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This Day in History - November 9

Thursday, November 09, 2017

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Today is the 313th day of 2017. There are 52 days left in the year.

TODAY'S HIGHLIGHT

1976: The UN General Assembly approved resolutions condemning apartheid in South Africa, including one characterising the white-ruled Government as “illegitimate”.

OTHER EVENTS:

1620: The passengers and crew of the Mayflower sight Cape Cod.

1799: Napoleon Bonaparte, newly returned from his disastrous expedition to Egypt, seizes power in France, making himself one of three consuls.

1872: Fire destroys nearly 800 buildings in Boston.

1918: German Emperor William II abdicates and Germany is declared a republic. Two days later, Germany signs an armistice ending World War I.

1952: Chaim Weizmann, the first president of Israel, dies.

1961: US Air Force Major Robert M White becomes the first pilot to fly an X-15 rocket plane at six times the speed of sound. The Beatles' future manager, Brian Epstein, first sees the group perform at The Cavern Club in Liverpool, England.

1963: Twin disasters strike Japan as some 450 miners are killed in a coal-dust explosion, and about 160 people die in a train crash.

1965: The great north-east blackout occurs as a series of power failures lasting up to 13 hours leave 30 million people in seven states and part of Canada without electricity.

1967: A Saturn V rocket carrying an unmanned Apollo spacecraft blasts off from Cape Kennedy on a successful test flight.

1970: Former French President Charles de Gaulle dies at age 79.

1989: Communist East Germany throws open its borders, allowing citizens to travel freely to the West; joyous Germans danced atop the Berlin Wall.

1999: France's National Assembly votes 315-249 to approve a law granting extensive legal rights to unmarried couples, including gays. After a year of heated debate, the law will take effect after President Jacques Chirac signs it as a symbolic gesture.

2004: Thousands face off against French tanks outside Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo's home, defying warning shots in answer to appeals for a “human shield” around the hard-line leader to prevent an overthrow.

2005: A fresh round of six-nation talks on North Korea's nuclear disarmament begins with negotiators struggling to agree on when Pyongyang will disarm and how it will be rewarded.

2006: Jews are welcomed back into the heart of Munich with a procession of Torah scrolls and the dedication of a new downtown synagogue — replacing one Adolf Hitler personally ordered destroyed as an “eyesore” in the centre of his power base.

2007: Detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been under house arrest for 12 of the past 18 years, meets with members of her Opposition party — their first direct contact in more than three years.

2008: Rose Kabuye, a Rwandan woman sought for questioning by a French judge about what sparked her country's infamous genocide in 1994, is arrested at Frankfurt International Airport.

2009: Chancellor Angela Merkel and former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev cross a former fortified border to cheers of “Gorby! Gorby!”, as a throng of grateful Germans recall the night 20 years ago that the Berlin Wall gave way to their desire for freedom and unity.

2010: A special US prosecutor clears the CIA's former top clandestine officer and others of any charges for destroying agency videotapes showing waterboarding of terror suspects, but he continues an investigation into whether the harsh questioning went beyond legal boundaries.

2011: Italy's president promises emphatically that Silvio Berlusconi will step down soon as premier and lavishes honours on a leading economist, who instantly became Berlusconi's presumed successor. Across the Ionian Sea, the debt crisis in Greece deepened with the breakdown of talks aimed at creating a power-sharing government.

2012: Retired four-star Army General David Petraeus resigns as CIA director after an affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell, was revealed by an FBI investigation.

TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS

Gospel singer Donnie McClurkin (1959- ); Rapper Pepa (Salt-N-Pepa) (1969- ); Rapper Scarface (Geto Boys) (1970- ); Singer Nick Lachey (98 Degrees) (1973- ); Rhythm-and-blues singer Sisqo (Dru Hill) (1978- )

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