November 25th in History

This day in historyNovember 25 is the 329th day of the year (330th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 36 days remaining until the end of the year.



In 571 BC,  Servius Tullius, king of Rome, celebrates a triumph for his victory over the Etruscans.

In 885,  Siege of ParisViking forces sail the Seine River with a fleet of 300 longships and lay siege to Paris.

In 1034,  Máel Coluim mac Cináeda, King of Scots dies. Donnchad, the son of his daughter Bethóc and Crínán of Dunkeld, inherits the throne.

In 1120,  The White Ship sinks in the English Channel, drowning William Adelin, son of Henry I of England.

In 1177,  Baldwin IV of Jerusalem and Raynald of Châtillon defeat Saladin at the Battle of Montgisard.

In 1343,  A tsunami, caused by the earthquake in the Tyrrhenian Sea, devastates Naples (Italy) and the Maritime Republic of Amalfi, among other places.

In 1487,  Elizabeth of York is crowned Queen of England.

In 1491,  The siege of Granada, the last Moorish stronghold in Spain, begins.

In 1667,  A deadly earthquake rocks Shemakha in the Caucasus, killing 80,000 people.

In 1755,  King Ferdinand VI of Spain grants royal protection to the Beaterio de la Compañia de Jesus, now known as the Congregation of the Religious of the Virgin Mary.

In 1758,  French and Indian War: British forces capture Fort Duquesne from French control. Fort Pitt is built nearby and it grows into modern Pittsburgh.

In 1759,  An earthquake hits the Mediterranean destroying Beirut and Damascus and killing 30,000-40,000.

In 1783,  American Revolutionary War: The last British troops leave New York City three months after the signing of the Treaty of Paris.

In 1795,  Partitions of Poland: Stanislaus August Poniatowski, the last king of independent Poland, is forced to abdicate and is exiled to Russia.

In 1826,  The Greek frigate Hellas arrives in Nafplion to become the first flagship of the Hellenic Navy.

In 1833,  A massive undersea earthquake, estimated magnitude between 8.7-9.2 rocks Sumatra, producing a massive tsunami all along the Indonesian coast.

Andrew Carnegie, three-quarter length portrait, seated, facing slightly left, 1913-crop.jpg

Andrew Carnegie

In 1835,  Andrew Carnegie, Scottish-American businessman, that founded the Carnegie Steel Company was born. (d. 1919)

In 1839,  A cyclone slams India with high winds and a 40 foot storm surge, destroying the port city of Coringa (which has never been completely rebuilt). The storm wave sweeps inland, taking with it 20,000 ships and thousands of people. An estimated 300,000 deaths result from the disaster.

In 1844,  Karl Benz, German engineer and businessman, founded Mercedes-Benz (d. 1929)

In 1863,  American Civil War: Battle of Missionary Ridge – At Missionary Ridge in Tennessee, Union forces led by General Ulysses S. Grant break the Siege of Chattanooga by routing Confederate troops under General Braxton Bragg.

In 1864,  American Civil War: A group of Confederate operatives calling themselves the Confederate Army of Manhattan starts fires in more than 20 locations in an unsuccessful attempt to burn down New York City.

In 1874,  The United States Greenback Party is established as a political party consisting primarily of farmers affected by the Panic of 1873.

In 1876,  American Indian Wars: In retaliation for the American defeat at the Battle of the Little Bighorn, United States Army troops sack Chief Dull Knife‘s sleeping Cheyenne village at the headwaters of the Powder River.

John Flynn

In 1880,  John Flynn, Australian minister, founded the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia (d. 1951)

Thomas Andrews Hendricks.jpg

Thomas Andrews Hendricks

In 1885,  Thomas A. Hendricks, American lawyer and politician, 21st Vice President of the United States (b. 1819) died unexpectedly during a trip home to Indianapolis on November 25, 1885. He complained of feeling ill the morning before his death and went to bed early. He died in his sleep that night. His funeral was large, with a ceremony held in St. Paul’s Cathedral in Indianapolis, and attended by President Cleveland and dignitaries from across the nation. Hendricks is interred in Indianapolis’s Crown Hill Cemetery.

