Today is Thursday, Nov. 19, the 324th day of 2020. There are 42 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Nov. 19, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln dedicated a national cemetery at the site of the Civil War battlefield of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania.
On this date:
In 1600, King Charles I of England was born in Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland.
In 1850, Alfred Tennyson was invested as Britain’s poet laureate.
In 1919, the Senate rejected the Treaty of Versailles (vehr-SY’) by a vote of 55 in favor, 39 against, short of the two-thirds majority needed for ratification.
In 1942, during World War II, Russian forces launched their winter offensive against the Germans along the Don front.
In 1959, Ford Motor Co. announced it was halting production of the unpopular Edsel.
In 1969, Apollo 12 astronauts Charles Conrad and Alan Bean made the second manned landing on the moon.
In 1977, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat became the first Arab leader to visit Israel.
In 1985, President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev met for the first time as they began their summit in Geneva.
In 1995, Polish President Lech Walesa (vah-WEN’-sah) was defeated in his bid for re-election.
In 1996, 14 people were killed when a commuter plane collided with a private plane at an airport in Quincy, Illinois. The United States vetoed U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali’s bid for a second term.
In 1997, Iowa seamstress Bobbi McCaughey (mihk-KOY’) gave birth to the world’s first set of surviving septuplets, four boys and three girls.
In 2017, Charles Manson, the hippie cult leader behind the gruesome murders of actor Sharon Tate and six others in Los Angeles in 1969, died in a California hospital at the age of 83 after nearly a half-century in prison.
Ten years ago: President Barack Obama, attending a NATO summit in Lisbon, Portugal, won an agreement to build a missile shield over Europe, a victory that risked further aggravating Russia. Twenty-nine miners were killed by a methane explosion in a southern New Zealand coal mine.
Five years ago: A study by the Pew Research Center found that more Mexicans were leaving than moving into the United States, reversing the flow of a half-century of mass migration. Marcus Ray Johnson, convicted of killing Angela Sizemore, a woman he’d met at a Georgia nightclub, was put to death after losing a last-minute round of appeals. Bryce Harper, 23, became the youngest unanimous MVP winner in baseball history, capturing the NL award despite his Washington Nationals missing the playoffs; Josh Donaldson took the AL MVP, earning the honor after helping boost the Toronto Blue Jays back into the postseason for the first time since 1993.
One year ago: Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a career Army officer on President Donald Trump’s National Security Council, testified about what he said was a clearly “improper” phone call in which Trump sought Ukrainian investigations of U.S. Democrats; Republicans responded by questioning Vindman’s loyalty to the United States. Two jail guards who were supposed to be monitoring Jeffrey Epstein the night he killed himself were indicted on charges of falsifying prison records; prosecutors said the guards had been sleeping and browsing the internet instead of watching Epstein. (The guards are awaiting trial.) GateHouse completed its $1.1 billion takeover of Gannett, the publisher of USA Today. The Taliban freed American Kevin King and an Australian man, Timothy Weeks, who’d been held hostage since 2016, in exchange for three top Taliban figures.
Wednesday, Nov. 18, the 323rd day of 2020. There are 43 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Nov. 18, 1978, U.S. Rep. Leo J. Ryan, D-Calif., and four others were killed in Jonestown, Guyana, by members of the Peoples Temple; the killings were followed by a night of mass murder and suicide by more than 900 cult members.
On this date:
In 1883, the United States and Canada adopted a system of Standard Time zones.
In 1916, the World War I Battle of the Somme pitting British and French forces against German troops ended inconclusively after 4 1/2 months of bloodshed.
In 1928, Walt Disney’s first sound-synchronized animated cartoon, “Steamboat Willie” starring Mickey Mouse, premiered in New York.
In 1963, the Bell System introduced the first commercial touch-tone telephone system in Carnegie and Greensburg, Pennsylvania.
In 1985, the comic strip “Calvin and Hobbes,” created by Bill Watterson, was first published. (The strip ran for 10 years.)
