What Happened on November 16?

  • Diplomatic relations between the US and the Soviet Union were established. (1933) US President Roosevelt telegrammed Maxim Litvinov, the Soviet Leader, stating he hoped the relationship between the countries would be "normal and friendly."

  • The first woman in modern history was elected to lead a Muslim country. (1988) Benazir Bhutto was elected as Pakistan's Prime Minister. She served in office until 1990 and again from 1993 to 1996.

  • The space probe Venera 3 was launched by the Soviet Union and became the first to land on the surface of another planet. (1965) The spacecraft crash landed on Venus, but it failed to return any planetary information because its communication system failed.

  • Oklahoma entered the Union as the 46th US state. (1907) The Oklahoma and Indian territories were admitted together as Oklahoma. The US had gained control over the area in the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.

  • The Trans-Alaska Pipeline Authorization Act was signed. (1973) US President Richard Nixon signed the act, which authorized the construction on the Alaska Pipeline to begin. The line carries oil to Valdez, Alaska from Prudhoe Bay.

  • NASA launched Skylab 4. (1973) Skylab 4 was an 84-day space mission that took the final three astronauts to the Skylab space station, the first space station established by the US. This was the last Skylab mission.

  • Russian author Fyodor Dostoevsky was sentenced to death. (1849) Dostoevsky was sentenced to die for alleged anti-government activities. He was placed before a firing squad, but his sentence was commuted to hard labor at the last second. He served four years in a Siberian labor camp.

  • The US government secretly brought 88 German scientists to the US to develop rocket technology. (1945) The US feared Russia was moving ahead in rocket development and wanted to work on technology similar to the V-1 and V-2 rockets used by the Nazi's in World War II. Because the scientists previously worked for the Nazi regime, the move — termed "Operation Paperclip" — was highly controversial.

  • A US President visited Vietnam for the first time since the end of the Vietnam War. (2000) US President Bill Clinton made the first presidential visit since the war ended in 1975.

  • During World War II, the Allies bombed Dueren, Germany, to total destruction. (1944) The bombing obliterated the city, killing about 3,000 people in a population of 22,000; survivors were evacuated.

  • The US Federal Reserve Bank opened. (1914) There now are 12 Federal Reserve Banks covering the 12 geographic districts of the US banking system.

  • LSD was created. (1938) The psychedelic drug was first synthesized by Dr. Albert Hofmann, a Swiss chemist working at the Sandoz Laboratories in Switzerland.

Discussion Comments


In my opinion, the fifth to last tidbit really shows that even as early as 1945, the US government definitely had the power and resources to create whatever they wanted, and we can definitely see that here.

Even though they technically develop the rocket technology themselves, on the other hand, it's still interesting who they hired to assist them, people who obviously had the skills and resources to accomplish what needed to be done.

Does anyone else wonder what else the government has been creating in the past years? While it's true that some things have and will always remain top secret, on the other hand, it's still interesting to think about, despite the fact that it may never be revealed in the first place.


You know, if Fyodor Dostoevsky had lived in America, perhaps his punishment would have been a whole lot different.

While it's true that he did spend time in a labor camp, on the other hand, considering how he was originally supposed to be executed under a firing squad, that makes it all the more worse, and in some ways, it even seems a bit unethical.

However, regardless, many laws have changed, and even though he lived in Russia, it's very possible that in this day and age, his punishment would have been a lot less severe.


I've never used LSD before, but I've definitely heard of some of the side effects, and I have to say that it sounds like a very interesting drug. One thing I wonder though, is what way it's produced that allows people to have hallucinations.

Speaking of which, correct me if I'm wrong, but for the most part, wasn't LSD hidden from the pubic for quite some time, and only used by the government? If so, I actually think that makes sense.

All in all, there are just some things that shouldn't even get out to the public in the first place. More than often, things can get abused when they fall into the wrong hands, and in my opinion, it definitely shows here.

Though I can't help but wonder how things hidden under security end up getting "leaked" in the first place. It's definitely something interesting to think about.


Women tend to have a lot of restricted rights in the middle east. With that said, I'm actually quite surprised that a woman was elected to lead a Muslim country, especially as "recent" as 1988.

However, maybe one reason for this is because even though women have limited rights in the middle east, perhaps it's not the case everywhere, and that you only see it every now and then.

Using one example, a while back, I was watching the movie called A Separation, which takes place in the Middle East.

I was surprised at how well the father and daughter got along in their relationship. There was no foul language, and no abuse.

While there are always exceptions to the rule, my theory is that a lot of the abuse that women suffer in the middle east might be a bit exaggerated.

That's not to say it doesn't happen, but on the other hand, perhaps this assumption is only based off of a few incidents.

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