Today in History

AP News
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Posted: Nov 04, 2016 12:01 AM

Today in History

Today is Friday, Nov. 4, the 309th day of 2016. There are 57 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Nov. 4, 1991, Ronald Reagan opened his presidential library in Simi Valley, California; in attendance were President George H.W. Bush and former Presidents Jimmy Carter, Gerald R. Ford and Richard Nixon — the first-ever gathering of five past and present U.S. chief executives.

On this date:

In 1884, Democrat Grover Cleveland was elected to his first term as president, defeating Republican James G. Blaine.

In 1916, CBS newsman Walter Cronkite was born in Saint Joseph, Missouri.

In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge, who'd succeeded the late President Warren G. Harding, was elected to a full term of office; Nellie T. Ross of Wyoming was elected the nation's first female governor to serve out the remaining term of her late husband, William B. Ross.

In 1939, the United States modified its neutrality stance in World War II, allowing "cash and carry" purchases of arms by belligerents, a policy favoring Britain and France.

In 1942, during World War II, Axis forces retreated from El Alamein in North Africa in a major victory for British forces commanded by Lt. Gen. Bernard Montgomery.

In 1952, Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower was elected president, defeating Democrat Adlai Stevenson. The highly secretive National Security Agency came into existence.

In 1956, Soviet troops moved in to crush the Hungarian Revolution.

In 1964, comedian Lenny Bruce was convicted by a three-judge panel in New York of obscenity charges stemming from his performances at the Cafe Au Go Go in Greenwich Village. (Bruce received a posthumous pardon in 2003 from New York Gov. George Pataki.)

In 1979, the Iran hostage crisis began as militants stormed the United States Embassy in Tehran, seizing its occupants; for some of them, it was the start of 444 days of captivity.

In 1980, Republican Ronald Reagan won the White House as he defeated President Jimmy Carter by a strong margin.

In 1995, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated by a right-wing Israeli minutes after attending a festive peace rally. Retired professor Morris Schwartz of "Tuesdays with Morrie" fame died in Newton, Massachusetts, at age 78.

In 2008, Democrat Barack Obama was elected the first black president of the United States, defeating Republican John McCain.

Ten years ago: Katharine Jefferts Schori (SHOHR'-ee) took office as the first female leader of the Episcopal Church and the first woman priest to head an Anglican province during a ceremony at the Washington National Cathedral. A blackout hit parts of Germany, France, Belgium, Italy, Portugal and Spain. Ernestine Gilbreth Carey, co-author of "Cheaper by the Dozen," died in Fresno, California, at age 98.

Five years ago: A Syrian peace plan brokered just days earlier by the Arab League unraveled as security forces opened fire on thousands of protesters, killing at least 15. Alfonso Cano, 63, a bespectacled middle class intellectual who rose from chief ideologist to maximum leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, was killed in a military attack. "60 Minutes" commentator Andy Rooney, 92, died in New York a month after his farewell segment on the show.

One year ago: Justin Trudeau was sworn in as Canada's new Liberal prime minister A factory building collapsed in Lahore, Pakistan, killing at least 53 people. A cargo plane crashed shortly after takeoff from Juba, South Sudan, claiming 37 lives; two people, including a 13-month-old baby, survived. At the Country Music Association Awards, Chris Stapleton won for male vocalist, new artist and album of the year for "Traveller." Hollywood screenwriter Melissa Mathison ("E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial") died in Los Angeles at age 65.

Today's Birthdays: Actress Loretta Swit is 79. Rhythm-and-blues singer Harry Elston (Friends of Distinction) is 78. Blues singer Delbert McClinton is 76. Former first lady Laura Bush is 70. Actress Ivonne Coll is 69. Actress Markie Post is 66. Rock singer-musician Chris Difford (Squeeze) is 62. Country singer Kim Forester (The Forester Sisters) is 56. Actress-comedian Kathy Griffin is 56. Actor Ralph Macchio is 55. "Survivor" host Jeff Probst is 55. Actor Matthew McConaughey is 47. Rapper-producer Sean "Puffy" Combs is 47. Talk show host Bethenny Frankel is 46. Actor Anthony Ruivivar is 46. Soul/jazz singer Gregory Porter is 45. Rhythm-and-blues singer Shawn Rivera (Az Yet) is 45. Celebrity chef Curtis Stone is 41. Actress Heather Tom is 41. Rhythm-and-blues/gospel singer George Huff is 36. Actress Emme Rylan is 36.

Thought for Today: "Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you're climbing it." — Andy Rooney (1919-2011).