On Nov. 2, 1948, President Truman surprised the experts by winning a narrow upset over Republican challenger Thomas E. Dewey.
On this date:
In 1783, Gen. George Washington issued his Farewell Orders to the Armies of the United States near Princeton, New Jersey.
In 1795, the 11th president of the United States, James Knox Polk, was born in Mecklenburg County, N.C.
In 1865, the 29th president of the United States, Warren Gamaliel Harding, was born near Corsica, Ohio.
In 1889, North Dakota and South Dakota became the 39th and 40th states.
In 1917, British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour issued a declaration expressing support for a "national home" for the Jews in Palestine.
In 1947, Howard Hughes piloted his huge wooden flying boat, the Hughes H-4 Hercules (dubbed the "Spruce Goose" by detractors), on its only flight, which lasted about a minute over Long Beach Harbor in California.
In 1959, game show contestant Charles Van Doren admitted to a House subcommittee that he'd been given questions and answers in advance when he appeared on the NBC-TV program "Twenty-One."
In 1962, President John F. Kennedy delivered a brief statement to the nation in which he said that aerial photographs had confirmed that Soviet missile bases in Cuba were being dismantled, and that "progress is now being made toward the restoration of peace in the Caribbean."
In 1963, South Vietnamese President Ngo Dihn Diem was assassinated in a military coup.
In 1976, former Georgia Gov. Jimmy Carter became the first candidate from the Deep South since the Civil War to be elected president as he defeated incumbent Gerald R. Ford.
In 1979, black militant JoAnne Chesimard escaped from a New Jersey prison, where she'd been serving a life sentence for the 1973 slaying of New Jersey state trooper Werner Foerster. (Chesimard, who took the name Assata Shakur, is believed to be living in Cuba.)
In 1983, President Reagan signed a bill establishing a federal holiday on the third Monday of January in honor of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.
In 2002, President George W. Bush called Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein a "dangerous man" with links to terrorist networks, and said that U.N. inspections for weapons of mass destruction were critical.
Ten years ago: In Iraq, insurgents shot down a Chinook helicopter carrying dozens of U.S. soldiers, killing 16. In Durham, New Hampshire, V. Gene Robinson was consecrated as the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church. Kenyans ruled the New York City Marathon, with Margaret Okayo shattering the women's course record and Martin Lel earning his first marathon victory.
Five years ago: Barack Obama and John McCain uncorked massive get-out-the-vote operations in more than a dozen battleground states the Sunday before Election Day. Obama's grandmother, Madelyn Payne Dunham, died in Honolulu at age 86. Paula Radcliffe defended her title at the New York City Marathon to become the second woman to win the race three times; Marilson Gomes dos Santos of Brazil won the men's race for the second time in three years.
One year ago: In the face of criticism from city officials and residents, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg backed down and announced that the New York City Marathon would be canceled, with much of the city still reeling from the impact of Superstorm Sandy. As Mitt Romney made his closing argument for his presidential campaign, he warned that re-electing President Barack Obama would threaten another government shutdown and a national default.
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