On Nov. 14, 1862, during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln gave the go-ahead for Maj. Gen. Ambrose Burnside's plan to capture the Confederate capital of Richmond; the resulting Battle of Fredericksburg proved a disaster for the Union.
On this date:
In 1851, Herman Melville's novel "Moby-Dick; Or, The Whale" was first published in the United States.
In 1881, Charles J. Guiteau went on trial for assassinating President James A. Garfield. (Guiteau was convicted and hanged the following year.)
In 1889, inspired by Jules Verne, New York World reporter Nellie Bly (Elizabeth Cochrane) set out to travel around the world in less than 80 days. (She made the trip in 72 days.) Jawarharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of independent India, was born.
In 1910, Eugene B. Ely became the first aviator to take off from a ship as his Curtiss pusher rolled off a sloping platform on the deck of the scout cruiser USS Birmingham off Hampton Roads, Va.
In 1922, the British Broadcasting Co. began its domestic radio service.
In 1940, during World War II, German planes destroyed most of the English town of Coventry.
In 1944, Tommy Dorsey and his orchestra recorded "Opus No. 1" for RCA Victor.
In 1969, Apollo 12 blasted off for the moon.
In 1970, a chartered Southern Airways DC-9 crashed while trying to land in Huntington, W.Va., killing all 75 people on board, including the Marshall University football team and its coaching staff.
In 1972, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above the 1,000 level for the first time, ending the day at 1,003.16.
In 1986, the Securities and Exchange Commission imposed a $100 million penalty against inside-trader Ivan F. Boesky and barred him from working again in the securities industry.
In 1997, a jury in Fairfax, Va., decided that Pakistani national Aimal Khan Kasi should get the death penalty for gunning down two CIA employees outside agency headquarters.
Ten years ago: Aimal Khan Kasi was executed by injection at a prison in Jarratt, Va., for the slayings of two CIA employees in 1993. Pope John Paul II made a historic speech to Italy's parliament, urging Italians to work for world peace, uphold their Christian values and have more babies. Actor-comedian Eddie Bracken died in Montclair, N.J., at age 87.
Five years ago: Michael Mukasey took a ceremonial oath as the new U.S. Attorney General, five days after he was privately sworn in. A justice of the peace ordered O.J. Simpson to stand trial on kidnapping and armed robbery charges stemming from a confrontation with memorabilia dealers in a Las Vegas casino hotel room. (Simpson and a co-defendant were convicted in Oct. 2008.) The prime ministers of North and South Korea launched their first talks in 15 years.
One year ago: Former Penn State football assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, in an interview with NBC News' "Rock Center," denied allegations he'd sexually abused eight boys and said any activities in a campus shower with a boy were just horseplay. A Russian spacecraft carrying NASA astronaut Dan Burbank and two Russians blasted off from the snow-covered Kazakh steppes, headed for the International Space Station.
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