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Today in history: November 24

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

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Nov. 24, 1963, Jack Ruby shot and mortally wounded Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin of President Kennedy, in a scene captured on live television.

On this date:

In 1784, Zachary Taylor, the 12th president of the United States, was born in Orange County, Va.

In 1859, British naturalist Charles Darwin published “On the Origin of Species,” which explained his theory of evolution.

In 1863, the Civil War battle for Lookout Mountain began in Tennessee; Union forces succeeded in taking the mountain from the Confederates.

In 1944, during World War II, U.S. bombers based on Saipan attacked Tokyo in the first raid against the Japanese capital by land-based planes.

In 1950, the musical “Guys and Dolls,” based on the writings of Damon Runyon and featuring songs by Frank Loesser, opened on Broadway.

In 1969, Apollo 12 splashed down safely in the Pacific.

In 1971, hijacker “D.B. Cooper” parachuted from a Northwest Airlines 727 over Washington state with $200,000 in ransom — his fate remains unknown.

In 1985, the hijacking of an EgyptAir jetliner parked on the ground in Malta ended violently as Egyptian commandos stormed the plane. Fifty-eight people died in the raid, in addition to two others killed by the hijackers.

In 1987, the United States and the Soviet Union agreed to scrap shorter- and medium-range missiles.

In 1991, rock singer Freddie Mercury died in London at age 45 of AIDS-related pneumonia.

Ten years ago: On the eve of an Asia-Pacific trade conference in the Philippines, President Clinton met with Chinese President Jiang Zemin. Both sides signaled their troubled relations were on the mend, and agreed to exchange presidential visits over the next two years.

Five years ago: A Swiss airliner carrying 33 people crashed near Zurich, killing 24, including American pop singer Melanie Thornton. British actress Rachel Gurney, who played Lady Marjorie Bellamy on the popular television series “Upstairs Downstairs,” died at age 81.

One year ago: A suicide bomber struck outside a hospital south of Baghdad while U.S. troops were handing out candy and food to children; the blast killed some 30 people. A giant balloon in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York snagged a street light and caused part of it to fall, injuring a woman and a child. Actor Pat Morita died in Las Vegas at age 73.

Today’s Birthdays: Columnist William F. Buckley is 81. Country singer Johnny Carver is 66. Rock-and-roll drummer Pete Best is 65. Rock musician Donald “Duck” Dunn (Booker T. & the MG’s) is 65. Actor-comedian Billy Connolly is 64. Former White House news secretary Marlin Fitzwater is 64. Motion Picture Association of America President Dan Glickman is 62. Singer Lee Michaels is 61. Actor Dwight Schultz is 59. Actor Stanley Livingston is 56. Rock musician Clem Burke (Blondie; The Romantics) is 51. Record producer Terry Lewis is 50. Actress Denise Crosby is 49. Actress Shae D’Lyn is 44. Rock musician John Squire (The Stone Roses) is 44. Rock musician Gary Stonadge (Big Audio) is 44. Rock musician Chad Taylor (Live) is 36. Actress Lola Glaudini is 35. Actor Colin Hanks is 29. Actress Katherine Heigl is 28.

Thought for Today: “Slander injures three: the slanderer, the person who hears the slander, and the person slandered.” — From the Talmud, a collection of writings that constitute the Jewish civil and religious law.