On Nov. 4, 1942, during World War II, Axis forces retreated from El Alamein in North Africa in a major victory for British forces commanded by Lt. Gen. Bernard Montgomery.
On this date:
In 1884, Democrat Grover Cleveland was elected to his first term as president, defeating Republican James G. Blaine.
In 1922, the entrance to King Tutankhamen's tomb was discovered in Egypt.
In 1924, Nellie T. Ross of Wyoming was elected the nation's first female governor to serve out the remaining term of her late husband, William B. Ross.
In 1939, the United States modified its neutrality stance in World War II, allowing "cash and carry" purchases of arms by belligerents, a policy favoring Britain and France.
In 1952, Dwight D. Eisenhower was elected president, defeating Democrat Adlai Stevenson. The highly secretive National Security Agency came into existence.
In 1979, the Iran hostage crisis began as militants stormed the United States Embassy in Tehran, seizing its occupants; for some, it was the start of 444 days of captivity.
In 1980, Ronald Reagan won the White House as he defeated President Jimmy Carter by a strong margin.
In 1987, 6-year-old Elizabeth (Lisa) Steinberg was pronounced dead at a New York City hospital in a child-abuse case that sparked national outrage; her illegal adoptive father, Joel Steinberg, served nearly 17 years behind bars for manslaughter.
In 1991, Ronald Reagan opened his presidential library in Simi Valley, Calif.; in attendance were President George H.W. Bush and former Presidents Jimmy Carter, Gerald R. Ford and Richard Nixon -- the first-ever gathering of five past and present U.S. chief executives.
In 1995, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated by a right-wing Israeli minutes after attending a festive peace rally.
Ten years ago: Firefighters in San Diego County contained the biggest and deadliest of Southern California's wildfires. Following a conservative outcry over a made-for-TV movie about former President Ronald Reagan, CBS scrapped plans to televise "The Reagans," sending it off to the Showtime cable network instead.
Five years ago: Democrat Barack Obama was elected the first black president of the United States, defeating Republican John McCain. California voters approved Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment outlawing same-sex marriage, overturning a state Supreme Court decision that gave gay couples the right to wed just months earlier. Author Michael Crichton (KRY'-tuhn) died in Los Angeles at age 66.
One year ago: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said cold temperatures would leave "tens of thousands" of people whose homes were damaged by Superstorm Sandy in need of alternate housing. Two-year-old Maddox Derkosh was mauled to death by a pack of African wild dogs when he fell into their pen from a viewing area at the Pittsburgh Zoo. Zac Vawter, a 31-year-old amputee from Yelm, Wash., climbed the 103 floors of Chicago's Willis Tower, becoming the first person ever to complete the task wearing a mind-controlled prosthetic limb.
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