Shimla, Nov. 20 Keekli Bureau

This Day in History


American civil defense analyst Jonathan Jay Pollard was released from prison, having served 30 years for selling classified information to Israel.


American filmmaker Robert Altman—an unconventional and independent director whose works emphasized character and atmosphere over plot in exploring themes of innocence, corruption, and survival—died at age 81.


American tobacco companies signed an agreement with the governments of 46 U.S. states to settle the states’ claims for reimbursement of Medicaid funds they had expended to treat smoking-related illnesses, the settlement costing the tobacco manufacturers $206 billion beyond the $40 billion they had agreed to pay four other states in 1997.


Francisco Franco, ruler of Spain since his overthrow of the democratic government in 1939, died at age 82.


Native American activists began an occupation of Alcatraz Island, protesting what they saw as the U.S. government’s ongoing economic, social, and political neglect of Native Americans; they were forced off the island in June 1971.


The future Queen Elizabeth II married Philip Mountbatten at Westminster Abbey.


American politician Robert F. Kennedy—who held several posts in the administration of his brother President John F. Kennedy and later served as a U.S. senator before being assassinated—was born.


For the first time, tanks were used effectively in warfare, by the British at the Battle of Cambrai.


Russian author Leo Tolstoy, suffering from pneumonia, died of heart failure at the railroad station of Astapovo.

Find out if any of Leo Tolstoy’s works made our list of 12 novels considered the “greatest book ever written.”


The American whaling ship Essex was rammed by a sperm whale and later sank, inspiring the climactic scene in Herman Melville’s Moby Dick (1851).


In the final phases of the Napoleonic Wars, Britain, Russia, Austria, and Prussia renewed the Quadruple Alliance to prevent further French aggression.


Pius VIII, who served as pope from 1829 to 1830, was born in the Papal States.


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