November 12, Stalin takes control of Soviet Union


Today is Sunday, Nov. 12, the 316th day of 2023. There are 49 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Nov. 12, 1927, Josef Stalin became the undisputed ruler of the Soviet Union as Leon Trotsky was expelled from the Communist Party.

On this date:

In 1920, baseball got its first “czar” as Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis was elected commissioner of the American and National Leagues.

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

In 1942, the World War II naval Battle of Guadalcanal began. (The Allies would win 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 1970, the Bhola cyclone struck East Pakistan; it is believed that as many as a half million people were killed.

In 1975, Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas retired because of failing health, ending a record 36-year term.

In 1982, Yuri V. Andropov succeeded the late Leonid I. Brezhnev as leader of the U.S.S.R. with his election as general secretary of the Soviet Communist Party’s Central Committee.

In 1996, a Saudi jetliner collided shortly after takeoff from New Delhi, India, with a cargo plane, killing 349 people.

In 2001, American Airlines Flight 587, 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.

In 2009, Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan was charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder in the Fort Hood, Texas, shooting rampage. (Hasan, who was left paralyzed from the abdomen down when police shot him during the Nov. 5, 2009, attack, was later convicted and sentenced to death, but has not yet been executed. )

In 2012, the United States was re-elected to another three-year term on the U.N. Human Rights Council in the only contested election for the organization’s top human rights body.

In 2017, President Donald Trump exchanged taunts with North Korea’s leader, tweeting, “Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me ‘old,’ when I would NEVER call him ‘short and fat?‘”

In 2018, Stan Lee, the Marvel Comics writer and publisher who revolutionized the comic book and developed superhero characters that made billions for Hollywood, died at age 95.

In 2019, Venice saw its worst flooding in more than 50 years, with the water reaching 6.14 feet above average sea level; damage was estimated in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

In 2020, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, a broad coalition of top government and industry officials, rejected President Donald Trump’s claims of election fraud, saying that the election was “the most secure in American history.”

In 2021, a judge in Los Angeles ended the conservatorship that had controlled the life and money of pop star Britney Spears for nearly 14 years.

Today’s Birthdays: Singer Brian Hyland is 80. Actor-playwright Wallace Shawn is 80. Rock musician Booker T. Jones (Booker T. & the MGs) is 79. Sportscaster Al Michaels is 79. Singer-songwriter Neil Young is 78. Rock musician Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser (Blue Oyster Cult) is 76. Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., is 74. Country/gospel singer Barbara Fairchild is 73. Actor Megan Mullally is 65. Actor Vincent Irizarry is 64. Olympic gold medal gymnast Nadia Comaneci (koh-muh-NEECH’) is 62. Rock musician David Ellefson is 59. Retired MLB All-Star Sammy Sosa is 55. Figure skater Tonya Harding is 53. Actor Rebecca Wisocky is 52. Actor Radha Mitchell is 50. Actor Lourdes Benedicto is 49. Actor Tamala Jones is 49. Singer Tevin Campbell is 47. Actor Ashley Williams is 45. Actor Cote de Pablo is 44. Actor Ryan Gosling is 43. Contemporary Christian musician Chris Huffman is 43. Actor Anne Hathaway is 41. Pop singer Omarion is 39. NBA All-Star Russell Westbrook is 35. Folk-rock musician Griffin Goldsmith (Dawes) is 33. Actor Macey Cruthird is 31.

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