Today in History


By the Associated Press

Today is Wednesday, Nov. 25, the 329th day of 2015. There are 36 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Nov. 25, 1915, a new version of the Ku Klux Klan, targeting blacks, Jews, Catholics and immigrants, was founded by William Joseph Simmons, who proclaimed himself the Imperial Wizard of the group as he staged a cross-burning on Stone Mountain outside Atlanta.

On this date:

In 1783, the British evacuated New York, their last military position in the United States during the Revolutionary War.

In 1864, during the Civil War, Confederate agents set a series of arson fires in New York; the blazes were quickly extinguished.

In 1908, the first issue of The Christian Science Monitor was published.

In 1920, radio station WTAW of College Station, Texas, broadcast the first play-by-play description of a football game, between Texas University and the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas. (Texas won, 7-3.)

In 1940, the cartoon character Woody Woodpecker made his debut in the animated short “Knock Knock” produced by Walter Lantz.

In 1947, movie studio executives meeting in New York agreed to blacklist the “Hollywood Ten” who’d been cited for contempt of Congress the day before.

In 1957, President Dwight D. Eisenhower suffered a slight stroke.

In 1963, the body of President John F. Kennedy was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery; his widow, Jacqueline, lighted an “eternal flame” at the gravesite.

In 1974, former U.N. Secretary-General U Thant (oo thahnt) died in New York at age 65.

In 1986, the Iran-Contra affair erupted as President Ronald Reagan and Attorney General Edwin Meese revealed that profits from secret arms sales to Iran had been diverted to Nicaraguan rebels.

In 1999, 5-year-old Elian Gonzalez was rescued by a pair of sport fishermen off the coast of Florida, setting off an international custody battle.

In 2002, President George W. Bush signed legislation creating the Department of Homeland Security, and appointed Tom Ridge to be its head.

Ten years ago: Palestinians took control of a border for the first time with the festive opening of the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt, a milestone on their rocky path to independence. Susanne Osthoff, a German aid worker and archaeologist, was kidnapped in Iraq; she was released more than three weeks later. Nine inmates escaped from the Yakima County Jail in Washington state; all were recaptured, although one was at large for three weeks. George Best, one of the most dazzling players in soccer history, died at a London hospital at age 59.

Five years ago: Incumbent Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki (NOO’-ree ahl-MAHL’-ih-kee) cemented his grip on power, bringing an end to nearly nine months of political deadlock after he was asked to form the next government. South Korea’s defense minister, Kim Tae-young, resigned amid intense criticism two days after a North Korean artillery attack killed four people on a small island near the Koreas’ disputed frontier.

One year ago: Attorneys for Michael Brown’s family vowed to push for federal charges against the Ferguson, Missouri, police officer who killed the unarmed 18-year-old, a day after a grand jury declined to indict Darren Wilson, who insisted in an interview with ABC News that he could not have done anything differently in the confrontation with Brown. (The Justice Department later declined to prosecute Wilson.) President Barack Obama sharply rebuked protesters for racially charged violence in Ferguson, saying there was no excuse for burning buildings, torching cars and destroying other property.

Today’s Birthdays: Actress Noel Neill is 95. Playwright Murray Schisgal is 89. Actress Kathryn Crosby is 82. Actor Christopher Riordan is 78. Pro Football Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs is 75. Singer Bob Lind is 73. Author, actor and economist Ben Stein is 71. Actor John Larroquette is 68. Actor Tracey Walter is 68. Movie director Jonathan Kaplan is 68. Author Charlaine Harris is 64. Retired MLB All-Star Bucky Dent is 64. Dance judge Bruno Tonioli (TV: “Dancing with the Stars”) is 60. Singer Amy Grant is 55. Former NFL quarterback Bernie Kosar is 52. Rock musician Eric Grossman (K’s Choice) is 51. Rock singer Mark Lanegan is 51. Rock singer-musician Tim Armstrong is 50. Actor Steve Harris is 50. Actor Billy Burke is 49. Singer Stacy Lattisaw is 49. Rock musician Rodney Sheppard (Sugar Ray) is 49. Rapper-producer Erick Sermon is 47. Actress Jill Hennessy is 46. Actress Christina Applegate is 44. Actor Eddie Steeples is 42. Actress Kristian Nairn is 40. Former NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb is 39. Actress Jill Flint is 38. Actor Jerry Ferrara is 36. Actor Joel Kinnaman is 36. Actress Valerie Azlynn is 35. Former first daughter Barbara Pierce Bush is 34. Former first daughter Jenna Bush Hager is 34. Actress Katie Cassidy is 29. Neo-soul musician Ben Griner (St. Paul & the Broken Bones) is 25. Contemporary Christian singer Jamie Grace is 24.

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