15 November 2007

This day in history: 15 Nov

1533: Francisco Pizarro and his conquistadors arrived in Cuzco, Peru.

1777: The Continental Congress approved the Articles of Confederation.

1942: The three-day Naval Battle of Guadalcanal ended. Japanese losses included battleships Hiei and Kirishima, heavy cruiser Kinugasa, and destroyers Akatsuki, Yudachi and Ayanami; the US lost light cruisers Atlanta (CL 51) and Juneau (CL 52), and destroyers Cushing (DD 376), Laffey (DD 459), Barton (DD 599), Monssen (DD 436), Walke (DD 416), Preston (DD 379) and Benham (DD 397).

That same day, the Heinkel He 219 night fighter made its first flight.

1959: Herbert Clutter, his wife and their two children were murdered in their home in Holcomb, Kansas - the basis for Truman Capote's book In Cold Blood.

1966: Gemini XII (James Lovell and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin) landed after a four-day mission which included the first fully successful space walk (by Aldrin).

1967: Major Michael J Adams, USAF, was killed when his North American X-15 broke apart in mid-air - the only fatality of the X-15 programme.

1969: The first Wendy's fast-food restaurant was opened, in Dublin, Ohio.

1970: The Lunokhod 1 lunar rover landed on the moon and began operations (which lasted until 4 October 1971).

1988: The Buran space shuttle was launched for its first - and only - flight.

1990: Space Shuttle Atlantis (mission STS-38) was launched from Cape Canaveral. On board were commander Richard O Covey, pilot Frank L Culbertson Jr, and mission specialists Robert C Springer, Carl J Meade and Charles D Gemar.

Johannes Kepler (1571-1630), John Witherspoon (1723-1794), Tyrone Power (1914-1958), Vil`yam Genrikhovich Fisher (1903-1971) and Margaret Mead (1901-1978) died on this date.

And happy birthday to Sir William Herschel FRS KH (1738-1822), Erwin Rommel (1891-1944), Claus Graf von Stauffenberg (1907-1944), Sir David Stirling DSO OBE (1915-1990), C W McCall (1928-TBD), Petula Clark CBE (1932-TBD), Sam Waterston (1940-TBD), Daniel Barenboim (1942-TBD) and Anni-Frid Lyngstad (1945-TBD).

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