This Day in History | November 17th

On Nov. 17, 1558, Elizabeth I acceded to the English throne upon the death of her half-sister, Queen Mary, beginning a 44-year reign.

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

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 1969, the first round of Strategic Arms Limitation Talks between the United States and the Soviet Union opened in Helsinki, Finland.

In 1970, the Soviet Union landed an unmanned, remote-controlled vehicle on the moon, the Lunokhod 1.

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 (ah-yah-TOH’-lah hoh-MAY’-nee) ordered the release of 13 Black and/or female American hostages being held at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran.

In 1989, the Walt Disney animated feature “The Little Mermaid” opened in wide release.

In 1997, 62 people, most of them foreign tourists, were killed when militants opened fire at the Temple of Hatshepsut (haht-shehp-SOOT’) in Luxor, Egypt; the attackers, who also hacked their victims, were killed by police.

In 2002, Abba Eban (AH’-bah EE’-ban), the statesman who helped persuade the world to approve creation of Israel and dominated Israeli diplomacy for decades, died near Tel Aviv; he was 87.

In 2003, Arnold Schwarzenegger was sworn in as the 38th governor of California.

In 2018, Argentina’s navy announced that searchers had found a submarine that disappeared a year earlier with 44 crewmen aboard; the government said it would be unable to recover the vessel.

This Day in History | November 16th

On Nov. 16, 1907, Oklahoma became the 46th state of the union.

In 1914, the newly created Federal Reserve Banks opened in 12 cities.

In 1933, the United States and the Soviet Union established diplomatic relations.

In 1945, “The Friendly Ghost,” an animated short featuring the debut of Casper, was released by Paramount’s cartoon division.

In 1961, House Speaker Samuel T. Rayburn died in Bonham, Texas, having served as speaker since 1940 except for two terms.

In 1981, the Senate confirmed Dr. C. Everett Koop to be surgeon general. Oscar-winning actor William Holden, 63, was found dead in his Santa Monica, California, apartment.

In 1982, an agreement was announced in the 57th day of a strike by National Football League players.

In 1989, six Jesuit priests, a housekeeper and her daughter were slain by army troops at the University of Central America Jose Simeon Canas in El Salvador.

In 1991, former Louisiana governor Edwin Edwards won a landslide victory in his bid to return to office, defeating State Rep. David Duke, a former Ku Klux Klan leader.

In 2001, investigators found a letter addressed to Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., containing anthrax; it was the second letter bearing the deadly germ known to have been sent to Capitol Hill.

In 2004, President George W. Bush picked National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice to be his new secretary of state, succeeding Colin Powell.

In 2006, Democrats embraced Nancy Pelosi as the first female House speaker in history, but then selected Steny Hoyer as majority leader against her wishes.

In 2018, a U.S. official said intelligence officials had concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi (jah-MAHL’ khahr-SHOHK’-jee).

This Day in History | November 15th

On Nov. 15, 1777, the Second Continental Congress approved the Articles of Confederation.

In 1806, explorer Zebulon Pike sighted the mountaintop now known as Pikes Peak in present-day Colorado.

In 1864, during the Civil War, Union forces led by Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh (teh-KUM’-seh) Sherman began their “March to the Sea” from Atlanta; the campaign ended with the capture of Savannah on Dec. 21.

In 1889, Brazil was proclaimed a republic as its emperor, Dom Pedro II, was overthrown.

In 1937, at the U.S. Capitol, members of the House and Senate met in air-conditioned chambers for the first time.

In 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt laid the cornerstone of the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C.

In 1942, the naval Battle of Guadalcanal ended during World War II with a decisive U.S. victory over Japanese forces.

In 1959, four members of the Clutter family of Holcomb, Kansas, were found murdered in their home. (Ex-convicts Richard Hickock and Perry Smith were later convicted of the killings and hanged in a case made famous by the Truman Capote book “In Cold Blood.”)

In 1966, the flight of Gemini 12, the final mission of the Gemini program, ended successfully as astronauts James A. Lovell and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin Jr. splashed down safely in the Atlantic after spending four days in orbit.

In 1969, a quarter of a million protesters staged a peaceful demonstration in Washington against the Vietnam War.

In 1989, Time Warner launched The Comedy Channel, which later merged with Viacom’s HA! network to form Comedy Central.

In 2003, two Black Hawk helicopters collided and crashed in Iraq; 17 U.S. troops were killed.

In 2019, Roger Stone, a longtime friend and ally of President Donald Trump, was convicted of all seven counts in a federal indictment accusing him of lying to Congress, tampering with a witness and obstructing the House investigation of whether Trump coordinated with Russia during the 2016 campaign. (As Stone was about to begin serving a 40-month prison sentence, Trump commuted the sentence.)

