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Today in History

Friday, November 4, 2011

Today is Friday, Nov. 4, the 308th day of 2011. There are 57 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Nov. 4, 1991, Ronald Reagan opened his presidential library in Simi Valley, Calif., with a dedication attended by President George H.W. Bush and former Presidents Jimmy Carter, Gerald R. Ford and Richard Nixon -- the first-ever gathering of five past and present U.S. chief executives.

On this date:

In 1884, Democrat Grover Cleveland was elected to his first term as president, defeating Republican James G. Blaine.

In 1922, the entrance to King Tutankhamen's tomb was discovered in Egypt.

In 1924, Nellie T. Ross of Wyoming was elected the nation's first female governor to serve out the remaining term of her late husband, William B. Ross.

In 1939, the United States modified its neutrality stance in World War II, allowing "cash and carry" purchases of arms by belligerents, a policy favoring Britain and France.

In 1942, during World War II, Axis forces retreated from El Alamein in North Africa in a major victory for British forces commanded by Lt. Gen. Bernard Montgomery.

In 1952, Dwight D. Eisenhower was elected president, defeating Democrat Adlai Stevenson.

In 1979, the Iran hostage crisis began as militants stormed the United States Embassy in Tehran, seizing its occupants; for some, it was the start of 444 days of captivity.

In 1980, Ronald Reagan won the White House as he defeated President Jimmy Carter by a strong margin.

In 1995, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated by a right-wing Israeli minutes after attending a festive peace rally.

In 2008, Democrat Barack Obama was elected the first black president of the United States, defeating Republican John McCain.

Ten years ago: Hurricane Michelle roared across Cuba, forcing the government to shut down power for much of the communist island and evacuate 750,000 people. Enrique Bolanos defeated former Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua's presidential election. The Arizona Diamondbacks won their first World Series by beating the New York Yankees 3-2 in Game 7. Tesfaye Jifar of Ethiopia and Margaret Okayo of Kenya won the New York Marathon. NBC's "The West Wing" took eight honors at the twice-delayed Emmy Awards, including best dramatic series; HBO's "Sex and the City" won best comedy series.

Five years ago: Katharine Jefferts Schori took office as the first female leader of the Episcopal Church and the first woman priest to head an Anglican province during a ceremony at the Washington National Cathedral. A blackout hit parts of Germany, France, Belgium, Italy, Portugal and Spain. Ernestine Gilbreth Carey, co-author of "Cheaper by the Dozen," died in Fresno, Calif., at age 98.

One year ago: Australian airline Qantas grounded all six of its Airbus A380 superjumbo jets after one of them blew out an engine over Indonesia; the plane made a safe emergency return to Singapore with 469 people aboard. An AeroCaribbean ATR 72 crashed in a mountainous area of Cuba, killing all 68 people on board. Hall of Fame baseball team manager Sparky Anderson died in Thousand Oaks, Calif., at age 76.

Today's Birthdays: Actress Doris Roberts is 81. Actress Loretta Swit is 74. Rhythm-and-blues singer Harry Elston (Friends of Distinction) is 73. Blues singer Delbert McClinton is 71. Former First Lady Laura Bush is 65. Actress Markie Post is 61. Rock singer-musician Chris Difford (Squeeze) is 57. Country singer Kim Forester (The Forester Sisters) is 51. Actress-comedian Kathy Griffin is 51. Actor Ralph Macchio is 50. "Survivor" host Jeff Probst is 50. Rock singer-musician Wayne Static (Static-X) is 46. Actor Matthew McConaughey is 42. Rapper-producer Sean "Puffy" Combs is 42. Rhythm-and-blues singer Shawn Rivera (Az Yet) is 40. Actress Heather Tom is 36. Rhythm-and-blues/gospel singer George Huff is 31.

Thought for Today: "A boy becomes an adult three years before his parents think he does, and about two years after he thinks he does." -- Gen. Lewis B. Hershey, Selective Service director (1893-1977).

Copyright 2011, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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