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  • On November 16, 1532, Francisco Pizarro, the Spanish explorer and conquistador, springs a trap on the Incan emperor, Atahualpa. With fewer than 200 men against several thousand, Pizarro lures Atahualpa to a feast in the emperor’s honor and then opens fire on the unarmed Incans. Pizarro’s men massacre the Incans and capture Atahualpa, forcing him to convert to Christianity before eventually killing him.

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    Though he had nearly 80,000 soldiers with him in the mountains, Atahualpa consented to attend the feast with only 5,000 unarmed men. He was met by Vicente de Valverde, a friar traveling with Pizarro. While Pizarro’s men lay in wait, Valverde urged Atahualpa to convert and accept Charles V as sovereign. Atahualpa angrily refused, prompting Valverde to give the signal for Pizarro to open fire. Trapped in tight quarters, the panicking Incan soldiers made easy prey for the Spanish. Pizarro’s men slaughtered the 5,000 Incans in just an hour. Pizarro himself suffered the only Spanish injury: a cut on his hand sustained as he saved Atahualpa from death.
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    • On November 17, 1857, The Sues Canal, connecting the Mediterranean and the Red sea, is inaugurated in an elaborate ceremony attended by French Empress Eugénie, wife of Napoleon III.

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      Construction began in April 1859, and at first digging was done by hand with picks and shovels wielded by forced laborers. Later, European workers with dredgers and steam shovels arrived. Labor disputes and a cholera epidemic slowed construction, and the Suez Canal was not completed until 1869–four years behind schedule. On November 17, 1869, the Suez Canal was opened to navigation. Ferdinand de Lesseps would later attempt, unsuccessfully, to build a canal across the Isthmus of Panama.
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      • On November 18, 1978, Peoples Temple founder Jim Jones leads hundreds of his followers in a mass murder-suicide at their agricultural commune in a remote part of the South American nation of Guyana. Many of Jones’ followers willingly ingested a poison-laced punch while others were forced to do so at gunpoint. The final death toll at Jonestown that day was 909; a third of those who perished were children.

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        In 1978, a group of former Temple members and concerned relatives of current members convinced U.S. Congressman Leo Ryan, a Democrat of California, to travel to Jonestown and investigate the settlement. On November 17, 1978, Ryan arrived in Jonestown with a group of journalists and other observers. At first the visit went well, but the next day, as Ryan’s delegation was about to leave, several Jonestown residents approached the group and asked them for passage out of Guyana. Jones became distressed at the defection of his followers, and one of Jones’ lieutenants attacked Ryan with a knife. The congressman escaped from the incident unharmed, but Jones then ordered Ryan and his companions ambushed and killed at the airstrip as they attempted to leave. The congressman and four others were murdered as they boarded their charter planes.
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        • Glad you've been steadfast as ever with this daily briefing from the past! You certainly know your material and that is to the benefit of anyone remotely interested in history, myself included. I've learned a thing or two from this past week, and for that I'm grateful. One thing I would add to the Pizarro capsule (post #1171) is that the Incas may well have had a large army, but years of civil war between the two brothers vying for supremacy (Atahualpa vs Huascar) severely weakened army and empire. I believe the conquistadors were very fortunate indeed to arrive at a moment in time when the Inca empire was at its most vulnerable. Not to mention the pestilence they brought on which killed far more natives that their guns ever did.

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          • On November 19, 1863, at the dedication of a military cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania during the American Cival War, President Abraham Lincoln delivers one of the most memorable speeches in American history. In fewer than 275 words, Lincoln brilliantly and movingly reminded a war-weary public why the Union had to fight, and win, the Civil War.

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            • Twenty-four high-ranking Nazis go on trial in Nuremberg, Germany, for atrocities committed during WWII beginning on November 20, 1945.

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              The Nuremburg trials were conducted by an international tribunal made up of representatives from the United States, the Soviet Union, France and Great Britain. It was the first trial of its kind in history, and the defendants faced charges ranging from crimes against peace, to crimes of war, to crimes against humanity. Lord Justice Geoffrey Lawrence, the British member, presided over the proceedings, which lasted 10 months and consisted of 216 court sessions.
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              • On November 21, 1980, 350 million people around the world tune in to television’s popular primetime drama “Dallas” to find out who shot J.R. Ewing, the character fans loved to hate. J.R. had been shot on the season-ending episode the previous March 21, which now stands as one of television’s most famous cliffhangers.

