By The Associated Press
2012-11-21 07:15 AM
Highlights in history on this date:
1520 - Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan reaches Pacific Ocean from the Atlantic after passing through a South American strait now bearing his name.
1821 - Panama declares itself independent of Spain and joins the Republic of Colombia.
1885 - British forces occupy Mandalay in Burma.
1897 - Germany occupies Kiao-Chow in northern China, where German missionaries were slain.
1905 - Sinn Fein Party, part of the Irish Republican movement, is founded in Dublin, Ireland.
1912 - Albanian patriot Ismail Quemali proclaims independence from Ottoman Turkish rule in the southern town of Vlora and creates first-ever Albanian government.
1916 - German planes make their first raid on London, already subject to Zeppelin bombardments.
1919 - Lady Astor is elected first woman member of Britain's Parliament.
1922 - Six former ministers of Greece are executed.
1937 - General Francisco Franco begins naval blockade of Spanish coast.
1942 - Almost 500 people perish in fire that destroys Coconut Grove nightclub in Boston, Massachusetts.
1943 - U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet leader Josef Stalin meet in Tehran, Iran, during World War II.
1944 - Albania is liberated from German occupation.
1958 - The African nation of Chad becomes an autonomous republic within the French community.
1960 - Mauritania becomes independent republic, separating from France.
1967 - Communist China is turned down for admission to the United Nations for the 18th time.
1971 - Jordan's Prime Minister Wasfi Tell is assassinated while attending an Arab conference in Cairo, Egypt.
1977 - Rhodesia announces 1,200 have been killed in its recent raids against black nationalist guerrillas across the border in Mozambique.
1980 - Haitian police arrest some 200 journalists, politicians, human rights activists, doctors and teachers for alleged communist-inspired agitation and criticizing the government's economic policies.
1987 - South African Airways jet plane with 159 people aboard crashes in Indian Ocean near Mauritius.
1990 - Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Kwan Yew steps down after 31 years in power; Britain's Queen Elizabeth II confers prime ministership on John Major.
1991 - Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi says he will not surrender two Libyans accused of the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.
1992 - Thousands peacefully demonstrate in at least 20 German cities protesting anti-foreigner violence by youth groups.
1993 - Serb gunners lob a mortar shell into central Sarajevo, killing five people and wounding eight others on the eve of new peace talks.
1994 - Norwegians reject European Union membership.
1996 - A former Rio de Janeiro state trooper, Nelson Oliveira dos Santos Cunha, is found guilty of murdering eight homeless youths in July 1993. He is sentenced to 261 years in prison.
1997 - Fighting breaks out among President Laurent Kabila's soldiers in Kinshasa, Congo, when he orders the arrest of one of his aides. Eighteen people are killed.
1998 - Congo reaches a cease-fire agreement in Paris with Uganda and Rwanda, which support rebels in Congo, but the rebel groups themselves are not consulted and vow to battle on.
1999 - Hsing-Hsing, the only panda at the Washington National Zoo in the U.S. capital, is put to sleep after months of failing health.
2000 - Rescuers in Jakarta struggle to find survivors after devastating floods and landslides on Indonesia's Sumatra island kill more than 100 people.
2001 - Enron Corp., the largest U.S. energy-trading concern, collapses after its credit is downgraded to junk-bond status and its smaller rival, Dynegy Inc., backs out of a US$9 billion deal to buy the troubled company.
2003 - Opponents of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez hold a drive to collect the 2.4-million signatures needed for a recall election to remove Chavez from office.
2004 - Iran agrees not to test any centrifuges as part of a total suspension of nuclear activities that could yield weapons-grade uranium, in what diplomats describe as an apparent about-face to avoid possible U.N. Security Council sanctions.
2005 - A toxic chemical spill in China winds its way downriver from a major northeastern Chinese city, forcing authorities to cut off water supplies to communities along its banks.
2006 - Russia announces it is lifting its ban on Moldovan wine and meat products, a move that appears to be aimed at easing Moscow's entry into the World Trade Organization.
2007 - President Pervez Musharraf steps down from his powerful post as Pakistan's military commander, a day before he is to be sworn in as a civilian president in a long-delayed pledge not to hold both jobs.
2008 - Somali pirates hijack a chemical tanker with dozens of Indian crew members in the Gulf of Aden.
2009 - A powerful homemade bomb sends a high-speed Moscow-to-St. Petersburg train careening off its tracks, killing at least 26 people in what officials consider an act of terrorism.
2010 _ Hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood supporters protest outside vote counting stations, scuffling with police and denouncing what they called widespread fraud in Egypt's parliament elections, as the government appears determined to ensure its monopoly on the legislature in uncertain political times.
2011 - European leaders rush to stop a rampaging debt crisis that threatens to shatter their 12-year-old experiment in a common currency and devastate the world economy as a result.
Jose Iturbi, Spanish pianist-conductor (1895-1980); Keith Miller, Australian cricket star (1919-2004); Gary Hart, former U.S. senator and presidential candidate (1937--); Jon Stewart, U.S. television host (1962--); Ed Harris, U.S. actor (1950--); Berry Gordy Jr., U.S. Motown Records founder (1929--).
Thought For Today:
No man can be a patriot on an empty stomach _ William Cowper, English poet (1731-1800).