Today in History - Nov. 9

AP News
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Posted: Nov 09, 2009 12:00 AM

Today is Monday, Nov. 9, the 313th day of 2009. There are 52 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Nov. 9, 1989, communist East Germany threw open its borders, allowing citizens to travel freely to the West; joyous Germans danced atop the Berlin Wall.

On this date:

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 1935, United Mine Workers president John L. Lewis and other labor leaders formed the Committee for Industrial Organization, later Congress of Industrial Organizations.

In 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."

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

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 13 1/2 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, Fla., 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."

Ten years ago: With fireworks, concerts and a huge party at the landmark Brandenburg Gate, Germany celebrated the 10th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The flight data recorder from EgyptAir Flight 990 was recovered from the Atlantic Ocean and shipped to a National Transportation Safety Board laboratory in Washington.

Five years ago: Attorney General John Ashcroft and Commerce Secretary Don Evans resigned; they were the first members of the Cabinet to leave as President George W. Bush headed from re-election into his second term. Kenny Chesney won the Country Music Association album of the year award for "When The Sun Goes Down" as well as entertainer of the year. Roger Clemens won his record seventh Cy Young Award.

One year ago: Barack Obama's transition chief, John Podesta, told "Fox News Sunday" the president-elect planned to review President George W. Bush's executive orders on such things as stem cell research and domestic drilling for oil and natural gas. China unveiled a $586 billion stimulus package aimed at inoculating the world's fourth-largest economy against the global financial crisis.

Today's Birthdays: Former Democratic vice-presidential candidate R. Sargent Shriver is 94. Baseball executive Whitey Herzog is 78. Baseball Hall of Famer Bob Gibson is 74. Actor Charlie Robinson is 64. Movie director Bille August is 61. Actor Robert David Hall ("CSI") is 61. Actor Lou Ferrigno is 58. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, is 57. Gospel singer Donnie McClurkin is 50. Rock musician Dee Plakas (L7) is 49. Actress Ion Overman is 40. Rapper Pepa (Salt-N-Pepa) is 40. Rapper Scarface (Geto Boys) is 39. Blues singer Susan Tedeschi is 39. Actor Jason Antoon is 38. Actor Eric Dane is 37. Singer Nick Lachey (98 Degrees) is 36. R&B singer Sisqo (Dru Hill) is 31. Actress Nikki Blonsky is 21.

Thought for Today: "I think charm is the ability to be truly interested in other people." _ Richard Avedon, American fashion photographer (1923-2004).