Nov. 5: Guy Fawkes Day

Nov 5, 2011 8:00am

Guy Fawkes Day

England, 1605: Guy Fawkes was a member of the Gunpowder Plot, a group of Catholic revolutionaries who planned to overthrow the Protestant King James I.  The group plotted to blow up the House of Lords and kill the king.  But Parliament was tipped off and stormed in on Guy Fawkes, who sitting underneath the House of Lords with barrels of gunpowder.

Fawkes was tortured and executed.  Bonfires were lit as people celebrated the king’s safety, a tradition that became known as “Bonfire Night.”  Some viewed the foiled plot as divine intervention, and in 1606 the Observance of 5th November Act 1605 was established to recognize and remember this celestial event.


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Revellers in fancy dress parade down the street during Bonfire Night celebrations in this Nov. 5, 2003 file photo in Lewes, England. (Scott Barbour/Getty Images)


Guy Fawkes Day festivities include bonfires, fireworks displays and the burning of Guy Fawkes effigies.  The 2006 film “V for Vendetta,” based on Alan Moore’s graphic novel, popularized the Guy Fawkes mask.


Also on This Day:


1940 FDR Wins Presidential Election

In 1940, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was re-elected president for his third term of office.  Due to America’s involvement in World War II, he held the post for four terms; however, he died during his fourth term, in 1945.  The two-term limit for presidents became law with the 22nd Amendment, ratified in 1951.


1996 Bill Clinton Wins Presidential Election

President Bill Clinton (D) defeated Senator Bob Dole (R) in the presidential election.  Watch President Clinton’s acceptance speech from 1996.


2006 Saddam Hussein Sentenced to Death

In Iraq, Saddam Hussein was found guilty of crimes against humanity.


2009 Fort Hood Shooting

Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan went on a shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Texas.  Thirteen people were killed.


Famous Birthdays

1911 Roy Rogers

1913 Vivien Leigh

1941 Art Garfunkel

1943 Sam Shepard

1960 Tilda Swinton

1963 Tatum O’Neal

1974 Ryan Adams

1987 Kevin Jonas


Jump back to Nov. 4: Day in History.

View more videos from This Month in History: November.


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