Today is Wednesday, Nov. 18, the 323rd day of 2020. There are 43 days left in the year.

Highlight in history

On Nov. 18, 1978, U.S. Rep. Leo J. Ryan, D-Calif., and four others were killed in Jonestown, Guyana, by members of the Peoples Temple; the killings were followed by a night of mass murder and suicide by more than 900 cult members.

On this date

In 1883, the United States and Canada adopted a system of Standard Time zones.

In 1916, the World War I Battle of the Somme pitting British and French forces against German troops ended inconclusively after 4 1/2 months of bloodshed.

In 1928, Walt Disney‘s first sound-synchronized animated cartoon, “Steamboat Willie” starring Mickey Mouse, premiered in New York.

In 1963, the Bell System introduced the first commercial touch-tone telephone system in Carnegie and Greensburg, Pennsylvania.

In 1966, U.S. Roman Catholic bishops did away with the rule against eating meat on Fridays outside of Lent.

In 1985, the comic strip “Calvin and Hobbes,” created by Bill Watterson, was first published. (The strip ran for 10 years.)

In 1987, the congressional Iran-Contra committees issued their final report, saying President Ronald Reagan bore “ultimate responsibility” for wrongdoing by his aides. A fire at London King’s Cross railway station claimed 31 lives.

In 1991, Shiite Muslim kidnappers in Lebanon freed Anglican Church envoy Terry Waite and Thomas Sutherland, the American dean of agriculture at the American University of Beirut.

In 2003, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled 4-to-3 that the state constitution guaranteed gay couples the right to marry.

In 2004, Britain outlawed fox hunting in England and Wales.

Ten years ago

President Barack Obama rallied former diplomatic and military chiefs from both parties to pressure reluctant Republican senators into ratifying a nuclear weapons deal with Russia. (The Senate ratified the treaty the following month.) General Motors stock resumed trading on Wall Street, signaling the rebirth of an American corporate icon that had collapsed into bankruptcy and was rescued with a $50 billion infusion from taxpayers. Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners was chosen as the AL Cy Young Award winner.

Five years ago

The Islamic State group announced that it had killed a Norwegian man and a Chinese man after earlier demanding ransoms for the two. Raphael Holiday was executed by the state of Texas; he’d been convicted of setting a fire that killed his 18-month-old daughter and her two young half-sisters at an East Texas home in Sept. 2000.

One year ago

The Trump administration said it no longer considered Israeli settlements in the West Bank to be a violation of international law; the position marked a reversal of four decades of American policy, and undermined efforts by the Palestinians to gain statehood. China said a 55-year-old man had been diagnosed with bubonic plague after killing and eating a wild rabbit; two other plague cases had already been discovered in the capital Beijing.

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