Today is Thursday, Nov. 12, the 316th day of 2009. There are 49 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On Nov. 12, 1942, the World War II naval Battle of Guadalcanal began. (The Allies ended up winning a major victory over the Japanese.)
On this date:
In 1815, American suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton was born in Johnstown, N.Y.
In 1908, Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun was born in Nashville, Ill.
In 1927, Josef Stalin became the undisputed ruler of the Soviet Union as Leon Trotsky was expelled from the Communist Party.
In 1948, former Japanese premier Hideki Tojo and several other World War II Japanese leaders were sentenced to death by a war crimes tribunal.
In 1977, the city of New Orleans elected its first black mayor, Ernest "Dutch" Morial, the winner of a runoff.
In 1982, Yuri V. Andropov was elected to succeed the late Leonid I. Brezhnev as general secretary of the Soviet Communist Party's Central Committee.
In 1984, space shuttle astronauts Dale Gardner and Joe Allen snared a wandering satellite in history's first space salvage; the Palapa B2 satellite was secured in Discovery's cargo bay for return to Earth.
In 1990, Japanese Emperor Akihito formally assumed the Chrysanthemum Throne.
In 1996, a Saudi Boeing 747 jetliner collided shortly after takeoff from New Delhi, India, with a Kazak Ilyushin-76 cargo plane, killing 349 people.
In 2001, American Airlines Flight 587, en route from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport to the Dominican Republic, crashed after takeoff, killing 265 people.
Ten years ago: President Bill Clinton signed a sweeping measure knocking down Depression-era barriers and allowing banks, investment firms and insurance companies to sell each other's products. An earthquake struck western Turkey, killing some 800 people.
Five years ago: A jury in Redwood City, Calif., convicted Scott Peterson of murdering his pregnant wife, Laci, and dumping her body in San Francisco Bay. (Peterson, who maintains his innocence, was later sentenced to death.) Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was buried at his headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah, a day after his death in a French military hospital.
One year ago: Same-sex marriages began in Connecticut, a month after the state Supreme Court ruled that gays had the right to wed. Kenny Chesney took home his fourth entertainer of the year trophy at the CMA Awards. Mitch Mitchell, the England-born drummer for the Jimi Hendrix Experience, was found dead in his hotel room in Portland, Ore.; he was 61.
Today's Birthdays: R&B singer Ruby Nash Curtis (Ruby and the Romantics) is 70. Actor-playwright Wallace Shawn is 66. Singer Brian Hyland is 66. R&B singer Jimmy Hayes (Persuasions) is 66. Rock musician Booker T. Jones (Booker T. & the MGs) is 65. Sportscaster Al Michaels is 65. Singer-songwriter Neil Young is 64. Rock musician Donald "Buck Dharma" Roeser (Blue Oyster Cult) is 62. Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., is 60. Country/gospel singer Barbara Fairchild is 59. Actress Megan Mullally is 51. Actor Vincent Irizarry ("All My Children") is 50. Olympic gold medal gymnast Nadia Comaneci is 48. Actor Sam Lloyd is 46. Rock musician David Ellefson is 45. Former baseball player Sammy Sosa is 41. Figure skater Tonya Harding is 39. Actress Radha Mitchell is 36. Actress Lourdes Benedicto is 35. Actress Tamala Jones is 35. Actress Angela Watson is 35. Singer Tevin Campbell is 33. Actress Ashley Williams is 31. Actress Cote de Pablo ("NCIS") is 30. Actor Ryan Gosling is 29. Contemporary Christian musician Chris Huffman is 29. Actress Anne Hathaway is 27. Pop singer Omarion is 25. Actress Macey Cruthird ("Hope and Faith") is 17.
Thought for Today: "Were there none who were discontented with what they have, the world would never reach anything better." _ Florence Nightingale, English nursing pioneer (1820-1910).