Today in History

AP News
Posted: Nov 17, 2011 12:00 AM
Today in History

Today is Thursday, Nov. 17, the 321st day of 2011. There are 44 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Nov. 17, 1911, the African-American fraternity Omega Psi Phi was founded at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

On this date:

In 1558, Elizabeth I acceded to the English throne upon the death of Queen Mary.

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

In 1869, the Suez Canal opened in Egypt.

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

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

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

In 1973, President Richard Nixon told Associated Press managing editors in Orlando, Fla.: "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 neo-Nazis and acquitted two others of civil rights violations in the 1984 slaying of radio talk show host Alan Berg.

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: The Taliban confirmed the death of Osama bin Laden's military chief Mohammed Atef in an airstrike three days earlier. Burhanuddin Rabbani (boor-HAHN'-uh-deen ruh-BAH'-nee), the Afghan president ousted five years earlier by the Taliban, returned to the capital Kabul. Lennox Lewis knocked out Hasim Rahman in the fourth round to get back his WBC and IBF heavyweight titles in Las Vegas. Former U.S. Sen. Harrison A. Williams Jr., a Democrat whose political career was ended by the Abscam bribery scandal, died in Denville, N.J., at age 81.

Five 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, Mich., at age 77. Grammy- and Tony-winning singer Ruth Brown died at age 78.

One year ago: House Democrats elected Nancy Pelosi to remain as their leader despite massive party losses in midterm elections. Republicans voted to keep John Boehner as their top House leader, making him speaker in the new Congress. A hand-count of votes affirmed the re-election of U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, the first Senate candidate in over 50 years to win a write-in campaign. The first Guantanamo detainee to face civilian trial, Ahmed Ghailani (guh-LAHN'-ee), was convicted by federal jury in New York on just one charge of conspiracy, among over 280 counts related to 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Ghailani's native Tanzania.

Today's Birthdays: Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., is 77. Rock musician Gerry McGee (The Ventures) is 74. Singer Gordon Lightfoot is 73. Singer-songwriter Bob Gaudio is 70. Movie director Martin Scorsese (skor-SEH'-see) is 69. Actress Lauren Hutton is 68. Actor-director Danny DeVito is 67. "Saturday Night Live" producer Lorne Michaels is 67. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Tom Seaver is 67. Movie director Roland Joffe is 66. Former Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean is 63. House Speaker John Boehner (BAY'-nur) is 62. Actor Stephen Root is 60. Rock musician Jim Babjak (The Smithereens) is 54. Actress Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio is 53. Actor William Moses is 52. Entertainer RuPaul is 51. Actor Dylan Walsh is 48. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice is 47. Actress Sophie Marceau is 45. Actress-model Daisy Fuentes is 45. Rhythm-and-blues singer Ronnie DeVoe (New Edition; Bell Biv DeVoe) is 44. Rock musician Ben Wilson (Blues Traveler) is 44. Actor Leonard Roberts is 39. Actress Leslie Bibb is 38. Actor Brandon Call is 35. Country singer Aaron Lines is 34. Actress Rachel McAdams is 33. Rock musician Isaac Hanson (Hanson) is 31. Actor Justin Cooper is 23. Musician Reid Perry (The Band Perry) is 23. Actress Raquel Castro is 17.

Believe Him
Katie Pavlich

Thought for Today: "Since others have to tolerate my weaknesses, it is only fair that I should tolerate theirs." _ William Allen White, American journalist (1868-1944).

(Above Advance for Use Thursday, Nov. 17)

Copyright 2011, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.