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                The plot twist inspired widespread media coverage and left America wondering “Who shot J.R.?” for the next eight months. The November 21 episode solved the mystery, identifying Kristin Shepard, J.R.’s wife’s sister and his former mistress, as the culprit
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                • On this day in 1963, John F. Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States, is assassinated while traveling through Dallas, Texas, in an open-top convertible.

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                  First lady Jaqueline Kennedy rarely accompanied her husband on political outings, but she was beside him, along with Texas Governor John Connally and his wife, for a 10-mile motorcade through the streets of downtown Dallas on November 22. Sitting in a Lincoln convertible, the Kennedys and Connallys waved at the large and enthusiastic crowds gathered along the parade route. As their vehicle passed the Texas School Book Depository Building at 12:30 p.m., Lee Harvey Oswzld allegedly fired three shots from the sixth floor, fatally wounding President Kennedy and seriously injuring Governor Connally. Kennedy was pronounced dead 30 minutes later at Dallas’ Parkland Hospital. He was 46.
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                  • On November 23, 1936, the first issue of the pictorial magazine Lifeis published, featuring a cover photo of the Fort Peck Dam's spillway by Margaret Bourke-White.

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                    When the original Life folded during the Great Depression, the influential American publisher Henry Luce bought the name and re-launched the magazine as a picture-based periodical on this day in 1936. By this time, Luce had already enjoyed great success as the publisher of Time, a weekly news magazine.
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                    • On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, a groundbreaking scientific work by British naturalist Charles Darwin is published in England on November 24, 1859.

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                      Darwin’s theory argued that organisms gradually evolve through a process he called “natural selection.” In natural selection, organisms with genetic variations that suit their environment tend to propagate more descendants than organisms of the same species that lack the variation, thus influencing the overall genetic makeup of the species
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                      • Happy Thanksgiving, folks! Although Thanksgiving will be a little different for many of us this year, today is still a day to give thanks! So grab a drumstick, and enjoy these 5 tasty Thanksgiving tidbits…

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                        The Original Thanksgiving Lasted for Three Days - they spent three glorious days feasting on venison, goose, duck, oysters, fish, and eel with cranberries and pumpkin -- but no turkey.

                        Thomas Jefferson Canceled Thanksgiving During His Presidency - George Washington was the first to declare Thanksgiving a holiday, but it was on a year-to-year basis, so presidents had to re-declare it every year.Thomas Jefferson was so adamantly against Thanksgiving that he refused to declare it a holiday during his presidency,

                        The Origin of Turkey Pardons Is Fuzzy - The annual tradition is believed to have begun in 1947 with President Harry Truman. However, some historians believe that it actually started in the 1860s with Abraham Lincoln after his son Tad begged him to spare his pet turkey's life.

                        Macy’s First Parade on Thanksgiving Day Featured Live Animals - the first parade in 1914, used floats instead of balloons, and it featured monkeys, bears, camels, and elephants all borrowed from the Central Park Zoo. However, the animals scared the children so they were banned the following year

                        Felix The Cat Was The First Balloon Used In The Macy's Thanksgiving Parade


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                        • Set in occupied Morocco during WWII, directed by Michael Cuttiz and starring Humphrt Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, and Paul Henreid, Casablanca premiered this day in 1942 and became one of Holliwood’s most-revered films.

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                          • On November 28, 1520, 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.

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                            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.
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                            • On November 29, 1864, peaceful band of Southern Cheyenne and Arapahoe Native Americans are massacred by Colonel John Chivington’s Colorado volunteers at Sand Creek, Colorado..

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                              Although the Cheyenne and Arapaho believed they were under the protection of the U.S. Army on their assigned ratified treaty lands, Chivington's troops attacked and killed about 230 people, composed mostly of women, children, and the elderly
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                              • Originally posted by not2big View Post
                                On November 28, 1520, 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.

                                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.
                                Great briefing. For some reason the picture you tried to include does not appear...

                                It was certainly an enthralling expedition. But it was also shocking in that only 1 of the 5 ships returned to Spain, consisting of about 20 surviving crew of the 250 that set out on the long voyage. Mutiny, desertion, battle with local tribes, scurvy and lack of food as you mentioned were responsible for the terrible attrition. Magellan did not live to see his dream of circumnavigation fulfilled. However, his second in command brought the sole remaining ship home, steering clear of the Portuguese Navy who were out to intercept it and thwart the voyage's completion.

                                For anyone interested in Magellan's expedition, I cannot recommend enough Stefan's Zweig's very concise and very readable Conqueror of the Seas: The Story of Magellan.

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