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Thursday, November 20, 2008


Today is Thursday, Nov. 20, the 325th day of 2008.
There are 41 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

  • On Nov. 20, 1947, Britain's future queen, Princess Elizabeth, married Philip Mountbatten, Duke of Edinburgh, at Westminster Abbey.

On this date:

  • In 1789, New Jersey became the first state to ratify the Bill of Rights.
  • In 1908, Anglo-American journalist and broadcaster Alistair Cooke was born in Salford, England.
  • In 1910, revolution broke out in Mexico, led by Francisco I. Madero.
  • In 1925, Robert F. Kennedy was born in Brookline, Mass.
  • In 1929, the radio program "The Rise of the Goldbergs" debuted on the NBC Blue Network.
  • In 1945, 22 out of 24 indicted Nazi officials went on trial (one in absentia) before an international war crimes tribunal in Nuremberg, Germany.
  • In 1959, the United Nations issued its "Declaration of the Rights of the Child."
  • In 1967, the Census Clock at the Commerce Department ticked past 200,000,000.
  • In 1975, after nearly four decades of absolute rule, Spain's General Francisco Franco died, two weeks before his 83rd birthday.
  • In 1992, fire seriously damaged Windsor Castle, the favorite weekend home of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II.

Ten years ago:
  • Forty-six states embraced a $206 billion settlement with cigarette makers over health costs for treating sick smokers.
  • President Clinton wrapped up a visit to Japan and flew to South Korea.
  • Israel turned over an additional 2 percent of the West Bank to the Palestinians.

Five years ago:
  • Michael Jackson was booked on suspicion of child molestation in Santa Barbara, Calif. (Jackson was later acquitted at trial.)
  • Record producer Phil Spector was charged with murder in the shooting death of an actress, Lana Clarkson, at his home in Alhambra, Calif., in February 2003. (Spector is being retried after his first trial ended in a deadlocked jury.)
  • Suicide bombers blew up trucks in Istanbul, Turkey, at the British consulate and at a London-based bank, killing 32 people.
  • Tens of thousands of demonstrators in London burned an effigy of President Bush to show their anger over the Iraq war.
  • In Miami, trade ministers from across the Americas gave final approval to a framework for the world's largest free trade bloc as police clashed with hundreds of demonstrators.

One year ago:
  • A judge in St. George, Utah, sentenced polygamous-sect leader Warren Jeffs to five years to life in prison for his role in the arranged marriage of an underage girl to her older cousin.
  • Scientists in Japan and the U.S. reported creating the equivalent of embryonic stem cells from ordinary skin cells.
  • Ian Smith, the last white prime minister of Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), died near Cape Town, South Africa, at age 88.

Today's Birthdays:
  • Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., is 91.
  • Economist Beryl Sprinkel is 85.
  • Actress-comedian Kaye Ballard is 83.
  • Actress Estelle Parsons is 81.
  • TV personality Richard Dawson is 76.
  • Comedian Dick Smothers is 70.
  • Singer Norman Greenbaum is 66.
  • Vice President-elect Joe Biden is 66.
  • Actress Veronica Hamel is 65.
  • Broadcast journalist Judy Woodruff is 62.
  • Actor Samuel E. Wright is 62.
  • Singer Joe Walsh is 61.
  • Actor Richard Masur is 60.
  • Actress Bo Derek is 52.
  • Reggae musician Jim Brown (UB40) is 51.
  • Actress Sean Young is 49.
  • Pianist Jim Brickman is 47.
  • Rock musician Todd Nance (Widespread Panic) is 46.
  • Actress Ming-Na is 45.
  • Rapper Mike D (The Beastie Boys) is 43.
  • Rapper Sen Dog (Cypress Hill) is 43.
  • Actress Callie Thorne is 39.
  • Actress Sabrina Lloyd is 38.
  • Actress Marisa Ryan is 34.
  • Country singer Dierks Bentley is 33.
  • Actor Joshua Gomez is 33.
  • Actress Laura Harris is 32.
  • Country singer Josh Turner is 31.
  • Actress Nadine Velazquez is 30.
  • Actor Cody Linley is 19.

Thought for Today:
"People, when they first come to America, whether as travelers or settlers, become aware of a new and agreeable feeling: that the whole country is their oyster."
Alistair Cooke, British-born American journalist and broadcaster (1908-2004).

"Let's all be careful out there!"