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Today in history: November 11

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

Today is Friday, Nov. 11, the 315th day of 2005. There are 50 days left in the year. This is Veterans Day in the U.S., Remembrance Day in Canada.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On Nov. 11, 1918, fighting in World War I came to an end with the signing of an armistice between the Allies and Germany.

On this date:
In 1620, 41 Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower, anchored off Massachusetts, signed a compact calling for a “body politick.”

In 1831, former slave Nat Turner, who’d led a violent insurrection, was executed in Jerusalem, Va.

In 1889, Washington became the 42nd state.

In 1921, President Harding dedicated the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery.

In 1938, Kate Smith first sang Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America” on network radio.

In 1942, during World War II, Germany completed its occupation of France.

In 1965, Rhodesia proclaimed its independence from Britain.

In 1966, Gemini 12 blasted off from Cape Kennedy, Fla., with astronauts James A. Lovell and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin Jr. aboard.

In 1984, the Rev. Martin Luther King Sr. — father of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. — died in Atlanta at age 84.

In 1993, a bronze statue honoring the more than 11,000 American women who’d served in the Vietnam War was dedicated in Washington, D.C.

Ten years ago: With a partial government shutdown looming, President Clinton and Republican congressional leaders clashed over Medicare and bickered over who to include in compromise budget talks.

Five years ago: Republicans went to court, seeking an order to block manual recounts from continuing in Florida’s razor-thin presidential election. A cable car crammed with skiers and snowboarders caught fire while being pulled through an Alpine tunnel in Austria, killing 155 people. Lennox Lewis won a unanimous 12-round decision over David Tua in Las Vegas to retain his WBC and IBF heavyweight titles.

One year ago: Palestinians at home and abroad wept, waved flags and burned tires in an eruption of grief at the death of Yasser Arafat in Paris at age 75. President Bush expressed hope that Arafat’s death would clear the way for successful Mideast peace negotiations with new Palestinian leaders.

Today’s Birthdays: Former Sen. William Proxmire, D-Wis., is 90. Author Kurt Vonnegut Jr. is 83. Dancer-choreographer Nicholas Royce is 80. Comedian Jonathan Winters is 80. Jazz singer-musician Mose Allison is 78. Author Carlos Fuentes is 77. Country singer Narvel Felts is 67. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., is 65. Rock singer-musician Vince Martell (Vanilla Fudge) is 60. Golfer Fuzzy Zoeller is 54. Pop singer-musician Paul Cowsill (The Cowsills) is 53. Rock singer-musician Andy Partridge (XTC) is 52. Singer Marshall Crenshaw is 51. Rock singer Dave Alvin is 50. Rock musician Ian Craig Marsh (Human League; Heaven 17) is 49. Actor Stanley Tucci is 45. Actress Demi Moore is 43. Actress Calista Flockhart is 41. Actor Philip McKeon is 41. Rock musician Scott Mercado is 41. TV personality Carson Kressley is 38. Actor David DeLuise is 34. Actor Leonardo DiCaprio is 31.

Thought for Today: “A religion that is small enough for our understanding would not be large enough for our needs.” — Arthur Balfour, the First Earl of Balfour, English statesman (1848-1930).