Today in History

AP News
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Posted: Nov 20, 2011 12:01 AM
Today in History

Today is Sunday, Nov. 20, the 324th day of 2011. There are 41 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Nov. 20, 1789, New Jersey became the first state to ratify the Bill of Rights.

On this date:

In 1620, Peregrine White was born aboard the Mayflower in Massachusetts Bay; he was the first child born of English parents in present-day New England.

In 1910, the Mexican Revolution of 1910 had its beginnings under the Plan of San Luis Potosi issued by Francisco I. Madero.

In 1911, "Das Lied von der Erde" (The Song of the Earth) by Gustav Mahler was first performed in Munich, Germany, six months after the composer's death.

In 1929, the radio program "The Rise of the Goldbergs" debuted on the NBC Blue Network.

In 1947, Britain's future queen, Princess Elizabeth, married Philip Mountbatten, Duke of Edinburgh, at Westminster Abbey.

In 1959, the United Nations issued its Declaration of the Rights of the Child.

In 1967, the U.S. Census Bureau's Population Clock at the Commerce Department ticked past 200 million.

In 1969, the Nixon administration announced a halt to residential use of the pesticide DDT as part of a total phaseout. A group of American Indian activists began a 19-month occupation of Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay.

In 1975, after nearly four decades of absolute rule, Spain's General Francisco Franco died, two weeks before his 83rd birthday.

In 1985, the first version of Microsoft's Windows operating system, Windows 1.0, was officially released.

Ten years ago: The alliance controlling Afghanistan's capital and much of its countryside agreed to attend power-sharing talks in Germany the following week. A federal judge extended a court order blocking an attempt by Attorney General John Ashcroft to dismantle Oregon's one-of-a-kind law allowing physician-assisted suicides. Federal health officials approved sale of the world's first contraceptive patch, Ortho Evra. The Justice Department's headquarters was named after former Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy in a ceremony presided over by President George W. Bush (the event coincided with what would have been Kennedy's 76th birthday).

Five years ago: After a firestorm of criticism, News Corp. said it had canceled the O.J. Simpson book and TV special "If I Did It," in which Simpson was to speak hypothetically about how he would have committed the 1994 slayings of his ex-wife and her friend. (The book was later brought out by a different publisher.) Six imams were removed from a US Airways flight at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport after passengers reported they were acting suspiciously. (The imams, charging discrimination, later settled with the airline.) Ryan Howard of the Philadelphia Phillies was voted the National League's MVP. Movie director Robert Altman died in Los Angeles at age 81.

One year ago: In comments released by the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI opened the door on the previously taboo subject of condoms as a way to fight HIV, saying male prostitutes who used condoms might be beginning to act responsibly. Notre Dame returned to the Bronx for the first time in 41 years and sent the subway alumni home happy as the Irish beat Army 27-3 in the first football game at the new Yankee Stadium. Former Milwaukee police officer and onetime Playboy Club bunny Laurie "Bambi" Bembenek, who escaped from prison after she was convicted of murder, died at a hospice in Portland, Ore., at age 52.

Today's Birthdays: Nobel Prize-winning author Nadine Gordimer is 88. Actress-comedian Kaye Ballard is 86. Actress Estelle Parsons is 84. TV personality Richard Dawson is 79. Comedian Dick Smothers is 73. Singer Norman Greenbaum is 69. Vice President Joe Biden is 69. Actress Veronica Hamel is 68. Broadcast journalist Judy Woodruff is 65. Actor Samuel E. Wright is 65. Singer Joe Walsh is 64. Actor Richard Masur is 63. Opera singer Barbara Hendricks is 63. Actress Bo Derek is 55. Former NFL player Mark Gastineau is 55. Reggae musician Jim Brown (UB40) is 54. Actress Sean Young is 52. Pianist Jim Brickman is 50. Rock musician Todd Nance (Widespread Panic) is 49. Actress Ming-Na is 48. Actor Ned Vaughn is 47. Rapper Mike D (The Beastie Boys) is 46. Rapper Sen Dog (Cypress Hill) is 46. Actress Callie Thorne is 42. Actress Sabrina Lloyd is 41. Actor Joel McHale is 40. Actress Marisa Ryan is 37. Country singer Dierks (duhkrs) Bentley is 36. Actor Joshua Gomez is 36. Actress Laura Harris is 35. Olympic gold medal gymnast Dominique Dawes is 35. Country singer Josh Turner is 34. Actress Nadine Velazquez is 33. Actor Dan Byrd is 26. Rock musician Jared Followill (Kings of Leon) is 25. Actor Cody Linley is 22.

Thought for Today: "No man remains quite what he was when he recognizes himself." _ Thomas Mann, German author (1875-1955).

(Above Advance for Use Sunday, Nov. 20)

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