From the end of World War I to the infamous Gunpowder Plot, November has seen its fair share of major historic events.

Keep reading to find out what other historic events have happened in November…

21 historic events that happened in November

events that happened in November

1st November, 1348

On or about this date, the Black Death reached London. In early autumn, the disease is thought to have arrived via a ship travelling into Southampton from the east.

The Black Death was called the bubonic plague, named after the blackening ‘buboes’ (swollen, inflamed lymph nodes) that developed in the joint areas of infected people – most commonly in the groin or armpit. These were also accompanied by lethargy, bodily aches, cold, and a high fever. Once the infection got into the bloodstream, it effectively poisoned people and led to probable death.

By New Year’s Day 1349, around 200 bodies were being piled into mass graves outside the city every day. Over the next two years, the Black Death is estimated to have wiped out between 30-40% of the entire English population.

1st November, 1512

Michelangelo’s iconic work on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel was revealed to the public.

Commissioned by Pope Julius II, it took Michelangelo five years to paint the 342 figures on the ceiling. Michelangelo was reportedly reluctant to take the job at first because he was known as a sculptor rather than a painter.

Today, over five million people travel to Vatican City each year to marvel at the Sistine Chapel.

2nd November, 1936

The world’s first regular public television service with a high level of image resolution was launched by the BBC from Alexandra Palace.

The transmitter in North London had a 25-mile radius and it’s estimated that 100 television owners tuned in.

3rd November, 1534

The English parliament passed the Act of Supremacy. The act essentially created the Church of England and cut church ties with Rome. This meant that the English monarch was established as Head of the Church of England instead of the Pope.

The Act of Supremacy was passed under Henry VIII. It stemmed from Pope Clement VII’s refusal to grant the king an annulment of his marriage to his first wife Catherine of Aragon.

3rd November, 2014

The One World Trade Center opened in New York. It was built on the site of the former World Trade Center complex, which was destroyed on September 11th, 2001, during terrorist attacks.

The impressive 1776ft One World Trade Center is the Western Hemisphere’s tallest building, and was built both to honour the World Trade Center’s past and stand as a symbol of hope for the future.

4th November, 1843

The 5.5 metre statue of Lord Nelson was hauled to the top of its 60 metre column in Trafalgar Square, London.

The statue was built to commemorate Admiral Nelson’s decisive victory in 1805 at the naval Battle of Trafalgar during the Napoleonic Wars. The battle – during which he died – established British naval supremacy for over 100 years and destroyed Napoleon’s plans to invade England.

5th November, 1605

Guy Fawkes was arrested in the cellars beneath Westminster after the plot to murder English King James I was discovered. Fawkes, one of the conspirators, was found in the cellar of Parliament, building barrels of gunpowder.

The famous Gunpowder Plot was organised by ringleader Robert Catesby in an attempt to end the English government’s persecution of Roman Catholics. Catesby was a devout English Catholic whose father had faced persecution under the rule of Elizabeth I for refusing to conform to the Church of England.

Guy Fawkes and other men involved in the Gunpowder plot were tried and executed for treason.

Guy Fawkes was arrested in the cellars beneath Westminster

6th November, 1429

Henry VI, of the house of Lancaster, was crowned King of England at just nine months old.

The new king ruled over a highly turbulent period of history – most notably, the lead up to a long-running dynastic crisis between the houses of Lancaster and York, known as the War of the Roses.

In May 1471, Henry VI is believed to have been murdered at the Tower of London.

9th November, 1799

Napoleon Bonaparte, an experienced young military man, became the dictator of France after his successful coup to overthrow the weak French government and establish a new regime.

In 1804, Napoleon was crowned France’s first emperor and, despite his strict regime, became a unifying force in France. He succeeded in waging war against a number of European nations before his disastrous 1812 invasion of Russia, which led to him abdicating the throne.

In 1815, Napoleon briefly returned to power, but abdicated again after a devastating defeat against the British at the Battle of Waterloo. He was exiled to the remote island of Saint Helena, where he died aged 51.

11th November, 1918

After a total of four years and 97 days, the guns finally fell silent as World War I ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918.

Around nine million lives were lost during World War I, and a further 21 million people were injured.

World War I was named the ‘war to end all wars’ because of the huge destruction it caused. Unfortunately, the 1919 Treaty of Versailles, which officially ended the conflict, forced harsh terms on Germany that would destablise Europe and lay the groundwork for World War II.

13th November, 1553

At 17 years old, Lady Jane Grey became the youngest royal woman in British history to be charged for treason.

