Today is Friday, Nov. 12, the 317th day of 2004. There are 49 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Nov. 12, 1942, the World War II naval Battle of Guadalcanal began. (The Americans ended up winning a major victory over the Japanese.)

On this date:

In 1815, American suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton was born in Johnstown, N.Y.

In 1920, baseball got its first "czar" as Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis was elected commissioner of the American and National Leagues.

In 1927, Josef Stalin became the undisputed ruler of the Soviet Union as Leon Trotsky was expelled from the Communist Party.

In 1929, Grace Kelly - the future movie star and Princess of Monaco - was born in Philadelphia.

In 1948, former Japanese premier Hideki Tojo and several other World War II Japanese leaders were sentenced to death by a war crimes tribunal.

In 1977, the city of New Orleans elected its first black mayor, Ernest "Dutch" Morial.

In 1982, Yuri V. Andropov was elected to succeed the late Leonid I. Brezhnev as general secretary of the Soviet Communist Party's Central Committee.

In 1984, space shuttle astronauts Dale Gardner and Joe Allen snared a wandering satellite in history's first space salvage. The Palapa B-2 satellite was secured in Discovery's cargo bay for return to Earth.

In 1990, Japanese Emperor Akihito formally assumed the Chrysanthemum Throne.

In 2001, an American Airlines Airbus A300-600, en route from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport to the Dominican Republic, crashed 103 seconds after takeoff, killing 265 people.

Ten years ago: President Clinton arrived in the Philippines to open a campaign for free trade in Asia and to commemorate World War II Allied victories in the Pacific. Olympic track-and-field gold medalist Wilma Rudolph died in Nashville, Tenn., at age 54.

Five years ago: President Clinton signed a sweeping measure knocking down Depression-era barriers and allowing banks, investment firms and insurance companies to sell each other's products. An earthquake struck western Turkey, killing at least 834 people.

One year ago: President Bush and his top foreign advisers reviewed new strategies to speed the transfer of political power in Iraq. A suicide truck bomber attacked the headquarters of Italy's paramilitary police in Nasiriyah, Iraq, killing more than 30 people. Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat swore in a new Palestinian Cabinet. Actress Penny Singleton died in Sherman Oaks, Calif., at age 95. Actor Jonathan Brandis died in Los Angeles at age 27.

Today's Birthdays: R&B singer Ruby Nash Curtis (Ruby and the Romantics) is 65. Actor-playwright Wallace Shawn is 61. Singer Brian Hyland is 61. R&B singer Jimmy Hayes (Persuasions) is 61. Rock musician Booker T. Jones (Booker T. & the MGs) is 60. Singer-songwriter Neil Young is 59. Rock musician Donald "Buck Dharma" Roeser (Blue Oyster Cult) is 57. Country singer Barbara Fairchild is 54. Actress Megan Mullally is 46. Olympic gold medal gymnast Nadia Comaneci is 43. Rock musician David Ellefson is 40. Figure skater Tonya Harding is 34. Actress Tamala Jones is 30. Actress Angela Watson is 30. Singer Tevin Campbell is 28. Actress Ashley Williams is 26. Actor Ryan Gosling is 24. Actress Anne Hathaway is 22. Pop singer Omarion is 19. Actress Macey Cruthird ("Hope and Faith") is 12.

Thought for Today: "Money is always there but the pockets change; it is not in the same pockets after a change, and that is all there is to say about money." - Gertrude Stein, American author (1874-1946).

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