Today In History

Today is Wednesday, Nov. 9, the 314th day of 2016. There are 52 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight

On Nov. 9, 1976, the U.N. General Assembly approved resolutions condemning apartheid in South Africa, including one characterizing the white-ruled government as “illegitimate.”

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 (later renamed the Congress of Industrial Organizations).

In 1938, Nazis looted and burned synagogues as well as Jewish-owned stores and houses in Germany and Austria in a pogrom that became known as “Kristallnacht.”

In 1965, the great Northeast blackout began as a series of power failures lasting up to 13 1/2 hours left 30 million people in seven states and part of Canada without electricity.

In 1967, a Saturn V rocket carrying an unmanned Apollo spacecraft blasted off from Cape Kennedy on a successful test flight.

In 1989, communist East Germany threw open its borders, allowing citizens to travel freely to the West; joyous Germans danced atop the Berlin Wall.

Ten years ago: Republican Sen. George Allen conceded defeat in the Virginia Senate race to Democrat Jim Webb, sealing the Democrats’ control of Congress. World champion figure skater Michelle Kwan was appointed America’s first public diplomacy envoy by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. CBS newsman Ed Bradley died in New York at age 65.

Five years ago: 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.

Thought for Today

“When one burns one’s bridges, what a very nice fire it makes.” — Dylan Thomas (1914-1953).