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November 23, 2012

Today in History

Today is Saturday, Nov. 24, the 329th day of 2012. There are 37 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight in history:

On Nov. 24, 1987, the United States and the Soviet Union agreed on terms to scrap shorter- and medium-range missiles. (The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty was signed by President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev the following month.)

On this date:

In 1784, Zachary Taylor, the 12th president of the United States, was born in Orange County, Va.

In 1859, British naturalist Charles Darwin published “On the Origin of Species,” which explained his theory of evolution by means of natural selection.

In 1862, Confederate President Jefferson Davis appointed Gen. Joseph E. Johnston to command the Department of the West during the Civil War.

In 1922, Irish nationalist and author Robert Erskine Childers was executed in Dublin by Free State forces.

In 1939, British Overseas Airways Corp. (BOAC) was formally established.

In 1941, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Edwards v. California, unanimously struck down a California law prohibiting people from bringing impoverished non-residents into the state.

In 1950, the musical “Guys and Dolls,” based on the writings of Damon Runyon and featuring songs by Frank Loesser, opened on Broadway.

In 1963, Jack Ruby shot and mortally wounded Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin of President John F. Kennedy, in a scene captured on live television.

In 1969, Apollo 12 splashed down safely in the Pacific.

In 1971, a hijacker calling himself “Dan Cooper” (but who became popularly known as “D.B. Cooper”) parachuted from a Northwest Orient Airlines 727 over the Pacific Northwest after receiving $200,000 dollars in ransom — his fate remains unknown.

In 1982, Barack Hussein Obama Sr., a Kenyan government economist and father of the president, was killed in an automobile accident in Nairobi; he was 46.

In 1992, a China Southern Airlines Boeing 737 crashed in southern China, killing all 141 people on board.

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