Today is Sunday, Nov. 8, the 312th day of 2009. There are 53 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On Nov. 8, 1909, the original Boston Opera House first opened with a performance of "La Gioconda" by Amilcare Ponchielli.
On this date:
In 1859, philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson delivered a lecture in Boston in which he described abolitionist John Brown, condemned for his raid on Harpers Ferry, Va., as "the new saint awaiting his martyrdom."
In 1889, Montana became the 41st state.
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 1929, New York's Museum of Modern Art first opened to the public at its original location in the Heckscher Building on Fifth Avenue, a day after an invitation-only showing.
In 1932, New York Gov. Franklin D. Roosevelt defeated incumbent Herbert Hoover for the presidency.
In 1939, the play "Life with Father," based on the stories of Clarence Day, opened on Broadway.
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 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: Israeli and Palestinian negotiators launched landmark talks, giving themselves an ambitious 100-day deadline to craft the broad outlines of a peace agreement. Former President George H.W. Bush was honored in Germany for his role in the fall of the Berlin Wall 10 years earlier. President Bill Clinton participated in a "virtual town hall meeting" on the Internet, answering questions from prescreened online users.
Five years ago: Thousands of U.S. troops attacked the toughest strongholds of Sunni insurgents in Fallujah, Iraq, launching a long-awaited offensive aimed at ending guerrilla control of the city. The U.S. dollar was eliminated from circulation in Cuba. Jason Bay became the first Pittsburgh Pirates player to win the NL Rookie of the Year award, while Oakland shortstop Bobby Crosby took the AL honor.
One year ago: Indonesia executed three Islamic militants for helping to plan and carry out the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people, many of them foreign tourists. An accident on a Russian nuclear submarine undergoing a test in the Sea of Japan asphyxiated 20 people on board. Florence Wald, a former Yale nursing dean whose interest in compassionate care led her to launch the first U.S. hospice program, died in Branford, Conn., at age 91.
Today's Birthdays: Actress June Havoc is 97. Actor Norman Lloyd is 95. Singer Patti Page is 82. CBS newsman Morley Safer is 78. Singer-actress Bonnie Bramlett is 65. Singer Bonnie Raitt is 60. TV personality Mary Hart is 59. Former Playboy Enterprises chairman and chief executive Christie Hefner is 57. Actress Alfre Woodard is 57. Singer-songwriter Rickie Lee Jones is 55. Author Kazuo Ishiguro is 55. Rock musician Porl Thompson (The Cure) is 52. Singer-actor Leif Garrett is 48. Chef Gordon Ramsay is 43. Actress Courtney Thorne-Smith is 42. Actress Parker Posey is 41. Rock musician Jimmy Chaney is 40. Actress Roxana Zal is 40. Singer Diana King is 39. Actress Gretchen Mol is 36. Actor Matthew Rhys is 35. Actress Tara Reid is 34. Country singer Bucky Covington is 32. Actress Dania Ramirez is 30. Actress Azura Skye is 28. Actor Chris Rankin is 26. TV personality Jack Osbourne is 24. Actress Jessica Lowndes ("90210") is 21.
Thought for Today: "Religion is an attempt, a noble attempt, to suggest in human terms more-than-human realities." _ Christopher Morley, American author-journalist (1890-1957).