Today in History….November 13

On this day in . . .

  1847, Sir James Young Simpson, a British physician, is the first to use chloroform as an anaesthetic

  1892, William “Pudge” Heffelfinger becomes the first professional American football player, participating in his first paid game for the Allegheny Athletic Association

  1927, Leon Trotsky is expelled from the Soviet Communist Party, leaving Joseph Stalin in undisputed control of the Soviet Union

  1933, Hugh Gray takes the first known photos of the Loch Ness Monster

  1936, in California, the San Francisco/Oakland Bay Bridge opens to traffic

  1938, Hermann Goring, ym”sh, announces Nazi Germany plans to make Madagascar the “Jewish homeland”, an idea that actually was first considered by 19th century journalist Theodor Herzl.

  1946, a branch of the Exchange National Bank in Chicago, Illinois opens the first ten drive-up teller windows

  1948, in Tokyo, an international war crimes tribunal sentences seven Japanese military and government officials to death, including General Hideki Tojo, for their roles in World War II

  1970, the Oregon Highway Division attempts to destroy a rotting beached  whale with explosives, leading to the now infamous exploding whale incident 

  1981, the Space Shuttle Columbia becomes the first spacecraft to be launched twice

  1982, Lech Walesa, a Solidarity leader, is released from a Polish prison after eleven months

  1990, Tim Berners-Lee publishes a formal proposal for the World Wide Web  

  1997, Ramzi Yousef, ym”sh, is found guilty of masterminding the 1993 World Trade Center bombing

  1998, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley filed a $433 million dollar lawsuit against the firearms industry, declaring that it had created a public nuisance by flooding the streets with weapons deliberately marketed to criminals. (A judge dismissed the lawsuit in 2000; an appeals court ruled in 2002 that the city of Chicago could proceed; but the Illinois Supreme Court dismissed the lawsuit in 2004.)

  1999, President Bill Clinton signed a sweeping measure knocking down Depression-era barriers and allowing banks, investment firms and insurance companies to sell each other’s products

  2004, a jury in Redwood City, Calif., convicted Scott Peterson of murdering his pregnant wife, Laci, and dumping her body in San Francisco Bay. (Peterson, who maintains his innocence, was later sentenced to death.)

  2009, the self-proclaimed organizer of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, will stand trial in New York, with the death penalty likely to be sought, the U.S. Defense Department announced

  2010, the military government of Myanmar, formerly Burma, released pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest. The leader of the National League for Democracy had spent 15 of the past 21 years confined to her home. 

  2012, Syria’s information minister, Omran Zoubi, said there is no power in the world that can topple President Bashar Assad. He said all efforts to replace Assad are futile

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