Today in History – Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016


Today is Sunday, Nov. 13, the 318th day of 2016. There are 48 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Nov. 13, 2015, the worst attack on French soil since World War II took place as Islamic State militants carried out a set of coordinated attacks in Paris on the national stadium, restaurants and streets, and a crowded concert hall, killing 130 people and wounding more than 350.

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On this date:

In 1789, Benjamin Franklin wrote in a letter to a friend, Jean-Baptiste Leroy: “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

In 1849, voters in California ratified the state’s original constitution.

In 1909, 259 men and boys were killed when fire erupted inside a coal mine in Cherry, Illinois.

In 1927, the Holland Tunnel opened to the public, providing access between lower Manhattan and New Jersey beneath the Hudson River.

In 1937, the NBC Symphony Orchestra, formed exclusively for radio broadcasting, made its debut.

In 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a measure lowering the minimum draft age from 21 to 18.

In 1956, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling that struck down laws calling for racial segregation on public city and state buses.

In 1969, speaking in Des Moines, Iowa, Vice President Spiro T. Agnew accused network television news departments of bias and distortion, and urged viewers to lodge complaints.

In 1974, Karen Silkwood, a 28-year-old technician and union activist at the Kerr-McGee Cimarron plutonium plant near Crescent, Oklahoma, died in a car crash while on her way to meet a reporter.

In 1982, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, designed by Maya Lin, was dedicated on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

In 1985, some 23,000 residents of Armero, Colombia, died when a volcanic mudslide buried the city.

In 1991, the Walt Disney animated feature “Beauty and the Beast” had its world premiere in Hollywood.

Ten years ago: President George W. Bush met with the bipartisan Iraq Study Group and promised to work with the incoming Democratic majority toward “common objectives”; at the same time, Bush renewed his opposition to any timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops. President Bush led a ceremonial groundbreaking on the National Mall for a memorial dedicated to civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.; former President Bill Clinton, who’d signed the measure authorizing the memorial, was also present.

Five years ago: President Barack Obama dove into a day of summit diplomacy in his home state of Hawaii as he gathered with leaders of 20 other nations of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. A day after Silvio Berlusconi reluctantly resigned as Italy’s premier, economist Mario Monti accepted the monumental task of trying to form a new government.

One year ago: Russia’s track federation was suspended by the International Association of Athletic Federations and its athletes barred from world competition for a widespread and state-sanctioned doping program; it was the first time the IAAF banned a country for doping.

Today’s Birthdays: Journalist-author Peter Arnett is 82. Actor Jimmy Hawkins is 75. Country singer-songwriter Ray Wylie Hubbard is 70. Actor Joe Mantegna is 69. Actress Sheila Frazier is 68. Actress Frances Conroy is 63. Musician Andrew Ranken (The Pogues) is 63. Actress Tracy Scoggins is 63. Actor Chris Noth (nohth) is 62. Actress-comedian Whoopi Goldberg is 61. Actor Rex Linn is 60. Actress Caroline Goodall is 57. Actor Neil Flynn is 56. Former NFL quarterback and College Football Hall of Famer Vinny Testaverde is 53. Rock musician Walter Kibby (Fishbone) is 52. Comedian Jimmy Kimmel is 49. Actor Steve Zahn is 49. Actor Gerard Butler is 47. Writer-activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali is 47. Actor Jordan Bridges is 43. Actress Aisha Hinds is 41. Rock musician Nikolai Fraiture is 38. NBA All-Star Metta World Peace (formerly Ron Artest) is 37. Actress Monique Coleman is 36. Actor Rahul Kohli is 31. Actor Devon Bostick is 25.

Thought for Today: “As you live, believe in life. Always human beings will live and profess to greater, broader and fuller life. The only possible death is to lose belief in this truth simply because the great end comes slowly, because time is long.” — W.E.B. Du Bois, American author and reformer (1868-1963).

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