Today is Nov. 12.
On this date in 2001, an American Airlines Airbus crashed in Queens, N.Y., shortly after takeoff from JFK Airport, killing more than 260 people. It was not until the next day that airport operations in the area returned to normal.
It was on this date in 1992 when Volker Keith Meinhold became the first openly gay person on active duty in the American military. Armed with a court order, Meinhold reported to work at Moffett Naval Air Station in Mountain View, Calif., for reinstatement as a chief petty officer.
Hounded by allegations that he had molested a teenage boy, Michael Jackson on this date in 1993 canceled the rest of his "Dangerous" world tour. The pop star claimed as a reason his addiction to painkillers.
In April 1981, the shuttle Columbia was launched on its first-ever voyage. On this date seven months later, Columbia blasted off again into orbit to became the first spacecraft ever launched twice from Earth.
A war crimes tribunal in Japan sentenced former premier Hideki Tojo and six other World War II Japanese leaders to die by hanging on this date in 1948.
Gdansk shipyard worker Lech Walesa's attempt to unionize and democratize workers in communist Poland got him thrown in prison in December 1981 as Warsaw declared martial law. However, 11 months later, on this date in 1982, Polish authorities freed the founder of the Solidarity Union. Walesa went on to serve as president of Poland following the fall of communism.
On this date in 1799, the first North American meteor shower on record took place. Andrew Ellicott Douglass, an early American astronomer, watched from a ship off the Florida Keys and said that the "whole heaven appeared as if illuminated with sky rockets, flying in an infinity of directions. They continued until put out by the light of the sun after day break."
And it was on this date in 1892 that the first professional football game was played in Pittsburgh, between the Allegheny Athletic Association and the Pittsburgh Athletic Club.
We now return you to the present, already in progress.