Thursday Morning: Today in History

Today is Thursday, Nov. 1, the 306th day of 2012. There are 60 days left in the year. This is All Saints Day.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Nov. 1, 1512, Michelangelo's just-completed paintings on the ceiling of the Vatican's Sistine Chapel were publicly unveiled by the artist's patron, Pope Julius II.

On this date:

In 1765, the Stamp Act went into effect, prompting stiff resistance from American colonists.

In 1861, during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln named Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan General-in-Chief of the Union armies, succeeding Lt. Gen. Winfield Scott.

In 1870, the United States Weather Bureau made its first meteorological observations.

In 1936, in a speech in Milan, Italy, Benito Mussolini described the alliance between his country and Nazi Germany as an "axis" running between Rome and Berlin.

In 1944, "Harvey," a comedy by Mary Chase about a man and his friend, an invisible six-foot-tall rabbit, opened on Broadway.

In 1950, two Puerto Rican nationalists tried to force their way into Blair House in Washington, D.C., in a failed attempt to assassinate President Harry S. Truman. (One of the pair was killed, along with a White House police officer.)

In 1952, the United States exploded the first hydrogen bomb, code-named "Ivy Mike," at Enewetak Atoll in the Marshall Islands.

In 1954, Algerian nationalists began their successful rebellion against French rule.

In 1968, the Motion Picture Association of America unveiled its new voluntary film rating system: G for general, M for mature (later changed to GP, then PG), R for restricted and X (later changed to NC-17) for adults only.

In 1972, author and poet Ezra Pound died in Venice, Italy, at age 87.

In 1979, former first lady Mamie Eisenhower died in Washington, D.C., at age 82.

In 1989, East Germany reopened its border with Czechoslovakia, prompting tens of thousands of refugees to flee to the West.

Ten years ago: A federal judge approved most provisions of an antitrust settlement between Microsoft and the Justice Department. A Russian spacecraft carrying two cosmonauts and a Belgian astronaut docked with the international space station. Queen Elizabeth II's surprise revelation that she knew butler Paul Burrell had taken some of Princess Diana's possessions for safekeeping prompted prosecutors to drop theft charges against the servant.

Five years ago: British college student Meredith Kercher, 21, was found slain in her bedroom in Perugia, Italy; her roommate, American Amanda Knox and Knox's Italian boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, were later convicted of killing Kercher, but both had their guilty verdicts overturned. (Rudy Guede, a petty criminal who was convicted separately, remains imprisoned.) Retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Paul Tibbets, who'd piloted the B-29 bomber Enola Gay that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, died in Columbus, Ohio, at age 92. Less than a week after workers ratified a new contract, Chrysler announced 12,000 job cuts.

One year ago: Europe's days-old plan to solve its crippling debt crisis and restore faith in the global economy was thrown into chaos by Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou's stunning decision to call a referendum on the country's latest rescue package. (Papandreou dropped the referendum plan two days later.) Embattled Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt and Major League Baseball reached an agreement to sell the troubled franchise. Dorothy Rodham, 92, mother of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and former President Bill Clinton's mother-in-law, died in Washington.

Today's Birthdays: Actress Betsy Palmer is 86. Golfer Gary Player is 77. Country singer Bill Anderson is 75. Actress Barbara Bosson is 73. Actor Robert Foxworth is 71. Actress Marcia Wallace is 70. Magazine publisher Larry Flynt is 70. Country singer-humorist Kinky Friedman is 68. Actress Jeannie Berlin is 63. Music producer David Foster is 63. Rhythm-and-blues musician Ronald Khalis Bell (Kool and the Gang) is 61. Country singer-songwriter-producer Keith Stegall is 58. Country singer Lyle Lovett is 55. Actress Rachel Ticotin is 54. Rock musician Eddie MacDonald (The Alarm) is 53. Rock singer Anthony Kiedis (Red Hot Chili Peppers) is 50. Pop singer-musician Mags Furuholmen (a-ha) is 50. Rock musician Rick Allen (Def Leppard) is 49. Country singer "Big Kenny" Alphin (Big and Rich) is 49. Singer Sophie B. Hawkins is 48. Rapper Willie D (Geto Boys) is 46. Country musician Dale Wallace (Emerson Drive) is 43. Actress Toni Collette is 40. Actress Jenny McCarthy is 40. Rock musician Andrew Gonzales is 40. Actor David Berman is 39. Actress Aishwarya Rai is 39. Rock singer Bo Bice ("American Idol") is 37. Actor Penn Badgley is 26. Actor Max Burkholder is 15. Actor-musician Alex Wolff is 15.

Thought for Today: "Good taste is the worst vice ever invented." — Dame Edith Sitwell, English poet (1887-1964).

Copyright 2012, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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