Today is Sunday, Nov. 2, the 306th day of 2014. There are 59 days left in the year.
On Nov. 2, 1889, North Dakota and South Dakota became the 39th and 40th states with the signing of proclamations by President Benjamin Harrison, who deliberately shuffled the papers to make it impossible to know the exact order in which the Dakotas were admitted to the Union.
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, North Carolina.
In 1865, the 29th president of the United States, Warren Gamaliel Harding, was born near Marion, Ohio.
In 1914, during World War I, Russia declared war on the Ottoman Empire.
In 1936, the British Broadcasting Corp. inaugurated “high-definition” television service from Alexandra Palace in London.
In 1947, Howard Hughes piloted his huge wooden flying boat, the Hughes H-4 Hercules (derisively dubbed the “Spruce Goose” by detractors), on its only flight, which lasted about a minute over Long Beach Harbor in California.
In 1948, President Harry S. Truman surprised the experts by winning a narrow upset over Republican challenger Thomas E. Dewey.
In 1950, playwright George Bernard Shaw, 94, died in Ayot St. Lawrence, Hertfordshire, England.
In 1963, South Vietnamese President Ngo Dihn Diem was assassinated in a military coup.
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 1984, Velma Barfield, convicted of fatally poisoning boyfriend Stuart Taylor, was put to death by injection in Raleigh, North Carolina, becoming the first woman executed in the United States since 1962.
In 1994, a jury in Pensacola, Florida, convicted Paul Hill of murder for the shotgun slayings of abortion provider Dr. John Britton and Britton’s bodyguard; Hill was executed in September 2003.
Ten years ago: President George W. Bush was elected to a second term as Republicans strengthened their grip on Congress. Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh was slain in Amsterdam after receiving death threats over his movie “Submission,” which criticized the treatment of women under Islam. (Mohammed Bouyeri is serving a life sentence for killing van Gogh.)
Five years ago: A suicide bomber killed 35 people outside a bank near Pakistan’s military headquarters in Rawalpindi. Afghanistan’s election commission proclaimed President Hamid Karzai the victor of the country’s tumultuous ballot, canceling a planned runoff. The Philadelphia Phillies staved off elimination from the World Series with an 8-6 victory over the New York Yankees in Game 5. World Boxing Hall of Famer Lou Filippo, 83, died in Downey, California.
One year ago: Gunmen abducted and killed French radio journalists Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon in northern Mali, grabbing the pair as they left the home of a rebel leader.
Today’s birthdays: Singer Jay Black (Jay and the Americans) is 76. Political commentator Patrick Buchanan is 76. Actress Stefanie Powers is 72. Author Shere (shehr) Hite is 72. Rock musician Keith Emerson (Emerson, Lake and Palmer) is 70. Country-rock singer-songwriter J.D. Souther is 69. Actress Kate Linder is 67. Rock musician Carter Beauford (The Dave Matthews Band) is 57. Actor Peter Mullan is 55. Singer-songwriter k.d. lang is 53. Rock musician Bobby Dall (Poison) is 51. Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage is 50. Actress Lauren Velez is 50. Actor David Schwimmer is 48. Christian/jazz singer Alvin Chea (Take 6) is 47. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is 47. Rock singer-musician Neal Casal is 46. Rock musician Fieldy is 45. Actress Meta Golding (Film: “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”) is 43. Rock singer-musician John Hampson (Nine Days) is 43. Rhythm-and-blues singer Timothy Christian Riley (Tony Toni Tone) is 40. Rapper Nelly is 40. Prodigy (Mobb Deep) is 40. Actor Danny Cooksey is 39. Rock musician Chris Walla is 39. Country singer Erika Jo is 28. Actor-singer Kendall Schmidt is 24.
Thought for Today: “The amount of sleep required by the average person is just five minutes more.” — Anonymous.