Today in History – Friday November 20, 2015

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Today is Friday, November 20, the 324th day of 2014. There are 41 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

1616 – Cardinal Richelieu becomes France’s minister of state for foreign affairs and war.

1637 – Peter Minuit and the first Swedish settlers to the New World set sail for Delaware.

1789 – New Jersey becomes the first U.S. state to ratify the Constitution’s Bill of Rights.

1818 – Simon Bolivar formally declares Venezuela independent of Spain.

1873 – Rival cities of Buda and Pest are united to form the capital of Hungary.

1901 – Second Hay-Pauncefoot Treaty provides for construction of the Panama Canal by the United States.

1910 – Revolution breaks out in Mexico, led by Francisco I. Madero.

1917 – The Ukrainian Republic is proclaimed.

1924 – Kurdish Revolt in Turkey is crushed.

1929 – Spanish artist Salvador Dali has his first one-man show.

1945 – International War Crimes Tribunal begins as 24 accused Nazi World War II criminals go on trial in Nuremberg, Germany.

1947 – England’s Princess Elizabeth and Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten are married in London’s Westminster Abbey.

1959 – Britain, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark and Sweden meet to form European Free Trade Association.

1975 – General Francisco Franco dies. Two days later Alfonso XIII’s grandson, Juan Carlos, becomes King of Spain.

1977 – Egypt’s President Anwar Sadat becomes the first Arab leader to speak before the Israeli Parliament, telling them Egypt seeks peace.

1980 – A special tribunal begins the two-month trial of “the Gang of Four,” led by Jiang Qing, Chairman Mao Tse-tung’s wife, for masterminding the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution in China.

1990 – Saddam Hussein orders another 250,000 Iraqi troops into Kuwait.

1992 – A fire at Windsor Castle destroys one of Britain’s biggest attractions, but rescuers help save the castle’s art treasures.

1994 – Angola’s government and rebels sign a peace accord.

1995 – Polish President Lech Walesa loses to Aleksander Kwasniewski in the presidential runoff; the Hubble.

1996 – Flames roar through a high-rise in Hong Kong, killing 39 people and injuring at least 81.

1999 – Anti-U.S. protests rock Greece as U.S. President Bill Clinton is due to arrive. He says the United States was wrong to back the military junta that took control in 1967.

2001 – Colleagues identify the bodies of four international journalists forced from their cars by armed men and killed in an ambush on the road to the Afghan capital, Kabul.

2003 – Car bombs explode outside the British consulate and the offices of London-based bank HSBC in Istanbul, Turkey, killing 27 people and wounding nearly 450.

2005 – Widespread violence mars the second round of Egypt’s parliamentary vote as clashes break out nationwide between Muslim Brotherhood supporters, ruling party supporters and police. At least one person is killed.

2007 – More than 3,000 people jailed in Pakistan under emergency rule are released, the latest sign that President Gen. Pervez Musharraf was rolling back some of the harsher measures taken against his opponents.

2010 – Pope Benedict XVI opens the door on the previously taboo subject of condoms as a way to fight HIV, saying male prostitutes who use condoms may be beginning to act responsibly. It’s a stunning comment for a pontiff who has blamed condoms for making the AIDS crisis worse.

2011 – Spain’s opposition conservatives sweep commandingly into power as voters enduring a 21.5 percent jobless rate and stagnant economy dump the Socialists — the third time in as many weeks Europe’s debt crisis has claimed a government.

2012 — The Church of England’s governing body blocks a move to permit women to serve as bishops in a vote so close it fails to settle the question of female leadership and likely condemns the institution to years more debate on the issue.

2014 — U.S. weather experts say the globe is rushing hell-bent toward its warmest year on record.

Today’s Birthdays:

Selma Lagerlof, Swedish novelist and Nobel laureate (1858-1940); Edwin Hubble, U.S. astronomer (1889-1953); Alistair Cooke, English journalist and television personality (1908-2004); Bo Derek, U.S. actress (1956–); Sean Young, U.S. actress (1959–); Ming-Na, U.S. actress (1967–).

Thought For Today:

No man remains quite what he was when he recognizes himself — Thomas Mann, German author (1875-1955).

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