IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Today in history: November 4

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

Today is Friday, Nov. 4, the 308th day of 2005. There are 57 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On Nov. 4, 1979, the Iranian hostage crisis began as militants stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, seizing its occupants. For some of the hostages, it was the start of 444 days of captivity.

On this date:
In 1879, humorist Will Rogers was born in Oologah, Okla.

In 1880, the first cash register was patented by James and John Ritty of Dayton, Ohio.

In 1884, Democrat Grover Cleveland was elected to his first term as president, defeating Republican James G. Blaine.

In 1922, the entrance to King Tutankhamen’s tomb was discovered in Egypt.

In 1924, Nellie T. Ross of Wyoming was elected the nation’s first female governor to serve out the remaining term of her late husband, William B. Ross.

In 1942, during World War II, Axis forces retreated from El Alamein in North Africa in a major victory for British forces commanded by Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery.

In 1952, Dwight D. Eisenhower was elected president, defeating Democrat Adlai Stevenson.

In 1956, Soviet troops moved in to crush the Hungarian Revolution.

In 1980, Ronald Reagan won the White House as he defeated President Carter by a strong margin.

In 1991, Ronald Reagan opened his presidential library in Simi Valley, Calif.

Ten years ago: Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated by a right-wing Israeli minutes after attending a festive peace rally.

Five years ago: Yugoslavia’s parliament approved the country’s first communist-free government in more than half a century. President Clinton vetoed a bill that would have criminalized the leaking of government secrets.

One year ago: Following his re-election victory, President Bush pledged to aggressively pursue major changes in Social Security, the tax code and medical malpractice awards. It was announced that Elizabeth Edwards, wife of former Democratic vice-presidential candidate John Edwards, had been diagnosed with breast cancer the day her husband and Senator John Kerry conceded the presidential race.

Today’s Birthdays: Former CBS news anchorman Walter Cronkite is 89. Actress Doris Roberts is 75. Actress Loretta Swit is 68. Rhythm-and-blues singer Harry Elston (Friends of Distinction) is 67. Blues singer Delbert McClinton is 65. First Lady Laura Bush is 59. Actress Markie Post is 55. Pianist Yanni is 51. Rock singer-musician Chris Difford (Squeeze) is 51. Country singer Kim Forester (The Forester Sisters) is 45. Actor Ralph Macchio is 44. “Survivor” host Jeff Probst is 44. Actor Matthew McConaughey is 36. Rapper-producer Sean “Puffy” Combs is 36. Rhythm-and-blues singer Shawn Rivera (Az Yet) is 34. Actress Heather Tom is 30. Rhythm-and-blues/gospel singer George Huff is 25.

Thought for Today: “I could prove God statistically. Take the human body alone — the chances that all the functions of an individual would just happen is a statistical monstrosity.” — George H. Gallup, American pollster (1901-1984).