He was an American politician and lawyer from Indiana who served as the 16th Governor of Indiana (1873–1877) and the 21st Vice President of the United States (1885).

Born in Muskingum County, Ohio, Hendricks moved to Madison, in Jefferson County, Indiana, with his parents in 1820; the family settled in Shelby County, Indiana, in 1822. After graduating from Hanover College, class of 1841, Hendricks studied law in Shelbyville, Indiana, and Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, and was admitted to the Indiana bar in 1843. Hendricks was a member of the Indiana General Assembly (1848–1850) and a delegate to the state constitutional convention of 1851. He represented Indiana in the U.S. House of Representatives (1851–55) and the U.S. Senate (1863–69). After Hendricks lost his re-election bid to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1854, President Franklin Pierce appointed him commissioner of the General Land Office (1855–59). Hendricks resigned as land office commissioner in 1859, returned to Indianapolis, set up a private law practice, and ran for Indiana governor. In 1872, on his third attempt to become governor, Hendricks defeated General Thomas M. Brown. His term as governor of Indiana was marked by the economic Panic of 1873. He was opposed by a strong Republican majority in the Indiana General Assembly and was unable to enact any significant legislation.

Hendricks remains the only Vice President whose portrait appears on U.S. paper currency. An engraved portrait of Hendricks is on the “tombstone” $10 silver certificate of 1886. The nickname for the currency note derives from the tombstone-shaped border outlining Hendricks’s portrait.

In 1905,  Prince Carl of Denmark arrives in Norway to become King Haakon VII of Norway.

In 1917,  German forces defeat Portuguese army of about 1200 at Negomano on the border of modern-day Mozambique and Tanzania.

In 1918,  Vojvodina, formerly Austro-Hungarian crown land, proclaims its secession from Austria–Hungary to join the Kingdom of Serbia.

In 1926,  The deadliest November tornado outbreak in U.S. history strikes on Thanksgiving day. 27 twisters of great strength are reported in the Midwest, including the strongest November tornado, an estimated F4, that devastates Heber Springs, Arkansas. There are 51 deaths in Arkansas alone, 76 deaths and over 400 injuries in all.

In 1936,  In Berlin, Germany and Japan sign the Anti-Comintern Pact, agreeing to consult on measures “to safeguard their common interests” in the case of an unprovoked attack by the Soviet Union against either nation. The pact is renewed on the same day five years later with additional signatories.

In 1940,  World War II: First flight of the de Havilland Mosquito and Martin B-26 Marauder.

In 1941,  HMS Barham is sunk by a German torpedo during World War II.

In 1943,  World War II: Statehood of Bosnia and Herzegovina is re-established at the State Anti-Fascist Council for the People’s Liberation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In 1947,  Red Scare: The “Hollywood Ten” are blacklisted by Hollywood movie studios.

In 1947,  New Zealand ratifies the Statute of Westminster and thus becomes independent of legislative control by the United Kingdom.

In 1949,  Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, American actor and dancer (b. 1878) dies at the age of 72 from heart failure. His funeral was arranged and paid for by longtime friend and television host Ed Sullivan. Robinson’s casket lay in repose at the 369th Infantry Regiment Armory in Harlem, where an estimated 32,000 people filed past his casket to pay their last respects. The schools in Harlem were closed for a half-day so that children could attend or listen to the funeral, which was broadcast over the radio. Reverend Adam Clayton Powell, Sr. conducted the service at the Abyssinian Baptist Church, and New York Mayor William O’Dwyer gave the eulogy. Robinson is buried in the Cemetery of the Evergreens, Brooklyn, New York.

