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Today in history: November 20

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

Today is Monday, Nov. 20, the 324th day of 2006. There are 41 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Nov. 20, 1947, Britain’s future queen, Princess Elizabeth, married Philip Mountbatten, Duke of Edinburgh, in a ceremony broadcast worldwide from Westminster Abbey.

On this date:

In 1789, New Jersey became the first state to ratify the Bill of Rights.

In 1910, revolution broke out in Mexico, led by Francisco I. Madero.

In 1925, Robert F. Kennedy was born in Brookline, Mass.

In 1929, the radio program “The Rise of the Goldbergs” debuted on the NBC Blue Network.

In 1943, during World War II, U.S. Marines began landing on Tarawa and Makin atolls in the Gilbert Islands, encountering fierce resistance from Japanese forces but emerging victorious three days later.

In 1945, 24 Nazi leaders went on trial before an international war crimes tribunal in Nuremberg, Germany.

In 1959, the United Nations issued its “Declaration of the Rights of the Child.”

In 1967, the Census Clock at the Commerce Department ticked past 200 million.

In 1975, after nearly four decades of absolute rule, Spain’s General Francisco Franco died, two weeks before his 83rd birthday.

In 1980, faced with disastrous reviews from New York critics, United Artists announced it was withdrawing its $36 million movie “Heaven’s Gate” for re-editing.

Ten years ago: House Republicans chose Newt Gingrich to be speaker for a second term. Thirty-nine people were killed when fire broke out in a building in Hong Kong.

Five years ago: The alliance controlling Afghanistan’s capital and much of its countryside agreed to attend power-sharing talks in Germany the following week. A federal judge extended a court order blocking an attempt by Attorney General John Ashcroft to dismantle Oregon’s one-of-a-kind law allowing physician-assisted suicides. Federal health officials approved sale of the world’s first contraceptive patch, Ortho Evra.

One year ago: Israel’s dovish Labor Party voted to pull out of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s government in the opening salvo of an election campaign. A gunman opened fire at a crowded shopping mall in Tacoma, Wash., wounding seven people and taking three hostages before surrendering; suspect Dominick Sergio Maldonado has been charged with attempted murder and kidnapping.

Today’s Birthdays: Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., is 89. Economist Beryl Sprinkel is 83. Actress-comedian Kaye Ballard is 81. Actress Estelle Parsons is 79. TV personality Richard Dawson is 74. Comedian Dick Smothers is 68. Singer Norman Greenbaum is 64. Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., is 64. Actress Veronica Hamel is 63. Broadcast journalist Judy Woodruff is 60. Actor Samuel E. Wright is

60. Singer Joe Walsh is 59. Actor Richard Masur is 58. Actress Bo Derek is 50. Reggae musician Jim Brown (UB40) is 49. Actress Sean Young is 47. Pianist Jim Brickman is 45. Rock musician Todd Nance (Widespread Panic) is 44. Actress Ming-Na is 43. Rapper Mike D (The Beastie Boys) is 41. Rapper Sen Dog (Cypress Hill) is 41. Actress Callie Thorne is 37. Actress Sabrina Lloyd is 36. Rapper Kamaal (aka Q-Tip) is 36. Actress Marisa Ryan is 32. Country singer Dierks Bentley is 31. Actress Laura Harris is 30. Country singer Josh Turner is 29. Actress Nadine Velazquez is 28.

Thought for Today: “The next great step of mankind is to step into the nature of his own mind.” — Stanley Kauffmann, American film and theatre critic.