Today In History 11/10


Today is Saturday, Nov. 10, the 315th day of 2012. There are 51 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Nov. 10, 1972, three armed men hijacked Southern Airways Flight 49, a DC-9 with 24 other passengers on board during a stopover in Birmingham, Ala., and demanded $10 million in ransom. (The 30-hour ordeal, which involved landings in nine U.S. cities and Toronto, finally ended with a second landing in Cuba, where the hijackers were taken into custody by Cuban authorities.)

On this date:

• In 1775, the U.S. Marines were organized under authority of the Continental Congress.

• In 1871, journalist-explorer Henry M. Stanley found Scottish missionary David Livingstone, who had not been heard from for years, near Lake Tanganyika in central Africa.

• In 1919, the American Legion opened its first national convention in Minneapolis.

• In 1942, Winston Churchill delivered a speech in London in which he said, “I have not become the King’s First Minister to preside over the liquidation of the British Empire.”

• In 1951, customer-dialed long-distance telephone service began as Mayor M. Leslie Denning of Englewood, N.J., called Alameda, Calif., Mayor Frank Osborne without operator assistance.

• In 1954, the U.S. Marine Corps Memorial, depicting the raising of the American flag on Iwo Jima in 1945, was dedicated by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in Arlington, Va.

• In 1961, the satirical war novel “Catch-22” by Joseph Heller was first published by Simon & Schuster.

• In 1969, the children’s educational program “Sesame Street” made its debut on National Educational Television (later PBS).

• In 1975, the ore-hauling ship SS Edmund Fitzgerald and its crew of 29 mysteriously sank during a storm in Lake Superior with the loss of all on board.

• In 1982, the newly finished Vietnam Veterans Memorial was opened to its first visitors in Washington, D.C., three days before its dedication. Soviet leader Leonid I. Brezhnev died at age 75.

Ten years ago:

• Bush administration officials promised “zero tolerance” if Saddam Hussein refused to comply with international calls to disarm.

• About a dozen tornadoes killed 36 people in Tennessee, Ohio, Alabama, Mississippi and Pennsylvania.

Five years ago:

• Six U.S. troops died in an insurgent ambush, making 2007 the deadliest year for American forces in Afghanistan since 2001.

• During an Ibero-American summit in Santiago, Chile, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez kept interrupting Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero as he defended his predecessor, Jose Maria Aznar, whom Chavez had repeatedly referred to as a “fascist”; Spain’s King Juan Carlos finally told Chavez, “Why don’t you shut up?”

• A stagehands strike shut down most Broadway shows, with curtains rising again 19 days later.

• Miami ended its 70-year stay at the famed Orange Bowl with a lopsided 48-0 loss to Virginia.

One year ago:

• The National Archives released a transcript of former President Richard Nixon’s 1975 grand jury testimony after a judge ordered the government to do so; in it, a feisty and cagey Nixon defended his legacy and Watergate-era actions.

Today’s Birthdays:

Actor Russell Johnson is 88. Film composer Ennio Morricone is 84. Blues singer Bobby Rush is 78. Actor Albert Hall is 75. Country singer Donna Fargo is 71. Lyricist Tim Rice is 68. Rock singer-musician Greg Lake (Emerson, Lake and Palmer) is 65. Actor Jack Scalia is 62. Actor Matt Craven is 56. Actor-comedian Sinbad is 56. Actress Mackenzie Phillips is 53. Author Neil Gaiman is 52. Actress Vanessa Angel is 49. Actor Hugh Bonneville (TV: “Downton Abbey”) is 49. Actor-comedian Tommy Davidson is 49. Actor Michael Jai White is 48. Country singer Chris Cagle is 44. Actor-comedian Tracy Morgan is 44. Actress Ellen Pompeo (TV: “Grey’s Anatomy”) is 43. Rock musician Chris Joannou (Silverchair) is 33. Actor Bryan Neal is 32. Actress Heather Matarazzo is 30. Country singer Miranda