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Thursday, November 13

November 5, 2014

Today is Thursday, November 13, the 317th day of 2014. There are 48 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

1511 - Britain’s King Henry VIII joins Holy League and enters European politics.

1553 - Lady Jane Grey goes on trial for treason in England. She had been queen of England for nine days.

1789 - American inventor Benjamin Franklin writes a letter to a friend in which he says, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

1832 - The first streetcar — a horse-drawn vehicle called the John Mason — goes into operation in New York City.

1881 - Charles J. Guiteau goes on trial for assassinating U.S. President James A. Garfield.

1913 - Greece and Turkey sign peace treaty.

1918 - Republic of Austria is proclaimed; Pro-independence Wafd party is formed in Egypt.

1935 - U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt proclaims the Philippine Islands a free commonwealth.

1940 - German planes destroy most of the English town of Coventry during World War II; the Walt Disney animated movie “Fantasia” has its world premiere in New York.

1941 - Britain’s finest aircraft carrier, the Ark Royal, is torpedoed by a German submarine and sinks off Strait of Gibraltar the next day.

1942 - British forces retake Tobruk, Libya, in World War II.

1945 - Sukarno becomes president of Indonesia.

1950 - Tibet appeals to the United Nations against Chinese aggression.

1961 - Congo government asks United Nations to assist in restoring law and order in Katanga Province.

1968 - Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Zulkifar Ali Bhutto is arrested on charges of inciting student demonstrations against government of President Mohammed Ayub Khan.

1969 - Vietnam War Moratorium demonstrations occur across the U.S.; Vice President Spiro T. Agnew accuses network television news departments of bias and distortion for broadcasts of protests.

1970 - Hafez Assad seizes power in a bloodless coup in Syria.

1974 - Yasser Arafat, head of the Palestine Liberation Organization, tells U.N. General Assembly that the organization’s goal is a Palestinian state that would include Muslims, Christians and Jews.

1975 - World Health Organization announces that Asia is free of smallpox for first time in history.

1985 - The Nevado de Ruiz volcano in Colombia erupts, sending an avalanche of mud and rock slamming into the town of Armero. About 25,000 people die.

1990 - Muslim and leftist militias announce completion of withdrawal from Beirut well ahead of deadline set by Syrian-backed government.

1991 - Scottish authorities issue arrest warrants for two Libyan men in connection with 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103.

1994 - Swedish voters approve European Union membership in a referendum.

1995 - A bomb rips through a building filled with American and Saudi military personnel in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, killing six.

1996 - The pope opens the World Food Summit in Rome, seeking to direct attention to refugees’ agony in Zaire.

1997 - Iraqi President Saddam Hussein expels members of the U.N. weapons inspection teams. A week later, they are allowed back, but the Iraqis restrict their access.

1999 - Peru signs an agreement with Chile to end a 120-year territorial dispute.

2001 - A German court convicts four defendants in the 1986 bombing of a West Berlin discotheque that killed two U.S. soldiers and a Turkish woman. The Libyan secret service was accused of planning the attack.

2002 - A judge upholds 36-year prison sentences for 18 paramilitary fighters convicted of gunning down Zapatista rebel sympathizers in Mexico in 1997.

2003 - Residents of the remote village of Nubutautau, on the Fijian island of Viti Levu, apologize to the descendants of British missionary, Reverend Thomas Baker. He was killed and eaten by their ancestors 136 years earlier — in 1867.

2004 - The death toll from a devastating fire in Siberia stands at 26 after emergency workers finish clearing up the ruins of a wooden apartment building that burned to the ground.

2005 - Iraq’s defense minister criticizes Syria for letting militants train on its soil for attacks in Iraq and warns that Arab capitals won’t be saved if the “Iraqi volcano explodes.”

2006 - Voters in South Ossetia overwhelmingly approve a referendum calling for independence from Georgia.

2007 - A bomb explodes at an entrance of the Philippine House of Representatives, killing three people including Rep. Wahab Akbar, a Philippine congressman who had been targeted by Muslim militants.

2008 - An Italian court convicts 13 police officers of violence against protesters during the 2001 Group of Eight summit in the northern Italian city of Genoa.

2009 - Europe may send 5,000 more soldiers to Afghanistan, Britain’s prime minister says — affirming support for the NATO mission as the Obama administration nears a decision on increasing American troop levels.

2010 - Pro-democracy hero Aung San Suu Kyi walks free after more than seven years under house arrest in Myanmar, and is welcomed by thousands of cheering supporters outside the decaying lakefront villa that had been her prison.

2011 - More than 3,000 police and soldiers backed by armored personnel carriers race into Brazil’s biggest slum before dawn, quickly gaining control of a Rio shantytown ruled for decades by a heavily armed drug gang.

2012 — France becomes the first Western country to formally recognize Syria’s newly formed opposition coalition as the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people.

2013 — Ultra-traditionalist Roman Catholics in Argentina openly challenge Pope Francis by disrupting one of his favorite events, an interfaith ceremony in the Metropolitan Cathedral mean to promote religious harmony on the anniversary of the beginning of the Holocaust.

Today’s Birthdays:

Robert Louis Stevenson, Scottish writer (1850-1894); Oskar Werner, Austrian actor-director (1922-1984); Whoopi Goldberg, U.S. actress (1955--); Garry Marshall, U.S. director/producer (1934--); Joe Mantegna, U.S. actor (1947--).

Thought For Today:

History is simply a piece of paper covered with print; the main thing is still to make history, not to write it — Otto von Bismarck, German statesman (1815-1898).

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