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Today in History

November 12, 2018

Today in History

Today is Monday, Nov. 12, the 316th day of 2018. There are 49 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Nov. 12, 1927, Josef Stalin became the undisputed ruler of the Soviet Union as Leon Trotsky was expelled from the Communist Party.

On this date:

In 1866, Chinese revolutionary Sun Yat-sen, the first provisional president of the Republic of China, was born.

In 1920, baseball got its first “czar” as Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis was elected commissioner of the American and National Leagues.

In 1936, the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge opened as President Franklin D. Roosevelt pressed a telegraph key in Washington, D.C., giving the green light to traffic.

In 1942, the World War II naval Battle of Guadalcanal began. (The Allies ended up winning a major victory over Japanese forces.)

In 1948, former Japanese premier Hideki Tojo and several other World War II Japanese leaders were sentenced to death by a war crimes tribunal.

In 1970, the Bhola cyclone struck East Pakistan; it’s believed half a million people, possibly more, were killed.

In 1977, the city of New Orleans elected its first black mayor, Ernest “Dutch” Morial, the winner of a runoff.

In 1984, space shuttle astronauts Dale Gardner and Joe Allen snared a wandering satellite in history’s first space salvage; the Palapa B2 satellite was secured in Discovery’s cargo bay for return to Earth.

In 1987, the American Medical Association issued a policy statement saying it was unethical for a doctor to refuse to treat someone solely because that person had AIDS or was HIV-positive.

In 1996, a Saudi Boeing 747 jetliner collided shortly after takeoff from New Delhi, India, with a Kazak Ilyushin-76 cargo plane, killing 349 people.

In 1998, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley filed a $433 million-dollar lawsuit against the firearms industry, declaring that it had created a public nuisance by flooding the streets with weapons deliberately marketed to criminals. (A judge dismissed the lawsuit in 2000; an appeals court ruled in 2002 that the city of Chicago could proceed; but the Illinois Supreme Court dismissed the lawsuit in 2004.)

In 2001, American Airlines Flight 587, an Airbus A300 headed to the Dominican Republic, crashed after takeoff from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, killing all 260 people on board and five people on the ground.

Ten years ago: Same-sex marriages began in Connecticut, a month after the state Supreme Court ruled that gays had the right to wed. Kenny Chesney took home his fourth entertainer of the year trophy at the CMA Awards. Mitch Mitchell, the England-born drummer for the Jimi Hendrix Experience, was found dead in his hotel room in Portland, Ore.; he was 61.

Five years ago: An international panel of architects announced that the new World Trade Center tower in New York would replace Chicago’s Willis Tower as the nation’s tallest building upon its completion. Terry Francona of the Cleveland Indians won the AL Manager of the Year award in a close vote, and Clint Hurdle of the Pittsburgh Pirates was a runaway winner in the National League after both guided small-budget teams to the postseason. British composer John Tavener, 69, died in Child Okeford, England.

One year ago: President Donald Trump said he believed U.S. intelligence agencies, which concluded that Russia meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, but that he also believed that Russia’s Vladimir Putin felt that Russia did not interfere. Trump exchanged taunts with North Korea’s leader, tweeting, “Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me ‘old,’ when I would NEVER call him ‘short and fat?’” A powerful earthquake shook the border between Iran and Iraq, killing more than 500 people. Syndicated gossip columnist Liz Smith died at the age of 94.

Today’s Birthdays: Singer Brian Hyland is 75. Actor-playwright Wallace Shawn is 75. Rock musician Booker T. Jones (Booker T. & the MGs) is 74. Sportscaster Al Michaels is 74. Singer-songwriter Neil Young is 73. Rock musician Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser (Blue Oyster Cult) is 71. Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., is 69. Country/gospel singer Barbara Fairchild is 68. Actress Megan Mullally is 60. Actor Vincent Irizarry is 59. Olympic gold medal gymnast Nadia Comaneci (koh-muh-NEECH’) is 57. Actor Sam Lloyd is 55. Rock musician David Ellefson is 54. Retired MLB All-Star Sammy Sosa is 50. Figure skater Tonya Harding is 48. Actress Rebecca Wisocky is 47. Actress Radha Mitchell is 45. Actress Lourdes Benedicto is 44. Actress Tamala Jones is 44. Actress Angela Watson is 44. Singer Tevin Campbell is 42. Actress Ashley Williams is 40. Actress Cote de Pablo is 39. Actor Ryan Gosling is 38. Contemporary Christian musician Chris Huffman is 38. Actress Anne Hathaway is 36. Pop singer Omarion is 34. Folk-rock musician Griffin Goldsmith (Dawes) is 28. Actress Macey Cruthird is 26.

Thought for Today: “It’s all right to have a train of thoughts, if you have a terminal.” — Richard R. Bowker, American publisher (1848-1933).

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