This Day in History - November 15
A young Fidel Castro.

Today is the 319th day of 2023. There are 46 days left in the year.


1963: Cuban President Fidel Castro warns the United Nations that his country will shoot down any US military plane entering its airspace on a reconnaissance mission, saying that the United States already verified the withdrawal of Soviet strategic missiles from Cuba by high seas inspection.


1492: Christopher Columbus notes in his journal the use of tobacco among Indians — the first recorded reference to tobacco by a European.

1577: Sir Francis Drake of England leaves on a voyage around the world.

1889: Brazil's King Pedro II abdicates, and Brazil is proclaimed a republic.

1920: League of Nations Assembly holds first meeting in Geneva.

1928: Fascist Grand Council becomes part of Italian Constitution.

1939: US President Franklin Roosevelt lays the cornerstone of the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC.

1940: The first 75,000 American men are called to Armed Forces duty under peacetime conscription.

1969: A Vietnam War protest gathers 250,000 people in Washington, DC.

1976: Syrian army takes control of Beirut, ending an 18-month civil war in Lebanon.

1977: Israel sends formal invitation to Egypt's President Anwar Sadat to visit Jerusalem and address the Israeli Parliament.

1982: Funeral services are held in Moscow's Red Square for the late Soviet President Leonid I Brezhnev.

1991: The UN Environment Programme reports that worldwide production and use of chemicals believed to cause erosion of the ozone layer has declined 40 per cent over the last five years.

1992: Shining Path rebels detonate two bombs in Lima, Peru, wounding 10 people.

1993: Gunmen in Lebanon kill a senior aide of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

1995: European Union ambassadors approve a total arms embargo to punish Nigeria's military regime for the execution of nine political activists.

1996: Voters in Sao Paulo, Brazil, elect Celso Pitta as their first black mayor.

1997: Russian President Boris Yeltsin fires two Cabinet ministers after it is revealed that Anatoly Chubais, Russia's leading economic reformer, took money for a book from a financial institution.

1998: US President Bill Clinton announces that Iraq has "backed down" and has promised to cooperate unconditionally with UN weapons inspectors.

1999: Chinese and US negotiators sign a breakthrough agreement in Beijing that removes trade barriers and clears the biggest hurdle to China's entry into the World Trade Organization.

2001: A judge rules that Britain has no laws governing human cloning, despite Parliament's attempt to make it the first nation to permit and regulate research using cloned embryos.

2002: Colombian army troops rescue Bishop Jorge Enrique Jimenez, one of Latin America's leading Roman Catholic bishops, and another priest after a gunbattle with their rebel captors in the Andean mountains.

2004: Sending home a final jumbo jet full of anxious foreigners, France ends its leading role in one of Africa's largest evacuations — a five-day exodus of 5,000 Westerners and others amid fighting between Ivory Coast and its former colonial ruler.

2005: UN peacekeepers and gang members trade gunfire in the Cite Soleil slum of the Haitian capital, leaving at least two people dead.

2006: Pakistan's Parliament approves amendments to an Islamic-based law on rape, dropping the death penalty and flogging for people convicted of having consensual sex outside marriage.

2007: Cyclone Sidr roars across the south-western coast of Bangladesh with 150 mph (240 kph) winds killing at least 3,100 people in the deadliest such storm in more than a decade.

2008: Somali pirates hijack a Saudi-owned supertanker loaded with 2 million barrels of crude oil in the Indian Ocean. It is the largest ship pirates have seized.

2010: Rolls-Royce to temporarily replace any oil-leaking engines like the one that caught fire and blew apart on a Qantas super-jumbo jet earlier this month, forcing the A380 to make an emergency landing in Singapore with 459 people aboard.

2012: Oil giant BP agrees to plead guilty to a raft of criminal charges and pay a record $4.5 billion in a settlement with the US Government over the deadly 2010 disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

2016: President Barack Obama, opening his final overseas trip while in office, acknowledges in Athens, Greece, that he was surprised by Donald Trump's victory, and said it stemmed from deep-seated anxieties among working-class Americans that the Government needed to do better to address.


William Pitt, British prime minister (1708-1779); William Herschel, German-born astronomer and discoverer of Uranus (1738-1822); Erwin Rommel, German general (1891-1944); Petula Clark, English popular singer (1932- ); Sam Waterston, US actor (1940- ); Rachel True, US actress (1966- ), Carol Cummings, Olympian, (1949- )

— AP/Jamaica Observer

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