Today in History

·4-min read

Today in History

Today is Friday, Nov. 12, the 316th day of 2021. There are 49 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Nov. 12, 1942, the World War II naval Battle of Guadalcanal began. (The Allies ended up winning a major victory over Japanese forces.)

On this date:

In 1920, baseball got its first “czar” as Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis was elected commissioner of the American and National Leagues.

In 1927, Josef Stalin became the undisputed ruler of the Soviet Union as Leon Trotsky was expelled from the Communist Party.

In 1936, the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge opened as President Franklin D. Roosevelt pressed a telegraph key in Washington, D.C., giving the green light to traffic.

In 1948, former Japanese premier Hideki Tojo and several other World War II Japanese leaders were sentenced to death by a war crimes tribunal.

In 1969, news of the My Lai (mee ly) Massacre carried out by U.S. forces in South Vietnam in March 1968 was broken by investigative reporter Seymour Hersh.

In 1975, Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas retired because of failing health, ending a record 36-year term.

In 1982, Yuri V. Andropov (ahn-DROH’-pawf) was elected to succeed the late Leonid I. Brezhnev as general secretary of the Soviet Communist Party’s Central Committee.

In 1987, the American Medical Association issued a policy statement saying it was unethical for a doctor to refuse to treat someone solely because that person had AIDS or was HIV-positive.

In 1996, a Saudi Boeing 747 jetliner collided shortly after takeoff from New Delhi, India, with a Kazak Ilyushin (il-YOO’-shin)-76 cargo plane, killing 349 people.

In 2001, American Airlines Flight 587, an Airbus A300 headed to the Dominican Republic, crashed after takeoff from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, killing all 260 people on board and five people on the ground.

In 2009, Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan (nih-DAHL’ mah-LEEK’ hah-SAHN’) was charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder in the Fort Hood, Texas, shooting rampage. (Hasan was later convicted and sentenced to death; no execution date has been set.)

In 2019, Venice saw its worst flooding in more than 50 years, with the water reaching 6.14 feet above average sea level; damage was estimated in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Ten years ago: President Barack Obama met separately with the leaders of Russia and China on the sidelines of a Pacific Rim economic summit in his native Hawaii. Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi resigned, ending a political era and setting in motion a transition aimed at bringing the country back from the brink of economic crisis. In a surprisingly sharp move, the Arab League voted to suspend Syria over the country’s bloody crackdown on protesters and stepped up calls on the army to stop killing civilians.

Five years ago: Tens of thousands of people marched in streets across the United States, staging the fourth day of protests against Donald Trump’s surprise victory as president. Hundreds of thousands of people flooded the streets of Seoul (sohl), South Korea, demanding the resignation of President Park Geun-hye (goon-hay) amid an explosive political scandal.

One year ago: The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, a broad coalition of top government and industry officials, rejected President Donald Trump’s claims of election fraud, saying that the election was “the most secure in American history“ and that there was “no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes or was in any way compromised.” Federal health officials reached an agreement with pharmacies across the U.S. to distribute free coronavirus vaccines once the vaccines were approved and available. Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman easily won the National League MVP award, while Chicago White Sox slugger José Abreu was chosen as the AL MVP.

Today’s Birthdays: Singer Brian Hyland is 78. Actor-playwright Wallace Shawn is 78. Rock musician Booker T. Jones (Booker T. & the MGs) is 77. Sportscaster Al Michaels is 77. Singer-songwriter Neil Young is 76. Rock musician Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser (Blue Oyster Cult) is 74. Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., is 72. Country/gospel singer Barbara Fairchild is 71. Actor Megan Mullally is 63. Actor Vincent Irizarry is 62. Olympic gold medal gymnast Nadia Comaneci (koh-muh-NEECH’) is 60. Rock musician David Ellefson is 57. Retired MLB All-Star Sammy Sosa is 53. Figure skater Tonya Harding is 51. Actor Rebecca Wisocky is 50. Actor Radha Mitchell is 48. Actor Lourdes Benedicto is 47. Actor Tamala Jones is 47. Actor Angela Watson is 47. Singer Tevin Campbell is 45. Actor Ashley Williams is 43. Actor Cote de Pablo is 42. Actor Ryan Gosling is 41. Contemporary Christian musician Chris Huffman is 41. Actor Anne Hathaway is 39. Pop singer Omarion is 37. NBA All-Star Russell Westbrook is 33. Folk-rock musician Griffin Goldsmith (Dawes) is 31. Actor Macey Cruthird is 29.

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