Today in History

AP News

11/9/2012 12:00:15 AM - AP News

Today is Friday, Nov. 9, the 314th day of 2012. There are 52 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Nov. 9, 1938, Nazis looted and burned synagogues as well as Jewish-owned stores and houses in Germany and Austria in a pogrom that became known as "Kristallnacht."

On this date:

In 1620, the passengers and crew of the Mayflower sighted Cape Cod.

In 1872, fire destroyed nearly 800 buildings in Boston.

In 1918, it was announced that Germany's Kaiser Wilhelm II would abdicate. He then fled to the Netherlands.

In 1952, Chaim Weizmann, the first president of Israel, died.

In 1953, Welsh author-poet Dylan Thomas died in New York at age 39.

In 1961, U.S. Air Force Maj. Robert M. White became the first pilot to fly an X-15 rocket plane at six times the speed of sound. The Beatles' future manager, Brian Epstein, first saw the group perform at The Cavern Club in Liverpool, England.

In 1963, twin disasters struck Japan as some 450 miners were killed in a coal-dust explosion, and about 160 people died in a train crash.

In 1965, the great Northeast blackout occurred as a series of power failures lasting up to 13½ hours left 30 million people in seven states and part of Canada without electricity.

In 1967, a Saturn V rocket carrying an unmanned Apollo spacecraft blasted off from Cape Kennedy on a successful test flight.

In 1970, former French President Charles de Gaulle died at age 79.

In 1976, the U.N. General Assembly approved resolutions condemning apartheid in South Africa, including one characterizing the white-ruled government as "illegitimate."

In 1989, communist East Germany threw open its borders, allowing citizens to travel freely to the West; joyous Germans danced atop the Berlin Wall.

Ten years ago: President George W. Bush said in his Saturday radio address that Saddam Hussein faced a final test to surrender weapons of mass destruction.

Five years ago: President Gen. Pervez Musharraf (pur-VEHZ' moo-SHAH'-ruhv) of Pakistan placed opposition leader Benazir Bhutto (BEN'-uh-zeer BOO'-toh) under house arrest for a day, and rounded up thousands of her supporters to block a mass rally against his emergency rule. Chadian authorities released three Spanish flight crew members and a Belgian pilot detained in an alleged kidnapping plot of African children by a French charity.

One year ago: After 46 seasons as Penn State's head football coach and a record 409 victories, Joe Paterno was fired along with the university president, Graham Spanier, over their handling of child sex abuse allegations against former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. Republican presidential rivals, debating in Rochester, Minn., warned the United States could be doomed to the same sort of financial crisis that was afflicting Europe unless federal deficits were drastically cut and the economy somehow revived. Taylor Swift won her second entertainer of the year award at The Country Music Association Awards.

Today's Birthdays: Baseball Hall of Famer Whitey Herzog is 81. Baseball Hall of Famer Bob Gibson is 77. Actor Charlie Robinson is 67. Movie director Bille August is 64. Actor Robert David Hall is 64. Actor Lou Ferrigno is 61. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, is 60. Gospel singer Donnie McClurkin is 53. Rock musician Dee Plakas (L7) is 52. Actress Ion Overman is 43. Rapper Pepa (Salt-N-Pepa) is 43. Rapper Scarface (Geto Boys) is 42. Blues singer Susan Tedeschi (teh-DES'-kee) is 42. Actor Jason Antoon is 41. Actor Eric Dane is 40. Singer Nick Lachey (98 Degrees) is 39. Rhythm-and-blues singer Sisqo (Dru Hill) is 34. Actress Nikki Blonsky is 24.

Thought for Today: "All life is an experiment." — Oliver Wendell Holmes Junior, U.S. Supreme Court justice (1841-1935).

(Above Advance for Use Friday, Nov. 9)

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