This Day in History: Nov. 12

On this day, Nov, 12 …

1927: Josef Stalin becomes the undisputed ruler of the Soviet Union as Leon Trotsky is expelled from the Communist Party.

Also on this day:

  • 1866: Chinese revolutionary Sun Yat-sen, the first provisional president of the Republic of China, is born.
  • 1920: Baseball gets its first “czar” as Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis is elected commissioner of the American and National Leagues.
  • 1936: The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge opens as President Franklin D. Roosevelt presses a telegraph key in Washington, D.C., giving the green light to traffic.
  • 1948: Former Japanese premier Hideki Tojo and several other World War II Japanese leaders are sentenced to death by a war crimes tribunal.
  • 1977: The city of New Orleans elects its first black mayor, Ernest “Dutch” Morial, the winner of a runoff.
  • 1987: The American Medical Association issued a policy statement saying it was unethical for a doctor to refuse to treat someone solely because that person has AIDS or is HIV-positive.
  • 1998: Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley files a $433 million-dollar lawsuit against the firearms industry, declaring that it has created a public nuisance by flooding the streets with weapons deliberately marketed to criminals. (A judge would dismiss the lawsuit in 2000; an appeals court would rule in 2002 that the city of Chicago could proceed, but the Illinois Supreme Court would dismiss the lawsuit in 2004.)
  • 2001: American Airlines Flight 587, an Airbus A300 headed to the Dominican Republic, crashes after takeoff from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, killing all 260 people on board and five people on the ground.
  • 2013: An international panel of architects announces that the new World Trade Center tower in New York would replace Chicago’s Willis Tower as the nation’s tallest building upon its completion.
  • 2017: Syndicated gossip columnist Liz Smith dies at the age of 94.