Today in History: November 17

People walk along the Berlin Wall near Potsdamer Platz on the West Berlin side, Nov. 17, 1989.  Graffiti on the wall blares yesterday's issues, though the spray can artists struggle to keep current.  (AP Photo/John Gaps III)
People walk along the Berlin Wall near Potsdamer Platz on the West Berlin side, Nov. 17, 1989. Graffiti on the wall blares yesterday's issues, though the spray can artists struggle to keep current. (AP Photo/John Gaps III)

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 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.)

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