A Blast From The Past

By PENNY NELSON BARTHOLOMEW, United Press International  |  Nov. 5, 2001 at 4:45 AM
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Today is Nov. 5.

Today is Guy Fawkes Day. It was on this date in 1605 when Guy Fawkes and his fellow conspirators failed in their plot to blow up the English Parliament and with it, King James I. It was a Catholic plot against Protestant England. The conspirators were beheaded the following January and their heads displayed on pikes at London Bridge.

President Roosevelt was re-elected to an unprecedented third term on this date in 1940. One of the political slogans Roosevelt supporters carried on election banners read "Safe on Third." When Roosevelt later sought and won a fourth term, supporters DID NOT carry banners reading "Safe at Home."

It was on this date in 1990 in New York City that an Egyptian-born gunman, apparently acting alone, assassinated Meir Kahane, the U.S. native who founded the militant Jewish Defense League. Kahane had been thrown out of Israel's parliament for his racist anti-Arab views.

The body of British media mogul Robert Maxwell was found on this date in 1991, floating in the Atlantic Ocean off the Canary Islands. Maxwell had drowned after falling off his yacht. After his death, his media empire was found to be in significant financial disarray.

It was on this date in 1733 that German-born publisher John Peter Zenger began printing The New York Weekly Journal, in opposition to the British colonial administration. Just about a year later, Zenger would be arrested and charged with libel. His trial, at which he was acquitted, remains an important landmark in the history of the struggle for freedom of the press.

And it was on this date in 1992 that former U.S. world chess champion Bobby Fischer triumphed in his $5 million rematch against Russian archrival Boris Spassky. The match --- held in Belgrade, Yugoslavia -- was staged in defiance of U.N. sanctions against the Yugoslav federation.

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

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