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Today in history: November 25

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

Today is Saturday, Nov. 25, the 329th day of 2006. There are 36 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Nov. 25, 1963, the body of President Kennedy was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery.

On this date:

In 1758, in the French and Indian War, the British captured Fort Duquesne in present-day Pittsburgh.

In 1783, the British evacuated New York, their last military position in the United States during the Revolutionary War.

In 1881, Pope John XXIII was born Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli near Bergamo, Italy.

In 1944, baseball commissioner Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis died at age 78.

In 1957, President Eisenhower suffered a slight stroke.

In 1973, Greek President George Papadopoulos was ousted in a bloodless military coup.

In 1974, former U.N. Secretary-General U Thant died in New York at age 65.

In 1986, the Iran-Contra affair erupted as President Reagan and Attorney General Edwin Meese revealed that profits from secret arms sales to Iran had been diverted to Nicaraguan rebels.

In 1999, 5-year-old Elian Gonzalez was rescued by a pair of sport fishermen off Florida, setting off an international custody battle between relatives in Miami and Elian’s father in Cuba.

In 2002, President Bush signed legislation creating the Department of Homeland Security, and appointed Tom Ridge to be its head.

Ten years ago: President Clinton won a victory on the trade front by getting Pacific Rim leaders meeting in the Philippines to accept the year 2000 as a deadline for cutting tariffs on information technology. Testifying for a second day at a civil trial, O.J. Simpson again denied killing Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, but couldn’t explain how blood believed to be the victims’ got into his Bronco, or how he’d suffered hand cuts.

Five years ago: As the war in Afghanistan entered its eighth week, CIA officer Johnny “Mike” Spann was killed during a prison uprising in Mazar-e-Sharif, becoming America’s first combat casualty of the conflict. Scientists in Worcester, Mass., claimed to have created the first early human embryo clones, none of which survived.

One year ago: Palestinians took control of a border for the first time with the festive opening of the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt, a milestone on their rocky path to independence. Susanne Osthoff, a German aid worker and archaeologist, was kidnapped in Iraq; she was released more than three weeks later. Nine inmates escaped from the Yakima County Jail in Washington state; all were recaptured, although one was at large for three weeks. George Best, one of the most dazzling players in soccer history, died at a London hospital at age 59.

Today’s Birthdays: Former Chilean dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet is 91. Actor Ricardo Montalban is 86. Actress Noel Neill is 86. Actress Kathryn Crosby is 73. Actor Matt Clark is 70. Singer Percy Sledge is 66. Actor Tracey Walter is 64. Author, actor and game show host Ben Stein is 62. Singer Bob Lind is 62. Actor John Larroquette is 59. Movie director Jonathan Kaplan is 59. Singer Amy Grant is 46. Rock musician Eric Grossman (K’s Choice) is 42. Rock singer Mark Lanegan is 42. Singer Stacy Lattisaw is 40. Rock musician Rodney Sheppard (Sugar Ray) is 40. Rapper-producer Erick Sermon is 38. Actress Jill Hennessy is 37. Actress Christina Applegate is 35.

Thought for Today: “The great man is he who does not lose his child’s heart.” — Mencius, Chinese philosopher (371 B.C.-289 B.C.).