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Today in History - Tuesday Edition

Today is Tuesday, Nov. 17, the 321st day of 2015. There are 44 days left in the year.

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    Pope Francis made an official announcement on this date.

    Today's Highlight in History:

    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.

    On this date:

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

    In 1994, the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical "Sunset Boulevard" opened on Broadway with Glenn Close as faded movie star Norma Desmond.

    Ten years ago: U.S. Rep. John Murtha of Pennsylvania, considered one of Congress' most hawkish Democrats, called for an immediate U.S. withdrawal from Iraq. A jury in Sarasota, Florida, convicted auto mechanic Joseph Smith of kidnapping, raping and strangling 11-year-old Carlie Brucia, whose abduction had been captured by a car-wash security camera. (Smith remains on death row.)

    Five years 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, was convicted by federal jury in New York on one charge of conspiracy, among over 280 counts related to 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Ghailani's native Tanzania. (He was later sentenced to life in prison.)

    One year ago: Pope Francis confirmed that he would be attending the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia in Sept. 2015. Dr. Martin Salia, a surgeon who'd contracted Ebola in his native Sierra Leone, died at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, two days after being admitted. John T. Downey, 84, a former CIA agent who survived more than 20 years in Chinese prisons during the Cold War before becoming a Connecticut judge, died in Hartford. Jimmy Ruffin, 78, the Motown singer whose hits included "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted," died in Las Vegas.

    Today's Birthdays:  Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., is 81. Rock musician Gerry McGee (The Ventures) is 78. Singer Gordon Lightfoot is 77. Singer-songwriter Bob Gaudio is 74. Movie director Martin Scorsese is 73. Actress Lauren Hutton is 72. Actor-director Danny DeVito is 71. "Saturday Night Live" producer Lorne Michaels is 71. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Tom Seaver is 71. Movie director Roland Joffe is 70. Former Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean is 67. Former House Speaker John Boehner is 66. Actor Stephen Root is 64. Rock musician Jim Babjak (The Smithereens) is 58. Actress Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio is 57. Actor William Moses is 56. Entertainer RuPaul is 55. Actor Dylan Walsh is 52. National Security Adviser Susan Rice is 51. Actress Sophie Marceau is 49. Actress-model Daisy Fuentes is 49. Blues singer/musician Tab Benoit is 48. Rhythm-and-blues singer Ronnie DeVoe (New Edition; Bell Biv DeVoe) is 48. Rock musician Ben Wilson (Blues Traveler) is 48. Actor David Ramsey is 44. Actor Leonard Roberts is 43. Actress Leslie Bibb is 42. Actor Brandon Call is 39. Country singer Aaron Lines is 38. Actress Rachel McAdams is 37. Rock musician Isaac Hanson (Hanson) is 35. Actor Justin Cooper is 27. Musician Reid Perry (The Band Perry) is 27. Actress Raquel Castro is 21.

    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).