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 1865, “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” by Mark Twain was first published under the title “Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog” in the New York Saturday Press.
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 1910, British suffragists clashed with police outside Parliament on what became known as “Black Friday.”
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 1958, the cargo freighter SS Carl D. Bradley sank during a storm in Lake Michigan, claiming 33 of the 35 lives on board.
In 1962, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Niels Bohr died in his native Denmark at age 77.
In 1966, U.S. Roman Catholic bishops did away with the rule against eating meat on Fridays outside of Lent.
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 Muslim kidnappers in Lebanon freed Anglican Church envoy Terry Waite and Thomas Sutherland, the American dean of agriculture at the American University of Beirut.
Ten years ago
U.N. arms inspectors returned to Iraq after a four-year hiatus, calling on Saddam Hussein’s government to cooperate with their search for weapons of mass destruction. Actor James Coburn died in Beverly Hills, Calif., at age 74.
Five years ago
Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf’s government dismissed a last-ditch U.S. call to end emergency rule, a day after a visit by Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte. 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.
One year ago
In an incident that prompted national outrage, campus police at the University of California, Davis used pepper-spray on nonviolent Occupy protesters (the school later agreed to pay $1 million to settle a lawsuit filed by the demonstrators). SAuthor James Arthur Ray was sentenced to two years in prison for leading an Arizona sweat lodge ceremony that was supposed to offer spiritual enlightenment but instead resulted in three deaths. Syria agreed in principle to allow dozens of Arab observers into the country to oversee a peace plan.