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This Day in History — November 16

Friday, November 16, 2018

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Today is the 320th day of 2018. There are 45 days left in the year.

TODAY'S HIGHLIGHT

2010: A rare pink diamond smashes the world record for a jewel at auction in Geneva, selling for more than $46 million to a well-known gem dealer.

OTHER EVENTS

1532: In Peru, Spanish explorer Francisco Pizarro takes Inca emperor Atahuallpa prisoner at a feast in his honour and slaughters thousands of his followers.

1632: King Gustavus II of Sweden, 'the Lion of the North”, is killed while defeating Holy Roman Empire troops at the Battle of Luetzen, now in Germany.

1848: A liberal insurrection breaks out in Rome, eventually forcing the pope to flee.

1864: Union General William Sherman and his 62,000 troops begin the celebrated “March to the Sea” in Georgia, from Atlanta to Savannah on the Atlantic coast, a crushing defeat to the Confederates in the American Civil War.

1933: Brazil's President Getulio Vargas assumes dictatorial powers; United States and Soviet Union establish diplomatic relations.

1949: Mohammed Reza Shah Pahlevi, the Shah of Iran, begins a month-long state visit to the United States to discuss military and economic plans with US President Harry Truman. Iran launches a $650-million seven-year plan of economic development and social welfare.

1959: The Rogers and Hammerstein musical The Sound of Music opens on Broadway in New York.

1970: Pakistani officials say at least a quarter-of-a-million people have perished in a typhoon and tidal wave that struck the Bay of Bengal.

1973: Skylab 3, carrying a crew of three astronauts, is launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on an 84-day mission.

1983: Syrian-backed rebel forces overrun PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat's last military stronghold in Lebanon, the Beddawi refugee camp on the northern outskirts of Tripoli.

1989: The heart of an Israeli soldier who was ambushed and killed by Arabs in the occupied territories is transplanted into the chest of a dying Palestinian man; President F W de Klerk promises repeal of law allowing segregation of public facilities in South Africa.

2003: Voters in Serbia and Montenegro fail for the third time to elect a president with turnout reaching only about 39 per cent in the balloting.

2006: Pakistan says it has successfully test-fired a new version of its nuclear-capable medium-range missile, a show of power a day after peace talks with India.

2007: North and South Korea agree to launch cross-border rail service for the first time in more than half-a-century, the latest sign of improving relations between the two sides.

2008: Iraq's Cabinet overwhelmingly approves a security pact with the United States, ending prolonged negotiations to allow American forces to remain for three more years in the country they first occupied in 2003.

2009: President Barack Obama declares the world is urgently watching for a “meeting of the minds” between the US and China as he meets in Beijing with President Hu Jintao on the globe's biggest issues — climate change, economic recession, nuclear proliferation, and more.

2011: President Barack Obama says he will send military aircraft and up to 2,500 Marines to northern Australia for a training hub to help allies and protect American interests across Asia, signalling US determination to counter a rising China.

TODAY'S BIRTHDAY

Tiberius, second Roman emperor (42 BC-AD 37); Paul Hindemith, German composer (1895-1963); George S Kaufman, US playwright (1889-1961); Jose Saramago, Portuguese writer (1922-2010); Diana Krall, Canadian jazz singer (1964- )

— AP

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