This Day In History : November 29

1961 United States

A chimpanzee named Enos is launched into space to orbit the Earth Twice

On November 29, 1961, a chimpanzee named Enos was successfully launched into space aboard NASA's Mercury-Atlas 5 spacecraft. Enos completed two orbits around the Earth as part of the Mercury-Atlas program, demonstrating the feasibility of sending living organisms into space and retrieving them safely. He splashed down near Puerto Rico, marking a significant achievement in the early days of human space exploration.

Also on This Day in History November 29

Discover what happened on November 29 with HISTORY's summaries of major events, anniversaries,
famous births and notable deaths.

Births on This Day, November 29
  • 1803 Christian Doppler

    Austrian physicist who invented Doppler effect radar

  • 1874 António Egas Moniz

    Portuguese neurologist, founder of modern psychosurgery

  • 1849 John Ambrose Fleming

    English electrical engineer, physicist and inventor of vacuum diode- 1st electronic rectifier of radio waves

  • 1762 Pierre André Latreille

    French entomologist, father of modern entomology (first detailed classification of crustaceans and insects)

  • 1913 Benjamin Markarian

    Armenian astrophysicist (Markarian galaxies)

Deaths on This Day, November 29
  • 1993 Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata

    Indian industrialist (Air-India, Tata Group)

  • 1952 Vladimir Nikolayevich Ipatieff

    Russian-American chemist who developed a process for manufacturing high-octane gasoline

  • 2006 Allen Carr

    English anti-smoking campaigner

  • 2010 Maurice Wilkes

    English computer scientist who designed and helped build the Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Calculator (EDSAC)

  • 1975 Graham Hill

    English auto racer, Formula One World Champion in 1962, 1968, won the Indianapolis 500 in 1966, and the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1972


City of San Jose Founded

On November 29, 1777, the city of San Jose was founded in California. It was the first civilian settlement, or pueblo, established in Alta California under Spanish colonial rule. San Jose has since grown into one of the largest cities in California and a major center of technology and innovation.

Atari Releases Video Game Pong

On November 29, 1972, Atari released the iconic video game Pong. Developed by Atari founder Nolan Bushnell and his team, Pong became the first commercially successful arcade video game, paving the way for the video game industry's growth and popularizing electronic gaming worldwide.

First U.S. Underground Atom Bomb Test 'Uncle' Detonated

On November 29, 1951, the United States conducted its first underground atomic bomb test, codenamed "Uncle." This test marked a significant development in nuclear weapons testing, exploring new methods of containment and reducing the environmental impact of nuclear explosions compared to atmospheric tests.

First 'Blue Baby' Operation Successfully Performed at Johns Hopkins University

On November 29, 1944, Dr. Alfred Blalock, a surgeon, and pediatric cardiologist Helen B. Taussig successfully performed the first "blue baby" operation at Johns Hopkins University. This pioneering surgery, known as the Blalock-Taussig shunt, aimed to alleviate cyanotic congenital heart defects in infants, marking a significant advancement in pediatric cardiology and saving countless lives worldwide.
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