Today in History

Today is Wednesday, Nov. 13, the 317th day of 2013. There are 48 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight:

On Nov. 13, 1982, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, designed by Maya Lin, was dedicated on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

On this date:

In 1312, England’s King Edward III was born at Windsor Castle.

In 1789, Benjamin Franklin wrote in a letter to a friend, Jean-Baptiste Leroy: “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

In 1849, voters in California ratified the state’s original constitution.

In 1909, 259 men and boys were killed when fire erupted inside a coal mine in Cherry, Ill.

In 1927, the Holland Tunnel opened to the public, providing access between lower Manhattan and New Jersey beneath the Hudson River.

In 1937, the NBC Symphony Orchestra, formed exclusively for radio broadcasting, made its debut.

In 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a measure lowering the minimum draft age from 21 to 18.

In 1956, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down laws calling for racial segregation on public city and state buses.

In 1969, speaking in Des Moines, Iowa, Vice President Spiro T. Agnew accused network television news departments of bias and distortion, and urged viewers to lodge complaints.

In 1971, the U.S. space probe Mariner 9 went into orbit around Mars.

In 1974, Karen Silkwood, a technician and union activist at the Kerr-McGee Cimarron plutonium plant near Crescent, Okla., died in a car crash while on her way to meet a reporter.

In 1985, some 23,000 residents of Armero, Colombia, died when a volcanic mudslide buried the city.

Ten years ago: Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, who had refused to remove his granite Ten Commandments monument from the state courthouse, was thrown off the bench by a judicial ethics panel for having “placed himself above the law.” Eric Gagne of the Los Angeles Dodgers won the National League Cy Young Award.

Five years ago: A wind-driven fire erupted in Southern California; the blaze destroyed more than 200 homes in Santa Barbara and neighboring Montecito. Investors did an abrupt turnaround on Wall Street, muscling the Dow Jones industrial average up more than 550 points after three straight days of selling. Colombian rocker Juanes won five awards, including record of the year and album of the year, at the Latin Grammys in Houston. Cleveland’s Cliff Lee won the American League Cy Young Award.

One year ago: The Pentagon said it was looking into more than 20,000 pages of documents and emails between Marine Gen. John Allen and Florida socialite Jill Kelley. (Kelly had reportedly received threatening emails from Paula Broadwell, the biographer who had an affair with Gen. David Petraeus.) A week after winning a ninth full term in Congress, Jesse Jackson Jr. left the Mayo Clinic, where he had been treated for bipolar disorder. The Chicago-area Democrat had rarely appeared in public since taking medical leave in June. Davey Johnson of the Washington Nationals and Bob Melvin of the Oakland Athletics were named managers of the year by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

Associated Press

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