Today In History...

In 1520 Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan reaches the Pacific Ocean

after passing through the South American strait now named for him.

In 1853 Olympia is established as the capital of the Washington Territory.

In 1895 The first auto race is held, over 52 miles of snowy roads from

Chicago to Waukegan, Illinois. The winner was James Franklin Duryea,

who won $2000 from the Chicago Times-Herald.

In 1919 American-born Lady Astor is elected as the first female member of

the British Parliament.

In 1922 Captain Cyril Turner of the Royal Air Force gives the first

skywriting exhibition over New York's Times Square, spelling out

"Hello USA, Call Vanderbilt 7200."

In 1942 Nearly 500 people die in a fire that destroyed the Cocoanut Grove

nightclub in Boston.

In 1943 President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston

Churchill and Soviet leader Josef Stalin meet at Tehran to map out

strategy during World War II.

In 1944 The MGM film "Meet Me in St. Louis," starring Judy Garland, opens

in New York.

In 1958 The African nation of Chad becomes an autonomous republic within the

French community.

In 1963 President Lyndon B. Johnson announces that Cape Canaveral would be

renamed Cape Kennedy in honor of assassinated President John F.

Kennedy. The name was changed back to Cape Canaveral in 1973.

In 1964 Mariner IV is launched and is the first space probe to fly by Mars.

In 1975 President Ford nominates Federal Judge John Paul Stevens to the U.S.

Supreme Court seat vacated by William O. Douglas.

In 1979 President Carter told reporters that he hoped the "Iran Hostage

Crisis" could be resolved peacefully.

In 1979 An Air New Zealand DC-10 en route to the South Pole crashes into a

mountain in Antarctica, killing all 257 people aboard.

In 1982 A 88-nation world trade conference meeting in Geneva agrees on a new

set of guidelines for encouraging free trade.

In 1983 A major blizzard hits 7 Midwestern states killing 61.

In 1983 The space shuttle Columbia blasts into orbit, carrying six

astronauts who conducted experiments using the $1 billion Spacelab

in the shuttle's cargo bay.

In 1984 The continuous yo-yo endurance record is set at 120 hours.

In 1984 Senate Republicans elect Bob Dole of Kansas to be Senate majority

leader in the 99th U.S. Congress.

In 1985 The Irish Senate approves the Anglo-Irish accord concerning Northern


In 1986 President Reagan's administration exceeds the SALT II arms treaty

limitations for the first time.

In 1987 A South African Airways Boeing 747 crashes into the Indian Ocean

killing all 159 aboard.

In 1988 Major U.S. banks boost their prime lending rates half a percentage

point to 10.5 percent.

In 1989 A construction crane falls 16 stories from a building in downtown

San Francisco killing 5 and injuring 21.

In 1989 Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci arrives in New York after escaping

her homeland by way of Hungary.

In 1990 Margaret Thatcher resigns as prime minister of Britain during an

audience with Queen Elizabeth II, who conferred the premiership on

John Major.

In 1991 Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev expresses unhappiness over

reports that the U.S. might move toward diplomatic recognition of

Ukraine after the republic's upcoming independence referendum.

In 1992 In King William's Town, South Africa, four people are killed and 20

injured when black militant gunmen attacked a country club.

In 1993 TV personality Garry Moore dies at age 78.

In 1994 Serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer is beaten to death by inmates in a

Wisconsin prison.

In 1994 Norwegian voters reject European Union membership.

In 1994 Sixties war protester Jerry Rubin dies in Los Angeles, two weeks

after being hit by a car; he was 56.

In 1995 President Clinton signs a $6 billion road bill that ended the

federal 55 mph speed limit.

In 1996 Defense Secretary William Perry joins U.S. soldiers in

Bosnia-Herzegovina to deliver a Thanksgiving message.

In 1996 A jammed hatch on the space shuttle Columbia prevents two astronauts

from going on a spacewalk.

In 1998 Some Republicans express disappointment and outrage over President

Clinton's written responses to 81 questions from the House Judiciary

Committee concerning the Monica Lewinsky affair.

In 1999 Hsing-Hsing, the popular giant panda who arrived at the National Zoo

in 1972 as a symbol of U.S.-China detente, was euthanized at age 28

because of his deteriorating health.

In 2000 The Dutch parliament approves a bill legalizing euthanasia.

In 2000 Former Texas Congressman Henry B. Gonzalez, who had served 37 years

on Capitol Hill, dies in San Antonio at age 84.

In 2001 Enron Corp., once the world's largest energy trader, collapses after

Dynegy Inc. backed out of an $8.4 billion deal to take it over.

In 2003 President Bush returns to his ranch in Crawford, Texas, after a

secret, nearly 36-hour journey that took him to Iraq for a

Thanksgiving visit with U.S. troops.

In 2004 NBC Sports chairman Dick Ebersol is injured, but his son Teddy is

among three people killed, in a plane crash outside Montrose, Colorado.


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