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Today in History: November 9, East Germany opens its borders

Today in History

Today is Thursday, Nov. 9, the 313th day of 2023. There are 52 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Nov. 9, 1989, communist East Germany threw open its borders, allowing citizens to travel freely to the West for the first time in decades; joyous Germans danced atop the Berlin Wall.

On this date:

In 1620, the passengers and crew of the Mayflower sighted Cape Cod.

In 1872, fire destroyed nearly 800 buildings in Boston.

In 1918, it was announced that Germany's Kaiser Wilhelm II would abdicate; he then fled to the Netherlands.

In 1935, United Mine Workers president John L. Lewis and other labor leaders formed the Committee for Industrial Organization.

In 1938, Nazis looted and burned synagogues as well as thousands of Jewish-owned stores and houses in Germany and Austria in a pogrom or deliberate persecution that became known as "Kristallnacht."

In 1965, the great Northeast blackout began with 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 1970, former French President Charles de Gaulle died at age 79.

In 1976, the U.N. General Assembly approved resolutions condemning apartheid in South Africa, including one characterizing the white-ruled government as "illegitimate."

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 2016, Democrat Hillary Clinton conceded the presidential election to Republican Donald Trump, telling supporters in New York that her defeat was "painful, and it will be for a long time." But Clinton told her faithful to accept Trump and the election results, urging them to give him "an open mind and a chance to lead."

In 2018, President Donald Trump issued an order to deny asylum to migrants who enter the country illegally.

In 2020, President Donald Trump fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper, injecting more uncertainty to a rocky transition period as Joe Biden prepared to assume the presidency.

Today's Birthdays: Baseball Hall of Famer Whitey Herzog is 92. Movie director Bille August is 75. Actor Robert David Hall is 75. Actor Lou Ferrigno is 72. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, is 71. Gospel singer Donnie McClurkin is 64. Rock musician Dee Plakas (L7) is 63. Actor Ion Overman is 54. Rapper Pepa (Salt-N-Pepa) is 59. Rapper Scarface (Geto Boys) is 53. Blues singer Susan Tedeschi (teh-DEHS'-kee) is 53. Actor Jason Antoon is 52. Actor Eric Dane is 51. Singer Nick Lachey (98 Degrees) is 50. Country musician Barry Knox (Parmalee) is 46. R&B singer Sisqo (Dru Hill) is 45. Country singer Corey Smith is 44. Country singer Chris Lane is 39. Actor Emily Tyra is 36. Actor Nikki Blonsky is 35. Actor-model Lio Tipton is 35.