This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.
Find the past “On This Day in History” here.
November 8 is the 312th day of the year (313th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 53 days remaining until the end of the year.
On this day in 1793 the Louvre opens as a public museum. After more than two centuries as a royal palace, the Louvre is opened as a public museum in Paris by the French revolutionary government. Today, the Louvre’s collection is one of the richest in the world, with artwork and artifacts representative of 11,000 years of human civilization and culture.
The Musée du Louvre or officially Grand Louvre – in English the Louvre Museum or simply the Louvre – is one of the world’s largest museums, the most visited art museum in the world and a historic monument. It is a central landmark of Paris and located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the 1st arrondissement (district). Nearly 35,000 objects from prehistory to the 19th century are exhibited over an area of 60,600 square metres (652,300 square feet).
The museum is housed in the Louvre Palace (Palais du Louvre) which began as a fortress built in the late 12th century under Philip II. Remnants of the fortress are still visible. The building was extended many times to form the present Louvre Palace. In 1682, Louis XIV chose the Palace of Versailles for his household, leaving the Louvre primarily as a place to display the royal collection, including, from 1692, a collection of antique sculpture. In 1692, the building was occupied by the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres and the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture, which in 1699 held the first of a series of salons. The Académie
remained at the Louvre for 100 years. During the French Revolution, the National Assembly decreed that the Louvre should be used as a museum, to display the nation’s masterpieces.
The museum opened on 10 August 1793 with an exhibition of 537 paintings, the majority of the works being confiscated church and royal property. Because of structural problems with the building, the museum was closed in 1796 until 1801. The size of the collection increased under Napoleon when the museum was renamed the Musée Napoleon. After his defeat at Waterloo, many works seized by Napoleon’s armies were returned to their original owners. The collection was further increased during the reigns of Louis XVIII and Charles X, and during the Second French Empire the museum gained 20,000 pieces. Holdings have grown steadily through donations and gifts since the Third Republic, except during the two World Wars. As of 2008, the collection is divided among eight curatorial departments: Egyptian Antiquities; Near Eastern Antiquities; Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities; Islamic Art; Sculpture; Decorative Arts; Paintings; Prints and Drawings.
1519 – Hernan Cortes enters Tenochtitlan and Aztec ruler Moctezuma welcomes him with a great celebration.
1520 – Stockholm Bloodbath begins: A successful invasion of Sweden by Danish forces results in the execution of around 100 people.
1576 – Eighty Years’ War: Pacification of Ghent – The States-General of the Netherlands meet and unite to oppose Spanish occupation.
1602 – The Bodleian Library at Oxford University is opened to the public.
1620 – The Battle of White Mountain takes place near Prague, ending in a decisive Catholic victory in only two hours.
1745 – Charles Edward Stuart invades England with an army of ~5000 that would later participate in the Battle of Culloden.
1793 – In Paris, the French Revolutionary government opens the Louvre to the public as a museum.
1837 – Mary Lyon founds Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, which later becomes Mount Holyoke College.
1861 – American Civil War: The “Trent Affair” – The USS San Jacinto stops the United Kingdom mail ship Trent and arrests two Confederate envoys, sparking a diplomatic crisis between the UK and US.
1889 – Montana is admitted as the 41st U.S. state.
1892 – The New Orleans general strike begins, uniting black and white American trade unionists in a successful four-day general strike action for the first time.
1895 – While experimenting with electricity, Wilhelm Rontgen discovers the X-ray.
* 1901 – Bloody clashes take place in Athens following the translation of the Gospels into demotic Greek.
1917 – The People’s Commissars give authority to Vladimir Lenin, Leon Trotsky, and Joseph Stalin.
1923 – Beer Hall Putsch: In Munich, Adolf Hitler leads the Nazis in an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the German government.
1932 – Franklin Delano Roosevelt is elected the 32d President of the United States defeating Herbert Hoover.
1933 – Great Depression: New Deal – US President Franklin D. Roosevelt unveils the Civil Works Administration, an organization designed to create jobs for more than 4 million of the unemployed.
1935 – A dozen labor leaders come together to announce the creation of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), an organization charged with advancing industrial unionism.
1937 – The Nazi exhibition Der ewige Jude (“The Eternal Jew”) opens in Munich.
1939 – Venlo Incident: Two British agents of SIS are captured by the Germans.
1939 – In Munich, Adolf Hitler narrowly escapes the assassination attempt of Georg Elser while celebrating the 16th anniversary of the Beer Hall Putsch.
1941 – The Albanian Communist Party is founded.
1942 – World War II: Operation Torch – United States and United Kingdom forces land in French North Africa.
1942 – World War II: French resistance coup in Algiers, in which 400 civilian French patriots neutralize Vichyist XIXth Army Corps after 15 hours of fighting, and arrest several Vichyst generals, allowing the immediate success of Operation Torch in Algiers.
1950 – Korean War: United States Air Force Lt. Russell J. Brown, while piloting an F-80 Shooting Star, shoots down two North Korean MiG-15s in the first jet aircraft-to-jet aircraft dogfight in history.
1957 – Operation Grapple X, Round C1: Britain conducts its first successful hydrogen bomb test over Kiritimati in the Pacific.
1965 – The British Indian Ocean Territory is created, consisting of Chagos Archipelago, Aldabra, Farquhar and Des Roches islands.
1965 – The Murder (Abolition of the Death Penalty) Act 1965 is given Royal Assent, formally abolishing the death penalty in the United Kingdom.
1965 – The 173rd Airborne is ambushed by over 1,200 Viet Cong in Operation Hump during the Vietnam War, while the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment fight one of the first set-piece engagements of the war between Australian forces and the Vietcong at the Battle of Gang Toi.
1966 – Former Massachusetts Attorney General Edward Brooke becomes the first African American elected to the United States Senate.
1966 – U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson signs into law an antitrust exemption allowing the National Football League to merge with the upstart American Football League.
1973 – The right ear of John Paul Getty III is delivered to a newspaper together with a ransom note, convincing his father to pay 2.9 million USD.
1976 – A series of earthquakes spreads panic in the city of Thessaloniki, which is evacuated.
1977 – Manolis Andronikos, a Greek archaeologist and professor at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, discovers the tomb of Philip II of Macedon at Vergina.
1987 – Remembrance Day Bombing: A Provisional IRA bomb explodes in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland during a ceremony honouring those who had died in wars involving British forces. Twelve people are killed and sixty-three wounded.
2002 – Iraq disarmament crisis: UN Security Council Resolution 1441 – The United Nations Security Council unanimously approves a resolution on Iraq, forcing Saddam Hussein to disarm or face “serious consequences”.
2003 – The Harris Theater opens, commencing a renaissance in the Chicago performing arts community.
2004 – War in Iraq: More than 10,000 U.S. troops and a small number of Iraqi army units participate in a siege on the insurgent stronghold of Fallujah.