Published: 10:01 pm, Fri. November 20th, 2015
Today is Saturday, Nov. 21, the 325th day of 2015. There are 40 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Nov. 21, 1985, U.S. Navy intelligence analyst Jonathan Jay Pollard was arrested, accused of spying for Israel. (Pollard later pleaded guilty to espionage and was sentenced to life in prison; he was released on parole on Nov. 20, 2015.)
On this date:
In 1789, North Carolina became the 12th state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
In 1864, a letter was signed by President Abraham Lincoln expressing condolences to Lydia Bixby, a widow in Boston whose five sons supposedly died while fighting in the Civil War. (As it turned out, only two of Mrs. Bixby’s sons had been killed in battle.)
In 1922, Rebecca L. Felton of Georgia was sworn in as the first woman to serve in the U.S. Senate.
In 1934, the Cole Porter musical “Anything Goes,” starring Ethel Merman as Reno Sweeney, opened on Broadway.
In 1942, the Alaska Highway, also known as the Alcan Highway, was formally opened at Soldier’s Summit in the Yukon Territory.
In 1945, American humorist Robert Benchley died in New York at age 56.
In 1969, the Senate voted down the Supreme Court nomination of Clement F. Haynsworth, 55-45, the first such rejection since 1930.
In 1973, President Richard Nixon’s attorney, J. Fred Buzhardt (buh-ZAHRDT’), revealed the existence of an 18-1/2-minute gap in one of the White House tape recordings related to Watergate.
In 1974, bombs exploded at a pair of pubs in Birmingham, England, killing 21 people. (Six suspects were convicted of the attack, but the convictions of the so-called “Birmingham Six” were overturned in 1991.)
In 1980, 87 people died in a fire at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. An estimated 83 million TV viewers tuned in to the CBS prime-time soap opera “Dallas” to find out “who shot J.R.” (The shooter turned out to be J.R. Ewing’s sister-in-law, Kristin Shepard.)
In 1990, junk-bond financier Michael R. Milken, who had pleaded guilty to six felony counts, was sentenced by a federal judge in New York to 10 years in prison. (Milken served two.)
In 1995, the Dow Jones industrial average closed above the 5,000 mark for the first time, rising 40.46 points to end the day at 5,023.55.
Ten years ago: General Motors announced it would close 12 facilities and lay off 30,000 workers in North America. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon broke away from the hardline Likud with the intention of forming a new party. President George W. Bush became the first U.S. chief executive to visit Mongolia. Time magazine political columnist Hugh Sidey died in Paris at age 78.
Five years ago: Debt-struck Ireland formally applied for a massive EU-IMF loan to stem the flight of capital from its banks, joining Greece in a step unthinkable only a few years earlier when Ireland was a booming Celtic Tiger and the economic envy of Europe. Justin Bieber received four American Music Awards, becoming at age 16 the youngest performer to win artist of the year.
One year ago: After a three-day onslaught that dumped a historic 7 feet of snow on the Buffalo, New York, area and killed at least 12 people, the sun came out, but so did predictions of flooding caused by rain, temperatures up to 60 degrees and blocked catch basins.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Joseph Campanella is 91. Country singer Jean Shepard is 82. Actor Laurence Luckinbill is 81. Actress Marlo Thomas is 78. Actor Rick Lenz is 76. Singer Dr. John is 75. Actress Juliet Mills is 74. Basketball Hall of Famer Earl Monroe is 71. Television producer Marcy Carsey is 71. Actress Goldie Hawn is 70. Movie director Andrew Davis is 69. Rock musician Lonnie Jordan (War) is 67. Singer Livingston Taylor is 65. Actress-singer Lorna Luft is 63. Actress Cherry Jones is 59. Rock musician Brian Ritchie (The Violent Femmes) is 55. Gospel singer Steven Curtis Chapman is 53. Actress Nicollette Sheridan is 52. Singer-actress Bjork (byork) is 50. Pro and College Football Hall of Famer Troy Aikman is 49. Rhythm-and-blues singer Chauncey Hannibal (BLACKstreet) is 47. Rock musician Alex James (Blur) is 47. MLB All-Star player Ken Griffey Jr. is 46. TV personality Rib Hillis is 45. Rapper Pretty Lou (Lost Boyz) is 44. Football player-turned-talk show host Michael Strahan (STRAY’-han) is 44. Country singer Kelsi Osborn (SHeDAISY) is 41. Singer-actress Lindsey Haun is 31. Actress Jena Malone is 31. Pop singer Carly Rae Jepsen is 30. Actor-singer Sam Palladio is 28.
Thought for Today: “Anyone can do any amount of work, provided it isn’t the work he is supposed to be doing at that moment.” — Robert Benchley, American humorist (1889-1945).