Today in history
In 1919 the American Legion held its first national convention, in Minneapolis.
In 1938 Kate Smith first sang Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America” on her CBS radio program.
In 1942 Winston Churchill delivered a speech in London in which he said, “I have not become the King’s First Minister to preside over the liquidation of the British Empire.”
In 1954 the Iwo Jima Memorial, inspired by the famous Associated Press photograph of the raising of the American flag on Mount Suribachi during World War II, was dedicated by President Dwight Eisenhower in Arlington, Va.
In 1969 the children’s educational program “Sesame Street” made its debut on PBS.
In 1989 workers began punching a hole in the Berlin Wall, a day after East Germany abolished its border restrictions.
In 1992 President George H.W. Bush dismissed State Department official Elizabeth Tamposi for her role in a pre-election search for passport records of his rivals, Democrat Bill Clinton and Ross Perot.
In 1994 Iraq, hoping to win an end to trade sanctions, recognized Kuwait’s borders.
In 2001 Apple’s breakthrough MP3 music player, the iPod, officially went on sale. The 5GB device retailed for $399
In 2003 federal regulators allowed customers to switch home phone numbers to their cell phones.
In 2004 word reached the United States of the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat at age 75. (Because of the time difference, it was the early hours of Nov. 11 in Paris, where Arafat died.)
In 2005 Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, a former finance minister of Liberia, claimed victory in the country’s presidential election.
In 2007 the University of Miami ended its 70-year stay at the famed Orange Bowl with a lopsided 48-0 loss to Virginia. (The stadium was demolished in 2008 and is now the site of Miami Park, home of MLB’s Miami Marlins.)
In 2009 John Allen Muhammad, who with then-teenage accomplice Lee Boyd Malvo terrorized the Washington, D.C.-area in 2002 with a spree of 10 sniper murders, was executed by lethal injection in Virginia. He was 48.