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Today in History

  • Today in History

Today is Thursday, Nov. 4, the 308th day of 2021. There are 57 days left in the year.

  • Today's Highlight in History:

On Nov. 4, 1979, the Iran hostage crisis began as militants stormed the United States Embassy in Tehran, seizing its occupants; for some of them, it was the start of 444 days of captivity.

  • On this date:

In 1842, Abraham Lincoln married Mary Todd in Springfield, Illinois.In 1862, inventor Richard J. Gatling received a U.S. patent for his rapid-fire Gatling gun.
In 1922, the entrance to King Tutankhamen's tomb was discovered in Egypt.
In 1942, during World War II, Axis forces retreated from El Alamein in North Africa in a major victory for British forces commanded by Lt. Gen. Bernard Montgomery.
In 1955, Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Cy Young died in Newcomerstown, Ohio, at age 88.
In 1956, Soviet troops moved in to crush the Hungarian Revolution.
In 1980, Republican Ronald Reagan won the White House as he defeated President Jimmy Carter by a strong margin.
In 1985, to the shock and dismay of U.S. officials, Soviet defector Vitaly Yurchenko announced he was returning to the Soviet Union, charging he had been kidnapped by the CIA.
In 1991, Ronald Reagan opened his presidential library in Simi Valley, California; attending were President George H.W. Bush and former Presidents Jimmy Carter, Gerald R. Ford and Richard Nixon — the first-ever gathering of five past and present U.S. chief executives.
In 1995, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated by a right-wing Israeli minutes after attending a festive peace rally.
In 2008, Democrat Barack Obama was elected the first Black president of the United States, defeating Republican John McCain. California voters approved Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment outlawing same-sex marriage, overturning a state Supreme Court decision that gave gay couples the right to wed just months earlier.
In 2014, riding a powerful wave of voter discontent, resurgent Republicans captured control of the Senate and tightened their grip on the House.

  • Ten years ago: A Syrian peace plan brokered just days earlier by the Arab League unraveled as security forces opened fire on thousands of protesters, killing at least 15. "60 Minutes" commentator Andy Rooney, 92, died in New York a month after his farewell segment on the show.
  • Five years ago: A federal jury found that Rolling Stone magazine, its publisher and a reporter had defamed a University of Virginia administrator in a debunked 2014 story about a gang rape at a fraternity house. (The magazine and the administrator, Nicole Eramo, later reached a confidential settlement.) A jury convicted two former aides to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie of causing traffic jams near the George Washington Bridge for political revenge against a Democratic mayor. (A unanimous Supreme Court tossed out the convictions in 2020.)
  • One year ago: A day after the presidential election, victories in Michigan and Wisconsin left Joe Biden one battleground state short of winning the White House. President Donald Trump falsely claimed victory in several key states and called the election process "a major fraud on our nation"; Trump called for outstanding ballots not to be counted, and vowed to have the Supreme Court weigh in on the election. The Trump campaign said it was filing suit in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Georgia to demand better access for campaign observers to locations where ballots were being processed and counted, and to raise absentee ballot concerns. The United States set another record for daily confirmed coronavirus cases as several states posted all-time highs.
  • Today's Birthdays: Actor Loretta Swit is 84. R&B singer Harry Elston (Friends of Distinction) is 83. Blues singer Delbert McClinton is 81. Former first lady Laura Bush is 75. Actor Ivonne Coll is 74. Rock singer-musician Chris Difford (Squeeze) is 67. Country singer Kim Forester (The Forester Sisters) is 61. Actor-comedian Kathy Griffin is 61. Actor Ralph Macchio is 60. "Survivor" host Jeff Probst is 60. Saxophonist Tim Burton is 58. Actor Matthew McConaughey is 52. Rapper-producer Sean "Puffy" Combs is 52. TV personality Bethenny Frankel is 51. Actor Anthony Ruivivar is 51. Soul/jazz singer Gregory Porter is 50. R&B singer Shawn Rivera (Az Yet) is 50. Celebrity chef Curtis Stone is 46. Actor Heather Tom is 46. R&B/gospel singer George Huff is 41. Actor Emme Rylan is 41. Actor Chris Greene (Film: "Loving") is 39.