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Today in History

Today in History

Today is Thursday, Nov. 2, the 306th day of 2017. There are 59 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Nov. 2, 1947, Howard Hughes piloted his huge wooden flying boat, the Hughes H-4 Hercules (derisively dubbed the “Spruce Goose” by detractors), on its only flight, which lasted about a minute over Long Beach Harbor in California.

On this date:

In 1795, the 11th president of the United States, James Knox Polk, was born in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.

In 1865, the 29th president of the United States, Warren Gamaliel Harding, was born near Marion, Ohio.

In 1867, Harper’s Bazaar magazine was first published under the title “Harper’s Bazar.”

In 1889, North Dakota and South Dakota became the 39th and 40th states with the signing of proclamations by President Benjamin Harrison.

In 1917, British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour issued a declaration expressing support for a “national home” for the Jews in Palestine.

In 1936, the British Broadcasting Corp. inaugurated “high-definition” television service from Alexandra Palace in London.

In 1948, President Harry S. Truman surprised the experts by winning a narrow upset over Republican challenger Thomas E. Dewey.

In 1950, playwright George Bernard Shaw, 94, died in Ayot St. Lawrence, Hertfordshire, England.

In 1976, former Georgia Gov. Jimmy Carter became the first candidate from the Deep South since the Civil War to be elected president as he defeated incumbent Gerald R. Ford.

In 1986, kidnappers in Lebanon released American hospital administrator David Jacobsen after holding him for 17 months.

In 1992, movie producer Hal Roach died in Los Angeles at age 100.

In 2000, American astronaut Bill Shepherd and two Russian cosmonauts, Yuri Gidzenko and Sergei Krikalev, became the first residents of the international space station.

Ten years ago: British college student Meredith Kercher, 21, was found slain in her bedroom in Perugia, Italy; her roommate, American Amanda Knox and Knox’s Italian boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito (rah-fy-EHL’-ay soh-LEH’-chee-toh), were later convicted of killing Kercher, but both were later exonerated. (Rudy Guede (GAY’-day), a petty criminal who was convicted separately in the case, remains imprisoned.) Choreographer Igor Moiseyev, who transformed folk dance into a legitimate art, died in Moscow at age 101.

Five years ago: Four days before Election Day, President Barack Obama accused Mitt Romney of scaring voters with lies, while the Republican challenger warned grimly of political paralysis and another recession if Obama reclaimed the White House. The New York City Marathon was canceled when Mayor Michael Bloomberg reversed himself and yielded to mounting criticism that it was no time to be running a race in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.

One year ago: Ending a championship drought that had lasted since 1908, the Chicago Cubs won the World Series, defeating the Cleveland Indians 8-7 in extra innings at Progressive Field. Des Moines Police Sgt. Anthony Beminio and Urbandale Officer Justin Martin were shot and killed while sitting in their patrol cars in separate attacks about 2 miles apart; suspect Scott Michael Greene later pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder and was sentenced to consecutive life prison terms. Garth Brooks was named entertainer of the year at the Country Music Association Awards.

Today’s Birthdays: Singer Jay Black (Jay and the Americans) is 79. Political commentator Patrick Buchanan is 79. Actress Stefanie Powers is 75. Author Shere (shehr) Hite is 75. Country-rock singer-songwriter J.D. Souther is 72. Actress Kate Linder is 70. Rock musician Carter Beauford (The Dave Matthews Band) is 60. Actor Peter Mullan is 58. Singer-songwriter k.d. lang is 56. Rock musician Bobby Dall (Poison) is 54. Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage is 53. Actress Lauren Velez is 53. Actor Sean Kanan is 51. Actor David Schwimmer is 51. Christian/jazz singer Alvin Chea (Take 6) is 50. Jazz singer Kurt Elling is 50. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is 50. Rock singer-musician Neal Casal is 49. Rock musician Fieldy is 48. Actress Meta Golding is 46. Rock singer-musician John Hampson (Nine Days) is 46. Actress Marisol Nichols is 46. Rhythm-and-blues singer Timothy Christian Riley (Tony Toni Tone) is 43. Rapper Nelly is 43. Actor Danny Cooksey is 42. Rock musician Chris Walla is 42. Actress Reshma Shetty is 40. Country singer Erika Jo is 31. Actor-singer Kendall Schmidt is 27.

Thought for Today: “If I have done any deed worthy of remembrance, that deed will be my monument. If not, no monument can preserve my memory.” — Agesilaus (uh-JEHS’-uh-LAY’-uhs) II, King of Sparta (c. 444-360 B.C.)

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