Today in History

Today is Friday, Nov. 11, the 315th day of 2011. There are 50 days left in the year. This is Veterans Day in the U.S., Remembrance Day in Canada.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Nov. 11, 1918, fighting in World War I came to an end with the signing of an armistice between the Allies and Germany.

On this date:

In 1620, 41 Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower, anchored off Massachusetts, signed a compact calling for a "body politick."

In 1831, former slave Nat Turner, who'd led a violent insurrection, was executed in Jerusalem, Va.

In 1889, Washington became the 42nd state.

In 1909, President William Howard Taft accepted the recommendation of a joint Army-Navy board that Pearl Harbor in the Hawaiian Islands be made the principal U.S. naval station in the Pacific.

In 1921, the remains of an unidentified American service member were interred in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery in a ceremony presided over by President Warren G. Harding.

In 1942, during World War II, Germany completed its occupation of France.

In 1960, South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem survived a coup attempt by army rebels. (However, he was overthrown and killed in 1963.)

In 1966, Gemini 12 blasted off from Cape Kennedy with astronauts James A. Lovell and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin Jr. aboard.

In 1981, stuntman Dan Goodwin scaled the outside of the 100-story John Hancock Center in Chicago in nearly six hours.

In 1983, President Ronald Reagan became the first U.S. chief executive to address the Diet, Japan's national legislature.

Ten years ago: A Pakistani newspaper (Ausaf) published the second part of an interview in which Osama bin Laden was quoted as saying he had nothing to do with the anthrax attacks in the United States, and declaring that "America can't get me alive." Two French radio reporters and a German magazine journalist were killed when they came under Taliban fire in Afghanistan. The World Trade Organization accepted Taiwan's membership, a day after approving rival China.

Five years ago: President George W. Bush marked Veterans Day at Arlington National Cemetery by praising U.S. troops who had fought oppression around the world, yet spoke only briefly about Iraq, where U.S. commanders were re-evaluating strategy. The United States vetoed a U.N. Security Council draft resolution seeking to condemn an Israeli military offensive in the Gaza Strip.

One year ago: The disabled Carnival Splendor cruise liner inched into San Diego Bay after three nightmarish days adrift on the Pacific, bringing cheers from passengers who described trying to pass the time with limited food, backed-up toilets and dark cabins. A dispute between the U.S. and China over currency values overshadowed a meeting of Group of 20 nations in Seoul, South Korea. Marie Osborne Yeats, a silent film child star who was known as Baby Marie Osborne, died in San Clemente, Calif., six days after turning 99.

Today's Birthdays: Dancer-choreographer Nicholas Royce is 86. Comedian Jonathan Winters is 86. Jazz singer-musician Mose Allison is 84. Author Carlos Fuentes is 83. Actress Bibi Andersson is 76. Country singer Narvel Felts is 73. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., is 71. Rock singer-musician Vince Martell (Vanilla Fudge) is 66. The president of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega, is 66. Golfer Fuzzy Zoeller is 60. Pop singer-musician Paul Cowsill (The Cowsills) is 59. Rock singer-musician Andy Partridge (XTC) is 58. Singer Marshall Crenshaw is 58. Rock singer Dave Alvin is 56. Rock musician Ian Craig Marsh (Human League; Heaven 17) is 55. Actor Stanley Tucci is 51. Actress Demi Moore is 49. Actress Calista Flockhart is 47. Actor Philip McKeon is 47. Rock musician Scott Mercado is 47. Actor Frank John Hughes is 44. TV personality Carson Kressley is 42. Actor David DeLuise is 40. Actor Adam Beach is 39. Actor Leonardo DiCaprio is 37. Rock musician Jonathan Pretus (Cowboy Mouth) is 30. Actress Christa B. Allen is 20.

Thought for Today: "I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity." -- President Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969).

Copyright 2011, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.