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On This Day: November 28

Today is Friday, November 28, 2014. This is the 332nd day of the year, with 33 days remaining in 2014.

Fact of the Day: floating

We float in a swimming pool but not in a bathtub. To float, there must be enough water for you to sink down to the point of equilibrium, the point at which you body pushes out of the way an amount of water that weighs the same as you. The rest of the liquid, which had been holding up that water, holds you up instead.


Feast day of St. Stephen the Younger, St. Catherine Labouré, St. Simeon Metaphrastes, St. James of the March, and St. Joseph Pignatelli.

Albania: Independence Day/Flag Day (Dit'e Flamurit).

Mauritania: Independence Day.

Panama: Independence Day (from Spain 1821).

United Kingdom, Scotland: Martinmas Term Day (previously, Removal Day).


1520 - Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan reached the Pacific Ocean after passing through the South American strait at the tip of South America that is now named for him. He was the first European explorer to reach the Pacific Ocean from the Atlantic Ocean.

1660 - The Royal Society was chartered in London.

1868 - Mt. Etna in Sicily violently erupted.

1895 - The first automobile race took place, 54 miles to Evanston, Illinois; the winner was James Franklin Duryea.

1905 - Sinn Fein (Gaelic for "we ourselves"), a political party dedicated to independence for all of Ireland, was founded in Dublin by Irish nationalist Arthur Griffith.

1912 - Albania declared its independence after more than 400 years of Turkish rule.

1919 - U.S.-born Lady Nancy Astor was elected the first female member of the British Parliament.

1925 - The Grand Ole Opry made its radio debut from Nashville, then called WSM Barn Dance.

1942 - A fire destroyed the Cocoanut Grove nightclub in Boston, killing nearly 500 people.

1942 - President Franklin Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Soviet leader Josef Stalin met in Tehran during World War II.

1948 - Edwin Land's first Polaroid cameras went on sale.

1958 - Chad became an autonomous republic within the French community.

1960 - Mauritania gained independence from France.

1963 - Cape Canaveral, Florida, was renamed Cape Kennedy.

1964 - Mariner 4 was launched, the first successful mission to Mars, taking photographs and instrument readings.

1975 - President Gerald Ford nominated Federal Judge John Paul Stevens to the U.S. Supreme Court seat vacated by William O. Douglas.

1994 - Serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer was murdered in the Columbia Correctional Institute in Portage, Wisconsin, by a fellow inmate.

1995 - President Bill Clinton signed a bill that ended the federal 55-mph speed limit.

1996 - Algerians approved a new constitution and effectively banned Islamic-based parties.


1628 - John Bunyan, English preacher and writer.

1757 - William Blake, English poet.

1820 - Friedrich Engels, German Socialist philosopher.

1853 - Helen Magill White, educator and first American woman to earn a Ph.D. degree.

1904 - Nancy Mitford, British satiric novelist and essayist.

1908 - Claude Lévi-Strauss, French anthropologist.

1929 - Berry Gordy, Jr., American recording executive.

1949 - Paul Schaffer, Canadian-born musician and composer, bandleader on "The Late Show with David Letterman."

1962 - Jon Stewart, American comedian, satirist, actor, author, and producer, best known as host of "The Daily Show."


1859 - Washington Irving, American novelist and short-story writer, best known for the stories "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and "Rip Van Winkle."

1954 - Enrico Fermi, Italian-born American physicist who was one of the primary inventors of the nuclear age.

1994 - Jerry Rubin, American political activist in the 1960s turned financier and businessman. He was a founding member of the Yippies and a "Chicago Seven" defendant.

2000 - Sir Malcolm Bradbury, British author and academic.

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