November 14

1896 Birth: Mamie Eisenhower:

Born in Boone, Iowa, Mamie Geneva Doud moved with her family to Colorado when she was seven. Her father retired from business, and Mamie and her three sisters grew up in a large house in Denver. During winters the family made long visits to relatives in the milder climate of San Antonio, Texas. There, in 1915, at Fort Sam Houston, Mamie met Dwight D. Eisenhower, a young second lieutenant on his first tour of duty. She drew his attention instantly, he recalled: "a vivacious and attractive girl, smaller than average, saucy in the look about her face and in her whole attitude." On St. Valentine's Day in 1916 he gave her a miniature of his West Point class ring to seal a formal engagement; they were married at the Doud home in Denver on July 1.

For years Mamie Eisenhower's life followed the pattern of other Army wives: a succession of posts in the United States, in the Panama Canal Zone; duty in France, in the Philippines. She once estimated that in 37 years she had unpacked her household at least 27 times. Each move meant another step in the career ladder for her husband, with increasing responsibilities for her. . . .

When Eisenhower had campaigned for President, his wife cheerfully shared his travels; when he was inaugurated in 1953, the American people warmly welcomed her as First Lady. Diplomacy--and air travel--in the postwar world brought changes in their official hospitality. The Eisenhowers entertained an unprecedented number of heads of state and leaders of foreign governments, and Mamie's evident enjoyment of her role endeared her to her guests and to the public.

In 1961 the Eisenhowers returned to Gettysburg for eight years of contented retirement together. After her husband's death in 1969, Mamie continued to live on the farm, devoting more of her time to her family and friends. Mamie Eisenhower died on November 1, 1979. She is buried beside her husband in a small chapel on the grounds of the Eisenhower Library in Abilene, Kansas. [For further information, click here]

1908 Birth: Joseph R. McCarthy:

During the late 1940s and early 1950s, the prospect of communist subversion at home and abroad seemed frighteningly real to many people in the United States. These fears came to define�and, in some cases, corrode�the era�s political culture. For many Americans, the most enduring symbol of this �Red Scare� was Republican Senator Joseph P. McCarthy of Wisconsin. Senator McCarthy spent almost five years trying in vain to expose communists and other left-wing �loyalty risks� in the U.S. government. In the hyper-suspicious atmosphere of the Cold War, insinuations of disloyalty were enough to convince many Americans that their government was packed with traitors and spies. McCarthy�s accusations were so intimidating that few people dared to speak out against him. It was not until he attacked the Army in 1954 that his actions earned him the censure of the U.S. Senate. (

1910 Aviator Eugene Burton Ely performs the first takeoff from a ship, flying from a makeshift deck on the USS Birmingham in Hampton Roads, Virginia, US. [For further information, click here]

1914 World War I: Various:

List Regiment (Nov 10-15): Gefreiter Adolf Hitler serves as a regimental orderly (Ordonnanz) and one of eight dispatch runners (Meldegaenger) in a line of trenches before Messines. [For further details, Click here.]

Ottoman Empire declares a holy war:

On November 14, 1914, in Constantinople, capital of the Ottoman Empire, the religious leader Sheikh-ul-Islam declares an Islamic holy war on behalf of the Ottoman government, urging his Muslim followers to take up arms against Britain, France, Russia, Serbia and Montenegro in World War I.

By the time the Great War broke out in the summer of 1914, the Ottoman Empire was faltering, having lost much of its once considerable territory in Europe with its defeat in the First Balkan War two years earlier. Seeking to ally themselves with one of the great European powers to help safeguard them against future loss, the ambitious Ottoman leaders—members of the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP), known collectively as the Young Turks—responded favorably to overtures made by Germany in August 1914. Though Germany and Turkey secretly concluded a military alliance on August 2, the Turks did not officially take part in World War I until several months later. On October 29, the Ottoman navy—including two German ships, Goeben and Breslau, which famously eluded the British navy in the first week of the war to reach Constantinople—attacked Russian ports in the Black Sea, marking the beginning of Turkey's participation in the war.

The sheikh's declaration of a holy war, made two weeks later, urged Muslims all over the world—including in the Allied countries—to rise up and defend the Ottoman Empire, as a protector of Islam, against its enemies. "Of those who go to the Jihad for the sake of happiness and salvation of the believers in God's victory," the declaration read, "the lot of those who remain alive is felicity, while the rank of those who depart to the next world is martyrdom. In accordance with God's beautiful promise, those who sacrifice their lives to give life to the truth will have honor in this world, and their latter end is paradise." (

1915 World War I (Oct 4, 1915 - Feb 29, 1916): Gefreiter Adolf Hitler's serves with 16 Reserve Infantry Regiment at Fromelles. [For further details, Click here.]

1916 List Regiment: (Oct 9 - Dec 3) Hitler, who had been fighting almost continuously for two years, recovers at a Red Cross hospital in Beelitz, near Berlin. While his wound is serious, he will recover quickly, and will later write Balthaser Brandmayer: "Am suffering from hunger-induced typhus because I cannot eat bread; additionally I am adamantly denied any sort of jam." [For further details, Click here.]

1917 List Regiment: (November 3, 1917-March 25 1918) Gefreiter Adolf Hitler endures trench warfare north of Ailette with 3 Company, 16 Bavarian Reserve Infantry Regiment. [For further details, Click here.]

1918 World War I: Various:

East Africa: Brilliant German General Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck, after 4 years of continuous hide and seek, ends hostilities in Africa:

Often compared with the better-known T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) Lettow-Vorbeck similarly was a master of guerrilla warfare, this time in East Africa. With a force never great than 14,000 in total—comprised of 3,000 German and 11,000 Askari (native African) troops—Lettow-Vorbeck ran rings around Allied forces (for the most part British and South African) that were ten times larger than his own. Lettow-Vorbeck realised quickly that the German campaign against Allied forces in East Africa needed to be conducted on his own terms. [For further details, Click here.]

Statement by Josef Pilsudski on Accepting Military Command of Poland:

Upon my return from German imprisonment I found the country in a most chaotic state in the face of exceedingly difficult tasks, for the performance of which the nation must reveal its best organizing abilities. In my conversations with the representatives of almost all political parties in Poland, I found to my delight that the great majority share my opinion that the new Government should not only rest on democratic foundations, but be composed in a considerable proportion of representatives of the rural and urban masses. The difficult life conditions of the people have not allowed very many among them to attain professional expertness, which is in such great demand throughout the country. Realizing this, I have requested that in the interest of the highest efficiency the President of the Government appoint to the Cabinet recognized experts without any reference to their political affiliations. By the nature of the situation, the character of the Government, pending the convocation of the Constituent Assembly, is purely provisional and precludes the enactment of any thoroughgoing social changes, which only the Representative Assembly can undertake. Considering the peculiar legal position of the nation, I have requested the President of the Cabinet to submit to me the plan for the creation of the provisional supreme representative authority of the Polish Republic, embracing all three parts of Poland.

Volkishness: Sebottendorff claims to have increased the Bavarian membership in the Germanenorden to more than 1,500, with 250 members in Munich alone. He and the Thule Society begin stockpiling weapons for Julius Lehmann's Pan-Germans. (BHK)

Whether or not the occult affectations of the Thule were anything more than a cover for counter-revolutionary activism has not been determined. Regardless, the Thule amalgamated on 5 January, 1919 with the Committee of Independent Workers, renaming themselves the Deutsche Arbeiter-Partei, the German Workers' Party. Adolf Hitler claimed he was the seventh member to join this group.

1922 The British Broadcasting Corp. begins its domestic radio service.

1930: Nine years after a Japanese Prime Minister was shot and killed in Tokyo Station, history repeats itself when Hamaguchi is shot by Tomeo Sagoya, a member of the Aikoku-sha ultra-nationalist secret society. He will be hospitalized for several months and, after returning to his post in March 1931, will only last for a month or so before his physical condition will force him to reluctantly resign his post.

1933 Romania: Liberal Party leader Ion Duca forms a cabinet:

In November, 1933, King Carol II asked him to head the government as prime minister in preparation for the December elections. In this capacity, Duca worked to keep the growing fascist movement in check, even outlawing their political arm, the Iron Guard. Shortly after, he was shot to death on the platform of the Sinaia train station by Nicolae Constantinescu, an Iron Guard supporter. [For further details, Click here.]

1935 Various:

Holocaust: A supplement to the Nuremberg Laws is published to clarify and define who is now considered a Jew. It decrees that anyone with at least three Jewish grandparents is deemed to be a Jew. Half-Jews, those with two Jewish grandparents are to be counted as Jews only if they belong to the Jewish religion or are married to a Jew. Half-Jews and one-fourth Jews — those descended from one Jewish grandparent — who do not practice the Jewish faith are lumped together into a new "non-Aryan" racial category: the Mischlingen (mixed race).

Philippines: President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaims the Philippine Islands a free commonwealth.

1938 Holocaust: In response to the Kristallnacht pogrom, President Roosevelt recalls American Ambassador Hugh Wilson from Berlin to Washington.

1940 World War II: Various:

Germans bomb Coventry:

On this day in 1940, German bombers devastate the English city of Coventry, demolishing tens of thousands of buildings and killing hundreds of men, women, and children. The verb "Koventrieren" (to Coventrate) passed into the German language, meaning "to annihilate or reduce to rubble."

On November 8, Adolf Hitler had to move up his scheduled speech in Munich on the anniversary of his 1923 attempted coup in Bavaria because British bombers were on their way to take out a railway yard. Hitler was determined to avenge this audacious offensive. The Fuhrer let his bomber pilots know that he was not "willing to let an attack on the capital of the Nazi movement go unpunished."

And so, on this day, almost 500 German bombers unleashed some 150,000 incendiary bombs and more than 500 tons of high explosives on the British industrial city, taking out 27 war factories. Of the 568 people killed, more than 400 were burned so badly they could not be identified. Among the more than 60,000 buildings destroyed or severely damaged was St. Michael's Cathedral. (

From official notes of the German naval war staff:

Naval Supreme Commander with the Fuehrer. Fuehrer is 'still inclined' to instigate the conflict with Russia. Naval Supreme Commander recommends putting it off until the time after the victory over England, since there is heavy strain on German forces and the end of warfare is not in sight.

Romania: Legionary (Iron Guard) government asks Germany for two tank units, which are immediately sent by Hitler along with instructors to train their Romanian crews. Mussolini protests and suggests that Romania also should ask for Italian troops. Romania declines.

1941 World War II:Various:

War at sea: After suffering torpedo damage the previous day, the British aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal sinks as she is towed toward Gibraltar for repairs. [For further information, click here.]

Countdown to Pearl Harbor: Tokyo to Hong Kong:

Though the Imperial Government hopes for great things from the Japan-American negotiations, they do not permit optimism for the future. Should the negotiations collapse, the international situation in which the Empire will find herself will be one of tremendous crisis. Accompanying this, the Empire's foreign policy as it has been decided by the cabinet, insofar as it pertains to China, is:

(a.) We will completely destroy British and American power in China.
(b.) We will take over all enemy concessions and enemy important rights and interests (customs and minerals, etc.) in China.
(c.) We will take over all rights and interests owned by enemy powers, even though they may have connections with the new Chinese Government, should it become necessary. In realizing these steps in China, we will avoid, in so far as possible exhausting our veteran troops. Thus we will cope with a world war on a long-time scale. Should our reserves for total war and our future military strength wane, we have decided to reinforce them from the whole Far Eastern area. This has become the whole fundamental policy of the Empire.

Therefore, in consideration of the desirability to lighten our personal and material loads, we will encourage the activities of important Chinese in their efforts in the occupied territories insofar as possible. Japan and China, working in cooperation, will take over military bases. Thus, operating wherever possible, we will realize peace throughout the entire Far East. At the same time, we place great importance upon the acquisition of materials (especially from the unoccupied areas).

In order to do this, all in the cabinet have concurred, in view of the necessity, in a reasonable relaxation of the various restrictions now in force (after you have duly realized the critical situation which has brought the above decisions into being you will, of course, wait for instructions from home before carrying them out). In connection with the above, we have the precedent of the freezing legislation. We are writing you this particularly for your information alone. Please keep absolutely quiet the existence of these decisions and the fact that they have been transmitted to you.

1942 World War II: Stalin to FDR:

No serious changes have occurred on the Soviet-German front in the past week. We plan to launch our winter campaign in the near future and are preparing for it. I shall keep you informed about it. All of us here rejoice at the brilliant success of US and British arms in North Africa. Congratulations on the Victory. With all my heart I wish further success.

1943 World War II: German forces occupy several islands along the east coast of the Adriatic.

1944 World War II: The US Third Army under Patton begins an offensive from the Nancy area toward the Saar, while Free French forces under General Leclerc attack from Alsace toward the upper Rhine.

1951 Cold War: United States gives military and economic aid to communist Yugoslavia:

In a surprising turn of events, President Harry Truman asks Congress for U.S. military and economic aid for the communist nation of Yugoslavia. The action was part of the U.S. policy to drive a deeper wedge between Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union. [For further details, Click here.]

1953 Spandau Prison: From Spandau: The Secret Diaries, by Albert Speer:

After (West German President) Adenauer's statement (concerning early releases for some Spandau inmates) to the Bundestag, Hess and Funk are redoubling their efforts to be considered seriously ill . . . . (Hess) came down with total forgetfulness. About once a week he asks me to explain who Malenkov is or who Adenauer is. When director Cuthill reproved him because he had not folded his blankets properly, he exhibited his poor memory by writing on the wall of his cell "Fold Blankets." He has also increased the force of his attacks. Tonight he groaned for hours, crying out again and again, "I can't stand it any longer. My God, my God, I'm going mad!" When I visited him in his cell this morning he gave the impression of being quite sound of mind, but remained lying on the bed and underscored his point in dramatic and rather moving terms: "One of my worst attacks. My end is nearing. I've lived like a man and will know how to die like a man. By the way, who is Adenauer?"

1982 Poland: Walesa released from jail:

Lech Walesa, leader of communist Poland's outlawed Solidarity movement, returns to his apartment in Gdansk after 11 months of internment in a remote hunting lodge near the Soviet border. Two days before, hundreds of supporters had begun a vigil outside his home upon learning that the founder of Poland's trade union movement was being released. . . .

In November 1982, overwhelming public outcry forced Walesa's release, but Solidarity remained illegal. In 1983, Walesa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Fearing involuntary exile, he declined to travel to Norway to accept the award. Walesa continued as leader of the now-underground Solidarity movement, and he was subjected to continual monitoring and harassment by the communist authorities.

In 1988, deteriorating economic conditions led to a new wave of labor strikes across Poland, and the government was forced to negotiate with Walesa. In April 1989, Solidarity was again legalized, and its members were allowed to enter a limited number of candidates in upcoming elections. By September, a Solidarity-led government coalition was in place, with Walesa's colleague Tadeusz Mazowiecki as premier. In 1990, Poland's first direct presidential election was held, and Walesa won by a landslide. [For further information, click here.]

Edited by Levi Bookin (Copy editor)

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