gillom sets club record with 80-yard punt
1954 - KCKT (now KSNC) TV channel 2 in Great Bend, KS (NBC) 1st broadcast
1955 - KMVI (now WMAU) TV channel 12 in Wailuku, HI (IND) begins broadcasting
1955 - KTHV TV channel 11 in Little Rock, AR (CBS) begins broadcasting
1956 - Photography begins on "... & God Created Women"
1957 - "Look Homeward, Angel" with Anthony Perkins premieres in NYC
1957 - Warren Spahn of the Braves wins Cy Young Award
1958 - AL announces Opening Day in 1959 will be earliest ever, April 9
1958 - Chad becomes an autonomous republic within French community
1958 - Congo & Mauritania become autonomous members of French Community
1958 - George "Punch" Imlach becomes coach of NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs
1958 - KCOO (now KABY) TV channel 9 in Aberdeen, SD (ABC) begins broadcasting
1958 - Test Cricket debut for Wes Hall, v India at Bombay
1958 - US reports 1st full-range firing of an ICBM
1959 - 47th CFL Grey Cup: Winn Blue Bombers defeats Hamilton Tiger-Cats, 21-7
1959 - KOMC (now KSNK) TV channel 8 in McCook - Oberlin, NB (NBC) begins
262nd Pope John XXIII262nd Pope John XXIII 1959 - Pope John XXIII publishes encyclical Princeps Pastorum
1960 - CBS radio expands hourly news coverage from 5 to 10 minutes
1960 - Mauritania gains independence from France (Natl Day)
1961 - Ernest Davis is 1st black to win Heisman Trophy
1961 - General Meeting of UN debates about New-Guinea
1961 - Martin Walser's "Der Abstecher," premieres in Munich
1962 - Telegraph between Netherlands & Indonesia restored
1963 - 1st million copy record prior to release "I Want to Hold Your Hand"
1963 - Beatles "She Loves You" returns to #1 on UK record chart
1963 - Crusher beats Verne Gagne in St Paul, to become NWA champ
1963 - WHNT TV channel 19 in Huntsville, AL (CBS) begins broadcasting
1964 - 52nd CFL Grey Cup: BC Lions defeats Hamilton Tiger-Cats, 34-24
1964 - France performs underground nuclear test at Ecker Algeria
1964 - Mariner 4 launched; 1st probe to fly by Mars
1965 - Browns' Leroy Kelly sets club record for most punt return yds (109)
1965 - Kathy Whitworth wins LPGA Titleholders Golf Championship
1966 - Coup in Burundi overthrows monarchy; a republic is declared
1966 - Dominican Republic adopts constitution
1967 - 33rd Heisman Trophy Award: Gary Beban, UCLA (QB)
1967 - The 1st pulsating radio source (pulsar) detected
1968 - John Lennon is fined £150 for unauthorized drug possession
1969 - Ted Sizemore becomes 7th Dodger to win NL Rookie of Year
1970 - 58th CFL Grey Cup: Montreal Alouettes defeat Calgary Stampeders, 23-10
1971 - "Me Nobody Knows" closes at Helen Hayes Theater NYC after 587 perfs
1971 - 59th CFL Grey Cup: Calgary Stampeders defeats Toronto Argonauts, 14-11
1972 - "Via Galactica" opens at Uris Theater NYC for 7 performances
1972 - LA Dodgers trade Frank Robinson to California Angels
1973 - Arab League summit in Algiers recognizes Palestine
1973 - Balt Oriole Al Bumbry wins AL Rookie of Year
New York Yankees Owner George SteinbrennerNew York Yankees Owner George Steinbrenner 1974 - Bowie Kuhn suspends George Steinbrenner for 2 years
1974 - John Lennon's last concert appearance (Elton John concert in Madison Square Garden NYC)
1975 - Democratic Republic of East-Timor proclaimed
1975 - Test Cricket debut of Michael Anthony Holding, WI v Australia Brisbane
1975 - Wings release "Venus & Mars/Rock Show" medley
1975 - As the World Turns and The Edge of Night, the final two American soap operas that had resisted going to pre-taped broadcasts, air their last live episodes.
1976 - 64th CFL Grey Cup: Ottawa Rough Riders defeats Saskatchewan, 23-20
1978 - 44th Heisman Trophy Award: Billy Sims, Oklahoma (RB)
1978 - Reds fire manager Sparky Anderson after 9 years
1979 - "King of Schnorrers" opens at Playhouse Theater NYC for 63 perfs
1979 - Air New Zealand DC-10 crashes into Mt Erebus on Antarctica kills 257
1979 - LA Dodger Rick Sutcliffe wins NL Rookie of Year
1981 - "Merrily We Roll Along" closes at Alvin Theater NYC after 16 perfs
1981 - Bear Bryant wins his 315th game to out distance Alonzo Stagg & become college football's winningest coach
1982 - "Pirates of Penzance" closes at Uris Theater NYC after 772 perfs
Musician and Beatle John LennonMusician and Beatle John Lennon 1982 - 70th CFL Grey Cup: Edmonton Eskimos defeats Toronto Argonauts, 32-16
1982 - 71st Davis Cup: USA beats France in Grenoble (4-1)
1983 - 9th Space Shuttle Mission-Columbia 6-is launched
1984 - Over 250 years after their deaths, William Penn and his wife Hannah Callowhill Penn are made Honorary Citizens of the United States.
