Today is Tuesday, Nov. 8, the 312th day of 2011. There are 53 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Nov. 8, 1861, during the Civil War, the USS San Jacinto intercepted a British mail steamer, the Trent, and detained a pair of Confederate diplomats who were enroute to Europe to seek support for the Southern cause. (Although the Trent Affair strained relations between the United States and Britain, the matter was quietly resolved with the release of the diplomats the following January.)

On this date:

In 1889, Montana became the 41st state.

In 1909, the original Boston Opera House first opened with a performance of "La Gioconda" by Amilcare Ponchielli.

In 1923, Adolf Hitler launched his first attempt at seizing power in Germany with a failed coup in Munich that came to be known as the "Beer-Hall Putsch."

In 1932, New York Gov. Franklin D. Roosevelt defeated incumbent Herbert Hoover for the presidency.

In 1942, Operation Torch, resulting in an Allied victory, began during World War II as U.S. and British forces landed in French North Africa.

In 1960, Massachusetts Sen. John F. Kennedy defeated Vice President Richard M. Nixon for the presidency.

In 1980, scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., announced that the U.S. space probe Voyager 1 had discovered a 15th moon orbiting the planet Saturn.

In 1986, former Soviet official Vyacheslav M. Molotov, whose name became attached to the incendiary bottle bomb known as a "Molotov cocktail," died at age 96.

In 1988, Vice President George H.W. Bush won the presidential election, defeating Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis.

In 1994, midterm elections resulted in Republicans winning a majority in the Senate while at the same time gaining control of the House for the first time in 40 years.

Ten years ago: In a prime-time address from Atlanta, President George W. Bush called on Americans to defy acts of terror by strengthening their communities, comforting their neighbors and remaining vigilant in the face of further threats. U.S. jets struck Taliban targets across northern Afghanistan and fierce fighting was reported around the Taliban-held city of Mazar-e-Sharif. Typhoon Lingling continued to batter the Philippines; the storm left more than 200 dead.

Five years ago: President George W. Bush announced Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's resignation; Bush chose former CIA Director Robert Gates to succeed him. Israeli shells killed 18 Palestinian civilians in the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanoun during an attack targeting militants.

One year ago: On the third and final day of his trip to India, President Barack Obama endorsed the country's bid to become a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council. A jury in New Haven, Conn., condemned Steven Hayes to death for a home invasion that left Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her two daughters, Michaela and Hayley, dead. Former kidnap victim Elizabeth Smart took the stand in Salt Lake City on the first day of testimony in the trial of Brian David Mitchell, the man accused of abducting her in June 2002 when she was 14. An engine fire aboard the Carnival Splendor cruise ship left nearly 4,500 aboard without electricity during a three-day tow to San Diego. Talk show host Conan O'Brien made his debut on TBS.

Today's Birthdays: Actor Norman Lloyd is 97. Singer Patti Page is 84. CBS newsman Morley Safer is 80. Singer-actress Bonnie Bramlett is 67. Singer Bonnie Raitt is 62. TV personality Mary Hart is 61. Former Playboy Enterprises chairman and chief executive Christie Hefner is 59. Actress Alfre Woodard is 59. Singer-songwriter Rickie Lee Jones is 57. Author Kazuo Ishiguro ("The Remains of the Day") is 57. Rock musician Porl Thompson (The Cure) is 54. Singer-actor Leif Garrett is 50. Chef and TV personality Gordon Ramsay is 45. Actress Courtney Thorne-Smith is 44. Actress Parker Posey is 43. Rock musician Jimmy Chaney is 42. Actress Roxana Zal is 42. Singer Diana King is 41. Actor Gonzalo Menendez is 40. Actress Gretchen Mol is 38. Actor Matthew Rhys is 37. Actress Tara Reid is 36. Country singer Bucky Covington is 34. Actress Dania Ramirez is 32. Actress Azura Skye is 30. Actor Chris Rankin is 28. TV personality Jack Osbourne is 26. Actress Jessica Lowndes is 23. Country singer Lauren Alaina is 17.

Thought for Today: "Happiness is not a station you arrive at, but a manner of traveling." _ Margaret Lee Runbeck, American author (1905-1956).

(Above Advance for Use Tuesday, Nov. 8)

Copyright 2011, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.