1. On November 19, 1861, President Abraham Lincoln convened a special Cabinet meeting to consider the issue of slaves escaping to Union lines. The meeting resulted in the issuance of a preliminary proclamation declaring that any slave who fled to Union forces would be deemed "contraband of war" and not returned to their owners.
2. The first Washington, D.C. Armistice Day Parade was held on November 19, 1947. The parade was in honor of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I.
3. On November 19, 1969, a group of American Indian activists occupied the abandoned Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay, claiming it as Indian land under a provision of the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie. This action marked the beginning of the "Red Power" movement and raised awareness of Native American issues across the country.
4. On November 19, 1985, President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev held their first summit meeting in Geneva, Switzerland. The talks were aimed at improving relations between the two superpowers and reducing the risk of nuclear war.
5. On November 19, 1993, the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act was signed into law by President Bill Clinton. The law required a five-day waiting period for handgun purchases and mandatory background checks for all firearm purchases from licensed dealers.
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