This Day in History | November 14th

On Nov. 14, 1851, Herman Melville’s novel “Moby-Dick; Or, The Whale” was published in the United States, almost a month after being released in Britain.

In 1862, during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln gave the go-ahead for Maj. Gen. Ambrose Burnside’s plan to capture the Confederate capital of Richmond; the resulting Battle of Fredericksburg proved a disaster for the Union.

In 1881, Charles J. Guiteau went on trial for assassinating President James A. Garfield. (Guiteau was convicted and hanged the following year.)

In 1910, Eugene B. Ely became the first aviator to take off from a ship as his Curtiss pusher rolled off a sloping platform on the deck of the scout cruiser USS Birmingham off Hampton Roads, Virginia.

In 1915, African-American educator Booker T. Washington, 59, died in Tuskegee, Alabama.

In 1940, during World War II, German planes destroyed most of the English town of Coventry.

In 1965, the U.S. Army’s first major military operation of the Vietnam War began with the start of the five-day Battle of Ia Drang. (The fighting between American troops and North Vietnamese forces ended on Nov. 18 with both sides claiming victory.)

In 1969, Apollo 12 blasted off for the moon.

In 1970, a chartered Southern Airways DC-9 crashed while trying to land in West Virginia, killing all 75 people on board, including the Marshall University football team and its coaching staff.

In 1972, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above the 1,000 level for the first time, ending the day at 1,003.16.

In 1996, singer Michael Jackson married his plastic surgeon’s nurse, Debbie Rowe, in a ceremony in Sydney, Australia. (Rowe filed for divorce in 1999.)

In 2005, Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees won his second American League Most Valuable Player award in three seasons.

In 2013, former Boston crime boss James “Whitey” Bulger was led off to prison to begin serving a life sentence at 84 for his murderous reign in the 1970s and ’80s. (Bulger was killed Oct. 30, 2018, hours after arriving at a federal prison in West Virginia.)

This Day in History | November 13th

On Nov. 13, 1775, during the American Revolution, the Continental Army captured Montreal.

In 1849, voters in California ratified the state’s original constitution.

In 1940, the Walt Disney film “Fantasia,” featuring animated segments set to classical music, had its world premiere in New York.

In 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a measure lowering the minimum draft age from 21 to 18.

In 1956, the Supreme Court struck down laws calling for racial segregation on public buses.

In 1969, speaking in Des Moines, Iowa, Vice President Spiro T. Agnew accused network television news departments of bias and distortion, and urged viewers to lodge complaints.

In 1971, the U.S. space probe Mariner 9 went into orbit around Mars.

In 1974, Karen Silkwood, a 28-year-old technician and union activist at the Kerr-McGee Cimarron plutonium plant near Crescent, Oklahoma, died in a car crash while on her way to meet a reporter.

In 1979, former California Gov. Ronald Reagan announced in New York his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination.

In 1982, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

In 1985, some 23,000 residents of Armero, Colombia, died when a volcanic mudslide buried the city.

In 2015, Islamic State militants carried out a set of coordinated attacks in Paris on the national stadium, restaurants and streets, and a crowded concert hall, killing 130 people in the worst attack on French soil since World War II.

In 2019, the House Intelligence Committee opened two weeks of public impeachment hearings with a dozen current and former career foreign service officials and political appointees scheduled to testify about efforts by President Donald Trump and others to pressure Ukraine to investigate Trump’s political rivals.

This Day in History | November 11th

On Nov. 11, 1620, 41 Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower, anchored off Massachusetts, signed a compact calling for a “body politick.”

In 1831, former slave Nat Turner, who’d led a slave uprising, was executed in Jerusalem, Virginia.

In 1918, fighting in World War I ended as the Allies and Germany signed an armistice in the Forest of Compiegne (kohm-PYEHN’-yeh).

In 1921, the remains of an unidentified American service member were interred in a Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery in a ceremony presided over by President Warren G. Harding.

In 1938, Irish-born cook Mary Mallon, who’d gained notoriety as the disease-carrying “Typhoid Mary” blamed for the deaths of three people, died on North Brother Island in New York’s East River at age 69 after 23 years of mandatory quarantine.

In 1942, during World War II, Germany completed its occupation of France.

In 1966, Gemini 12 blasted off on a four-day mission with astronauts James A. Lovell and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin Jr. aboard; it was the tenth and final flight of NASA’s Gemini program.

