Today in History
Today is Thursday, Nov. 24, the 329th day of 2016. There are 37 days left in the year. This is Thanksgiving Day.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Nov. 24, 1941, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Edwards v. California, unanimously struck down a California law prohibiting people from bringing indigent non-residents into the state.
On this date:
In 1784, Zachary Taylor, the 12th President of the United States, was born in Orange County, Virginia.
In 1859, British naturalist Charles Darwin published “On the Origin of Species,” which explained his theory of evolution by means of natural selection.
In 1865, Mississippi became the first Southern state to enact laws which came to be known as “Black Codes” aimed at limiting the rights of newly freed blacks; other states of the former Confederacy soon followed.
In 1939, British Overseas Airways Corp. (BOAC) was formally established.
In 1944, during World War II, U.S. bombers based on Saipan attacked Tokyo in the first raid against the Japanese capital by land-based planes.
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 1971, a hijacker calling himself “Dan Cooper” (but who became popularly known as “D.B. Cooper”) parachuted from a Northwest Orient Airlines 727 over the Pacific Northwest after receiving $200,000 dollars in ransom; his fate remains unknown.
In 1974, the bone fragments of a 3.2 million-year-old hominid were discovered by scientists in Ethiopia; the skeletal remains were nicknamed “Lucy.”
In 1985, the hijacking of an Egyptair jetliner parked on the ground in Malta ended violently as Egyptian commandos stormed the plane. Fifty-eight people died in the raid, in addition to two others killed by the hijackers.
In 1991, rock singer Freddie Mercury died in London at age 45 of AIDS-related pneumonia.
Ten 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.
Five years ago: After a meeting in Strasbourg, France, German Chancellor Angela Merkel deflected calls for the European Central Bank to play a bigger role in solving Europe’s debt crisis but won the backing of French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Italy’s new premier, Mario Monti, to unite the troubled 17-nation eurozone more closely. In the first NFL game featuring brothers as opposing head coaches, the Baltimore Ravens, led by John Harbaugh, beat the San Francisco 49ers, 16-6, under rookie coach Jim Harbaugh.
One year ago: In a show of Western solidarity, President Barack Obama and French President Francois Hollande (frahn-SWAH’ oh-LAWND’) met at the White House, where they vowed to escalate airstrikes against the Islamic State and bolster intelligence sharing following the deadly attacks in Paris. A suicide bomber struck a bus carrying members of Tunisia’s presidential guard in the country’s capital, killing 12 victims. Turkey shot down a Russian warplane that it said ignored repeated warnings after crossing into its airspace from Syria, killing one of the two pilots. (Turkey later formally apologized for the shootdown.)
Today’s Birthdays: Basketball Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson is 78. Country singer Johnny Carver is 76. Former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue (TAG’-lee-uh-boo) is 76. Rock drummer Pete Best is 75. Actor-comedian Billy Connolly is 74. Former White House news secretary Marlin Fitzwater is 74. Former Motion Picture Association of America Chairman Dan Glickman is 72. Singer Lee Michaels is 71. Actor Dwight Schultz is 69. Actor Stanley Livingston is 66. Rock musician Clem Burke (Blondie; The Romantics) is 62. Record producer Terry Lewis is 60. Actor/director Ruben Santiago-Hudson is 60. Actress Denise Crosby is 59. Actress Shae D’Lyn is 54. Rock musician John Squire (The Stone Roses) is 54. Rock musician Gary Stonadge (Big Audio) is 54. Actor Conleth Hill is 52. Actor-comedian Brad Sherwood is 52. Actor Garret Dillahunt is 52. Actor-comedian Scott Krinsky is 48. Rock musician Chad Taylor (Live) is 46. Actress Lola Glaudini is 45. Actress Danielle Nicolet is 43. Actor/writer/director/producer Stephen Merchant is 42. Olympic bronze medal figure skater Chen Lu is 40. Actor Colin Hanks is 39. Actress Katherine Heigl (HY’-guhl) is 38. Actress Sarah Hyland is 26.
Thought for Today: “Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” — William Arthur Ward, American writer (1921-1994).