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Today in History for Nov. 18, 2012

Today is Sunday, Nov. 18, the 323rd day of 2012. There are 43 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight:

On Nov. 18, 1942, “The Skin of Our Teeth,” Thornton Wilder’s Pulitzer Prize-winning allegory about the history of humankind, opened on Broadway.

On this date:

In 1865, “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” by Mark Twain was first published under the title “Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog” in the New York Saturday Press.

In 1883, the United States and Canada adopted a system of Standard Time zones.

In 1886, the 21st president of the United States, Chester A. Arthur, died in New York.

In 1910, British suffragists clashed with police outside Parliament on what became known as “Black Friday.”

In 1928, Walt Disney’s first sound-synchronized animated cartoon, “Steamboat Willie” starring Mickey Mouse, premiered in New York.

In 1936, Germany and Italy recognized the Spanish government of Francisco Franco.

In 1958, the cargo freighter SS Carl D. Bradley sank during a storm in Lake Michigan, claiming 33 of the 35 lives on board.

In 1962, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Niels Bohr died in his native Denmark at age 77.

In 1966, U.S. Roman Catholic bishops did away with the rule against eating meat on Fridays outside of Lent.

In 1978, U.S. Rep. Leo J. Ryan, D-Calif., and four others were killed in Jonestown, Guyana, by members of the Peoples Temple; the killings were followed by a night of mass murder and suicide by more than 900 cult members.

In 1987, the congressional Iran-Contra committees issued their final report, saying President Ronald Reagan bore “ultimate responsibility” for wrongdoing by his aides. A fire at London King’s Cross railway station claimed 31 lives.

In 1991, Shiite Muslim kidnappers in Lebanon freed Anglican Church envoy Terry Waite and Thomas Sutherland, the American dean of agriculture at the American University of Beirut.

Ten years ago: U.N. arms inspectors returned to Iraq after a four-year hiatus, calling on Saddam Hussein’s government to cooperate with their search for weapons of mass destruction. Actor James Coburn died in Beverly Hills, Calif., at age 74.

Five years ago: Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf’s government dismissed a last-ditch U.S. call to end emergency rule, a day after a visit by Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte. A methane blast ripped through a coal mine in eastern Ukraine, killing 101 miners. Chris Daughtry’s band won favorite pop-rock album for “Daughtry,” as well as breakthrough artist and adult contemporary artist at the American Music Awards. MTV Arabia, an Arab version of the pop-culture channel, began broadcasting.

One year ago: In an incident that prompted national outrage, campus police at the University of California, Davis used pepper-spray on nonviolent Occupy protesters (the school later agreed to pay $1 million to settle a lawsuit filed by the demonstrators). Self-help author James Arthur Ray was sentenced to two years in prison for leading an Arizona sweat lodge ceremony that was supposed to offer spiritual enlightenment but instead resulted in three deaths. Syria agreed in principle to allow dozens of Arab observers into the country to oversee a peace plan.

Today’s birthdays: Actress Brenda Vaccaro is 73. Author-poet Margaret Atwood is 73. Actress Linda Evans is 70. Actress Susan Sullivan is 70. Country singer Jacky Ward is 66. Actor Jameson Parker is 65. Actress-singer Andrea Marcovicci is 64. Rock musician Herman Rarebell is 63. Singer Graham Parker is 62. Actor Delroy Lindo is 60. Comedian Kevin Nealon is 59. Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon is 56. Actor Oscar Nunez is 54. Actress Elizabeth Perkins is 52. Singer Kim Wilde is 52. Rock musician Kirk Hammett (Metallica) is 50. Rock singer Tim DeLaughter is 47. Actor Romany Malco is 44. Actor Owen Wilson is 44. Singer Duncan Sheik is 43. Actor Mike Epps is 42. Actress Peta Wilson is 42. Actress Chloe Sevigny is 38. Country singer Jessi Alexander is 36. Actor Steven Pasquale is 36. Rapper Fabolous is 35. Actor Nate Parker is 33. Rapper Mike Jones is 32. Actor Damon Wayans Jr. is 30. Actor Nathan Kress is 20.

Thought for Today: “It is impossible to defeat an ignorant man in argument.” — William G. McAdoo, American government official (1863-1941).

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

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