Today in History


By the Associated Press

Today is Friday, Nov. 13, the 317th day of 2015. There are 48 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Nov. 13, 1985, some 23,000 residents of Armero, Colombia, died when a volcanic mudslide buried the city.

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 1940, the Walt Disney film “Fantasia,” featuring animated segments set to classical music, had its world premiere in New York.

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 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 1995, seven people, including five Americans, were killed when a bomb exploded at a military training facility in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Ten years ago: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, in Jerusalem, strongly rebuked Iran’s leadership, saying “no civilized nation” can call for the annihilation of another — a reference to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s (mahk-MOOD’ ah-muh-DEE’-neh-zhadhz) remark that Israel should be “wiped off the map.” An Iraqi woman arrested by Jordanian authorities confessed on television to trying to blow herself up with her husband in one of the three Nov. 9 suicide attacks in Amman. American Indian historian and activist Vine Deloria Jr. died at age 72.

Five years ago: Pro-democracy hero Aung San Suu Kyi (soo chee) walked free in Myanmar after more than seven years under house arrest. Former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel officially announced his ultimately successful candidacy for mayor of Chicago.

One year ago: The European Space Agency published the first images taken from the surface of a comet; the photos sent back to Earth showed a rocky surface, with one of the lander’s three feet in the corner of the frame. Clayton Kershaw became the first pitcher to win the National League MVP award since Bob Gibson in 1968; Los Angeles Angels’ outfielder Mike Trout was a unanimous pick for the AL MVP.

Today’s Birthdays: Actress Madeleine Sherwood is 93. Journalist-author Peter Arnett is 81. Producer-director Garry Marshall is 81. Actor Jimmy Hawkins is 74. Country singer-songwriter Ray Wylie Hubbard is 69. Actor Joe Mantegna is 68. Actress Sheila Frazier is 67. Actress Frances Conroy is 62. Musician Andrew Ranken (The Pogues) is 62. Actress Tracy Scoggins is 62. Actor Chris Noth (nohth) is 61. Actress-comedian Whoopi Goldberg is 60. Actor Rex Linn is 59. Actress Caroline Goodall is 56. Actor Neil Flynn is 55. Former NFL quarterback and College Football Hall of Famer Vinny Testaverde is 52. Rock musician Walter Kibby (Fishbone) is 51. Comedian Jimmy Kimmel is 48. Actor Steve Zahn is 48. Actor Gerard Butler is 46. Writer-activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali is 46. Actor Jordan Bridges is 42. Actress Aisha Hinds is 40. Rock musician Nikolai Fraiture is 37. NBA All-Star Metta World Peace (formerly Ron Artest) is 36. Actress Monique Coleman is 35. Actor Rahul Kohli (TV: “iZombie”) is 30.

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