A Blast From The Past

By PENNY NELSON BARTHOLOMEW, United Press International  |  Nov. 4, 2001 at 4:45 AM
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Today is Nov. 4.

This is the anniversary of the seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. On this date in 1979, Iranian militants overran the embassy compound, taking some 90 people hostage -- 63 of them Americans. They vowed to hold the hostages until the former Shah, who was in the United States for medical treatment, was returned to Iran for trial. That didn't happen. Instead, the Shah died in July 1980 in an Egyptian military hospital near Cairo, and the hostage drama continued until Jan. 21, 1981, when the remaining 52 American hostages were released after 444 days of captivity. The release took place as Ronald Reagan was sworn in as president.

Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, 73, was assassinated on this date in 1995 following a peace rally in Tel Aviv. His killer was a Jewish man who opposed Rabin's peace overtures to the Palestinians.

Hungary's brief flirtation with democracy and its attempt to leave the Soviet sphere of influence ended bloodily on this date in 1956, when Soviet forces entered Budapest to crush the anti-communist revolt.

It is considered one of the more important archaeological discoveries of modern times. On this date in 1922, British archaeologist Howard Carter discovered the tomb of ancient Egypt's child-king, Tutankhamen, near Luxor. "Tut" became pharaoh at the age of 9 and died, probably in 1352 B.C., at age 19.

In the mid-1970s, the treasures of Tutankhamen toured U.S. museums and inspired comedian Steve Martin to write a song about the boy-king who "had a condo made of stone-ah."

We now return you to the present, already in progress.

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