On This Day in History: November 10

On November 10, copies of a novel were burned. It would not be the last novel to be burned, and there would be many other banned over the years. Just what happened today in history around the world?

1865: Hanging of Henry Wirz

Henry WirtzHenry Wirz was the commander of Georgia’s Andersonville Prison during the American Civil War. He was originally from Switzerland, but moved to the United States in 1849, where he was able to become a physician. While initially he had an excellent career in guarding prisons, he happened to be the guard at Camp Sumter—Andersonville Prison—which has gone down as the worst Civil War prison for circumstances and prisoner care. Despite being designed for 10,000 men, by August 1864 there were 31,000 people there. Thousands died, which Wirz blamed on the lack of resources and exchanges with the Union prisoners. Wirz was charged and found guilty of conspiracy to injure the health and lives of the Union soldiers and murder. He was sentenced to death and was hanged on November 10, 1865.

1973: North Dakota Burns Slaughterhouse-Five

The novel Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut was historical fiction with a sci-fi twist, using elements of World War II soldier Billy Pilgrim’s witnessed events. Many complained that the book wasn’t suitable for school children, and today in history saw the burning of 36 copies of the novel in North Dakota. It didn’t stop Vonnegut writing, and he continued with his controversial, satiric style.

1980: Labour Party Gains Unexpected LeaderSlaugherhouse Five

In an unexpected second round of voting by the UK Labour Party members, left-wing candidate Michael Foot became the newest party leader. He defeated his rival by just 10 votes, which was unexpected by the political experts after Healey’s easy victory in the first round. It would be Foot’s win that would lead to Roy Jenkins leave the Labour Party and create the Social Democratic Party. That party would eventually join the Liberal Party, creating the Liberal Democrat Party. Foot remained as leader until 1983, when he lost the General Election. Labour secured just 27.6% of the electoral vote. The party wouldn’t gain traction until Tony Blair became the leader in the 1990s.

Famous Birthdays on November 10

Religious reformer Martin Luther—1483

Playwright Oliver Goldsmith—1730

Educator of the blind Samuel Grindley Howe—1801

First female cabinet member Frances Perkins—1882

The Spy Who Came In From the Cold actor Richard Burton—1925

Singer songwriter Greg Lake—1947

Comedian Sinbad—19556

Downton Abbey actor Hugh Bonneville—1963

Sin City actress Brittany Murphy—1977

Singer Miranda Lambert—1983


Featured image from Deposit Photos

Birthdays from HistoryNet.com and FamousBirthdays.com

Henry Wirz: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Wirz#/media/File:Henry_Wirz_photo.jpg

Slaughterhouse Five: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slaughterhouse-Five#/media/File:Slaughterhousefive.jpg

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