Almanac

Today is Friday, Nov. 18, the 323rd day of 2016. There are 43 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight

in History:

On Nov. 18, 1966, U.S. Roman Catholic bishops issued a Pastoral Statement on Penance and Abstinence, which did away with the rule against eating meat on Fridays outside of Lent.

On this date:

In 1883, the United States and Canada adopted a system of Standard Time zones.

In 1886, the 21st president of the United States, Chester A. Arthur, died in New York.

In 1916, the World War I Battle of the Somme pitting British and French forces against German troops ended inconclusively after 4 1/2 months of bloodshed.

In 1936, Germany and Italy recognized the Spanish government of Francisco Franco.

In 1976, Spain’s parliament approved a bill to establish a democracy after 37 years of dictatorship.

In 1978, U.S. Rep. Leo J. Ryan, D-Calif., and four others were killed in Jonestown, Guyana, by members of the Peoples Temple; the killings were followed by a night of mass murder and suicide by more than 900 cult members.

In 1987, the congressional Iran-Contra committees issued their final report, saying President Ronald Reagan bore “ultimate responsibility” for wrongdoing by his aides. A fire at London King’s Cross railway station claimed 31 lives.

In 1996, onetime CIA station chief Harold J. Nicholson was charged with selling top secrets to the Russians for more than $120,000. (Nicholson later pleaded guilty to espionage and was sentenced to 23 and 1/2 years in prison; he was spared a life sentence for cooperating with investigators.)

Ten years ago: President George W. Bush, in Hanoi for a summit of Pacific Rim countries, lined up support for pressuring long-defiant North Korea to prove it was serious about dismantling its nuclear weapons program.

Five years ago: In an incident that prompted national outrage, campus police at the University of California, Davis used pepper-spray on nonviolent Occupy protesters (the school later agreed to pay $1 million to settle a lawsuit filed by the demonstrators).