Today in History

Published 12:01 am Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Today is Tuesday, Nov. 13, the 317th day of 2018. There are 48 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Nov. 13, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a measure lowering the minimum draft age from 21 to 18.

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On this date:

In 1775, during the American Revolution, the Continental Army captured Montreal.

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

In 1956, the Supreme Court struck down laws calling for racial segregation on public 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 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 1994, Sweden voted in a non-binding referendum to join the European Union, which it did the following year.

In 2000, lawyers for George W. Bush failed to win a court order barring manual recounts of ballots in Florida. Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris announced she would end the recounting at 5 p.m. Eastern time the next day — prompting an immediate appeal by lawyers for Al Gore.

In 2001, President George W. Bush approved the use of a special military tribunal that could put accused terrorists on trial faster and in greater secrecy than an ordinary criminal court. President Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin met at the White House, where they pledged to slash Cold War-era nuclear arsenals by two-thirds.

In 2015, 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 in the worst attack on French soil since World War II.

Ten years ago: A wind-driven fire erupted in Southern California; the blaze destroyed more than 200 homes in Santa Barbara and neighboring Montecito. Investors did an abrupt turnaround on Wall Street, muscling the Dow Jones industrial average up more than 550 points after three straight days of selling. Colombian rocker Juanes (WAH’-nehs) won five awards, including record of the year and album of the year, at the Latin Grammys in Houston. Cleveland’s Cliff Lee won the American League Cy Young Award.

Five years ago: The Obama administration revealed that just 26,794 people had enrolled for health insurance during the first, flawed month of operations for the federal “Obamacare” website. (More than 79,000 others had signed up in the 14 states with their own websites.) Toronto Mayor Rob Ford admitted during a heated City Council meeting that he’d bought illegal drugs while in office, but he adamantly refused calls from councilors to step down and seek help. Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Max Scherzer of the Detroit Tigers won baseball’s Cy Young Awards. Former Raiders tight end Todd Christensen died during liver transplant surgery in Utah; he was 57.

One year ago: A second woman accused Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore of sexually assaulting her as a teenager in the late 1970s; Moore described the charge as “absolutely false” and a “political maneuver.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Moore should drop out of the race. (Moore went on to lose a special election to Democrat Doug Jones.) A North Korean soldier was shot several times by his comrades as he fled over the border to the South; he underwent surgery and recovered at a South Korean hospital. The Oakland Raiders broke ground on a 65,000-seat domed stadium in Las Vegas. The Food and Drug Administration approved the first drug with a sensor that alerts doctors when the medication has been taken. President Donald Trump picked former pharmaceutical executive Alex Azar to be his health secretary.

Today’s Birthdays: Journalist-author Peter Arnett is 84. Actor Jimmy Hawkins is 77. Country singer-songwriter Ray Wylie Hubbard is 72. Actor Joe Mantegna is 71. Actress Sheila Frazier is 70. Musician Andrew Ranken (The Pogues) is 65. Actress Tracy Scoggins is 65. Actor Chris Noth (nohth) is 64. Actress-comedian Whoopi Goldberg is 63. Actor Rex Linn is 62. Actress Caroline Goodall is 59. Actor Neil Flynn is 58. Former NFL quarterback and College Football Hall of Famer Vinny Testaverde is 55. Rock musician Walter Kibby (Fishbone) is 54. Comedian and talk show host Jimmy Kimmel is 51. Actor Steve Zahn is 51. Actor Gerard Butler is 49. Writer-activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali is 49. Actor Jordan Bridges is 45. Actress Aisha Hinds is 43. Rock musician Nikolai Fraiture is 40. Former NBA All-Star Metta World Peace (formerly Ron Artest) is 39. Actress Monique Coleman is 38. Actor Rahul Kohli is 33. Actor Devon Bostick is 27.