He was an American tap dancer and actor, the best known and most highly paid African American entertainer in the first half of the twentieth century. His long career mirrored changes in American entertainment tastes and technology, starting in the age of minstrel shows, moving to vaudeville, Broadway, the recording industry, Hollywood radio, and television. According to dance critic Marshall Stearns, “Robinson’s contribution to tap dance is exact and specific. He brought it up on its toes, dancing upright and swinging”, giving tap a “…hitherto-unknown lightness and presence.” His signature routine was the stair dance, in which Robinson would tap up and down a set of stairs in a rhythmically complex sequence of steps, a routine that he unsuccessfully attempted to patent. Robinson is also credited with having introduced a new word, copacetic, into popular culture, via his repeated use of it in vaudeville and radio appearances.

In 1950,  The Great Appalachian Storm of November 1950, otherwise known at the time as the “Storm of the Century”, strikes New England with hurricane force winds resulting in massive forest blow-downs and storm surge damage along the Northeast coast including New York City. This storm also brings blizzard conditions to the Appalachian Mountains and Ohio Valley, becoming one of the worst storms of all time. 353 people die in the event.

In 1952,  Agatha Christie‘s murder-mystery play The Mousetrap opens at the Ambassadors Theatre in London later becoming the longest continuously-running play in history.

In 1952,  Korean War: After 42 days of fighting, the Battle of Triangle Hill ends as American and South Korean units abandon their attempt to capture the “Iron Triangle“.

In 1958,  French Sudan gains autonomy as a self-governing member of the French Community.

In 1960,  The Mirabal sisters of the Dominican Republic are assassinated.

In 1963,  President John F. Kennedy is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

In 1970,  In Japan, author Yukio Mishima and one compatriot commit ritualistic seppuku after an unsuccessful coup attempt.

In 1973,  George Papadopoulos, head of the military Regime of the Colonels in Greece, is ousted in a hardliners’ coup led by Brigadier General Dimitrios Ioannidis.

In 1975,  Suriname gains independence from the Netherlands.

In 1977,  Former Senator Benigno Aquino, Jr. is found guilty by the Philippine Military Commission No. 2 and is sentenced to death by firing squad.

In 1981,  Pope John Paul II appoints Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

In 1984,  36 top musicians gather in a Notting Hill studio and record Band Aid‘s “Do They Know It’s Christmas” in order to raise money for famine relief in Ethiopia.

In 1986,  Iran Contra Affair: US Attorney General Edwin Meese announces that profits from covert weapons sales to Iran were illegally diverted to the anti-communist Contra rebels in Nicaragua.

In 1986,  The King Fahd Causeway is officially opened in the Persian Gulf.

In 1987,  Typhoon Nina pummels the Philippines with category 5 winds of 165 mph and a surge that destroys entire villages. At least 1,036 deaths are attributed to the storm.

In 1992,  The Federal Assembly of Czechoslovakia votes to split the country into the Czech Republic and Slovakia from January 1, 1993.

In 1996,  An ice storm strikes the central U.S. killing 26 people. A powerful windstorm affects Florida and winds gust over 90 mph, toppling trees and flipping trailers.

In 1999,  The United Nations establishes the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women to commemorate the murder of three Mirabal Sisters for resistance against the Rafael Trujillo dictatorship in Dominican Republic.

In 2000,  The 2000 Baku earthquake takes place, Richter magnitude of 7.0, leaving 26 people dead in Baku, Azerbaijan and becoming the strongest earthquake in the region in 158 years.

In 2008,  Cyclone Nisha strikes northern Sri Lanka, killing 15 people and displacing 90,000 others while dealing the region the highest rainfall in 9 decades.

In 2009,  Devastating floods, known as the 2009 Saudi Arabian Floods, following freak rains swamp the city of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia during an ongoing Hajj pilgrimage. 3,000 cars are swept away and 122 people perish in the torrents, with 350 others missing.

In 2015,  Pope Francis makes his first official visit to Africa.

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