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Today in History

Today is Saturday, Nov. 28, the 333rd day of 2020. There are 33 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Nov. 28, 1520, Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan reached the Pacific Ocean after passing through the South American strait that now bears his name.

On this date:

In 1907, future movie producer Louis B. Mayer opened his first movie theater, in Haverhill, Massachusetts.

In 1922, Captain Cyril Turner of the Royal Air Force gave the first public skywriting exhibition, spelling out, “Hello USA. Call Vanderbilt 7200” over New York’s Times Square; about 47,000 calls in less than three hours resulted.

In 1942, fire engulfed the Cocoanut Grove nightclub in Boston, killing 492 people in the deadliest nightclub blaze ever. (The cause of the rapidly-spreading fire, which began in the basement, is in dispute; one theory is that a busboy accidentally ignited an artificial palm tree while using a lighted match to fix a light bulb.)

In 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet leader Josef Stalin began conferring in Tehran during World War II.

In 1961, Ernie Davis of Syracuse University became the first African-American to be named winner of the Heisman Trophy.

In 1964, the United States launched the space probe Mariner 4 on a course toward Mars, which it flew past in July 1965, sending back pictures of the red planet.

In 1975, President Ford nominated Federal Judge John Paul Stevens to the U-S Supreme Court seat vacated by William O. Douglas.

In 1979, an Air New Zealand DC-10 en route to the South Pole crashed into a mountain in Antarctica, killing all 257 people aboard.

In 1994, serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer was slain in a Wisconsin prison by a fellow inmate. Sixties war protester Jerry Rubin died in Los Angeles, two weeks after being hit by a car; he was 56.

In 2001, Enron Corp., once the world’s largest energy trader, collapsed after would-be rescuer Dynegy Inc. backed out of an $8.4 billion takeover deal. (Enron filed for bankruptcy protection four days later.)

In 2012, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said his state would need nearly $37 billion to recover and rebuild from Superstorm Sandy and that the state would seek federal aid to cover most of the expenses.

In 2018, Democrats overwhelmingly nominated Nancy Pelosi to become House speaker when Democrats took control of the House in January.

Ten years ago: European Union nations meeting in Brussels agreed to give 67.5 billion euros ($89.4 billion) in bailout loans to Ireland to help it weather the cost of its massive banking crisis. WikiLeaks began disclosing over 250,000 private cables written by U.S. diplomats, divulging candid comments from world leaders and detailing occasional U.S. pressure tactics aimed at hot spots in Afghanistan, Iran and North Korea. Actor Leslie Nielsen died in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, at age 84. Samuel T. Cohen, the inventor of the neutron bomb, died in Los Angeles at age 89.

Five years ago: President Barack Obama kept up his holiday tradition of supporting small businesses, taking his daughters, Malia and Sasha, to a bookstore in Washington’s Petworth neighborhood, where he bought nine books. Victor Mooney, a New Yorker who rowed across the Atlantic Ocean for AIDS awareness, arrived home in Brooklyn, ending a 21-month journey. Tyson Fury defeated Wladimir Klitschko by unanimous decision in Duesseldorf, Germany, to end the Ukrainian’s nine-and-a-half-year reign as heavyweight champion and take his WBA, IBF, and WBO heavyweight titles. Marjorie Lord, 97, the Broadway and film actor who became a TV star on the sitcom “Make Room for Daddy,” died in Beverly Hills, California.

One year ago: President Donald Trump paid a surprise Thanksgiving visit to Afghanistan, where he announced that the U.S. and the Taliban had been engaged in peace talks, and said he believed that the Taliban wanted a cease-fire. (The United States would sign a peace agreement with the Taliban in February 2020.) China reacted angrily to Trump’s decision to sign two bills aimed at supporting human rights in China; Beijing summoned the U.S. ambassador to protest. Security and medical officials in Iraq said security forces had shot to death 40 anti-government protesters during 24 hours of spiraling violence in Baghdad and southern Iraq. Amid high winds that nearly grounded them, the balloons flew lower than usual at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York.

Today’s Birthdays: Recording executive Berry Gordy Jr. is 91. Former Sen. Gary Hart, D-Colo., is 84. U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is 83. Singer-songwriter Bruce Channel is 80. Singer Randy Newman is 77. CBS News correspondent Susan Spencer is 74. Movie director Joe Dante is 73. Former “Late Show” orchestra leader Paul Shaffer is 71. Actor Ed Harris is 70. Former NASA astronaut Barbara Morgan is 69. Actor S. Epatha (eh-PAY’-thah) Merkerson is 68. Former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff is 67. Country singer Kristine Arnold (Sweethearts of the Rodeo) is 64. Actor Judd Nelson is 61. Movie director Alfonso Cuaron (kwahr-OHN’) is 59. Rock musician Matt Cameron is 58. Actor Jane Sibbett is 58. Comedian Jon Stewart is 58. Actor Garcelle Beauvais (gar-SEHL’ boh-VAY’) is 54. Actor/comedian Stephnie (cq) Weir is 53. Rhythm-and-blues singer Dawn Robinson is 52. Actor Gina Tognoni is 47. Hip-hop musician apl.de.ap (Black Eyed Peas) is 46. Actor Malcolm Goodwin is 45. Actor Ryan Kwanten is 44. Actor Aimee Garcia is 42. Rapper Chamillionaire is 41. Actor Daniel Henney is 41. Rock musician Rostam Batmanglij (bot-man-GLEESH’) is 37. Rock singer-keyboardist Tyler Glenn (Neon Trees) is 37. Actor Mary Elizabeth Winstead is 36. R&B singer Trey Songz is 36. NHL goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (marhk-ahn-dray FLOOR’-ee) is 36. Actor Scarlett Pomers is 32. Actor-rapper Bryshere Gray is 27.