This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.
Find the past “On This Day in History” here.
November 4 is the 308th day of the year (309th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 57 days remaining until the end of the year.
On this day in 1922, British archaeologist Howard Carter and his workmen discover a step leading to the tomb of King Tutankhamen in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt.
The British Egyptologist Howard Carter (employed by Lord Carnarvon) discovered Tutankhamun’s tomb (since designated KV62) in the Valley of the Kings on November 4, 1922, near the entrance to the tomb of Ramesses VI, thereby setting off a renewed interest in all things Egyptian in the modern world. Carter contacted his patron, and on November 26 that year, both men became the first people to enter Tutankhamun’s tomb in over 3000 years. After many weeks of careful excavation, on February 16, 1923, Carter opened the inner chamber and first saw the sarcophagus of Tutankhamun. All of this was conveyed to the public by H. V. Morton, the only journalist allowed on the scene.
The first step to the stairs was found on November 4, 1922. The following day saw the exposure of a complete staircase. The end of November saw access to the Antechamber and the discovery of the Annex, and then the Burial Chamber and Treasury.
On November 29, the tomb was officially opened, and the first announcement and press conference followed the next day. The first item was removed from the tomb on December 27.
February 16, 1923 saw the official opening of the Burial Chamber, and April 5 saw the death of Lord Carnarvon.
On February 12, 1924, the granite lid of the sarcophagus was raised In April, Carter argued with the Antiquities Service, and left the excavation for the United States.
In January 1925, Carter resumed activities in the tomb, and on October 13, he removed the cover of the first sarcophagus; on October 23, he removed the cover of the second sarcophagus; on October 28, the team removed the cover of the final sarcophagus and exposed the mummy; and on November 11, the examination of the remains of Tutankhamun started.
Work started in the Treasury on October 24, 1926, and between October 30 and December 15, 1927, the Annex was emptied and examined.
On November 10, 1930, eight years after the discovery, the last objects were finally removed from the tomb of the long lost Pharaoh.
1333 – The River Arno flooding causing massive damage in Florence as recorded by the Florentine chronicler Giovanni Villani.
1429 – Joan of Arc liberates Saint-Pierre-le-Moutier.
1501 – Catherine of Aragon (later Henry VIII’s first wife) meets Arthur Tudor, Henry VIII’s older brother – they would later marry.
1576 – Eighty Years’ War: In Flanders, Spain captures Antwerp (after three days the city is nearly destroyed).
1677 – The future Mary II of England marries William, Prince of Orange. They would later jointly reign as William and Mary.
1737 – The Teatro di San Carlo is inaugurated.
1783 – W.A. Mozart’s Symphony No. 36 is performed for the first time in Linz, Austria.
1791 – The Western Confederacy of American Indians wins a major victory over the United States in the Battle of the Wabash.
1825 – The Erie Canal is completed with Governor DeWitt Clinton performing the Wedding of The Waters ceremony in New York Harbour.
1839 – The Newport Rising: the last large-scale armed rebellion against authority in mainland Britain.
1852 – Count Camillo Benso di Cavour becomes the prime minister of Piedmont-Sardinia, which soon expands to become Italy.
1861 – The University of Washington opens in Seattle, Washington as the Territorial University.
1864 – American Civil War: Battle of Johnsonville – Confederate troops bombard a Union supply base and destroy millions of dollars in material.
1889 – Menelek of Shoa obtains the allegiance of a large majority of the Ethiopian nobility, paving the way for him to be crowned emperor.
1890 – City & South London Railway: London’s first deep-level tube railway opens between King William Street and Stockwell.
1903 – Panama adopts its flag one day after it separated from Colombia
1918 – World War I: Austria-Hungary surrenders to Italy.
1918 – The German Revolution begins when 40,000 sailors take over the port in Kiel.
1921 – The Sturmabteilung or SA is formed by Adolf Hitler
1921 – Japanese Prime Minister Hara Takashi is assassinated in Tokyo.
1921 – The Italian unknown soldier is buried in the Altare della Patria (Fatherland Altar) in Rome.
1922 – In Egypt, British archaeologist Howard Carter and his men find the entrance to Pharaoh Tutankhamun’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings.
1924 – Nellie Tayloe Ross of Wyoming is elected the first female governor in the United States.
1939 – World War II: U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt orders the United States Customs Service to implement the Neutrality Act of 1939, allowing cash-and-carry purchases of weapons by belligerents.
1942 – World War II: Second Battle of El Alamein – Disobeying a direct order by Adolf Hitler, General Field Marshal Erwin Rommel leads his forces on a five-month retreat.
1944 – World War II: Bitola Liberation Day
1952 – The United States government establishes the National Security Agency.
1955 – After being totally destroyed in World War II, the rebuilt Vienna State Opera reopens with a performance of Beethoven’s Fidelio.
1956 – Soviet troops enter Hungary to end the Hungarian revolution against the Soviet Union, that started on October 23. Thousands are killed, more are wounded, and nearly a quarter million leave the country.
1962 – In a test of the Nike-Hercules air defense missile, Shot Dominic-Tightrope is successfully detonated 69,000 feet above Johnston Island. It would also be the last atmospheric nuclear test conducted by the United States.
1966 – Two-thirds of Florence, Italy is submerged as the River Arno floods; together with the contemporaneous flood of the Po River in northern Italy, this leads to 113 deaths, 30,000 made homeless, and the destruction of numerous Renaissance artworks and books.
1970 – Vietnam War: Vietnamization – The United States turns control of the Binh Thuy Air Base in the Mekong Delta over to South Vietnam.
1970 – Genie, a 13-year-old feral child is found in Los Angeles, California having been locked in her bedroom for most of her life.
1973 – The Netherlands experiences the first Car Free Sunday caused by the 1973 oil crisis. Highways are deserted and are used only by cyclists and roller skaters.
1979 – Iran hostage crisis begins: a group of Iranians, mostly students, invades the US embassy in Tehran and takes 90 hostages (53 of whom are American).
1993 – A China Airlines Boeing 747 overruns Runway 13 at Hong Kong’s Kai Tak International Airport while landing during a typhoon, injuring 22 people.
1994 – San Francisco: First conference that focuses exclusively on the subject of the commercial potential of the World Wide Web.
1995 – Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin is assassinated by an extremist Orthodox Israeli.
2002 – Chinese authorities arrest cyber-dissident He Depu for signing a pro-democracy letter to the 16th Communist Party Congress.
2008 – Barack Obama becomes the first African-American to be elected President of the United States.
2008 – Proposition 8 passes in California, representing the first ever elimination of an existing right to marry for LGBT couples.