Today in history

  • Wednesday, November 13, 2019 1:30am
  • Life

Today is Wednesday, Nov. 13, the 317th day of 2019. There are 48 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight:

On Nov. 13, 1956, the Supreme Court struck down laws calling for racial segregation on public buses.

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 1911, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that an unauthorized motion picture adaptation of the novel “Ben-Hur” by General Lew Wallace infringed on the book’s copyright.

In 1940, the Walt Disney film “Fantasia,” featuring animated segments set to classical music, had its world premiere in New York.

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

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 1974, Karen Silkwood, a 28-year-old technician and union activist at the Kerr-McGee Cimarron plutonium plant near Crescent, Oklahoma, died in a car crash while on her way to meet a reporter.

In 1982, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

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

In 2000, lawyers for George W. Bush failed to win a court order barring manual recounts of ballots in Florida. Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris announced she would end the recounting at 5 p.m. Eastern time the next day — prompting an immediate appeal by lawyers for Al Gore.

In 2001, President George W. Bush approved the use of a special military tribunal that could put accused terrorists on trial faster and in greater secrecy than an ordinary criminal court. President Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin met at the White House, where they pledged to slash Cold War-era nuclear arsenals by two-thirds.

In 2015, Islamic State militants carried out a set of coordinated attacks in Paris on the national stadium, restaurants and streets, and a crowded concert hall, killing 130 people in the worst attack on French soil since World War II.

Ten years ago: President Barack Obama, in Tokyo at the start of a weeklong trip to Asia, said his decision about how many troops to send to Afghanistan would come soon and that he was bent on “getting this right.” U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced a decision to bring professed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four others detained at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to trial in lower Manhattan (this plan was later dropped). Scientists said analysis of data from two NASA spacecraft that were intentionally crashed into the moon showed ample water near the lunar south pole.

Five years ago: The European Space Agency published the first images taken from the surface of a comet; the photos sent back to Earth showed a rocky surface, with one of the lander’s three feet in the corner of the frame. Clayton Kershaw became the first pitcher to win the National League MVP award since Bob Gibson in 1968; Los Angeles Angels’ outfielder Mike Trout was a unanimous pick for the AL MVP.

One year ago: CNN went to court, demanding the reinstatement of the White House press credentials of correspondent Jim Acosta. (A federal judge later ordered the administration to immediately return Acosta’s press credentials; the White House then dropped its effort to bar Acosta but warned he could have his credentials pulled again.) Amazon announced that it had chosen a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Queens and Arlington, Virginia, as the two locations for its new East Coast headquarters. (Amazon later abandoned its New York plans amid pushback from politicians and activists.)

Today’s birthdays: Journalist-author Peter Arnett is 85. Actor Jimmy Hawkins is 78. Blues singer John Hammond is 77. Country singer-songwriter Ray Wylie Hubbard is 73. Actor Joe Mantegna is 72. Actress Sheila Frazier is 71. Musician Andrew Ranken (The Pogues) is 66. Actress Tracy Scoggins is 66. Actor Chris Noth is 65. Actress-comedian Whoopi Goldberg is 64. Actor Rex Linn is 63. Actress Caroline Goodall is 60. Actor Neil Flynn is 59. Former NFL quarterback and College Football Hall of Famer Vinny Testaverde is 56. Rock musician Walter Kibby (Fishbone) is 55. Comedian and talk show host Jimmy Kimmel is 52. Actor Steve Zahn is 52. Actor Gerard Butler is 50. Writer-activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali is 50. Actor Jordan Bridges is 46. Actress Aisha Hinds is 44. Rock musician Nikolai Fraiture is 41. Former NBA All-Star Metta World Peace (formerly Ron Artest) is 40. Actress Monique Coleman is 39. Actor Rahul Kohli is 34. Actor Devon Bostick is 28.

Thought for today: “I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.” — Jorge Luis Borges, Argentine author (1899-1986).

— Associated Press

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