As a protestant and third in line to the throne, Jane had been the centrepiece in a plot to prevent Edward VI’s Catholic half-sister Mary becoming queen after his death.

The plan worked for a short-time, with Jane ruling England for nine days. However, once Mary seized power, Jane and her husband were sentenced to death.

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13th November, 1839

The last bull run in Britain occured in Stamford, Lincolnshire, putting an end to a cruel practise that had gone on for 700 years.

Bull running involved chasing a bull through the streets of a town until it became weak, before slaughtering it for its meat.

It had become illegal in 1835, but the last event didn’t occur until 1839.

15th November, 1968

The largest passenger ocean liner in the world, Cunard’s flagship Queen Elizabeth, arrived in Southampton after completing her final transatlantic voyage.

RMS Queen Elizabeth was launched in 1938 and made her maiden voyage in 1940 across the North Atlantic to escape the dangers of World War II. She was originally a troopship but was finally placed into passenger service in 1946.

RMS Queen Elizabeth held the title of the largest passenger ship ever constructed until 1996 when the Carnival Cruise Ship Destiny was launched.

16th November, 1724

Highwayman Jack Sheppard was hanged at Tyburn in London, in front of an estimated crowd of 200,000.

Jack Sheppard was one of the 18th century’s most infamous robbers and thieves. During his short criminal career between 1723 and 1724, Sheppard was arrested and imprisoned five times, managing to escape four times.

Sheppard was notorious but remained a popular rebel hero – particularly with the poor. As a result, on the way to his execution, the route was lined with distressed women wearing white and throwing him flowers.

17th November, 1558

At the age of 25, Elizabeth I ascended the English throne following the death of her half-sister, Queen Mary (also known as Bloody Mary).

Despite her father Henry VIII’s disappointment in her being a female, Queen Elizabeth I turned out to be the most successful of all the king’s children. She ruled England for 44 years in what has since been remembered as a ‘Golden Age’ where England’s economy and influence expanded.

20th November, 1947

Princess Elizabeth (future Queen Elizabeth II) married her third cousin Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten at Westminster Abbey. A year later, they had their first child, Prince Charles.

The royal couple were married for nearly 74 years before Philip’s death in 2021 at the age of 99. At their golden wedding anniversary in 1997, the Queen said of Philip, “He has been my strength and stay all these years.”

22nd November, 1963

The world began mourning the news that President John F. Kennedy had been shot and killed in Dallas, Texas. Lee Harvey Oswald allegedly fired three shots from the sixth floor of a building as the president’s car passed.

John F. Kennedy was the 35th President of the United States (1961-1963) and the youngest man elected to office.

Vice President Lyndon Johnson, who was three cars behind President Kennedy when he was shot, was sworn in as the 36th president of the United states less than two hours after Kennedy’s death.

24th November, 1859

Charles Darwin published his book On the Origin of Species – a groundbreaking scientific work considered to be the foundation of all evolutionary biology.

Darwin’s work essentially stated that species evolve and that all living things can trace their heritage back to a common ancestor.

25th November, 1984

Band Aid stars gathered at London’s Sarm Studios to record ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’ in aid of Ethiopian famine relief.

The record shot straight to number one and one million copies were sold in its first week of release. The single went on to raise over $24 million.

26th November, 1922

Archaeologists Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun.

An incredible seven-year long excavation process began where Carter and his team explored the four-room tomb and uncovered a collection of several thousand objects.

Inside the last chamber of the tomb, they discovered a solid gold coffin and the mummy of king Tutankhamen, preserved for over 3,000 years. Having studied Tutankhamen’s mummy, experts believe he was only around 18 when he died.

28th November, 1919

Nancy Astor, known as the first lady of British politics, became Britain’s first female MP to take a seat in parliament after she was elected as MP for Plymouth, Devon.

Nancy quickly became known for her strong views, including advocating for women’s rights and tighter restrictions on alcohol.

On 24th February, 1920, Nancy stood in front of an audience of over 500 men, the majority of which were hostile, to deliver her first speech. Among other things in her speech, Nancy encouraged women who had the right to vote to use it wisely.

Final thoughts…

It’s interesting to look back on history and think about what was happening on these days throughout time. From significant archaeological discoveries to the outbreak of the Black Death, November has witnessed many significant historic events.

For more history-related content, head over to the art and culture section of our website. Here you’ll find everything from top historical sites to visit in the UK, to unmissable history films.

Which of these historic events did you like reading about the most? Are there any other historic events that happened in November that you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.