Today in History

Today in History

Today is Wednesday, Nov. 17, the 321st day of 2021. There are 44 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Nov. 17, 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.

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 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 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.

Ten 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. Demi Moore said she was ending her 6-year marriage to Ashton Kutcher.

One year ago: President Donald Trump fired the nation’s top election security official, Christopher Krebs, who had refuted Trump’s unsubstantiated claims of electoral fraud and vouched for the integrity of the vote. Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller said the U.S. would reduce troop levels in Iraq and Afghanistan to about 2,500 in each country by mid-January, accelerating troop withdrawals during Trump’s final days in office. Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California easily won reelection as House Republican leader. The White House coronavirus task force warned of an “aggressive” and “unrelenting” spread of the coronavirus as the nation headed into the Thanksgiving holiday. U.S. regulators allowed emergency use of the first rapid coronavirus test that could be performed entirely at home and delivered results in 30 minutes.

Today’s Birthdays: Sen. James Inhofe (IHN’-hahf), R-Okla., is 87. Singer Gordon Lightfoot is 83. Singer-songwriter Bob Gaudio (GOW’-dee-oh) is 80. Movie director Martin Scorsese (skor-SEH’-see) is 79. Actor Lauren Hutton is 78. Actor-director Danny DeVito is 77. “Saturday Night Live” producer Lorne Michaels is 77. Movie director Roland Joffe is 76. Former Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean is 73. Former House Speaker John Boehner (BAY’-nur) is 72. Actor Stephen Root is 70. Rock musician Jim Babjak (The Smithereens) is 64. Actor Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio is 63. Actor William Moses is 62. Entertainer RuPaul is 61. Actor Dylan Walsh is 58. Former National Security Adviser Susan Rice is 57. Actor Sophie Marceau (mahr-SOH’) is 55. Actor-model Daisy Fuentes is 55. Blues singer/musician Tab Benoit (behn-WAH’) is 54. R&B singer Ronnie DeVoe (New Edition; Bell Biv DeVoe) is 54. Rock musician Ben Wilson (Blues Traveler) is 54. Actor David Ramsey is 50. Actor Leonard Roberts is 49. Actor Leslie Bibb is 48. Actor Brandon Call is 45. Country singer Aaron Lines is 44. Actor Rachel McAdams is 43. Rock musician Isaac Hanson (Hanson) is 41. Former MLB outfielder Ryan Braun is 38. Actor Justin Cooper is 33. Musician Reid Perry (The Band Perry) is 33. Actor Raquel Castro is 27.