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Today in history: November 21

Celebrity birthdays, highlights in history, plus more facts about this day
/ Source: The Associated Press

Today is Monday, Nov. 21, the 325th day of 2005. There are 40 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On Nov. 21, 1877, inventor Thomas A. Edison announced the invention of his phonograph.

On this date:
In 1789, North Carolina became the 12th state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.

In 1934, the Cole Porter musical “Anything Goes,” starring Ethel Merman as Reno Sweeney, opened in New York.

In 1942, the Alaska highway across Canada was formally opened.

In 1964, New York’s Verrazano Narrows Bridge, connecting Brooklyn and Staten Island, opened.

In 1969, the Senate voted down the Supreme Court nomination of Clement F. Haynsworth, the first such rejection since 1930.

In 1973, President Nixon’s attorney, J. Fred Buzhardt, revealed the existence of an 18-and-a-half-minute gap in one of the White House tape recordings related to Watergate.

In 1979, a mob attacked the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, killing two Americans.

In 1980, 87 people died in a fire at the MGM Grand Hotel-Casino in Las Vegas.

In 1980, an estimated 83 million TV viewers tuned in to the CBS primetime soap opera “Dallas” to find out “who shot J.R.” (The shooter turned out to be J.R. Ewing’s sister-in-law, Kristin.)

In 1985, former U.S. Navy intelligence analyst Jonathan Jay Pollard was arrested, accused of spying for Israel. (He later pleaded guilty, and was sentenced to life in prison.)

Ten years ago: Balkan leaders meeting in Dayton, Ohio, initialed a peace plan to end 3½ years of ethnic fighting in Bosnia-Herzegovina. France detonated a fourth underground nuclear blast at its test site in the South Pacific. The Dow Jones industrial average closed above the 5,000 mark for the first time.

Five years ago: In a setback for George W. Bush, the Florida Supreme Court granted Al Gore’s request to keep the presidential recounts going; Democrats were jubilant, Republicans bitter and angry.

One year ago: President Bush, trying to mend relations with Latin America, pledged during an economic summit in Chile to make a fresh push for stalled immigration reforms. Iraqi authorities set Jan. 30, 2005, as the date for the nation’s first election since the collapse of Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship. Six Wisconsin hunters were shot to death by Chai Soua Vang, an ethnic Hmong immigrant. Donald Trump’s casino empire filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The NBA suspended Indiana’s Ron Artest for the rest of the season following a brawl that broke out at the end of a game against the Detroit Pistons.

Today’s Birthdays: Baseball Hall-of-Famer Stan Musial is 85. Country singer Jean Shepard is 72. Actor Laurence Luckinbill is 71. Actress Marlo Thomas is 68. Actor Rick Lenz is 66. Singer Dr. John is 65. Actress Juliet Mills is 64. Comedian-director Harold Ramis is 61. Television producer Marcy Carsey is 61. Actress Goldie Hawn is 60. Rock musician Lonnie Jordan (War) is 57. Singer Livingston Taylor is 55. Actress-singer Lorna Luft is 53. Journalist Tina Brown is 52. Actress Cherry Jones is 49. Rock musician Brian Ritchie (The Violent Femmes) is 45. Gospel singer Steven Curtis Chapman is 43. Actress Nicollette Sheridan is 42. Singer-actress Bjork is 40. Football player Troy Aikman is 39. Rhythm-and-blues singer Chauncey Hannibal (BLACKstreet) is 37. Rock musician Alex James (Blur) is 37. Baseball player Ken Griffey Jr. is 36. Rapper Pretty Lou (Lost Boyz) is 34. Country singer Kelsi Osborn (SHeDAISY) is 31. Actress Jena Malone is 21.

Thought for Today: “We are always doing, says he, something for posterity, but I would fain see posterity do something for us.” — Joseph Addison, English essayist and poet (1672-1719).