Today in History, November 18th

Today is Monday, Nov. 18, the 322nd day of 2019. There are 43 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight: On Nov. 18, 1987, the congressional Iran-Contra committees issued their final report, saying President Ronald Reagan bore “ultimate responsibility” for wrongdoing by his aides.

On this date:

In 1865, Mark Twain’s first literary success, the original version of his short story “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County,” was first published in the New York Saturday Press under the title “Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog.”

In 1883, the United States and Canada adopted a system of Standard Time zones.

In 1959, “Ben-Hur,” the Biblical-era spectacle starring Charlton Heston, had its world premiere in New York.

In 1963, the Bell System introduced the first commercial touch-tone telephone system in Carnegie and Greensburg, Pennsylvania.

In 1978, U.S. Rep. Leo J. Ryan, D-Calif., and four others were killed in Jonestown, Guyana, by members of the Peoples Temple; the killings were followed by a night of mass murder and suicide by more than 900 cult members.

In 2003, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled 4-to-3 that the state constitution guaranteed gay couples the right to marry.

Today’s Birthdays: Actress Brenda Vaccaro is 80. Author-poet Margaret Atwood is 80. Actress Linda Evans is 77. Actress Susan Sullivan is 77. Country singer Jacky Ward is 73. Actor Jameson Parker is 72. Actress-singer Andrea Marcovicci is 71. Rock musician Herman Rarebell is 70.

Thought for Today: “Few people can see genius in someone who has offended them.” — Robertson Davies, Canadian author (1913-1995).

— The Associated Press

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