In 1987, the congressional Iran-Contra committees issued their final report, saying President Ronald Reagan bore “ultimate responsibility” for wrongdoing by his aides. A fire at London King’s Cross railway station claimed 31 lives.
In 1991, Shiite (SHEE’-eyet) Muslim kidnappers in Lebanon freed Anglican Church envoy Terry Waite and Thomas Sutherland, the American dean of agriculture at the American University of Beirut.
In 1999, 12 people were killed when a bonfire under construction at Texas A-and-M University collapsed. A jury in Jasper, Texas, convicted Shawn Allen Berry of murder for his role in the dragging death of James Byrd Jr., but spared him the death penalty.
In 2003, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled 4-to-3 that the state constitution guaranteed gay couples the right to marry.
In 2009, two days before turning 92, Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., set a record for longest-serving lawmaker in congressional history at 56 years, 320 days. (That record was broken in 2013 by U.S. Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich.)
Ten years ago: President Barack Obama rallied former diplomatic and military chiefs from both parties to pressure reluctant Republican senators into ratifying a nuclear weapons deal with Russia. (The Senate ratified the treaty the following month.) General Motors stock resumed trading on Wall Street, signaling the rebirth of an American corporate icon that had collapsed into bankruptcy and was rescued with a $50 billion infusion from taxpayers. Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners was chosen as the AL Cy Young Award winner.
Five years ago: The Islamic State group announced that it had killed a Norwegian man and a Chinese man after earlier demanding ransoms for the two. Raphael Holiday was executed by the state of Texas; he’d been convicted of setting a fire that killed his 18-month-old daughter and her two young half-sisters at an East Texas home in Sept. 2000. Jake Arrieta of the Chicago Cubs aced out Dodgers stars Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw for the NL Cy Young Award while Houston lefty Dallas Keuchel won the AL honor.
One year ago: The Trump administration said it no longer considered Israeli settlements in the West Bank to be a violation of international law; the position marked a reversal of four decades of American policy, and undermined efforts by the Palestinians to gain statehood. China said a 55-year-old man had been diagnosed with bubonic plague after killing and eating a wild rabbit; two other plague cases had already been discovered in the capital Beijing. Beauty company Coty said it was buying a 51 percent share of reality TV star Kylie Jenner’s beauty business in a deal that valued her company at about $1.2 billion.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Brenda Vaccaro is 81. Author-poet Margaret Atwood is 81. Actor Linda Evans is 78. Actor Susan Sullivan is 78. Country singer Jacky Ward is 74. Actor Jameson Parker is 73. Actor-singer Andrea Marcovicci is 72. Rock musician Herman Rarebell is 71. Singer Graham Parker is 70. Actor Delroy Lindo is 68. Comedian Kevin Nealon is 67. Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon is 64. Actor Oscar Nunez is 62. Actor Elizabeth Perkins is 60. Singer Kim Wilde is 60. Actor Tim Guinee is 58. Rock musician Kirk Hammett (Metallica) is 58. Rock singer Tim DeLaughter (dee-LAW’-ter) is 55. Actor Romany Malco is 52. Actor Owen Wilson is 52. Actor Dan Bakkedahl is 52. Singer Duncan Sheik is 51. Actor Mike Epps is 50. Actor Peta Wilson is 50. Actor Chloe Sevigny (SEH’-ven-ee) is 46. Country singer Jessi Alexander is 44. Actor Steven Pasquale is 44. Rock musician Alberto Bof (Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real) is 43. Rapper Fabolous is 43. Actor-director Nate Parker is 41. Rapper Mike Jones is 40. Actor Mekia Cox is 39. Actor-comedian Nasim Pedrad (nah-SEEM’ peh-DRAHD’) is 39. Actor Allison Tolman is 39. Actor Christina Vidal is 39. Actor Damon Wayans Jr. is 38. Country singer TJ Osborne (Brothers Osborne) is 36. Fashion designer Christian Siriano is 35. Actor Nathan Kress is 28.