Today in History

November 17
375 Enraged by the insolence of barbarian envoys, Valentinian, the Emperor of the West, dies of apoplexy in Pannonia in Central Europe.
1558 Queen Elizabeth ascends to the throne of England.
1558 The Church of England is re-established.
1636 Henrique Dias, Brazilian general, wins a decisive battle against the Dutch in Brazil.
1796 Napoleon Bonaparte defeats an Italian army near the Alpine River, Italy.
1800 The Sixth Congress (2nd session) convenes for the first time in Washington, D.C.
1842 A grim abolitionist meeting is held in Marlboro Chapel, Boston, after the imprisonment of a mulatto named George Latimer, one of the first fugitive slaves to be apprehended in Massachusetts.
1862 Union General Ambrose Burnside marches north out of Washington, D.C., to begin the Fredericksburg campaign.
1869 The Suez Canal is formally opened.
1877 Russia launches a surprise night attack that overruns Turkish forces at Kars, Armenia.
1885 The Serbian Army, with Russian support, invades Bulgaria.
1903 Vladimir Lenin’s efforts to impose his own radical views on the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party splits the party into two factions, the Bolsheviks, who support Lenin, and the Mensheviks.
1913 The first ship sails through the Panama Canal, which connects the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
1918 Influenza deaths reported in the United States have far exceeded World War I casualties.
1918 German troops evacuate Brussels.
1931 Charles Lindbergh inaugurates Pan Am service from Cuba to South America in the Sikorsky flying boat American Clipper.
1941 German Luftwaffe general and World War I fighter-ace Ernst Udet commits suicide. The Nazi government tells the public that he died in a flying accident.
1951 Britain reports development of the world’s first nuclear-powered heating system.
1965 The NVA ambushes American troops of the 7th Cavalry at Landing Zone Albany in the Ia Drang Valley, almost wiping them out.
1967 The American Surveyor 6 makes a six-second flight on the moon, the first lift-off on the lunar surface.
1970 The Soviet unmanned Luna 17 touches down on the moon.
1980 WHHM Television in Washington, D.C., becomes the first African-American public-broadcasting television station.
1986 Renault President Georges Besse is shot to death by leftists of the Direct Action Group in Paris.
1989 A student demonstration in Prague is put down by riot police, leading to an uprising (the Velvet Revolution) that will topple the communist government on Dec. 29.
1993 The US House of Representatives passes a resolution to establish the North American Free Trade Agreement.
1993 Gen. Sani Abacha leads a military coup in Nigeria that overthrows the government of Ernest Shonekan.
2000 Controversial President of Peru Alberto Fujimori is removed from office.

Born on November 17
1755 Louis XVIII, King of France.
1887 Bernard Law Montgomery, British field marshal who defeated Rommel in North Africa and led Allied troops from D-Day to the end of World War II.
1902 Eugene Paul Wigner, Hungarian-born physicist.
1916 Shelby Foote, American writer, famous for his three-volume narrative on America’s Civil War.
1925 Rock Hudson, actor (McMillan & Wife TV series; Giant).
1938 Gordon Lightfoot, Canadian singer, songwriter, musician (“Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald,” “In the Early Morning Rain”).
1942 Martin Scorsese, film director (Taxi Driver, Raging Bull).
1944 Gene Clark, singer, songwriter; member of the bands The Byrds, The New Christy Minstrels, and Dillard & Clark.
1944 Danny DeVito, actor, director, producer (Taxi TV series; Throw Momma from the Train, Pulp Fiction).
1944 Lorne Michaels, Canadian-American TV producer; created Saturday Night Live.
1949 Nguyen Tan Dung, Prime Minister of Vietnam (2006– )

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