Today in History


Today in History

Today is Thursday, Nov. 17, the 322nd day of 2016. There are 44 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Nov. 17, 1800, Congress held its first session in the partially completed U.S. Capitol building.

On this date:

In 1558, Elizabeth I acceded to the English throne upon the death of her half-sister, Queen Mary, beginning a 44-year reign.

In 1869, the Suez Canal opened in Egypt.

In 1889, the Union Pacific Railroad Co. began direct, daily railroad service between Chicago and Portland, Oregon, as well as Chicago and San Francisco.

In 1917, French sculptor Auguste Rodin (roh-DAN’) died in Meudon at age 77.

In 1925, actor Rock Hudson was born Roy Harold Scherer Jr. in Winnetka, Illinois.

In 1934, Lyndon Baines Johnson married Claudia Alta Taylor, better known as Lady Bird, in San Antonio, Texas.

In 1947, President Harry S. Truman, in an address to a special session of Congress, called for emergency aid to Austria, Italy and France. (The aid was approved the following month.)

In 1968, NBC outraged football fans by cutting away from the closing minutes of a New York Jets-Oakland Raiders game to begin the TV special “Heidi” on schedule. (After being taken off the air, the Raiders came from behind to beat the Jets, 43-32.)

In 1973, President Richard Nixon told Associated Press managing editors in Orlando, Florida: “People have got to know whether or not their president is a crook. Well, I’m not a crook.”

In 1979, Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini ordered the release of 13 black and/or female American hostages being held at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran.

In 1987, a federal jury in Denver convicted two white supremacists of civil rights violations in the 1984 slaying of radio talk show host Alan Berg. (Both men later died in prison.)

In 1991, the first national TV commercial for condoms (Trojan) aired during an episode of the Fox situation comedy “Herman’s Head.”

Ten years ago: Cast into the minority in midterm elections, House Republicans chose John Boehner (BAY’-nur) of Ohio to lead them. Ivan J. Hill was convicted in Los Angeles of being the “60 Freeway Slayer” of six women (Hill was later sentenced to death). The FDA ended a 14-year virtual ban on silicone-gel breast implants. College football coaching legend Bo Schembechler died in Southfield, Michigan, at age 77. Grammy- and Tony-winning singer Ruth Brown died in Henderson, Nevada, at age 78.

Five years ago: Occupy Wall Street protesters clogged streets and tied up traffic around the U.S. to mark two months since the movement’s birth and signal they weren’t ready to quit, despite the breakup of many of their encampments by police. Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers won the NL Cy Young Award. Baseball owners unanimously approved the sale of the Houston Astros from Drayton McLane to Jim Crane, which would lead to the team moving from the NL Central to the AL West for the 2013 season. Demi Moore said she was ending her 6-year marriage to Ashton Kutcher.

One year ago: Republicans urged an immediate closure of America’s borders to Syrian refugees, drawing angry denunciations from President Barack Obama and other Democrats and igniting an emotional debate about U.S. values in the wake of the deadly Paris terror attacks. Actor Charlie Sheen issued a statement in which he said he was HIV positive, but that thanks to a rigorous drug regimen, he was in good health. Joe Maddon won his third Manager of the Year award and Jeff Banister his first after each guided his team on a surprising run to the playoffs. (In his initial season with the Chicago Cubs, Maddon took the National League prize following the club’s first postseason appearance since 2008. Banister led Texas to 88 wins for the season — 21 more than the previous year — in capturing the AL West title.)

Today’s Birthdays: Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., is 82. Rock musician Gerry McGee (The Ventures) is 79. Singer Gordon Lightfoot is 78. Singer-songwriter Bob Gaudio is 75. Movie director Martin Scorsese (skor-SEH’-see) is 74. Actress Lauren Hutton is 73. Actor-director Danny DeVito is 72. “Saturday Night Live” producer Lorne Michaels is 72. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Tom Seaver is 72. Movie director Roland Joffe is 71. Former Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean is 68. Former House Speaker John Boehner (BAY’-nur) is 67. Actor Stephen Root is 65. Rock musician Jim Babjak (The Smithereens) is 59. Actress Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio is 58. Actor William Moses is 57. Entertainer RuPaul is 56. Actor Dylan Walsh is 53. National Security Adviser Susan Rice is 52. Actress Sophie Marceau is 50. Actress-model Daisy Fuentes is 50. Blues singer/musician Tab Benoit (behn-WAH’) is 49. Rhythm-and-blues singer Ronnie DeVoe (New Edition; Bell Biv DeVoe) is 49. Rock musician Ben Wilson (Blues Traveler) is 49. Actor David Ramsey is 45. Actor Leonard Roberts is 44. Actress Leslie Bibb is 43. Actor Brandon Call is 40. Country singer Aaron Lines is 39. Actress Rachel McAdams is 38. Rock musician Isaac Hanson (Hanson) is 36. Actor Justin Cooper is 28. Musician Reid Perry (The Band Perry) is 28. Actress Raquel Castro is 22.

Thought for Today: “Prejudice is a raft onto which the shipwrecked mind clambers and paddles to safety.” — Ben Hecht, American author and screenwriter (1893-1964).

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