Today’s Highlight in History:
On Nov. 9, 1989, communist East Germany threw open its borders, allowing citizens to travel freely to the West; joyous Germans danced atop the Berlin Wall.
On this date:
In 1620, the passengers and crew of the Mayflower sighted Cape Cod.
In 1938, Nazis looted and burned synagogues as well as Jewish-owned stores and houses in Germany and Austria in a pogrom or deliberate persecution that became known as “Kristallnacht.”
In 1961, U.S. Air Force Maj. Robert M. White became the first pilot to fly an X-15 rocket plane at six times the speed of sound. The Beatles’ future manager, Brian Epstein, first saw the group perform at The Cavern Club in Liverpool, England.
In 1965, the great Northeast blackout began as a series of power failures lasting up to 13 1/2 hours, leaving 30 million people in seven states and part of Canada without electricity.
In 1967, a Saturn V rocket carrying an unmanned Apollo spacecraft blasted off from Cape Kennedy on a successful test flight.
In 1976, the U.N. General Assembly approved resolutions condemning apartheid in South Africa, including one characterizing the white-ruled government as “illegitimate.”
In 2000, George W. Bush’s lead over Al Gore in all-or-nothing Florida slipped beneath 300 votes in a suspense-filled recount, as Democrats threw the presidential election to the courts, claiming “an injustice unparalleled in our history.”
In 2005, three suicide bombers carried out nearly simultaneous attacks on three U.S.-based hotels in Amman, Jordan, killing 60 victims and wounding hundreds.
In 2007, President Gen. Pervez Musharraf (pur-VEHZ’ moo-SHAH’-ruhv) of Pakistan placed opposition leader Benazir Bhutto (BEN’-uh-zeer BOO’-toh) under house arrest for a day, and rounded up thousands of her supporters to block a mass rally against his emergency rule.
In 2011, after 46 seasons as Penn State’s head football coach and a record 409 victories, Joe Paterno was fired along with the university president, Graham Spanier, over their handling of child sex abuse allegations against former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.
In 2012, retired four-star Army Gen. David Petraeus abruptly resigned as CIA director after an affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell, was revealed by an FBI investigation.
In 2018, President Donald Trump issued an order to deny asylum to migrants who enter the country illegally; the measure would be blocked by court challenges.
Ten years ago: Continuing his Asia tour, President Barack Obama flew from India to Indonesia, his home for four years of his youth. Former President George W. Bush officially kicked off the release of his memoir, “Decision Points,” with a book-signing in Dallas. A special prosecutor cleared the CIA’s former top clandestine officer and others of any charges for destroying agency videotapes showing waterboarding of terror suspects, but continued an investigation into whether the harsh questioning went beyond legal boundaries. Seattle’s Ichiro Suzuki won his 10th straight Gold Glove, tying the AL record for Gold Gloves by an outfielder shared by Ken Griffey Jr. and Al Kaline.
Five years ago: Minimizing sharp differences, President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reaffirmed their commitment to seeking elusive Middle East peace during a White House meeting. The president of the University of Missouri system and the head of its flagship campus resigned with the football team and others on campus in open revolt over what they saw as indifference to racial tensions at the school. President Obama launched his own personal Facebook page. Andy White, 85, a top session drummer in England during the 1960s who stepped in for newcomer Ringo Starr as the Beatles recorded their debut single “Love Me Do,” died in Caldwell, New Jersey.
One year ago: Germany marked the 30th anniversary of the opening of the Berlin Wall, at a ceremony attended by leaders from Germany, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Police in Hong Kong announced the arrests of six pro-democracy lawmakers. Australian officials said wildfires razing the country’s drought-stricken east coast had left at least three people dead, with more than 150 homes destroyed. (At least 34 people and more than a billion animals would die in Australia’s wildfire season, with thousands of people displaced and 47 million acres burned.)
Today’s Birthdays: Baseball Hall of Famer Whitey Herzog is 89. Actor Charlie Robinson is 75. Movie director Bille August is 72. Actor Robert David Hall is 72. Actor Lou Ferrigno is 69. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, is 68. Gospel singer Donnie McClurkin is 61. Rock musician Dee Plakas (L7) is 60. Actor Ion Overman is 51. Rapper Pepa (Salt-N-Pepa) is 56. Rapper Scarface (Geto Boys) is 50.
Blues singer Susan Tedeschi (teh-DEHS’-kee) is 50. Actor Jason Antoon is 49. Actor Eric Dane is 48. Singer Nick Lachey (98 Degrees) is 47. Country musician Barry Knox (Parmalee) is 43. Rhythm-and-blues singer Sisqo (Dru Hill) is 42. Country singer Corey Smith is 41. Country singer Chris Lane is 36. Actor Emily Tyra is 33. Actor Nikki Blonsky is 32. Actor-model Analeigh (AH’-nuh-lee) Tipton is 32.