Today in history: November 2

/ Source: The Associated Press

Today is Thursday, Nov. 2, the 306th day of 2006. There are 59 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On Nov. 2, 1947, Howard Hughes piloted his huge wooden flying boat, the Hughes H-4 Hercules (popularly known as the “Spruce Goose”), on its only flight, which lasted about a minute over Long Beach Harbor in California.

On this date:
In 1783, Gen. George Washington issued his Farewell Address to the Continental Army near Princeton, N.J.

In 1795, the 11th president of the United States, James Knox Polk, was born in Mecklenburg County, N.C.

In 1865, the 29th president of the United States, Warren Gamaliel Harding, was born near Corsica, Ohio.

In 1889, North Dakota and South Dakota became the 39th and 40th states.

In 1906, Italian movie director Luchino Visconti was born in Milan.

In 1936, the British Broadcasting Corp. inaugurated “high-definition” television service from Alexandra Palace in London.

In 1948, President Truman surprised the experts by being re-elected in a narrow upset over Republican challenger Thomas E. Dewey.

In 1959, game show contestant Charles Van Doren admitted to a House subcommittee that he’d been given questions and answers in advance when he appeared on the NBC TV program “Twenty-One.”

In 1976, former Georgia Gov. Jimmy Carter became the first candidate from the Deep South since the Civil War to be elected president as he defeated incumbent Gerald R. Ford.

In 1986, kidnappers in Lebanon released American hospital administrator David Jacobsen after holding him for 17 months.

Ten years ago: A tentative labor contract was reached between General Motors Corp. and the United Auto Workers, averting a national strike.

Five years ago: President Bush, saying the war in Afghanistan was unraveling Osama bin Laden’s terrorist network, chided critics for clamoring for more action, and said the U.S. military campaign would not pause for the Muslim holiday of Ramadan. The government reported that the nation’s unemployment rate had shot up to 5.4 percent in October.

One year ago: The Bush administration released details of its potential flu pandemic strategy, saying a pandemic that hit the United States would force cities to ration scarce drugs and vaccine and house the sick in hotels or schools if hospitals were to overflow. A Detroit church packed with 4,000 mourners celebrated the life of Rosa Parks in an impassioned, song-filled funeral.

Today’s Birthdays: Country singer Charlie Walker is 80. Rhythm-and-blues singer Earl “Speedo” Carroll (The Cadillacs; The Coasters) is 69. Singer Jay Black (Jay and the Americans) is 68. Commentator Patrick J. Buchanan is 68. Actress Stefanie Powers is 64. Author Shere Hite is 64. Rock musician Keith Emerson (Emerson, Lake and Palmer) is 62. Rock musician Carter Beauford (The Dave Matthews Band) is 49. Singer-songwriter k.d. lang is 45. Rock musician Bobby Dall (Poison) is 43. Actor David Schwimmer is 40. Rhythm-and-blues singer Alvin Chea (Take 6) is 39. Rock singer-musician John Hampson (Nine Days) is 35. Rapper Nelly is 32. Prodigy (Mobb Deep) is 32. Actor Danny Cooksey is 31. Country singer Erika Jo (“Nashville Star”) is 20.

Thought for Today: “The amount of sleep required by the average person is just five minutes more.” — Anonymous.