Today In History Spotlights Nov. 22, 1718, Battle of Ocracoke

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Today’s History Spotlight

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Edward Thatch, best known as “Blackbeard,” is killed during the Battle of Ocracoke. The most notorious pirate in world history, Thatch gained infamy during the Golden Age of Piracy, which lasted from about 1650-1730. Thought by many to have been born in Bristol, England, Thatch is believed to have turned to piracy following his service as a privateer during the War of Spanish Succession. Working alongside other notable pirates, such as Benjamin Hornigold and Stede Bonnet, he eventually stole and commandeered a French ship, renaming it the “Queen Anne’s Revenge.” As a pirate captain, Thatch patrolled the British-American coast from the West Indies to the Carolinas.

In 1718, he accepted the King’s Pardon from the Governor of North Carolina and retired from piracy for a short time, but soon returned to his old lifestyle. On November 22, 1718, Thatch and his crew were engaged by sailors under the command of Lieutenant Robert Maynard in Ocracoke Inlet. After a bloody battle, Thatch was killed. His head was decapitated and hung from the bow of the ship. Folklore has it that Thatch’s headless body floated around the ship several times before sinking.

What Happened On This Day – November 22

  • 2005 Angela Merkel takes office as German Chancellor. The physical chemist from former East Germany became the first female chancellor of the country.
  • 2004 Orange Revolution begins in Ukraine. The revolution began after an election that was marred by widespread rumors of corruption and fraud. The protests resulted in electoral reforms in the country and November 22 was declared a Day of Freedom in 2005. The holiday was then moved to January 22 in 2011.
  • 1995 Toy Story released. Produced by Pixar, the movie which follows the adventures of human-like toys, was the world’s first feature-length computer-animated movie. Considered to be one of the best animated films every released, Toy story won 3 Oscars including Best Original Screenplay, Best Original Score, and Best Original Song.
  • 1986 Mike Tyson wins fight against Trevor Berbick. The victory won Tyson the World Boxing Council (WBC) heavyweight championship and made him world’s youngest heavyweight champion at the age of 20 years.
  • 1963 John F. Kennedy assassinated. The 35th President of the United States was shot by Lee Harvey Oswald, while traveling in a motorcade in Dallas, Texas. He was the 4th American president to be assassinated while in office. The other 3 were Abraham Lincoln, James Abram Garfield, and William McKinley.

Births On This Day – November 22

  • 1986 Oscar Pistorius – South African sprinter
  • 1984 Scarlett Johansson – American actress, singer
  • 1967 Boris Becker – German tennis player
  • 1890 Charles de Gaulle – French general, politician, President of France
  • 1819 George Eliot – English author

Deaths On This Day – November 22

  • 1963 Aldous Huxley – English author
  • 1963 John F. Kennedy – American lieutenant, politician, 35th President of the United States
  • 1963 C. S. Lewis – Irish author, poet
  • 1900 Arthur Sullivan – English composer
  • 1718 Blackbeard – English pirate

The sections “What Happened On This Day,” “Births On This Day,” and “Deaths On This Day” originally appeared at and is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Garrett Smith
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