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A Blast from the Past

By United Press International

Today is Nov. 15.


As the war on terrorists continued in Afghanistan, word came on this date in 2001 that U.S. Special Forces were taking part in combat operations against the Taliban and had close scrapes with enemy fire. Dispatches from the front describe scenes of great bravery and danger, and indicate some of the apparently easy battles were more harrowing than they appeared.

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It was on this date in 1864 that Union Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman -- having put Atlanta to the torch -- began his Civil War march to the sea. Sherman's march through Georgia was devastating to people and property alike; yet when he reached Savannah, he spared the port city.


The first assembly of the League of Nations was called to order in Geneva, Switzerland, on this date in 1920. The League of Nations, which the United States refused to join, was a predecessor to the United Nations. The idea was to prevent conflicts such as World War I, which had ended just two years earlier.


Senate hearings into charges of influence peddling on behalf of savings and loan kingpin Charles Keating opened on this date in 1990 on Capitol Hill. Testimony began with the "Keating Five" -- Sens. Alan Cranston, D-Calif.; Dennis DeConcini, D-Ariz.; John Glenn, D-Ohio; John McCain, R-Ariz.; and Donald Riegle, D-Mich. -- maintaining their innocence.

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And it was on this date in 1984 that five-week-old Baby Fae died after her body rejected the baboon heart she had lived with for 20 days at Loma Linda University Medical Center in California. The infant had been born with a fatal heart defect in which one side of her heart was underdeveloped. While the baboon heart failed in Fae's case, it didn't stop medical researchers from experimenting with other means of cross-species transplantation to address the chronic shortage of donor organs.


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

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