Today is Wednesday, November 12, the 316th day of 2014. There are 49 days left in the year.
Highlights in history on this date:
1554 – Britain’s Parliament re-establishes Roman Catholicism.
1603 – Sir Walter Raleigh‘s high treason trial opens in Winchester, England.
1812 – Napoleon Bonaparte’s army reaches Russian city of Smolensk in retreat from Moscow.
1920 – In the United States, Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis is elected baseball’s first Commissioner.
1927 – Leon Trotsky is expelled from Communist Party in Russia, and Josef Stalin becomes its undisputed ruler.
1933 – Nazis dominate German elections.
1937 – Japanese troops occupy Chinese city of Shanghai.
1941 – Soviet troops halt Germans at outskirts of Moscow in World War II.
1944 – The Tirpitz, the last of the major German battleships, is sunk by British bombers.
1948 – Japan’s former Premier Hideki Tojo and other Japanese World War II leaders are sentenced to death by a war crimes tribunal.
1954 – Ellis Island closes after processing more than 20 million immigrants since opening in New York Harbor in 1892.
1955 – The first 101 soldiers and officers are named by Defense Minister Theodor Blank for West Germany’s new postwar armed forces, the Bundeswehr.
1962 – Guam, in the Pacific, is devastated by a typhoon.
1965 – U.N. Security Council calls on all nations to refuse recognition to Rhodesia after it unilaterally declares independence from Britain.
1970 – The worst rainy season in Colombia in 40 years kills as many as 500 people, with more than a thousand others missing and 30,000-60,000 people homeless.
1976 – The U.N. General Assembly approves a resolution again calling on Turkey to withdraw its troops from Cyprus.
1982 – Yuri V. Andropov is elected to succeed the late Leonid I. Brezhnev as General Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party’s Central Committee.
1987 – The American Medical Association issues a policy statement saying it is unethical for a doctor to refuse to treat someone solely because that person has AIDS or is HIV-positive.
1990 – Emperor Akihito ascends the throne in Japan.
1991 – Troops in East Timor fire on pro-independence demonstrators, killing dozens.
1992 – Five Germans and two Egyptians are wounded when Islamic militants fire on them in an attempt to cripple Egypt’s tourist industry.
1993 – Pop star Michael Jackson cancels world tour, citing painkiller addiction.
1994 – A million people march in Rome to protest government austerity measures.
1995 – Britain ends arm sales to Nigeria.
1996 – A Saudi jumbo jet collides shortly after takeoff from New Delhi with a Kazak airliner making its landing approach, killing 349 people.
1997 – Ramzi Yousef is found guilty of masterminding the 1993 bombing of New York’s World Trade Center.
1999 – Four members of the banned Falun Gong meditation movement are convicted and sentenced to 12 years in prison in China.
2000 – Hijack drama on a Russian airliner ends after a mentally unstable man from the Russian republic of Dagestan held up the flight and forced the pilot to fly it to Israel. The 57 passengers and crew are released unhurt.
2002 – In an audiotaped message aired across the Arab world, a voice purported to be that of Osama bin Laden praises terrorist strikes in Bali, Indonesia, and Moscow and warns U.S. allies against following the “oppressive American government” in the war against terror.
2003 – A vehicle packed with explosives explodes outside the Italian military police station in Nasiriyah, killing at least 18 Italians and 13 Iraqis and wounding at least 100 others. The incident is the deadliest attack on foreign troops allied with the U.S. since the start of the invasion of Iraq.
2004 – A nationwide Dutch anti-terrorism operation nets 38 suspected members of a Kurdish rebel group, including “militant trainees” being prepared at a rural campground for fighting in Turkey and Armenia.
2005 – Police clash with some 2,000 neo-Nazis outside of Germany’s largest World War II soldiers cemetery where the extremists had hoped to stage a demonstration in honor of the Nazi soldiers.
2006 – Thousands of protesters demanding electoral reforms in Bangladesh target major transport links around Dhaka, attacking trains and other vehicles and leaving at least one person dead.
2007 – Hamas security forces open fire on a rally by the Fatah movement in a Gaza City square, sending tens of thousands of protesters running for cover as gunfire kills at least seven and wounds at least 85.
2008 – Britain is facing a sperm donor shortage after reversing confidentiality laws and limiting the number of women who can use sperm from one donor, fertility experts warn.
2009 – U.S. government prosecutors take steps to seize four U.S. mosques and a New York skyscraper owned by a nonprofit Muslim organization long suspected of being secretly controlled by the Iranian government.
2010 — Supporters of Myanmar’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi hold a vigil on the eve of expiration of her house arrest order, hoping to see the Nobel Peace Prize laureate taste freedom for the first time in seven years.
2011 — A chorus of Handel’s Alleluia rings out as Silvio Berlusconi resigns as Italian premier, ending a tumultuous 17-year political era and setting in motion a transition aimed at bringing the country back from the brink of economic crisis.
2012 — Greece’s international creditors propose giving the country two more years to reform its economy but finance ministers are split over how to put together a comprehensive deal to help Athens dig out of its mountain of debt.
2013 — Israel’s Prime Minister abruptly halts a plan to explore the potential construction of thousands of new homes in West Bank settlements, saying it had created an “unnecessary confrontation” with the international community that threatened to weaken his campaign against Iran’s suspect nuclear program.
Auguste Rodin, French sculptor (1840-1917); Dr. Sun Yat-Sen, founder of Chinese Republic (1866-1926); Princess Grace of Monaco (1929-1982); Kim Hunter, U.S. actress (1922–2002); Neil Young, Canadian singer/musician (1945–); Nadia Comaneci, Romanian gymnast (1961–); Ryan Gosling, Canadian actor (1980–); Anne Hathaway, U.S. actress (1982–).
Thought For Today:
Don’t be a pal to your son. Be his father. What child needs a 40-year-old for a friend? — Al Capp, American cartoonist (1909-1979).