On Nov. 1, 1950, two Puerto Rican nationalists tried to force their way into Blair House in Washington, D.C. to assassinate President Harry S. Truman. The attempt failed, and one of the pair was killed, along with a White House police officer.
On this date:
In 1512, Michelangelo finished painting the ceiling of the Vatican's Sistine Chapel.
In 1765, the Stamp Act went into effect, prompting stiff resistance from American colonists.
In 1861, during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln named Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan General-in-Chief of the Union armies, succeeding Lt. Gen. Winfield Scott.
In 1870, the United States Weather Bureau made its first meteorological observations.
In 1936, in a speech in Milan, Italy, Benito Mussolini described the alliance between his country and Nazi Germany as an "axis" running between Rome and Berlin.
In 1944, "Harvey," a comedy by Mary Chase about a man and his friend, an invisible six-foot-tall rabbit, opened on Broadway.
In 1949, an Eastern Airlines DC-4 collided in midair with a Lockheed P-38 fighter plane near Washington National Airport, killing all 55 people aboard the DC-4 and seriously injuring the pilot of the P-38.
In 1952, the United States exploded the first hydrogen bomb, code-named "Ivy Mike," at Enewetak Atoll in the Marshall Islands.
In 1968, the Motion Picture Association of America unveiled its new voluntary film rating system: G for general, M for mature (later changed to GP, then PG), R for restricted and X (later changed to NC-17) for adults only.
In 1973, following the "Saturday Night Massacre," Acting Attorney General Robert H. Bork appointed Leon Jaworski to be the new Watergate special prosecutor, succeeding Archibald Cox.
In 1979, former first lady Mamie Eisenhower died in Washington, D.C. at age 82.
In 1989, East Germany reopened its border with Czechoslovakia, prompting tens of thousands of refugees to flee to the West.
Ten years ago: Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean stirred controversy within his party by telling the Des Moines Register he wanted to be "the candidate for guys with Confederate flags in their pickup trucks." (The former Vermont governor explained that he intended to encourage the return of Southern voters who had abandoned the Democrats for decades but were disaffected with the Republicans.)
Five years ago: Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain plunged through the final weekend of their marathon race for the White House; McCain poked fun at his campaign's financial shortcomings and his reputation as a political maverick in an appearance on NBC's "Saturday Night Live." Machinists union members ratified a new contract with The Boeing Co., ending an eight-week strike.
One year ago: President Barack Obama returned to the campaign trail, after canceling campaign appearances to focus on Superstorm Sandy. Motorists in the New York City area and in New Jersey faced a second day of enormous lines at gas stations; many stations were still shut down in the aftermath of the storm because they didn't have gasoline or were without power to run the pumps. Five days before the election, figures were released showing that new unemployment claims were down, worker productivity was up, auto sales and retail sales were rising and consumer confidence was at the highest level since a year before Obama took office.
Today's Birthdays: Actress Betsy Palmer is 87. Golfer Gary Player is 78. Country singer Bill Anderson is 76. Actress Barbara Bosson is 74. Actor Robert Foxworth is 72. Magazine publisher Larry Flynt is 71. Country singer-humorist Kinky Friedman is 69. Actress Jeannie Berlin is 64. Music producer David Foster is 64. Rhythm-and-blues musician Ronald Khalis Bell (Kool and the Gang) is 62. Country singer-songwriter-producer Keith Stegall is 59. Country singer Lyle Lovett is 56. Actress Rachel Ticotin is 55. Rock musician Eddie MacDonald (The Alarm) is 54. Rock singer Anthony Kiedis (Red Hot Chili Peppers) is 51. Pop singer-musician Mags Furuholmen (a-ha) is 51. Rock musician Rick Allen (Def Leppard) is 50. Country singer "Big Kenny" Alphin (Big and Rich) is 50. Singer Sophie B. Hawkins is 49. Rapper Willie D (Geto Boys) is 47. Country musician Dale Wallace (Emerson Drive) is 44. Actress Toni Collette is 41. Actress/talk show host Jenny McCarthy is 41. Rock musician Andrew Gonzales is 41. Actor David Berman is 40. Actress Aishwarya Rai is 40. Rock singer Bo Bice ("American Idol") is 38. Actor Matt Jones is 32. Actor Penn Badgley is 27. Actor Max Burkholder is 16. Actor-musician Alex Wolff is 16.
Thought for Today: "God give me strength to face a fact though it slay me." — Thomas Huxley, English biologist (1825-1895).