Today in History

November 20
269   Diocletian is proclaimed emperor of Numerian in Asia Minor by his soldiers. He had been the commander of the emperor’s bodyguard.
1695   Zumbi dos Palmares, the Brazilian leader of a 100-year-old rebel slave group, is killed in an ambush.
1700   Sweden’s 17-year-old King Charles XII defeats the Russians at Narva.
1903   In Cheyenne, Wyoming, 42-year-old hired gunman Tom Horn is hanged for the murder of 14-year-old Willie Nickell.
1914   Bulgaria proclaims its neutrality in the First World War.
1928   Mrs. Glen Hyde becomes the first woman to dare the Grand Canyon rapids in a scow (a flat-bottomed boat that is pushed along with a pole).
1931   Japan and China reject the League of Council terms for Manchuria at Geneva.
1943   The Battle of Tarawa begins. The battle is the first American offensive in the critical central Pacific region and the first time in the Pacific War that the U.S. Marines face serious Japanese opposition upon landing on the atoll. [From MHQ—The Quarterly Journal of Military History]
1945   The Nazi war crime trials begin at Nuremberg.
1947   Princess Elizabeth (future Queen Elizabeth II) marries Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, in Westminster Abbey.
1950   U.S. troops push to the Yalu River, within five miles of Manchuria.
1955   The Maryland National Guard is ordered desegregated.
1962   President John F. Kennedy bars religious or racial discrimination in federally funded housing.
1967   The U.S. census reports the population at 200 million.
1971   The United States announces it will give Turkey $35 million for farmers who agree to stop growing opium poppies.
1974   The United States files an antitrust suit to break up AT&T.
1978   South Africa backs down on a plan to install black rule in neighboring Namibia.
1981   Microsoft Windows 1.0 is released.
1992   Fire in England’s Windsor Castle causes over £50 million in damages.
1998   The first module of the International Space Station, Zarya, is launched.
2008   The Dow Jones Industrial Average sinks to its lowest level in 11 years in response to failures in the US financial system.
Born on November 20
1858   Selma Lagerlöf, Swedish novelist (The Story of Gosta Berling).
1889   Edwin Hubble, American astronomer who proved that there are other galaxies far from our own.
1908   Alistair Cooke, English journalist, television host.
1916   Thomas McGrath, poet and novelist.
1923   Nadine Gordimer, Nobel Prize-winning South African novelist.
1925   Robert F. Kennedy, U.S. Attorney General, New York senator and brother of President John F. Kennedy. He was assassinated while running for president.
1936   Don DeLillo, author (White Noise, Libra).
1939   Dick Smothers, actor, singer; half of the Smothers Brothers whose controversial comedy-variety TV show challenged censorship boundaries in the 1960s, finally resulting in cancellation in 1969.
1942   Joe Biden, politician; US Senator from Delaware (1973–2009); President Barack Obama’s vice-president, beginning in 2009
1946   Duane Allman, singer, songwriter, musician; co-founder and primary leader of the The Allman Brothers Band until his death in 1971.
1963   Wan Yanhai, Chinese activist.
1975   Dierks Bentley, country singer, songwriter (“What Was I Thinkin'”, “Every Mile a Memory”).

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