Today is Wednesday, Nov. 18, the 323rd day of 2020. There are 43 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
- In 1928, Walt Disney’s first sound-synchronized animated cartoon, “Steamboat Willie” starring Mickey Mouse, premiered in New York.
On this date:
- In 1883, the United States and Canada adopted a system of Standard Time zones.
- In 1916, the World War I Battle of the Somme pitting British and French forces against German troops ended inconclusively after 4 1/2 months of bloodshed.
- In 1963, the Bell System introduced the first commercial touch-tone telephone system in Carnegie and Greensburg, Pennsylvania.
- In 1966, U.S. Roman Catholic bishops did away with the rule against eating meat on Fridays outside of Lent.
- In 1985, the comic strip “Calvin and Hobbes,” created by Bill Watterson, was first published. (The strip ran for 10 years.)
- In 1987, the congressional Iran-Contra committees issued their final report, saying President Ronald Reagan bore “ultimate responsibility” for wrongdoing by his aides. A fire at London King’s Cross railway station claimed 31 lives.
- In 1991, Shiite Muslim kidnappers in Lebanon freed Anglican Church envoy Terry Waite and Thomas Sutherland, the American dean of agriculture at the American University of Beirut.
- In 1999, 12 people were killed when a bonfire under construction at Texas A-and-M University collapsed. A jury in Jasper, Texas, convicted Shawn Allen Berry of murder for his role in the dragging death of James Byrd Jr., but spared him the death penalty.
- In 2003, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled 4-to-3 that the state constitution guaranteed gay couples the right to marry.
- In 2004, Britain outlawed fox hunting in England and Wales.
- In 2009, two days before turning 92, Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., set a record for longest-serving lawmaker in congressional history at 56 years, 320 days. (That record was broken in 2013 by U.S. Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich.)
Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon is 64. Actor Oscar Nunez is 62. Actor Elizabeth Perkins is 60. Singer Kim Wilde is 60. Actor Tim Guinee is 58. Rock musician Kirk Hammett (Metallica) is 58. Rock singer Tim DeLaughter is 55. Actor Romany Malco is 52. Actor Owen Wilson is 52. Actor Dan Bakkedahl is 52. Singer Duncan Sheik is 51. Actor Mike Epps is 50. Actor Peta Wilson is 50. Actor Chloe Sevigny is 46. Country singer Jessi Alexander is 44. Actor Steven Pasquale is 44. Rock musician Alberto Bof (Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real) is 43. Rapper Fabolous is 43. Actor-director Nate Parker is 41. Rapper Mike Jones is 40. Actor Mekia Cox is 39. Actor-comedian Nasim Pedrad is 39. Actor Allison Tolman is 39. Actor Christina Vidal is 39. Actor Damon Wayans Jr. is 38. Country singer TJ Osborne (Brothers Osborne) is 36. Fashion designer Christian Siriano is 35. Actor Nathan Kress is 28.