14 November 2007

This day in history: 14 Nov

1889: Pioneer woman journalist Nellie Bly began a successful attempt to travel around the world in less than 80 days.

1910: Eugene Ely performed the first take-off from a ship, in Hampton Roads, Virginia. He took off from a makeshift flight deck on light cruiser USS Birmingham (later CL 2), flying a Curtiss Model D pusher biplane.

1940: Coventry Cathedral (St Michael's) was almost completely destroyed when the city of Coventry was heavily bombed by German Luftwaffe bombers.

1941: Aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal sank after being torpedoed by U 81 (Kptlt Friedrich Guggenberger) the previous day.

1965: The Battle of the Ia Drang - the first major engagement between regular American and North Vietnamese forces - began when the first elements of 1/7th Cavalry touched down at LZ X-Ray. Maj Bruce P Crandall, Capt Ed W Freeman and 2nd Lt Walter J Marm were awarded the Medal of Honor for their actions this day.

1969: Apollo 12, the second manned mission to the surface of the Moon, was launched from Cape Canaveral. On board were commander Charles "Pete" Conrad, command module pilot Richard F Gordon Jr and lunar module pilot Alan Bean.

1971: Mariner 9, launched from Cape Canaveral on 30 May, reached Mars, becoming the first spacecraft to orbit another planet.

2003: Asteroid 90377 Sedna was discovered by Michael Brown (Caltech), Chad Trujillo (Gemini Observatory) and David Rabinowitz (Yale).

Charles Carroll of Carrollton (1737–1832), Booker T Washington (1856–1915) and Johnny Mack Brown (1904–1974) died on this date.

And happy birthday to Robert Fulton (1765-1815), Sir Charles Lyell, 1st Baronet, KT (1797–1875), Claude Monet (1840–1926), Aaron Copland (1900–1990), J O E Vandeleur DSO (1903-1988), Astrid Lindgren (1907–2002), Sherwood Schwartz (1916-TBD), Veronica Lake (1919–1973), Brian Keith (1921–1997), Edward H White II (1930–1967) and HRH the Prince of Wales (1948-TBD).

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