Today in History


By the Associated Press

Today is Thursday, Nov. 12, the 316th day of 2015. There are 49 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Nov. 12, 1815, pioneering American suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton was born in Johnstown, New York.

On this date:

In 1787, severe flooding struck Dublin, Ireland, as the River Liffey rose.

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

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 1969, news of the My Lai Massacre in South Vietnam in March 1968 was broken by investigative reporter Seymour Hersh.

In 1975, Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas retired because of failing health, ending a record 36-year term.

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 1985, Xavier Suarez was elected Miami’s first Cuban-American mayor.

In 1990, Japanese Emperor Akihito formally assumed the Chrysanthemum Throne. Actress Eve Arden died in Beverly Hills, California, at age 82.

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: A U.S.-backed summit in Bahrain meant to promote political freedom and economic change in the Middle East ended without agreement, a blow to President George W. Bush’s goals for the troubled region. Jordan acknowledged for the first time that al-Qaida in Iraq had used three foreign suicide bombers to attack Amman hotels three days earlier, killing 60 victims.

Five years ago: President Barack Obama arrived in Japan from South Korea to attend a regional economic summit; it was the fourth and final stop on the president’s 10-day tour of Asia. The Supreme Court allowed the Pentagon to continue preventing openly gay people from serving in the military while a federal appeals court reviewed the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. (The policy was rescinded in 2011.)

One year ago: President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping announced a ground-breaking agreement between their countries to curb carbon emissions blamed for climate change. Landing with a bounce after traveling 4 billion miles, a European Space Agency probe, Philae, made history by successfully reaching the icy, dusty surface of a speeding comet. Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw was a unanimous choice for his third NL Cy Young Award, and Cleveland’s Corey Kluber edged Seattle’s Felix Hernandez to win the AL honor for the first time. At 17, Lydia Ko became the youngest player to win the LPGA Tour’s rookie of the year award.

Today’s Birthdays: Rhythm-and-blues singer Jimmy Hayes (Persuasions) is 72. Singer Brian Hyland is 72. Actor-playwright Wallace Shawn is 72. Rock musician Booker T. Jones (Booker T. & the MGs) is 71. Sportscaster Al Michaels is 71. Singer-songwriter Neil Young is 70. Rock musician Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser (Blue Oyster Cult) is 68. Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., is 66. Country/gospel singer Barbara Fairchild is 65. Actress Megan Mullally is 57. Actor Vincent Irizarry is 56. Olympic gold medal gymnast Nadia Comaneci (koh-muh-NEECH’) is 54. Actor Sam Lloyd is 52. Rock musician David Ellefson is 51. Retired MLB All-Star Sammy Sosa is 47. Figure skater Tonya Harding is 45. Actress Rebecca Wisocky is 44. Actress Radha Mitchell is 42. Actress Lourdes Benedicto is 41. Actress Tamala Jones is 41. Actress Angela Watson is 41. Singer Tevin Campbell is 39. Actress Ashley Williams is 37. Actress Cote de Pablo is 36. Actor Ryan Gosling is 35. Contemporary Christian musician Chris Huffman is 35. Actress Anne Hathaway is 33. Pop singer Omarion is 31. Folk-rock musician Griffin Goldsmith (Dawes) is 25. Actress Macey Cruthird is 23.

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