Today is Sunday, Nov. 9, the 313th day of 2014

Today In HistoryToday’s Highlight in History:

On Nov. 9, 1989, communist East Germany threw open its borders, allowing citizens to travel freely to the West; joyous Germans danced atop the Berlin Wall.

On this date:

In 1620, the passengers and crew of the Mayflower sighted Cape Cod.

In 1872, fire destroyed nearly 800 buildings in Boston.

In 1918, it was announced that Germany’s Kaiser Wilhelm II would abdicate; he then fled to the Netherlands.

In 1938, Nazis looted and burned synagogues as well as Jewish-owned stores and houses in Germany and Austria in a pogrom that became known as “Kristallnacht.”

In 1953, Welsh author-poet Dylan Thomas died in New York at age 39.

In 1963, twin disasters struck Japan as some 450 miners were killed in a coal-dust explosion, and about 160 people died in a train crash.

In 1965, the great Northeast blackout occurred as a series of power failures lasting up to 13 1/2 hours left 30 million people in seven states and part of Canada without electricity.

In 1967, a Saturn V rocket carrying an unmanned Apollo spacecraft blasted off from Cape Kennedy on a successful test flight.

In 1970, former French President Charles de Gaulle died at age 79.

In 1976, the U.N. General Assembly approved resolutions condemning apartheid in South Africa, including one characterizing the white-ruled government as “illegitimate.”

In 1988, former Attorney General John N. Mitchell, a major figure in the Watergate scandal, died in Washington at age 75.

In 1999, with fireworks, concerts and a huge party at the landmark Brandenburg Gate, Germany celebrated the 10th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Ten years ago: Attorney General John Ashcroft and Commerce Secretary Don Evans resigned; they were the first members of the Cabinet to leave as President George W. Bush headed from re-election into his second term. Kenny Chesney won the Country Music Association album of the year award for “When the Sun Goes Down” as well as entertainer of the year. Roger Clemens won his record seventh Cy Young Award.

Five years ago: The Dow Jones industrial average rose 203.52, or 2 percent, to 10,226.94, its highest finish since Oct. 3, 2008, as a falling dollar boosted prices for gold, oil and other commodities. Germany celebrated the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

One year ago: A deadly house party shooting in suburban Houston left two teens dead. Three of the four surviving Doolittle Raiders who attacked Tokyo in 1942, all in their 90’s, offered a final toast to their fallen comrades in a ceremony at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force near Dayton, Ohio.

Today’s Birthdays: Baseball Hall of Famer Whitey Herzog is 83. Baseball Hall of Famer Bob Gibson is 79. Actor Charlie Robinson is 69. Movie director Bille August is 66. Actor Robert David Hall is 66. Actor Lou Ferrigno is 63. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, is 62. Gospel singer Donnie McClurkin is 55. Rock musician Dee Plakas (L7) is 54. Actress Ion Overman is 45. Rapper Pepa (Salt-N-Pepa) is 45. Rapper Scarface (Geto Boys) is 44. Blues singer Susan Tedeschi (teh-DEHS’-kee) is 44. Actor Jason Antoon is 43. Actor Eric Dane is 42. Singer Nick Lachey (98 Degrees) is 41. Rhythm-and-blues singer Sisqo (Dru Hill) is 36. Country singer Corey Smith is 35. Actress Nikki Blonsky is 26. Actress-model Analeigh (AH’-nuh-lee) Tipton is 26.

Thought for Sunday:

“Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can’t, and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it.”

– Robert Frost, American poet (1874-1963)

Copyright 2014, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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