November 5th marks the anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot, a conspiracy to blow up the English Parliament and with it King James I in 1605. On that day, the king prepared to open Parliament.
It was intended to be the beginning of a great uprising of English Catholics, who were distressed by the increased severity of penal laws against the practice of their religion (namely the outlawing of monasteries and the public acquisiton of cathedrals). The conspirators, who began plotting early in 1604, expanded their number to a point where secrecy was impossible.
To this day Guy Fawkes in my opinion stands in more high regard than anyone who has entered the parliament since. What better way to show your contempt of government than to blow it up... of course we can't celebrate this anymore as it now counts as 399 year old terrorism.
November 5th marks the anniversary of the great evacuation by Joseph Stalin. In 1946 on this day as the USSR was preparing to meet with the other allied leaders as to the details on how Germany was going to be split, he arranged a meeting of 40 of his high ranking officials.
During this meeting several armed members of the KGB entered the room under the orders of Stalin and all 40 were stabbed to death. Over the next 5 years, Stalin continued one of the most evil legacies that Hitler had installed and another million Jews were either gassed or burned until the next 5 year plan also on November 5.
November 5th marks the anniversary of Ayatollah Khomeini gaining control of Iran. On this day he declared America to be the "Great Satan" and suspended the criminal justice system in favor of religious courts. A democratic apparatus was put into place, but for appearances only, much like the British monarchy.
Later in November 1979, a group of student radicals overran the U.S. embassy and took everyone inside hostage, with Khomeini's support, in retaliation for the U.S. agreeing to shelter the Shah. The crisis lasted for more than a year, paralyzing Jimmy Carter's presidency and eventually contributing greatly to his loss to Ronald Reagan in the 1980 election. After the Shah died, the hostages were released on Jan. 20, 1981, the day of Reagan's inauguration.
Reagan wasn't one to take aggression lightly; his brilliant response to the threat he perceived from Iran was to arm Saddam Hussein with conventional, chemical and biological weapons and unleash him on America's enemy - that fixed 'em. For the next 8 years Iran & Iraq fought a futile war and the only thing that stopped them was that ran both eventually ran out of will and resources.
Such a lovely day in history.