Today’s Highlight in History:
On Nov. 28, 1942, fire engulfed the Cocoanut Grove nightclub in Boston, killing 492 people in the deadliest nightclub blaze ever. (The cause of the rapidly spreading fire, which began in the basement, is in dispute; one theory is that a busboy accidentally ignited an artificial palm tree while using a lighted match to fix a light bulb.)
On this date:
In 1520, Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan reached the Pacific Ocean after passing through the South American strait that now bears his name.
In 1859, American author Washington Irving died in present-day Tarrytown, New York, at age 76.
In 1907, future movie producer Louis B. Mayer opened his first movie theater, in Haverhill, Massachusetts.
In 1919, American-born Lady Astor was elected the first female member of the British Parliament.
In 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet leader Josef Stalin began conferring in Tehran during World War II.
In 1961, Ernie Davis of Syracuse University became the first African-American to be named winner of the Heisman Trophy.
In 1964, the United States launched the space probe Mariner 4 on a course toward Mars, which it flew past in July 1965, sending back pictures of the red planet.
In 1979, an Air New Zealand DC-10 en route to the South Pole crashed into a mountain in Antarctica, killing all 257 people aboard.
In 1990, Margaret Thatcher resigned as British prime minister during an audience with Queen Elizabeth II, who then conferred the premiership on John Major.
In 1994, serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer was slain in a Wisconsin prison by a fellow inmate. Sixties war protester Jerry Rubin died in Los Angeles, two weeks after being hit by a car; he was 56.
In 2001, Enron Corp., once the world’s largest energy trader, collapsed after would-be rescuer Dynegy Inc. backed out of an $8.4 billion takeover deal. (Enron filed for bankruptcy protection four days later.)
In 2010, actor Leslie Nielsen died in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, at age 84.
Ten years ago: Egyptians, despite a recent wave of unrest, waited peacefully in long lines to vote in the first parliamentary elections since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak; Islamist parties were the big winners. Occupy Wall Street protesters defied a deadline to remove their weeks-old encampment on the Los Angeles City Hall lawn.
Five years ago: An 18-year-old Somali native drove a car into a crowd of students at Ohio State University, then attacked bystanders with a knife before he was shot and killed by a campus police officer; 13 people were injured. A chartered plane carrying a Brazilian soccer team crashed near Medellin, Colombia, killing all but six of the 77 people on board. The first commercial flight from the United States to Havana in more than 50 years arrived in Cuba as the island began week-long memorial services for Fidel Castro. Former NBC chairman and TV producer Grant Tinker, 90, died in Los Angeles.
One year ago: Pennsylvania’s highest court threw out a lower court’s order preventing the state from certifying dozens of contests on its Nov. 3 election ballot; it was the latest lawsuit filed by Republicans attempting to undo President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the battleground state. Biden broke his right foot while playing with one of his dogs in Delaware; doctors said he would likely have to wear a walking boot for several weeks. Sarah Fuller became the first woman to participate in a Power Five conference football game when she kicked off for Vanderbilt to start the second half at Missouri. David Prowse, the British weightlifter-turned-actor who was the body, though not the voice, of Darth Vader in the original “Star Wars” trilogy, died at 85.
Today’s Birthdays: Recording executive Berry Gordy Jr. is 92. Former Sen. Gary Hart, D-Colo., is 85. Former U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is 84. Singer-songwriter Bruce Channel is 81. Singer Randy Newman is 78. CBS News correspondent Susan Spencer is 75. Movie director Joe Dante is 74. Former “Late Show” orchestra leader Paul Shaffer is 72. Actor Ed Harris is 71. Former NASA astronaut Barbara Morgan is 70. Actor S. Epatha (eh-PAY’-thah) Merkerson is 69. Former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff is 68.
Country singer Kristine Arnold (Sweethearts of the Rodeo) is 65. Actor Judd Nelson is 62. Movie director Alfonso Cuaron (kwahr-OHN’) is 60. Rock musician Matt Cameron is 59. Actor Jane Sibbett is 59. Comedian Jon Stewart is 59. Actor Garcelle Beauvais (gar-SEHL’ boh-VAY’) is 55. Actor/comedian Stephnie (cq) Weir is 54. R&B singer Dawn Robinson is 53. Actor Gina Tognoni is 48. Hip-hop musician apl.de.ap (Black Eyed Peas) is 47. Actor Malcolm Goodwin is 46. Actor Ryan Kwanten is 45. Actor Aimee Garcia is 43. Rapper Chamillionaire is 42. Actor Daniel Henney is 42. Rock musician Rostam Batmanglij (baht-man-GLEESH’) is 38. Rock singer-keyboardist Tyler Glenn (Neon Trees) is 38. Actor Mary Elizabeth Winstead is 37. R&B singer Trey Songz is 37. NHL goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (marhk-ahn-dray FLOOR’-ee) is 37. Actor Scarlett Pomers is 33. Actor-rapper Bryshere Gray is 28.