Today in History

Today is Tuesday, Nov. 26, the 330th day of 2013. There are 35 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight:

Nov. 26, 1789 was a day of thanksgiving set aside by President Washington to observe the adoption of the Constitution of the United States.

On this date:

In 1825, the first college social fraternity, Kappa Alpha, was formed at Union College in Schenectady, New York.

In 1883, former slave and abolitionist Sojourner Truth died in Battle Creek, Michigan.

In 1933, a judge in New York decided the James Joyce book “Ulysses” was not obscene and could therefore be published in the United States.

In 1941, U.S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull delivered a note to Japan’s ambassador to the United States, Kichisaburo Nomura, proposing an agreement for “lasting and extensive peace throughout the Pacific area.” The same day, a Japanese naval task force consisting of six aircraft carriers left the Kuril Islands, headed toward Hawaii.

In 1942, President Roosevelt ordered nationwide gasoline rationing, beginning December 1st.

In 1942, the motion picture “Casablanca,” starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, had its world premiere at the Hollywood Theater in New York.

In 1943, during World War II, the HMT Rohna, a British transport ship carrying American soldiers, was hit by a German missile off Algeria; 1,138 men were killed.

In 1949, India adopted a constitution as a republic within the British Commonwealth.

In 1950, China entered the Korean War, launching a counter-offensive against soldiers from the United Nations, the U.S. and South Korea.

In 1965, France launched its first satellite, sending a 92-pound capsule into orbit.

In 1973, President Nixon’s personal secretary, Rose Mary Woods, told a federal court that she’d accidentally caused part of the 18-1/2-minute gap in a key Watergate tape.

In 1986, President Ronald Reagan appointed a commission headed by former Senator John Tower to investigate his National Security Council staff in the wake of the Iran-Contra affair.

Ten years ago: Human rights activist Gao Zhan, who was freed from a Chinese prison after the U.S. government interceded on her behalf, pleaded guilty in Alexandria, Va., to illegally selling American high-tech items with potential military uses to China. (Gao later received a reduced sentence of seven months in prison for her cooperation with authorities.) Hard-liners defeated moderates in Northern Ireland’s legislative elections.

Five years ago: Teams of heavily armed gunmen, allegedly from Pakistan, stormed luxury hotels, a popular tourist attraction and a crowded train station in Mumbai, India, leaving at least 166 people dead in a rampage lasting some 60 hours. A Missouri mother on trial in a landmark cyberbullying case was convicted by a federal jury in Los Angeles of three minor offenses for her role in a mean-spirited Internet hoax that apparently drove a 13-year-old girl, Megan Meier, to suicide. (However, Lori Drew’s convictions were later thrown out.)

One year ago: Minnesota homeowner Byron Smith was charged with two counts of second-degree murder in the shooting deaths of two unarmed teenagers during an apparent Thanksgiving Day break-in; investigators said he acknowledged firing “more shots than I needed to.” Online shopping on Cyber Monday was up at least 28 percent from the previous year according to IBM Benchmark, which tracks online sales. New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie announced that he would be seeking re-election, so he could continue to guide the state through a recovery from Superstorm Sandy.

Associated Press

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