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Today In History (Stalin was Pro-Babies)

Today's Highlight in History:

On Nov. 12, 1984, space shuttle astronauts Dale Gardner and Joe Allen snared a wandering satellite in history's first space salvage; the Palapa B2 satellite was secured in Discovery's cargo bay for return to Earth.

On this date:

In 1787, severe flooding struck Dublin, Ireland, as the River Liffey rose.

In 1815, American suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton was born in Johnstown, New York.

In 1927, Josef Stalin became the undisputed ruler of the Soviet Union as Leon Trotsky was expelled from the Communist Party.

In 1936, the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge opened as President Franklin D. Roosevelt pressed a telegraph key in Washington, D.C., giving the green light to traffic.

In 1942, the World War II naval Battle of Guadalcanal began. (The Allies ended up winning a major victory over Japanese forces.)

In 1948, former Japanese premier Hideki Tojo and several other World War II Japanese leaders were sentenced to death by a war crimes tribunal.

In 1969, news of the My Lai Massacre in South Vietnam in March 1968 was broken by investigative reporter Seymour Hersh.

In 1977, the city of New Orleans elected its first black mayor, Ernest "Dutch" Morial, the winner of a runoff.

In 1982, Yuri V. Andropov (ahn-DROH'-pawf) was elected to succeed the late Leonid I. Brezhnev as general secretary of the Soviet Communist Party's Central Committee.

In 1987, the American Medical Association issued a policy statement saying it was unethical for a doctor to refuse to treat someone solely because that person had AIDS or was HIV-positive.

In 1994, Olympic track-and-field gold medalist Wilma Rudolph died in Brentwood, Tennessee, at age 54.

In 2001, American Airlines Flight 587, an Airbus A300 headed to the Dominican Republic, crashed after takeoff from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, killing all 260 people on board and five people on the ground.

Ten years ago: A jury in Redwood City, California, convicted Scott Peterson of murdering his pregnant wife, Laci, and dumping her body into San Francisco Bay. (Peterson, who maintains his innocence, remains on death row.) Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was buried at his headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah, a day after his death in a French military hospital.

Five years ago: Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan was charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder in the Fort Hood, Texas, shooting rampage. (Hasan was later convicted and sentenced to death.) James R. Lilley, a longtime CIA operative and later the U.S. ambassador to China, died in Washington, D.C., at age 81.

One year ago: An international panel of architects announced that the new World Trade Center tower in New York would replace Chicago's Willis Tower as the nation's tallest building upon its completion. Terry Francona of the Cleveland Indians won the AL Manager of the Year award in a close vote, and Clint Hurdle of the Pittsburgh Pirates was a runaway winner in the National League after both guided small-budget teams to the postseason. British composer John Tavener, 69, died in Child Okeford, England.

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h/t The News-Gazette

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