Today’s Highlight in History:
On Nov. 12, 1948, former Japanese premier Hideki Tojo and several other World War II Japanese leaders were sentenced to death by a war crimes tribunal.
On this date:
In 1927, Josef Stalin became the undisputed ruler of the Soviet Union as Leon Trotsky was expelled from the Communist Party.
In 1929, Grace Kelly — the future movie star and Princess of Monaco — was born in Philadelphia.
In 1942, the World War II naval Battle of Guadalcanal began. (The Allies ended up winning a major victory over Japanese forces.)
In 1975, Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas retired because of failing health, ending a record 36-year term.
In 1977, the city of New Orleans elected its first Black mayor, Ernest “Dutch” Morial (MAW’-ree-al), the winner of a runoff.
In 1982, Yuri V. Andropov (ahn-DROH’-pawf) was elected to succeed the late Leonid I. Brezhnev as general secretary of the Soviet Communist Party’s Central Committee.
In 1987, the American Medical Association issued a policy statement saying it was unethical for a doctor to refuse to treat someone solely because that person had AIDS or was HIV-positive.
In 1990, Japanese Emperor Akihito (ah-kee-hee-toh) formally assumed the Chrysanthemum Throne. Actor Eve Arden died in Beverly Hills, California, at age 82.
In 1994, Olympic track-and-field gold medalist Wilma Rudolph died in Brentwood, Tennessee, at age 54.
In 1996, a Saudi Boeing 747 jetliner collided shortly after takeoff from New Delhi, India, with a Kazak Ilyushin (il-YOO’-shin)-76 cargo plane, killing 349 people.
In 2001, American Airlines Flight 587, an Airbus A300 headed to the Dominican Republic, crashed after takeoff from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, killing all 260 people on board and five people on the ground.
In 2009, Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan (nih-DAHL’ mah-LEEK’ hah-SAHN’) was charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder in the Fort Hood, Texas, shooting rampage. (Hasan was later convicted and sentenced to death; no execution date has been set.)
Ten years ago: President Barack Obama arrived in Japan from South Korea to attend a regional economic summit; it was the fourth and final stop on the president’s 10-day tour of Asia. The Supreme Court allowed the Pentagon to continue preventing openly gay people from serving in the military while a federal appeals court reviewed the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. (The policy was rescinded in 2011.)
Five years ago: President Barack Obama presented the Medal of Honor to Florent Groberg, an Army captain who shoved a suicide bomber to the ground and away from his security detail in Afghanistan. (Four people were killed in the attack; Groberg survived with severe injuries.) Twin suicide bombings killed at least 43 people in a southern Beirut suburb that was a stronghold of the militant Shiite Hezbollah group; Islamic State claimed responsibility.
One year ago: The Supreme Court said a survivor of the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting and relatives of the victims could pursue their lawsuit against Remington Arms, the maker of the rifle that was used to kill 26 people. Disney’s new streaming service Disney Plus made its launch and suffered some technical difficulties in the early hours; Disney said consumer demand exceeded expectations. Venice saw its worst flooding in more than 50 years, with the water reaching 6.14 feet above average sea level; damage was estimated in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Former President Jimmy Carter underwent surgery in Atlanta to relieve pressure on his brain from bleeding that was linked to recent falls.
Today’s Birthdays: Singer Brian Hyland is 77. Actor-playwright Wallace Shawn is 77. Rock musician Booker T. Jones (Booker T. & the MGs) is 76. Sportscaster Al Michaels is 76.
Singer-songwriter Neil Young is 75. Rock musician Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser (Blue Oyster Cult) is 73. Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., is 71. Country/gospel singer Barbara Fairchild is 70. Actor Megan Mullally is 62. Actor Vincent Irizarry is 61. Olympic gold medal gymnast Nadia Comaneci (koh-muh-NEECH’) is 59. Rock musician David Ellefson is 56. Retired MLB All-Star Sammy Sosa is 52. Figure skater Tonya Harding is 50. Actor Rebecca Wisocky is 49. Actor Radha Mitchell is 47. Actor Lourdes Benedicto is 46. Actor Tamala Jones is 46. Actor Angela Watson is 46. Singer Tevin Campbell is 44. Actor Ashley Williams is 42. Actor Cote de Pablo is 41. Actor Ryan Gosling is 40. Contemporary Christian musician Chris Huffman is 40. Actor Anne Hathaway is 38. Pop singer Omarion is 36. NBA All-Star Russell Westbrook is 32. Folk-rock musician Griffin Goldsmith (Dawes) is 30. Actor Macey Cruthird is 28.