Way back when: Today in history
BY GENE CURTIS
Friday, November 23, 2012
11/23/12 at 3:15 AM
1980 - Refugees celebrate Thanksgiving
Seven thousand people at Fort Chaffee, Ark., were getting ready to celebrate their first Thanksgiving and many didn't know why. Others understood that Thanksgiving meant freedom to them. They were Cuban refugees awaiting sponsors so they could move into the American mainstream. The United States had agreed to take refugees after Fidel Castro allowed them to leave Cuba and the 7,000 still at Chaffee were still without homes. "The first Thanksgiving to me will be thanks to the American people for being so understanding and taking us in," said Renaldo Oviedo, who learned about Pilgrims and Plymouth Rock in his English class.
2003 - Georgian president resigns
Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze, who had become despised because of rampant corruption, resigned, sparking fireworks and dancing among thousands of protesters in Tbilisi. Shevardnadze won admiration in the West by helping guide the Cold War to an end as foreign minister under Mikhail Gorbachev. Residents of Tbilisi partied late into the night after the resignation was announced.
2009 - Philippines massacre
Fifty-seven people were massacred in a southern province of the Philippines, leading to martial law being imposed. President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo placed the area under emergency rule after the killings of 30 journalists and 27 members of a clan opposed to the Ampatuan clan that had ruled for years. Dozens of gunmen had abducted the group of journalists, supporters and relatives of a gubernatorial candidate as they traveled through Amputuan township to file candidacy documents in the provincial capital for the May 2010 elections.
2010 - Koreans exchange shelling
Artillery fire was exchanged between North and South Korea after the North shelled an island near their disputed sea border, killing two South Korean marines and two civilians and injuring several others, setting dozens of buildings ablaze and sending civilians fleeing for shelter. The clash put South Korea's military on high alert. North Korea blamed South Korean drills as the motivation behind its attack.
Filipino Muslims pray during a rally condemning the massacre a few days earlier of 57 people. AP file