This Day in History: Nov. 3

On this day, Nov. 3 …

1992: Democrat Bill Clinton is elected the 42nd president of the United States, defeating President George H.W. Bush.

Also on this day:

  • 1839: The first Opium War between China and Britain breaks out.
  • 1911: The Chevrolet Motor Car Co. is founded in Detroit by Louis Chevrolet and William C. Durant. (The company would be acquired by General Motors in 1918.)
  • 1936: President Franklin D. Roosevelt wins a landslide election victory over Republican challenger Alfred “Alf” Landon.
  • 1957: The Soviet Union launches Sputnik 2, the second manmade satellite, into orbit; on board is a dog named Laika, who would be sacrificed in the experiment.
  • 1964: President Lyndon B. Johnson soundly defeats Republican Barry Goldwater to win a White House term in his own right.
  • 1979: Five Communist Workers Party members are killed in a clash with heavily armed Ku Klux Klansmen and neo-Nazis during an anti-Klan protest in Greensboro, N.C.
  • 1986: The Iran-Contra affair comes to light as Ash-Shiraa, a pro-Syrian Lebanese magazine, first breaks the story of U.S. arms sales to Iran.

  • 1992: In Illinois, Democrat Carol Moseley Braun becomes the first Black woman to be elected to the United States Senate, defeating Republican Richard S. Williamson.

  • 1994: Susan Smith of Union, S.C., is arrested for drowning her two young sons, Michael and Alex, nine days after claiming the children had been abducted by a black carjacker.
  • 1995: President Bill Clinton dedicates a memorial at Arlington National Cemetery to the 270 victims of the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103.
  • 1997: The Supreme Court lets stand California’s groundbreaking Proposition 209, which bans race and gender preference in hiring and school admissions.
  • 2009: Chris Christie, a Republican former U.S. attorney, unseats New Jersey Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine.
  • 2014: Thirteen years after the 9/11 terrorist attack, the resurrected World Trade Center opens for business, marking an emotional milestone for both New Yorkers and the nation.
  • 2017: Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who walked away from his post in Afghanistan and triggered a search that left some of his comrades severely wounded, is spared a prison sentence by a military judge in North Carolina; President Trump blasts the decision as a “complete and total disgrace.”

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