In 1972, the U.S. Army turned over its base at Long Binh to the South Vietnamese, symbolizing the end of direct U.S. military involvement in the Vietnam War.

In 1987, following the failure of two Supreme Court nominations, President Ronald Reagan announced his choice of Judge Anthony M. Kennedy, who went on to win confirmation.

In 1992, the Church of England voted to ordain women as priests.

In 1998, President Clinton ordered warships, planes and troops to the Persian Gulf as he laid out his case for a possible attack on Iraq. Iraq, meanwhile, showed no sign of backing down from its refusal to deal with U.N. weapons inspectors.

In 2003, in Galveston, Texas, millionaire Robert Durst was found not guilty of murdering Morris Black, an elderly neighbor who Durst said he’d killed accidentally.

In 2004, Palestinians at home and abroad wept, waved flags and burned tires in an eruption of grief at news of the death of Yasser Arafat in Paris at age 75.

This Day in History | November 10th

On Nov. 10, 1775, the U.S. Marines were organized under authority of the Continental Congress.

In 1871, journalist-explorer Henry M. Stanley found Scottish missionary David Livingstone, who had not been heard from for years, near Lake Tanganyika in central Africa.

In 1919, the American Legion opened its first national convention in Minneapolis.

In 1928, Hirohito (hee-roh-hee-toh) was enthroned as Emperor of Japan.

In 1944, during World War II, the ammunition ship USS Mount Hood (AE-11) exploded while moored at the Manus Naval Base in the Admiralty Islands in the South Pacific, leaving 45 confirmed dead and 327 missing and presumed dead.

In 1951, customer-dialed long-distance telephone service began as Mayor M. Leslie Denning of Englewood, New Jersey, called Alameda, California, Mayor Frank Osborne without operator assistance.

In 1969, the children’s educational program “Sesame Street” made its debut on National Educational Television (later PBS).

In 1975, the U.N. General Assembly approved a resolution equating Zionism with racism (the world body repealed the resolution in Dec. 1991).

In 1982, the newly finished Vietnam Veterans Memorial was opened to its first visitors in Washington, D.C., three days before its dedication. Soviet leader Leonid I. Brezhnev died at age 75.

In 2006, actor Jack Palance died in Montecito, California, at age 87.

In 2009, John Allen Muhammad, mastermind of the 2002 sniper attacks that killed 10 in the Washington, D.C. region, was executed. President Barack Obama visited Fort Hood, Texas, where he somberly saluted the 13 Americans killed in a shooting rampage, and pledged that the killer would be “met with justice — in this world, and the next.”

In 2017, facing allegations of sexual misconduct, comedian Louis C.K. said the harassment claims by five women that were detailed in a New York Times report “are true,” and he expressed remorse for using his influence “irresponsibly.”

In 2018, President Donald Trump, in France to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, canceled a visit to a cemetery east of Paris where Americans killed in that war are buried; rainy weather had grounded the presidential helicopter. Authorities in Northern California said 14 additional bodies had been found in the ruins from a fire that virtually destroyed the town of Paradise.

This Day in History | November 9th

On April 10, 1865, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, a day after surrendering the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox Court House, said farewell to his men, praising them for their “unsurpassed courage and fortitude.”

In 1866, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was incorporated.

In 1912, the British liner RMS Titanic set sail from Southampton, England, on its ill-fated maiden voyage.

In 1916, the Professional Golfers’ Association of America was founded in New York.

In 1925, the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel “The Great Gatsby” was first published by Scribner’s of New York.

In 1932, German President Paul Von Hindenburg was re-elected in a runoff, with Adolf Hitler coming in second.

In 1947, Brooklyn Dodgers President Branch Rickey purchased the contract of Jackie Robinson from the Montreal Royals.

In 1962, Stuart Sutcliffe, the Beatles’ original bass player, died in Hamburg, West Germany, at age 21.

In 1968, “In the Heat of the Night” won best picture of 1967 at the 40th Academy Awards; one of its stars, Rod Steiger, was named best actor while Katharine Hepburn was honored as best actress for “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.”

In 1971, a table tennis team from the United States arrived in China at the invitation of the communist government for a goodwill visit that came to be known as “ping-pong diplomacy.”

In 1981, imprisoned IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands was declared the winner of a by-election to the British Parliament.

In 1998, the Northern Ireland peace talks concluded as negotiators reached a landmark settlement to end 30 years of bitter rivalries and bloody attacks.

In 2010, Polish President Lech Kaczynski (lehk kah-CHIN’-skee), 60, was killed in a plane crash in western Russia that also claimed the lives of his wife and top Polish political, military and church officials.

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