Today in History

AP News
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Posted: Nov 15, 2016 12:01 AM

Today in History

Today is Tuesday, Nov. 15, the 320th day of 2016. There are 46 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Nov. 15, 1966, the flight of Gemini 12, the final mission of the Gemini program, ended successfully as astronauts James A. Lovell and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin Jr. splashed down safely in the Atlantic after spending four days in orbit.

On this date:

In 1777, the Second Continental Congress approved the Articles of Confederation.

In 1806, explorer Zebulon Pike sighted the mountaintop now known as Pikes (cq) Peak in present-day Colorado.

In 1864, during the Civil War, Union forces led by Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman began their "March to the Sea" from Atlanta; the campaign ended with the capture of Savannah on Dec. 21.

In 1889, Brazil was proclaimed a republic as its emperor, Dom Pedro II, was overthrown.

In 1926, the National Broadcasting Company began operating its radio network.

In 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt laid the cornerstone of the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C.

In 1942, the naval Battle of Guadalcanal ended during World War II with a decisive U.S. victory over Japanese forces.

In 1956, "Li'l Abner," a musical comedy based on the Al Capp comic strip, opened on Broadway.

In 1959, four members of the Clutter family of Holcomb, Kansas, were found murdered in their home. (Ex-convicts Richard Hickock and Perry Smith were later convicted of the killings and hanged.)

In 1979, the British government publicly identified Sir Anthony Blunt as the "fourth man" of a Soviet spy ring.

In 1986, a government tribunal in Nicaragua convicted American Eugene Hasenfus of charges related to his role in delivering arms to Contra rebels, and sentenced him to 30 years in prison. (Hasenfus was pardoned a month later.)

In 1996, former State Department official Alger Hiss, who fell from grace in a Communist spy scandal, died in New York just four days after his 92nd birthday.

Ten years ago: O.J. Simpson caused an uproar with plans for a TV interview and book titled "If I Did It," in which Simpson described how he would have committed the 1994 slayings of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman. (The project was scrapped after an outcry condemning it as revolting and exploitive.) One of four U.S. soldiers accused of raping a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and killing her and her family pleaded guilty at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. (Spc. James P. Barker, who agreed to testify against the others, was later sentenced to 90 years in prison.) Emmitt Smith was named winner of ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" with his professional dance partner, Cheryl Burke.

Five years ago: Hundreds of police officers in riot gear raided the Occupy Wall Street encampment in New York City in the pre-dawn darkness, evicting hundreds of protesters and then demolishing the tent city. The U.S. Postal Service said it had lost $5.1 billion in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2011. The state of Ohio executed Reginald Brooks, who had shot his three sons as they slept, shortly after his wife filed for divorce. Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers breezed to the AL Cy Young Award in a unanimous vote. Karl Slover, 93, one of the last surviving actors who played Munchkins in the 1939 classic film "The Wizard of Oz," died in Dublin, Georgia.

One year ago: World leaders vowed a vigorous response to the Islamic State group's terror rampage in Paris as they opened a two-day meeting in Turkey, with President Barack Obama calling the violence an "attack on the civilized world" and Russian President Vladimir Putin urging "global efforts" to confront the threat. Authorities found six people shot to death at a campsite in Anderson County, Texas; William Hudson is charged with capital murder. P.F. Sloan, 70, the troubled songwriter behind such classic 1960s tunes as Johnny Rivers' "Secret Agent Man" and Barry McGuire's "Eve of Destruction," died in Los Angeles.

Today's Birthdays: Judge Joseph Wapner is 97. Actor Ed Asner is 87. Singer Petula Clark is 84. Comedian Jack Burns is 83. Actress Joanna Barnes is 82. Actor Yaphet Kotto is 77. Actor Sam Waterston is 76. Classical conductor Daniel Barenboim is 74. Pop singer Frida (ABBA) is 71. Actor Bob Gunton is 71. Former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson is 69. Actress Beverly D'Angelo is 65. Director-actor James Widdoes is 63. Rock singer-producer Mitch Easter is 62. News correspondent John Roberts is 60. Former "Jay Leno Show" bandleader Kevin Eubanks is 59. Comedian Judy Gold is 54. Actress Rachel True is 50. Rapper E-40 is 49. Country singer Jack Ingram is 46. Actor Jay Harrington is 45. Actor Jonny Lee Miller is 44. Actress Sydney Tamiia (tuh-MY'-yuh) Poitier is 43. Christian rock musician David Carr (Third Day) is 42. Rock singer-musician Chad Kroeger is 42. Rock musician Jesse Sandoval is 42. Actress Virginie Ledoyen is 40. Actor Sean Murray is 39. Pop singer Ace Young (TV: "American Idol") is 36. Golfer Lorena Ochoa is 35. Hip-hop artist B.o.B is 28. Actress Shailene Woodley is 25. Actress-dancer Emma Dumont is 22.

Thought for Today: "News reports don't change the world. Only facts change it, and those have already happened when we get the news." — Friedrich Durrenmatt, Swiss author and playwright (1921-1990).