This Month in History: November

Mask of King Tut, Egyptian pyramids and hieroglyph

November 4, 1922 - King Tutankhamun's tomb was discovered in Luxor, Egypt by British archaeologist Howard Carter after several years of searching. Throughout November, Carter and his excavation team unearthed the staircase, antechamber, treasury, and door to the tomb. By Nov. 26, they could see inside the gold burial chamber which contained a sarcophagus with the mummified king inside. The child-king became pharaoh at age nine and died around 1352 B.C.E. at age 19. The tomb was found mostly intact, containing numerous priceless items now exhibited in Egypt's National Museum in Cairo.


If you'd like to read more about King Tut:

Adults: The Murder of King Tut: the Plot to Kill the Child King by James Patterson

Children: Howard and the Mummy: Howard Carter and the Search for King Tut's Tomb by Tracey E. Fern

The Secrets of Tutankhamun: Egypt's Boy King and His Incredible Tomb by Patricia Cleveland-Peck


If you'd like to read more about Egypt:

Adults: The Story of Egypt: the Civilization that Shaped the World by Joann Fletcher

A World Beneath the Sands: the Golden Age of Egyptology by Toby Wilkinson

Children: A Child's Introduction to Egyptology: the Mummies, Pyramids, Pharaohs, Gods, and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt by Heather Alexander

1,000 Facts about Ancient Egypt by Nancy Honovich


Berlin Wall with Germany's flag of a black, red and yellow stripe. A graffitied Berlin Wall, with people hammering it.

November 9, 1989 - As the Cold War began to thaw, a spokesman for East Berlin's Communist Party announced a change in the city's relations with the West. Starting at midnight, citizens were free to cross the country's borders. The Berlin Wall was built in 1961 and was 28 miles long. Thousands tried to cross the wall in various ways during its 28 years of division between East and West Berlin, some losing their lives. On the weekend of Nov. 9, some 2 million people flocked to the wall in celebration and began breaking up the wall with hammers and picks, while bulldozers took down large sections. It would be almost another year before Germany was officially reunited. (photo of wall pickers by Raphaël Thiémard from Wikipedia Commons)


If you'd like to learn more about the Berlin Wall:

Adults: Checkpoint Charlie: the Cold War, the Berlin Wall, and the Most Dangerous Place on Earth by Iain MacGregor

Forty Autumn's: a Family's Story of Courage and Survival on Both Sides of the Berlin Wall by Nina Willner

Tunnel 29: the True Story of an Extraordinary Escape Beneath the Berlin Wall by Helena Merriman

Children: Flight for Freedom: the Wetzel Family's Daring Escape from East Germany by Kristen Fulton

What Was the Berlin Wall? by Nico Medina


If you'd like to learn more about walls throughout history:

Adults: The Age of Walls: How Barriers Between Nations are Changing Our World by Tim Marshall

Walls: a History of Civilization in Blood and Brick by David Frye

Children: Talking Walls: Discover Your World by Margy Burns Knight


Picture of Nellie Bly waving her hat, blue and yellow world map, another image of Nellie Bly.

November 14, 1889 - Newspaper reporter Nellie Bly set out from New York to beat the record of Jules Verne's fictitious hero Phileas Fogg, who traveled the world in 80 days. Her employer, the New York World, at first didn't want to send her on the voyage, stating that a woman couldn't make the trip. However, Cosmopolitan magazine was dispatching a woman on the same journey but traveling west. Bly (pen name for Elizabeth Cochrane), returned 72 days later after a 25,000-mile journey around the globe. Bly traveled by ocean liner, tugboat, steamship, train, ferry, carriage, rickshaw, sedan chair, tram, and streetcar. She met people from numerous nations and experienced the culture, religious practices, architecture, natural beauty, and cuisine of the places she visited. A huge crowd welcomed her home as her train pulled into the station in Jersey City.


If you'd like to read more about Nellie Bly:

Adults: Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland's History-making Race Around the World by Matthew Goodman

Children: Nellie Bly by Michelle Knudsen

A Race Around the World: the True Story of Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland by Caroline Starr Rose


If you'd like to read more about women who made history:

Adults: Bad Girls Throughout History: 100 Remarkable Women Who Changed the World by Ann Shen

Children: 100 Women Who Made History: Remarkable Women Who Shaped Our World by S.A. Caldwell


Peter Capaldi as Doctor Who in front of the TARDIS, the TARDIS, George Pertwee standing in front of the console inside the TARDIS

November 23, 1963 - The first episode of Doctor Who aired on the BBC on a Saturday afternoon. Doctor Who is a science-fiction program depicting the adventures of a Time Lord, an extraterrestrial being who appears to be human. Doctor Who travels through time and space with various companions to save civilizations and help people in need. Doctor Who travels in a time machine, the TARDIS (Travel and Relative Dimensions in Space), which looks like a British police box from the outside but is much larger on the inside. The Doctor can regenerate and take new forms, and therefore be played by different actors. The first run of the series was from 1963-1989 but began again in 2005. The current Time Lord is the 13th Doctor and for the first time in the series, is played by a woman. (image on left from Flickr, image on right from Wikipedia Commons)


If you'd like to read more about Doctor Who:

Adults: Doctor Who 50: the Essential Guide by Justin Richards

Doctor Who - Twelfth Night: Adventures in Time and Space with Peter Capaldi edited by Andrew O'Day

The Scientific Secrets of Doctor Who by Simon Guerrier

Children: What is the Story of Doctor Who? by Gabriel P. Cooper


If you'd like to read more about space and time:

Adults: Now: the Physics of Time by R. Mueller

Time Travel: a History by James Gleick

Children: Really, Really Big Questions About Space and Time by Mark Brake


Factual information adapted from: National Geographic, History, Heinz History Center, and The Doctor Who Site.

By BethN on November 29, 2021