Today in History: Nov. 23

“Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.”—John Milton, Areopagitica

John Milton’s essay on the freedom of speech and expression, Areopagitica, was published on this date in 1644. In it, he argued against pre-publication censorship. It was another 50 years before his ideas on liberty began to take hold.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average peaked at 381.10 in 1929, and after the October Crash that year it began a plunge to its all-time low of 41.20, which it reached in 1932. On this date in 1954, the DJIA finally closed above that high of 381.10 and has not yet closed below it. (The Dow closed above 19,000 for the first time yesterday.)

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Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was elected president of Liberia 11 years ago today.

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André Malraux died 40 years ago today. Roald Dahl died on this date in 1990. Klaus Kinski died 25 years ago today. Betty Comden died 10 years ago today. Alexander Litvinenko succumbed to poisoning 10 years ago today. Larry Hagman died four years ago today.

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Boris Karloff was born on this date in 1887. Harpo Marx was born on this date in 1888. Erté was born on this date in 1892. Guy Davenport was born on this date in 1927. Steve Landesberg was born 80 years ago today.

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Luis Tiant is 76. Franco Nero is 75. Representative Bobby Rush is 70. Bruce Vilanch is 68. Bruce Hornsby is 62. Robin Roberts is 56. Miley Cyrus is 24 today.

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