Today is Thursday, Nov. 20, the 324th day of 2014. There are 41 days left in the year.
Today’s highlight in history:
On Nov. 20, 1789, New Jersey became the first state to ratify the Bill of Rights.
On this date:
In 1620, Peregrine White was born aboard the Mayflower in Massachusetts Bay; he was the first child born of English parents in present-day New England.
In 1910, the Mexican Revolution of 1910 had its beginnings under the Plan of San Luis Potosi issued by Francisco I. Madero.
In 1929, the radio program “The Rise of the Goldbergs” debuted on the NBC Blue Network.
In 1947, Britain’s future queen, Princess Elizabeth, married Philip Mountbatten, Duke of Edinburgh, at Westminster Abbey.
In 1959, the United Nations issued its Declaration of the Rights of the Child.
In 1962, President John F. Kennedy held a news conference in which he announced the end of the naval quarantine of Cuba imposed during the missile crisis, and the signing of an executive order prohibiting discrimination in federal housing facilities.
In 1967, the U.S. Census Bureau’s Population Clock at the Commerce Department ticked past 200 million.
In 1969, the Nixon administration announced a halt to residential use of the pesticide DDT as part of a total phaseout. A group of American Indian activists began a 19-month occupation of Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay.
In 1975, after nearly four decades of absolute rule, Spain’s General Francisco Franco died, two weeks before his 83rd birthday.
In 1984, pop star Michael Jackson was inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame with the unveiling of his star in front of a horde of screaming fans.
In 1992, fire seriously damaged Windsor Castle.
In 2003, Michael Jackson was booked on suspicion of child molestation in Santa Barbara, Calif. (Jackson was later acquitted at trial.) Record producer Phil Spector was charged with murder in the shooting death of actress Lana Clarkson at his home in Alhambra, Calif., in February 2003. (Spector’s first trial ended with a hung jury in 2007; he was convicted of second-degree murder in 2009 and sentenced to 19 years to life in prison.)
Ten years ago: Republicans whisked a $388 billion spending bill through the House by a bipartisan 344-51 margin. Palestinians formally opened the campaign for a successor to Yasser Arafat. Scientist Ancel Keys, who invented the K rations eaten by soldiers in World War II and who linked high cholesterol and fatty diets to heart disease, died in Minneapolis at age 100.
Five years ago: Scientists in Geneva restarted the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest atom smasher, after a year of repairs. A Chinese national killed four people and wounded nine in a shooting rampage on the Pacific island of Saipan before taking his own life. Holding back tears, Oprah Winfrey told her studio audience that she would end her talk show in 2011 after a quarter-century on the air.
One year ago: Secretary of State John Kerry said the U.S. and Afghanistan had agreed on the language of a bilateral security pact that would clear the way for thousands of U.S troops to train and assist Afghan forces after the NATO combat mission ended in 2014. Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation allowing same-sex weddings in his state.
Today’s birthdays: Actress-comedian Kaye Ballard is 89. Actress Estelle Parsons is 87. Comedian Dick Smothers is 76. Singer Norman Greenbaum and Vice President Joe Biden are 72. Actress Veronica Hamel is 71. Broadcast journalist Judy Woodruff and actor Samuel E. Wright are 68. Singer Joe Walsh is 67. Actor Richard Masur and opera singer Barbara Hendricks are 66. Actress Bo Derek and former NFL player Mark Gastineau are 58. Musician Jim Brown (UB40) is 57. Actress Sean Young is 55. Pianist Jim Brickman is 53. Musician Todd Nance (Widespread Panic) is 52. Actress Ming-Na is 51. Actor Ned Vaughn is 50. Rappers Mike D (The Beastie Boys) and Sen Dog (Cypress Hill) are 49. Actress Callie Thorne is 45. Actress Sabrina Lloyd is 44. Actor Joel McHale is 43. Actress Marisa Ryan is 40. Country singer Dierks Bentley and actor Joshua Gomez are 39. Actress Laura Harris and Olympic gold medal gymnast Dominique Dawes are 38. Country singer Josh Turner is 37. Actress Nadine Velazquez is 36. Actress Andrea Riseborough is 33. Actor Dan Byrd is 29. Actress Ashley Fink (TV: “Glee”) and musician Jared Followill (Kings of Leon) are 28. Actor Cody Linley is 25. Musician Michael Clifford (5 Seconds to Summer) is 19.
Thought for today: “There is no greatness where there is not simplicity.” — Leo Tolstoy, Russian author (1828-1910).