Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Today in History....November 20

* 1789, New Jersey becomes the first U.S. state to ratify the Bill of Rights

* 1820, an 80-ton whale attacks the Essex (a whaling ship from Nantucket, Massachusetts) 2,000 miles from the western coast of South America (Herman Melville's 1851 novel Moby-Dick was in part inspired by this story)

* 1910, Francisco I. Madero issues the Plan de San Luis Potosi, denouncing President Porfirio Diaz, declaring himself president, and calling for a revolution to overthrow the government of Mexico, effectively starting the Mexican Revolution

* 1917, Battle of Cambrai begins when British forces make early progress in an attack on German positions but are later pushed back. ALSO:
Ukraine is declared a republic

* 1929, the radio program "The Rise of the Goldbergs" debuted on the NBC Blue Network

* 1940, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia join the Axis Powers

* 1943, the Battle of Tarawa (Operation Galvanic) begins when United States Marines land on Tarawa Atoll in the Gilbert Islands and suffer heavy fire from Japanese shore guns and machine guns

* 1945, trials against 24 Nazi war criminals, ym"sh, start at the Nuremberg Palace of Justice

* 1962, the Cuban Missile Crisis ends when in response to the Soviet Union's agreeing to remove its missiles from Cuba, U.S. President John F. Kennedy stops the quarantine of the Caribbean nation

* 1967, the census clock at the Commerce Department ticked past 200 million

* 1968, eleven men comprising a Long Range Patrol team from F Company, 58th Infantry, 101st Airborne are surrounded and nearly wiped out by North Vietnamese army regulars from the 4th and 5th Regiment. The seven wounded survivors are rescued after several hours by an impromptu force made of other men from their unit

* 1974, the United States Department of Justice files its final anti-trust suit against AT&T. This suit later leads to the break up of AT&T and its Bell System

* 1975, Francisco Franco, Caudillo of Spain dies after 36 years in power. He died, symbolically, on the 39th anniversary of the death of Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera

* 1985, Microsoft Windows 1.0 is released

* 1989, the start of the Velvet Revolution, when the number of protesters assembled in Prague, Czechoslovakia swells from 200,000 the day before to an estimated half-million

* 1994, the Angolan government and UNITA rebels sign the Lusaka Protocol in Zambia, ending 19 years of civil war (localized fighting resumed the next year)

* 1998, a court in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan declares accused terrorist Osama bin Laden "a man without a sin" in regard to the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania

* 2001, in Washington, D.C., U.S. President George W. Bush dedicates the United States Department of Justice headquarters building as the Robert F. Kennedy Justice Building, honoring the late Robert F. Kennedy on what would have been his 76th birthday

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