Today in History

AP News
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Posted: Nov 13, 2011 12:00 AM
Today in History

Today is Sunday, Nov. 13, the 317th day of 2011. There are 48 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Nov. 13, 1956, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down laws calling for racial segregation on public city and state buses.

On this date:

In 1789, Benjamin Franklin wrote in a letter to a friend, Jean-Baptiste Leroy: "In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes."

In 1849, voters in Calfiornia ratified the state's original constitution.

In 1909, 259 men and boys were killed when fire erupted inside a coal mine in Cherry, Ill.

In 1911, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that an unauthorized motion picture adaptation of the novel "Ben-Hur" by General Lew Wallace infringed on the book's copyright.

In 1927, the Holland Tunnel opened to the public, providing access between lower Manhattan and New Jersey beneath the Hudson River.

In 1940, the Walt Disney animated movie "Fantasia" had its world premiere in New York.

In 1969, speaking in Des Moines, Iowa, Vice President Spiro T. Agnew accused network television news departments of bias and distortion, and urged viewers to lodge complaints.

In 1971, the U.S. space probe Mariner 9 went into orbit around Mars.

In 1974, Karen Silkwood, a technician and union activist at the Kerr-McGee Cimarron plutonium plant near Crescent, Okla., died in a car crash while on her way to meet a reporter.

In 1982, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

Ten years ago: Afghan opposition fighters rolled into Kabul after Taliban troops slipped away under cover of darkness. Eight foreign aid workers _ two Americans, two Australians and four Germans _ held captive in Afghanistan for three months were freed by anti-Taliban fighters. President George W. Bush approved the use of a special military tribunal that could put accused terrorists on trial faster and in greater secrecy than an ordinary criminal court. President Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin met at the White House, where they pledged to slash Cold War-era nuclear arsenals by two-thirds. Bishop Wilton Gregory was elected the first black president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Five years ago: President George W. Bush met with the bipartisan Iraq Study Group and promised to work with the incoming Democratic majority toward "common objectives"; at the same time, Bush renewed his opposition to any timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops. President Bush led a ceremonial groundbreaking on the National Mall for a memorial dedicated to civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

One year ago: Pro-democracy hero Aung San Suu Kyi (soo chee) walked free in Myanmar after more than seven years under house arrest. Former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel officially announced his ultimately successful candidacy for mayor of Chicago.

Today's Birthdays: Actress Madeleine Sherwood is 89. Journalist-author Peter Arnett is 77. Producer-director Garry Marshall is 77. Actor Jimmy Hawkins is 70. Country singer-songwriter Ray Wylie Hubbard is 65. Actor Joe Mantegna is 64. Actress Sheila Frazier is 63. Actress Frances Conroy is 58. Musician Andrew Ranken (The Pogues) is 58. Actress Tracy Scoggins is 58. Actor Chris Noth (nohth) is 57. Actress-comedian Whoopi Goldberg is 56. Actor Rex Linn ("CSI: Miami") is 55. Actress Caroline Goodall is 52. Actor Neil Flynn ("Scrubs") is 51. Former NFL quarterback Vinny Testaverde is 48. Rock musician Walter Kibby (Fishbone) is 47. Comedian Jimmy Kimmel is 44. Actor Steve Zahn is 44. Actor Gerard Butler is 42. Writer-activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali is 42. Actor Jordan Bridges is 38. Actress Aisha Hinds is 36. Rock musician Nikolai Fraiture is 33. NBA player Metta World Peace (formerly Ron Artest) is 32. Actress Monique Coleman is 31.

Thought for Today: "I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library." _ Jorge Luis Borges, Argentine author (1899-1986).

(Above Advance for Use Sunday, Nov. 13)

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