By The Associated Press
Today in History
Today is Saturday, Nov. 18, the 322nd day of 2017. There are 43 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Nov. 18, 1942, “The Skin of Our Teeth,” Thornton Wilder’s Pulitzer Prize-winning allegory about the history of humankind, opened on Broadway.
On this date:
In 1883, the United States and Canada adopted a system of Standard Time zones.
In 1886, the 21st president of the United States, Chester A. Arthur, died in New York.
In 1916, the World War I Battle of the Somme pitting British and French forces against German troops ended inconclusively after 4 1/2 months of bloodshed.
In 1928, Walt Disney’s first sound-synchronized animated cartoon, “Steamboat Willie” starring Mickey Mouse, premiered in New York.
In 1936, Germany and Italy recognized the Spanish government of Francisco Franco.
In 1959, “Ben-Hur,” the Biblical-era spectacle starring Charlton Heston, had its world premiere in New York.
In 1966, U.S. Roman Catholic bishops issued a Pastoral Statement on Penance and Abstinence, which did away with the rule against eating meat on Fridays outside of Lent.
In 1976, Spain’s parliament approved a bill to establish a democracy after 37 years of dictatorship.
In 1978, U.S. Rep. Leo J. Ryan, D-Calif., and four others were killed in Jonestown, Guyana, by members of the Peoples Temple; the killings were followed by a night of mass murder and suicide by more than 900 cult members.
In 1987, the congressional Iran-Contra committees issued their final report, saying President Ronald Reagan bore “ultimate responsibility” for wrongdoing by his aides. A fire at London King’s Cross railway station claimed 31 lives.
In 1991, Shiite (SHEE’-eyet) Muslim kidnappers in Lebanon freed Anglican Church envoy Terry Waite and Thomas Sutherland, the American dean of agriculture at the American University of Beirut.
In 2000, actors Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones were married in an extravagant wedding at The Plaza hotel in New York City.
Ten years ago: Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf’s (pur-VEHZ’ moo-SHAH’-ruhvz) government dismissed a last-ditch U.S. call to end emergency rule, a day after a visit by Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte (neh-groh-PAHN’-tee). A methane blast ripped through a coal mine in eastern Ukraine, killing 101 miners. Chris Daughtry’s band won favorite pop-rock album for “Daughtry,” as well as breakthrough artist and adult contemporary artist at the American Music Awards. MTV Arabia, an Arab version of the pop-culture channel, began broadcasting.
Five years ago: In the deadliest single attack in Israel’s offensive against Islamic militants, 12 people were killed when an Israeli missile ripped through a two-story home in a residential area of Gaza City. Justin Bieber dominated the American Music Awards in Los Angeles, winning three trophies, including artist of the year.
One year ago: President-elect Donald Trump signaled a sharp policy shift to the right by picking Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions as attorney general,
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Thought for Today: “If an historian were to relate truthfully all the crimes, weaknesses and disorders of mankind, his readers would take his work for satire rather than for history.” — Pierre Bayle (bayl), French philosopher and critic (born this date in 1647, died 1706).