1985 - 6th Belgium government of Martens forms
1986 - Hilbert van der Duim skates 1 hour world record 39.4928 km
1986 - US Reagan administration exceeds SALT II arms limitations for 1st time
1987 - South African Airways Boeing 747 crashes into Indian Ocean, 159 die
1988 - Picasso's "Acrobat & Harlequin" sells for $38.46 million
1989 - Rickey Henderson signs record $3,000,000 per year Oak A's contract
1989 - Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci flees to Hungary
1990 - Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew resigns, ending his reign as Singapore's longest-serving Prime Minister
1990 - Margaret Thatcher resigns as Britain's PM, replaced by John Major
1993 - "Gray's Anatomy" opens at Beaumont Theater NYC for 13 performances
1993 - "Mixed Emotions" closes at John Golden Theater NYC after 48 perfs
British Prime Minister Margaret ThatcherBritish Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher 1993 - 81st CFL Grey Cup: Edmonton Eskimos defeats Winn Blue Bombers, 33-23
1993 - Carlos Reina wins Honduras presidential election
1994 - Norway votes against joining European Union
1994 - In Portage, Wisconsin, convicted serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer is clubbed to death by an inmate in the Columbia Correctional Institution gymnasium.
1995 - James Brady, former white house press sect, suffers a heart attack
1997 - Final episode of "Beavis & Butt-head" on MTV
1997 - First public appearance of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), an ethnic Albanian guerrilla group that fought for the independence of Kosovo from Serbia.
1998 - The people of Albania vote for their new Constitution in a referendum.
2000 - Ukrainian politician Oleksander Moroz begins the Cassette Scandal by publicly accusing President Leonid Kuchma of involvement in the murder of journalist Georgiy Gongadze.
2004 - Male Poʻo-uli dies of Avian malaria in the Maui Bird Conservation Center in Olinda, Hawaii before it could breed, making the species in all probability extinct.
2012 - 54 people are killed and 120 are injured by two car bombs in Damascus, Syria
1520 - Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan reached the Pacific Ocean after passing through the South American strait. The strait was named after him. He was the first European to sail the Pacific from the east. 1582 - William Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway were married. 1757 - English poet, painter and engraver William Blake was born. Two of his best known works are "Songs of Innocence" and "Songs of Experience." 1919 - American-born Lady Astor was elected the first female member of the British Parliament. 1922 - Capt. Cyril Turner of the Royal Air Force gave the first public exhibition of skywriting. He spelled out, "Hello USA. Call Vanderbilt 7200" over New York's Times Square. 1925 - The Grand Ole Opry made its radio debut on station WSM. 1934 - The U.S. bank robber George "Baby Face" Nelson was killed by FBI agents near Barrington, IL. 1942 - 491 people died in a fire that destroyed the Coconut Grove in Boston. 1943 - U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet Leader Joseph Stalin met in Tehran to map out strategy concerning World War II. 1953 - New York City began 11 days without newspapers due to a strike of photoengravers. 1958 - The African nation of Chad became an autonomous republic within the French community. 1963 - U.S. President Johnson announced that Cape Canaveral would be renamed Cape Kennedy in honor of his assassinated predecessor. The name was changed back to Cape Canaveral in 1973 by a vote of residents. 1964 - The U.S. launched the space probe Mariner IV from Cape Kennedy on a course set for Mars. 1977 - Larry Bird was introduced as "College Basketball's Secret Weapon" with a cover story in Sports Illustrated. (NBA) 1978 - The Iranian government banned religious marches. 1979 - An Air New Zealand DC-10 flying to the South Pole crashed in Antarctica killing all 257 people aboard. 1983 - The space shuttle Columbia took off with the STS-9 Spacelab in its cargo bay. 1985 - The Irish Senate approved the Anglo-Irish accord concerning Northern Ireland. 1987 - A South African Airways Boeing 747 crashed into the Indian Ocean. All 159 people aboard were killed. 1989 - Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci arrived in New York after escaping her homeland through Hungary. 1990 - Margaret Thatcher resigned as prime minister of Britain. 1992 - In Bosnia-Herzegovina, 137 tons of food and supplies were to be delivered to the isolated town of Srebrenica. 1992 - In King William's Town, South Africa, black militant gunmen attacked a country club killing four people and injuring 20. 1993 - The play "Mixed Emotions" closed after 48 performances. 1994 - Jeffrey Dahmer, a convicted serial killer, was clubbed to death in a Wisconsin prison by a fellow inmate. 1994 - Norwegian voters rejected European Union membership. 1995 - U.S. President Clinton signed a $6 billion road bill that ended the federal 55 mph speed limit. 2010 - WikiLeaks released to the public more than 250,000 U.S. diplomatic cables. About 100,000 were marked "secret" or "confidential."
1520 Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan passed through the strait which bears his name to the Pacific ocean. 1919 American-born Lady Astor became the first woman to take a seat on the British Parliament. 1942 Almost 500 people died in the Coconut Grove nightclub fire in Boston. 1943 Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin met in Tehran for their first meeting during World War II. 1964 The U.S. spacecraft Mariner 4 launched—on its way to the first successful mission to Mars. 1990 Margaret Thatcher resigned as prime minister of Great Britain; John Major took over.
The following links are to web sites that were used to complete this blog entry: