Behind History For November 19
1912 – First Balkan War: The Serbian Army captures Bitola, ending the five-century-long Ottoman rule of Macedonia.
1941 – World War II: Battle between HMAS Sydney and HSK Kormoran. The two ships sink each other off the coast of Western Australia, with the loss of 645 Australians and about 77 German seamen.
1942 – World War II: Battle of Stalingrad: Soviet Union forces under General Georgy Zhukov launch the Operation Uranus counterattacks at Stalingrad, turning the tide of the battle in the USSR’s favor.
1942 – Mutesa II is crowned the 35th and last Kabaka (king) of Buganda, prior to the restoration of the kingdom in 1993.
1943 – Holocaust: Nazis liquidate Janowska concentration camp in Lemberg (Lviv), western Ukraine, murdering at least 6,000 Jews after a failed uprising and mass escape attempt.
1944 – World War II: U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt announces the 6th War Loan Drive, aimed at selling US$14 billion in war bonds to help pay for the war effort.
1944 – World War II: Thirty members of the Luxembourgish resistance defend the town of Vianden against a larger Waffen-SS attack in the Battle of Vianden.
1946 – Afghanistan, Iceland and Sweden join the United Nations.
1952 – Greek Field Marshal Alexander Papagos becomes the 152nd Prime Minister of Greece.
1954 – Télé Monte Carlo, Europe’s oldest private television channel, is launched by Prince Rainier III.
1955 – National Review publishes its first issue.
1959 – The Ford Motor Company announces the discontinuation of the unpopular Edsel.
1967 – The establishment of TVB, the first wireless commercial television station in Hong Kong.
1969 – Apollo program: Apollo 12 astronauts Pete Conrad and Alan Bean land at Oceanus Procellarum (the “Ocean of Storms”) and become the third and fourth humans to walk on the Moon.
1969 – Association football player Pelé scores his 1,000th goal.
1977 – TAP Portugal Flight 425 crashes in the Madeira Islands, killing 131.
1979 – Iran hostage crisis: Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini orders the release of 13 female and black American hostages being held at the US Embassy in Tehran.
1984 – San Juanico disaster: A series of explosions at the Pemex petroleum storage facility at San Juan Ixhuatepec in Mexico City starts a major fire and kills about 500 people.
1985 – Cold War: In Geneva, U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet Union General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev meet for the first time.
1985 – Pennzoil wins a US$10.53 billion judgment against Texaco, in the largest civil verdict in the history of the United States, stemming from Texaco executing a contract to buy Getty Oil after ennzoil had entered into an unsigned, yet still binding, buyout contract with Getty.
1985 – Police in Baling, Malaysia, lay siege to houses occupied by an Islamic sect of about 400 people led by Ibrahim Mahmud.
1988 – Serbian communist representative and future Serbian and Yugoslav president Slobodan Milošević publicly declares that Serbia is under attack from Albanian separatists in Kosovo as well as internal treachery within Yugoslavia and a foreign conspiracy to destroy Serbia and Yugoslavia.
1994 – In the United Kingdom, the first National Lottery draw is held. A £1 ticket gave a one-in-14-million chance of correctly guessing the winning six out of 49 numbers.
1996 – Lt. Gen. Maurice Baril of Canada arrives in Africa to lead a multi-national policing force in Zaire.
1998 – Clinton–Lewinsky scandal: The United States House of Representatives Judiciary Committee begins impeachment hearings against U.S. President Bill Clinton.
1998 – Vincent van Gogh’s Portrait of the Artist Without Beard sells at auction for US$71.5 million.
1999 – Shenzhou 1: The People’s Republic of China launches its first Shenzhou spacecraft.
2002 – The Greek oil tanker Prestige splits in half and sinks off the coast of Galicia, releasing over 20 million US gallons (76,000 m³) of oil in the largest environmental disaster in Spanish and Portuguese history.
2004 – The Malice at the Palace: The worst brawl in NBA history, Ron Artest suspended 86 games (rest of season), Stephen Jackson suspended 30 games.
2006 – Nintendo’s first video game console with motion control, the Wii, is released.
2010 – The first of four explosions takes place at the Pike River Mine in New Zealand; 29 people are killed in the nation’s worst mining disaster since 1914.
2013 – A double suicide bombing at the Iranian embassy in Beirut kills 23 people and injures 160 others.