November 9th in History

“Who Shall Be Captain?” by Howard Pyle (died 11/9/1911), from Pyle’s Book of Pirates

On This Day in History

  • The Coup of 18 Brumaire ends the French Revolution and installs Napoleon Bonaparte as First Consul of France (1519)
  • In the Action of 9 November, the American schooner USS Alligator fights three pirate ships to liberate five captured merchant ships, suffering heavy casualties in the battle (1822)
  • Abolitionist minister Calvin Fairbank is kidnapped in Indiana and taken to Kentucky, where he will be sentenced to 15 years in prison for helping to free 47 slaves. During his imprisonment, he will receive 35,000 lashes (1851)
  • The Atlantic magazine is founded (1857)
  • The last of the Tokugawa shoguns surrenders power to the Emperor, beginning the 明治維新 (Meiji Restoration) (1867)
  • Jack the Ripper kills what is believed to be his fifth and final victim, Mary Jane Kelly (1888)
  • Theodore Roosevelt becomes the first sitting US president to make an official trip outside the country when he inspects the Panama Canal project (1906)
  • The Beer Hall Putsch fails in Munich, Germany, and its leaders, including Adolf Hitler, are arrested (1923)
  • The Nazi pogrom known as Krystalnacht begins (1938)
  • The first issue of Rolling Stone magazine is published (1967)
  • A massive Soviet nuclear strike is detected by NORAD, but it turns out to be a false alarm (1979)
  • East Germany opens its borders and allows citizens to emigrate freely (1989)
  • The European Space Agency launches the Venus Express mission (2005)


  • Benjamin Banneker, African-American astronomer and surveyor (1731)
  • Gail Borden, inventor of condensed milk (1801)
  • Elijah Lovejoy, murdered abolitionist (1802)
  • Ива́н Турге́нев (Ivan Turgenev), Russian novelist (1818 Gregorian, OS 28 October)
  • A. P. Hill, Confederate general (1825)
  • Edward VII, British monarch (1841)
  • Stanford White, architect (1853)
  • Marie Dressler, silent film star (1869)
  • Ed Wynn, actor (1886)
  • Mabel Normand, silent film actress (1892)
  • Anthony Asquith, director (1902)
  • Hedy Lamarr, actress and inventor (1914)
  • Sargent Shriver, politician and Kennedy family member (1915)
  • Spiro Agnew, 39th US vice president (1918)
  • Byron De La Beckwith, Klansman assassin of Medgar Evers (1920)
  • Dorothy Dandridge, actress (1922)
  • Anne Saxton, poet (1928)
  • Whitey Herzog, baseball player (1931)
  • Jim Perry, game show host (1933)
  • Carl Sagan, astronomer (1934)
  • Bob Gibson, baseball player (1935)
  • Mary Travers, singer-songwriter (1936)
  • Ti-Grace Atkinson, feminist author (1938)
  • Tom Fogerty, Creedence Clearwater Revival member (1941)
  • Tom Weiskopf, golfer (1942)
  • Lou Ferrigno, TV Hulk (1951)
  • Nick Lachey, singer-songwriter and reality star (1973)


  • Howard Pyle, illustrator (1911)
  • Guillaume Apollinaire, poet (1918)
  • Henry Cabot Lodge, politician (1924)
  • Neville Chamberlain, UK prime minister (1940)
  • Sigmund Romberg, operetta composer (1951)
  • חיים עזריאל ויצמן‎ (Chaim Weizmann), first President of Israel (1952)
  • عبد العزيز آل سعود‎ (Abdulaziz, Ibn Saud), first King of Saudi Arabia (1953)
  • Dylan Thomas, poet (1953)
  • Charles de Gaulle, President of France (1970)
  • John Mitchell, US Attorney General and Watergate figure (1988)
  • Yves Montand, actor (1991)
  • Ross Andru, comic book artist (1993)
  • Art Carney, actor (2003)
  • Stieg Larsson, author (2004)
  • Ed Bradley, television journalist (2006)


  • Dia de los ñatitas (Day of the Skulls) (Bolivia)
  • Independence Day (Cambodia)
  • Inventor’s Day (Germany, Austria, Switzerland)
  • یوم اقبال‎ (Iqbal Day) (Pakistan, celebrating the birth of philosopher and poet محمد اقبال‎ [Muhammad Iqbal])
  • National Scrapple Day (US food holidays)
  • Schicksalstag (Fateful Day) (Germany, because November 9 marks the execution of Robert Blum and the failure of the 1848 Revolutions; the overthrow of the German monarchy in 1918; the end of the Beer Hall Putsch in 1923; the first day of Krystallnacht in 1938; and the opening of East German borders in 1989)
  • World Freedom Day (United States, established by US President George W. Bush and celebrated primarily by conservative youth groups)

November 9 is the 313th day of the year (314th in leap years), with 52 days remaining until year’s end.