Today in History — Nov. 13, 2017

Published Nov 13, 2017 at 4:00pm

Today is Monday, Nov. 13, the 317th day of 2017. There are 48 days left in the year.

Today in history

On Nov. 13, 1977, the satirical comic strip “Li’l Abner” by Al Capp appeared in newspapers for the last time.

On this date:

In 1789, Benjamin Franklin wrote in a letter to a friend, Jean-Baptiste Leroy: “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

In 1849, voters in California ratified the state’s original constitution.

In 1909, 259 men and boys were killed when fire erupted in a coal mine in Cherry, Illinois.

In 1927, the Holland Tunnel opened to the public, providing access between lower Manhattan and New Jersey beneath the Hudson River.

In 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a measure lowering the minimum draft age from 21 to 18.

In 1956, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling that struck down laws calling for racial segregation on public city and state buses.

In 1969, speaking in Des Moines, Iowa, Vice President Spiro T. Agnew accused network television news departments of bias and distortion, and urged viewers to lodge complaints.

In 1974, Karen Silkwood, a 28-year-old technician and union activist at the Kerr-McGee Cimarron plutonium plant near Crescent, Oklahoma, died in a car crash while on her way to meet a reporter.

In 1985, some 23,000 residents of Armero, Colombia, died when a volcanic mudslide buried the city.

In 1994, Sweden voted in a non-binding referendum to join the European Union, which it did the following year.

In 2015, Islamic State militants carried out a set of coordinated attacks in Paris on the national stadium, restaurants and streets, and a crowded concert hall, killing 130 people in the worst attack on French soil since World War II.

Ten years ago

Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto demanded the resignation of U.S.-backed President Gen. Pervez Musharraf, dashing Western hopes the two would form an alliance to confront strengthening Islamic extremists.

Today’s Birthdays

Journalist-author Peter Arnett is 83.

Actor Jimmy Hawkins is 76. Country singer-songwriter Ray Wylie Hubbard is 71. Actor Joe Mantegna is 70.

Actress Sheila Frazier is 69. Actress Frances Conroy is 64. Musician Andrew Ranken (The Pogues) is 64. Actress Tracy Scoggins is 64. Actor Chris Noth is 63. Actress-comedian Whoopi Goldberg is 62. Actor Rex Linn is 61.

Actress Caroline Goodall is 58. Actor Neil Flynn is 57. Former NFL quarterback and College Football Hall of Famer Vinny Testaverde is 54. Rock musician Walter Kibby (Fishbone) is 53. Comedian and talk show host Jimmy Kimmel is 50. Actor Steve Zahn is 50.

Actor Gerard Butler is 48. Writer-activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali is 48. Actor Jordan Bridges is 44. Actress Aisha Hinds is 42.

Rock musician Nikolai Fraiture is 39. NBA All-Star Metta World Peace (formerly Ron Artest) is 38. Actress Monique Coleman is 37.

Thought for Today

“What is politics but persuading the public to vote for this and support that and endure these for the promise of those?” — Gilbert Highet, Scottish-born American author and educator (1906-1978).