TODAY IN HISTORY


Today is Wednesday, Nov. 18, the 323rd day of 2020. There are 43 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Nov. 18, 1978, U.S. Rep. Leo J. Ryan, D-Calif., and four others were killed in Jonestown, Guyana, by members of the Peoples Temple; the killings were followed by a night of mass murder and suicide by more than 900 cult members.

On this date:

In 1883, the United States and Canada adopted a system of Standard Time zones.

In 1928, Walt Disney’s first sound-synchronized animated cartoon, “Steamboat Willie” starring Mickey Mouse, premiered in New York.

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.

In 1999, 12 people were killed when a bonfire under construction at Texas A&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 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.)

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Brenda Vaccaro is 81. Actor Linda Evans is 78. Actor Susan Sullivan is 78. Actor Jameson Parker is 73. Comedian Kevin Nealon is 67. Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon is 64. Rock musician Kirk Hammett (Metallica) is 58. Actor Owen Wilson is 52. Actor Dan Bakkedahl is 52. Actor Peta Wilson is 50.