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TODAY IN HISTORY

Today is the 317th day of 2019. There are 48 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Nov. 13, 1956, the Supreme Court struck down laws calling for racial segregation on public buses.

On this date:

In 1789, Benjamin Franklin wrote in a letter to a friend, Jean-Baptiste Leroy: “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

In 1911, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that an unauthorized motion picture adaptation of the novel “Ben-Hur” by General Lew Wallace infringed on the book’s copyright.

In 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a measure lowering the minimum draft age from 21 to 18.

In 1969, speaking in Des Moines, Iowa, Vice President Spiro T. Agnew accused network television news departments of bias and distortion.

In 1974, Karen Silkwood, a 28-year-old technician and union activist at the Kerr-McGee Cimarron plutonium plant near Crescent, Okla., died in a car crash while on her way to meet a reporter.

In 1982, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

In 1985, some 23,000 residents of Armero, Colombia, died when a volcanic mudslide buried the city.

In 2000, lawyers for George W. Bush failed to win a court order barring manual recounts of ballots in Florida.

In 2001, President George W. Bush approved the use of a special military tribunal that could put accused terrorists on trial faster and in greater secrecy than an ordinary criminal court. President Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin met at the White House, where they pledged to slash Cold War-era nuclear arsenals by two-thirds.

In 2015, Islamic State militants carried out a set of coordinated attacks in Paris on the national stadium, restaurants and streets, and a crowded concert hall, killing 130 people in the worst attack on French soil since World War II.

Five years ago: The European Space Agency published the first images taken from the surface of a comet; the photos showed a rocky surface, with one of the lander’s three feet in the corner of the frame.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Jimmy Hawkins is 78. Blues singer John Hammond is 77. Country singer-songwriter Ray Wylie Hubbard is 73. Actor Joe Mantegna is 72. Actress Sheila Frazier is 71. Musician Andrew Ranken (The Pogues) is 66. Actress Tracy Scoggins is 66. Actor Chris Noth (nohth) is 65. Actress-comedian Whoopi Goldberg is 64. Actor Rex Linn is 63. Actress Caroline Goodall is 60. Actor Neil Flynn is 59. Rock musician Walter Kibby (Fishbone) is 55. Comedian and talk show host Jimmy Kimmel is 52. Actor Steve Zahn is 52. Actor Gerard Butler is 50. Actor Jordan Bridges is 46.

Thought for Today: “I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.” — Jorge Luis Borges, Argentine author (1899-1986).

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