Today in History

Today in History

Today is Thursday, Nov. 5, the 310th day of 2020. There are 56 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Nov. 5, 2009, a shooting rampage at the Fort Hood Army post in Texas left 13 people dead; Maj. Nidal Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, was later convicted of murder and sentenced to death. (No execution date has been set.)

On this date:

In 1605, the “Gunpowder Plot” failed as Guy Fawkes was seized before he could blow up the English Parliament.

In 1781, the Continental Congress elected John Hanson of Maryland its chairman, giving him the title of “President of the United States in Congress Assembled.”

In 1872, suffragist Susan B. Anthony defied the law by attempting to cast a vote for President Ulysses S. Grant. (Anthony was convicted by a judge and fined $100, but she never paid the penalty.)

In 1912, Democrat Woodrow Wilson was elected president, defeating Progressive Party candidate Theodore Roosevelt, incumbent Republican William Howard Taft and Socialist Eugene V. Debs.

In 1940, President Franklin D. Roosevelt won an unprecedented third term in office as he defeated Republican challenger Wendell L. Willkie.

In 1968, Republican Richard M. Nixon won the presidency, defeating Democratic Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey and American Independent candidate George C. Wallace.

In 1992, Malice Green, a Black motorist, died after he was struck in the head 14 times with a flashlight by a Detroit police officer, Larry Nevers, outside a suspected crack house. (Nevers and his partner, Walter Budzyn, were found guilty of second-degree murder, but the convictions were overturned; they were later convicted of involuntary manslaughter.)

In 1994, former President Ronald Reagan disclosed he had Alzheimer’s disease.

In 2003, President Bush signed a bill outlawing the procedure known by its critics as “partial-birth abortion”; less than an hour later, a federal judge in Nebraska issued a temporary restraining order against the ban. (In 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act.)

In 2006, Saddam Hussein was convicted and sentenced by the Iraqi High Tribunal to hang for crimes against humanity.

In 2014, a day after sweeping Republican election gains, President Barack Obama and incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pledged to try to turn divided government into a force for good rather than gridlock, yet warned of veto showdowns as well.

In 2017, a gunman armed with an assault rifle opened fire in a small South Texas church, killing more than two dozen people; the shooter, Devin Patrick Kelley, was later found dead in a vehicle after he was shot and chased by two men who heard the gunfire. (An autopsy revealed that he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.)

Ten years ago: President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, boarded Air Force One to fly to Mumbai, India, the first stop of a 10-day tour through India, Indonesia, South Korea and Japan. A judge in Los Angeles sentenced Johannes Mehserle (yoh-HAH’-nes MEZ’-ur-lee), a white former transit officer, to two years in prison in the shooting death of Oscar Grant, a Black man, on an Oakland train platform; the minimal sentence provoked angry protests. (Mehserle ended up serving 11 months.) Cable channel MSNBC suspended host Keith Olbermann for two shows for making unapproved political donations. Actor Jill Clayburgh died in Lakeville, Connecticut, at age 66. Opera singer Shirley Verrett, 79, died in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Five years ago: A woman who kept mentally disabled adults captive in the basement of a Philadelphia home and in other states for their disability checks was sentenced by a federal judge to life in prison; Linda Weston, 55, apologized during the hearing, saying: “I believe in God and God knows what happened.” Lisa Mearkle, a small-town police officer who fatally shot an unarmed motorist in the back as he was lying facedown on the ground, was acquitted at her murder trial in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania.

One year ago: Virginia Democrats took full control of the statehouse for the first time in more than two decades, as suburban voters turned out in big numbers to back Democratic candidates. Residents of Tucson, Arizona, voted overwhelmingly not to become an official “sanctuary city” with more restrictions on how and when police could enforce immigration laws. Voters in Kansas City, Missouri, overwhelmingly approved removing the name of Dr. Martin Luther King from one of the city’s most historic boulevards, less than a year after the city council decided to rename The Paseo for the civil rights icon.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Harris Yulin is 83. Actor Chris Robinson is 82. Actor Elke Sommer is 80. Singer Art Garfunkel is 79. Singer Peter Noone is 73. TV personality Kris Jenner is 65. Actor Nestor Serrano is 65. Actor-comedian Mo Gaffney is 62. Actor Robert Patrick is 62. Singer Bryan Adams is 61. Actor Tilda Swinton is 60. Actor Michael Gaston is 58. Actor Tatum O’Neal is 57. Actor Andrea McArdle is 57. Rock singer Angelo Moore (Fishbone) is 55. Actor Judy Reyes is 53. Actor Seth Gilliam is 52. Rock musician Mark Hunter (James) is 52. Actor Sam Rockwell is 52. Country singers Heather and Jennifer Kinley (The Kinleys) are 50. Actor Corin Nemec is 49. Rock musician Jonny Greenwood (Radiohead) is 49. Country singer-musician Ryan Adams is 46. Actor Sam Page is 45. Actor Sebastian Arcelus is 44. Actor Luke Hemsworth is 40. Actor Jeremy Lelliott is 38. Actor Annet Mahendru (MAH’-hehn-droo) is 35. Rock musician Kevin Jonas (The Jonas Brothers) is 33. Actor Landon Gimenez is 17.

Copyright © 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

Related Categories:

Back in the Day | National News

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up