Year
1971
Month Day
November 16

U.S. provides support to beleaguered Cambodians

As the fighting gets closer to Phnom Penh, the United States steps up its air activities in support of the Cambodian government. U.S. helicopter gunships struck at North Vietnamese emplacements at Tuol Leap, 10 miles north of Phnom Penh.

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ALSO ON THIS DAY

Oklahoma enters the Union

Indian Territory and Oklahoma Territory collectively enter the United States as Oklahoma, the 46th state. Oklahoma, with a name derived from the Choctaw Indian words okla, meaning “people,” and humma, meaning “red,” has a history of human occupation dating back 15,000 years. The ...read more

Joseph Goebbels publishes his screed of hate

On November 16, 1941, Joseph Goebbels publishes in the German magazine Das Reich that “The Jews wanted the war, and now they have it”—referring to the Nazi propaganda scheme to shift the blame for the world war onto European Jews, thereby giving the Nazis a rationalization for ...read more

President Kennedy increases military aid to Saigon

President John F. Kennedy decides to increase military aid to South Vietnam without committing U.S. combat troops. Kennedy was concerned at the advances being made by the communist Viet Cong, but did not want to become involved in a land war in Vietnam. He hoped that the ...read more

Francisco Pizarro traps Incan emperor Atahualpa

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. ...read more

“The Sound of Music” premieres on Broadway

Did the young Austrian nun named Maria really take to the hills surrounding Salzburg to sing spontaneously of her love of music? Did she comfort herself with thoughts of copper kettles, and did she swoon to her future husband’s song about an alpine flower while the creeping ...read more

Fyodor Dostoevsky is sentenced to death

On November 16, 1849, a Russian court sentences Fyodor Dostoevsky to death for his allegedly antigovernment activities linked to a radical intellectual group. His execution is stayed at the last minute. Dostoevsky’s father was a doctor at Moscow’s Hospital for the Poor, where he ...read more

First Harry Potter film opens

On November 16, 2001, the British author J.K. Rowling’s star creation—bespectacled boy wizard Harry Potter—makes his big-screen debut in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, which opens in movie theaters across the United States. Based on the mega-best-selling fantasy novel of ...read more

Ed Gein kills final victim Bernice Worden

Infamous killer Edward Gein murders his last victim, Bernice Worden of Plainfield, Wisconsin. His grave robbing, necrophilia and cannibalism gained national attention, and may have provided inspiration for the characters of Norman Bates in Psycho and serial killer Buffalo Bill in ...read more

German scientists brought to United States to work on rocket technology

In a move that stirs up some controversy, as part of "Operation Paperclip," the United States ships 88 German scientists to America to assist the nation in its production of rocket technology. Most of these men had served under the Nazi regime and critics in the United States ...read more

British capture Fort Washington

Hessian Lieutenant General Wilhelm von Knyphausen and a force of 3,000 Hessian mercenaries and 5,000 Redcoats lay siege to Fort Washington at the northern end and highest point of Manhattan Island. Throughout the morning, Knyphausen met stiff resistance from the Patriot riflemen ...read more