Today in History

Published 12:12 am Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Today is Wednesday, Nov. 21, the 325th day of 2018. There are 40 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Nov. 21, 1980, 87 people died in a fire at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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On this date:

In 1789, North Carolina became the 12th state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.

In 1922, Rebecca L. Felton, a Georgia Democrat, was sworn in as the first woman to serve in the U.S. Senate; her term, the result of an interim appointment, ended the following day as Walter F. George, the winner of a special election, took office.

In 1927, picketing strikers at the Columbine Mine in northern Colorado were fired on by state police; six miners were killed.

In 1931, the Universal horror film “Frankenstein,” starring Boris Karloff as the monster and Colin Clive as his creator, was first released.

In 1967, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Air Quality Act.

In 1969, the Senate voted down the Supreme Court nomination of Clement F. Haynsworth, 55-45, the first such rejection since 1930.

In 1979, a mob attacked the U-S Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, killing two Americans.

In 1985, U.S. Navy intelligence analyst Jonathan Jay Pollard was arrested, accused of spying for Israel. (Pollard later pleaded guilty to espionage and was sentenced to life in prison; he was released on parole on Nov. 20, 2015.)

In 1992, a three-day tornado outbreak that struck 13 states began in the Houston area before spreading to the Midwest and eastern U.S.; 26 people were killed. Sen. Bob Packwood, R-Ore., issued an apology but refused to discuss allegations that he’d made unwelcome sexual advances toward ten women over the years. (Faced with a threat of expulsion, Packwood ended up resigning from the Senate in 1995.)

In 1995, Balkan leaders meeting in Dayton, Ohio, initialed a peace plan to end three and a-half years of ethnic fighting in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

In 1997, U.N. arms inspectors returned to Iraq after Saddam Hussein’s three-week standoff with the United Nations over the presence of Americans on the team.

In 2001, Ottilie (AH’-tih-lee) Lundgren, a 94-year-old resident of Oxford, Conn., died of inhalation anthrax; she was the apparent last victim of a series of anthrax attacks carried out through the mail system.

Ten years ago: Wall Street staged a comeback, with the major indexes jumping more than 5 percent and the Dow Jones industrials surging nearly 500 points. Somali pirates released a hijacked Greek-owned tanker, MV Genius, with all 19 crew members safe and the oil cargo intact after payment of a ransom. (The ship had been seized almost two months earlier.) Madonna and Guy Ritchie were granted a preliminary decree of divorce by a London court.

Five years ago: Sweeping aside a century of precedent, Democrats took a chunk out of the Senate’s hallowed filibuster tradition, clearing the way for speedy confirmation of controversial appointments made by President Barack Obama; Republicans warned Democrats would regret their actions once political fortunes were reversed and they could no longer block appointments made by a GOP president. Fifty-four people were killed in a supermaket roof collapse in Riga, Latvia. Three women were freed after being held captive 30 years in a south London home.

One year ago: President Donald Trump, who’d been silent for more than a week about the sexual assault allegations against Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, discounted those allegations and said voters must not support Moore’s “liberal” rival. Former teen pop idol David Cassidy, star of the 1970s sitcom “The Partridge Family,” died at the age of 67; he’d announced earlier in the year that he had been diagnosed with dementia. Zimbabwe’s 93-year-old president Robert Mugabe resigned; he was facing impeachment proceedings and had been placed under house arrest by the military.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Laurence Luckinbill is 84. Actress Marlo Thomas is 81. Actor Rick Lenz is 79. Singer Dr. John is 78. Actress Juliet Mills is 77. Basketball Hall of Famer Earl Monroe is 74. Television producer Marcy Carsey is 74. Actress Goldie Hawn is 73. Movie director Andrew Davis is 72. Rock musician Lonnie Jordan (War) is 70. Singer Livingston Taylor is 68. Actress-singer Lorna Luft is 66. Actress Cherry Jones is 62. Rock musician Brian Ritchie (The Violent Femmes) is 58. Gospel singer Steven Curtis Chapman is 56. Actress Nicollette Sheridan is 55. Singer-actress Bjork (byork) is 53. Pro and College Football Hall of Famer Troy Aikman is 52. Rhythm-and-blues singer Chauncey Hannibal (BLACKstreet) is 50. Rock musician Alex James (Blur) is 50. Baseball Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. is 49. TV personality Rib Hillis is 48. Rapper Pretty Lou (Lost Boyz) is 47. Football player-turned-TV personality Michael Strahan (STRAY’-han) is 47. Actress Rain Phoenix is 46. Country singer Kelsi Osborn (SHeDAISY) is 44. Actor Jimmi Simpson is 43. Singer-actress Lindsey Haun is 34. Actress Jena Malone is 34. Pop singer Carly Rae Jepsen is 33. Actor-singer Sam Palladio is 31.