Today is Tuesday, Nov. 9, the 314th day of 2004. There are 52 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Nov. 9, 1989, communist East Germany threw open its borders, allowing citizens to travel freely to the West; joyous Germans danced atop the Berlin Wall.

On this date:

In 1872, fire destroyed nearly 1,000 buildings in Boston.

In 1918, Germany's Kaiser Wilhelm II announced he would abdicate. He then fled to the Netherlands.

In 1935, United Mine Workers President John L. Lewis and other labor leaders formed the Committee for Industrial Organization.

In 1938, Nazis looted and burned synagogues as well as Jewish-owned stores and houses in Germany and Austria in what became known as "Kristallnacht."

In 1953, author-poet Dylan Thomas died in New York at age 39.

In 1963, twin disasters struck Japan as some 450 miners were killed in a coal-dust explosion, and 160 people died in a train crash.

In 1965, the great Northeast blackout occurred as several states and parts of Canada were hit by a series of power failures lasting up to 13 1/2 hours.

In 1967, a Saturn 5 rocket carrying an unmanned Apollo spacecraft blasted off from Cape Kennedy on a successful test flight.

In 1970, former French president Charles De Gaulle died at age 79.

In 1988, former Attorney General John N. Mitchell, a major figure in the Watergate scandal, died in Washington at age 75.

Ten years ago: A day after Republicans won majorities in both the House and Senate, President Clinton and the GOP pledged cooperation, even as they started forming battle lines over their irreconcilable differences.

Five years ago: With fireworks, concerts and a huge party at the landmark Brandenburg Gate, Germany celebrated the 10th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The flight data recorder from EgyptAir Flight 990 was recovered from the Atlantic Ocean and shipped to a National Transportation Safety Board laboratory in Washington.

One year ago: Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's ruling bloc won a majority in the country's parliamentary elections. Three-time Top Fuel champion Shirley Muldowney, 63, ended her 30-year racing career with a loss in the second round of the Auto Club NHRA Finals at Pomona Raceway in California. Comic actor Art Carney died in Chester, Conn., at age 85.

Today's Birthdays: Sportscaster Charlie Jones is 74. Baseball executive Whitey Herzog is 73. Sen. Bob Graham, D-Fla., is 68. Actor Charlie Robinson ("Night Court") is 59. Movie director Bille August is 56. Actor Robert David Hall ("CSI") is 56. Actor Lou Ferrigno is 52. Rock musician Dee Plakas (L7) is 44. Rapper Pepa (Salt-N-Pepa) is 35. Rapper Scarface (Geto Boys) is 35. Blues singer Susan Tedeschi is 34. R&B singer Nick Lachey (98 Degrees) is 31. R&B Sisqo (Dru Hill) is 26.

Thought for Today: "All life is an experiment." - Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., Supreme Court justice (1841-1935).

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