Today in History

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Posted: Nov 24, 2011 12:00 AM
Today in History

Today is Thursday, Nov. 24, the 328th day of 2011. There are 37 days left in the year. This is Thanksgiving Day.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Nov. 24, 1971, a hijacker calling himself "Dan Cooper" (but who became popularly known as "D.B. Cooper") parachuted from a Northwest Orient Airlines 727 somewhere over the Pacific Northwest after receiving $200,000 dollars in ransom _ his fate remains unknown.

On this date:

In 1784, Zachary Taylor, the 12th president of the United States, was born in Orange County, Va.

In 1859, British naturalist Charles Darwin published "On the Origin of Species," which explained his theory of evolution by means of natural selection.

In 1863, the Civil War Battle of Lookout Mountain began in Tennessee; Union forces succeeded in taking the mountain from the Confederates.

In 1939, British Overseas Airways Corp. (BOAC) was formally established.

In 1941, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Edwards v. California, unanimously struck down a California law prohibiting people from bringing impoverished non-residents into the state.

In 1950, the musical "Guys and Dolls," based on the writings of Damon Runyon and featuring songs by Frank Loesser (LEH'-suhr), opened on Broadway.

In 1963, Jack Ruby shot and mortally wounded Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin of President John F. Kennedy, in a scene captured on live television.

In 1969, Apollo 12 splashed down safely in the Pacific.

In 1987, the United States and the Soviet Union agreed on terms to scrap shorter- and medium-range missiles.

In 1991, rock singer Freddie Mercury died in London at age 45 of AIDS-related pneumonia.

Ten years ago: A Swiss Crossair airliner carrying 33 people crashed near Zurich, killing 24, including American pop singer Melanie Thornton. British actress Rachel Gurney, who'd played Lady Marjorie Bellamy on the popular television series "Upstairs Downstairs," died at age 81.

Five years ago: Shiite militiamen in Iraq doused six Sunni Arabs with kerosene and burned them alive and killed 19 other Sunnis, taking revenge for the slaughter of 215 Shiites in Baghdad's Sadr City the day before. Belfast's most infamous Protestant militant, Michael Stone, stormed into the Northern Ireland Assembly headquarters with a bagful of pipe bombs; he was quickly subdued. (Stone was sentenced to 16 years in prison in 2008.) Opera singer Robert McFerrin Sr., the father of Grammy-winning conductor-vocalist Bobby McFerrin, died in suburban St. Louis at age 85.

One year ago: A jury in Austin convicted former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, on charges he'd illegally funneled corporate money to Texas candidates in 2002. (DeLay, who was later sentenced to three years in prison, is free on bond as his legal team appeals.)

Today's Birthdays: Basketball Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson is 73. Country singer Johnny Carver is 71. Former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue (TAG'-lee-uh-boo) is 71. Rock-and-roll drummer Pete Best is 70. Rock musician Donald "Duck" Dunn (Booker T. & the MG's) is 70. Actor-comedian Billy Connolly is 69. Former White House news secretary Marlin Fitzwater is 69. Motion Picture Association of America Chairman Dan Glickman is 67. Singer Lee Michaels is 66. Actor Dwight Schultz is 64. Actor Stanley Livingston is 61. Rock musician Clem Burke (Blondie; The Romantics) is 57. Record producer Terry Lewis is 55. Actor Ruben Santiago-Hudson is 55. Actress Denise Crosby is 54. Actress Shae D'Lyn is 49. Rock musician John Squire (The Stone Roses) is 49. Rock musician Gary Stonadge (Big Audio) is 49. Actor Garret Dillahunt is 47. Actor-comedian Scott Krinsky is 43. Rock musician Chad Taylor (Live) is 41. Actress Lola Glaudini is 40. Actress Danielle Nicolet is 38. Olympic bronze medal figure skater Chen Lu is 35. Actor Colin Hanks is 34. Actress Katherine Heigl (HY'-guhl) (TV: "Grey's Anatomy") is 33. Actress Sarah Hyland (TV: "Modern Family") is 21.

Thought for Today: "There is a great deal of difference in believing something still, and believing it again." _ W.H. Auden, British poet (1907-1973).

(Above Advance for Use Thursday, Nov. 24)

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