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: John Kerry became the second Democratic hopeful to opt out of public financing for his presidential run, following the example of rival Howard Dean. A third person died following an outbreak of hepatitis A at a Chi-Chi's Mexican restaurant at the Beaver Valley Mall outside Pittsubrgh.
Five years ago: A lunar probe from India made a planned crash-landing onto the surface of the moon. Space shuttle Endeavour and a crew of seven blasted into the night sky, bound for the International Space Station. Dr. Adrian Kantrowitz, the cardiac surgeon who performed the first U.S. heart transplant in 1967, died in Ann Arbor, Mich. at age 90.
One year ago: President Barack Obama held his first news conference since winning a second term. He challenged congressional Republicans to let taxes rise on the wealthiest Americans, saying that would ease the threat of another recession as the nation faced the "fiscal cliff" of expiring tax breaks and across-the-board spending cuts scheduled to take effect at the start of 2013. Marine Gen. John Allen said he would "fully cooperate" with an investigation into communications he had with Florida socialite Jill Kelley. (The inquiry came after Kelley complained about emails sent to her by Paula Broadwell, the woman whose affair with retired Army Gen. David Petraeus led to his resignation as CIA director.) Israel said it had killed the leader of Hamas' military wing in a wave of airstrikes it launched in response to days of rocket fire out of Hamas-ruled Gaza. Baseball's Cy Young Awards went to Tampa Bay's David Price in the American League and R.A. Dickey of the New York Mets in the National League.
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