Today in History – November 17

• 284, Diocletian is proclaimed emperor by his soldiers

• 1603, English explorer, writer and courtier Sir Walter Raleigh goes on trial for treason

• 1659, Peace of the Pyrenees is signed between France and Spain

• 1734, John Peter Zenger, who founded America’s first regularly published newspaper, was arrested for allegedly libeling the colonial governor of New York

• 1777, Articles of Confederation was submitted to the states for ratification

• 1800, the United States Congress holds its first session in Washington, D.C.

• 1820, Captain Nathaniel Palmer becomes the first American to see Antarctica (the Palmer Peninsula was later named after him)

• 1869, in Egypt, the Suez Canal, linking the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea, is inaugurated in an elaborate ceremony

• 1871, the National Rifle Association is granted a charter by the state of New York

• 1903, the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party splits into two groups; the Bolsheviks (Russian for “majority”) and Mensheviks (Russian for “minority”

• 1905, the Eulsa Treaty is signed between Japan and Korea

• 1933, United States recognizes Soviet Union

• 1947, the U.S. Screen Actors Guild implements an anti-Communist loyalty oath

• 1967, during the Vietnam War: Acting on optimistic reports he was given on November 13, US President Lyndon B. Johnson tells his nation that, while much remained to be done, “We are inflicting greater losses than we’re taking…We are making progress.”

• 1968, the NBC television network outraged football fans by cutting away from the closing minutes of a New York Jets-Oakland Raiders game to begin a special presentation of “Heidi” on schedule. (Home viewers were prevented from seeing the Raiders come from behind to beat the Jets, 43-32.)

• 1969, negotiators from the Soviet Union and the United States meet in Helsinki to begin SALT I negotiations aimed at limiting the number of strategic weapons on both sides

• 1970, Douglas Engelbart receives the patent for the first computer mouse

• 1973, during the Watergate scandal: In Orlando, Florida, US President Richard Nixon tells 400 Associated Press managing editors “I am not a crook”.

• 1992, an appeals court in Washington ruled the Watergate tapes and Nixon presidential papers rightfully belonged to U.S. President Richard Nixon when he left office in 1974

• 1998, the public got to hear Monica Lewinsky’s voice for the first time as the House Judiciary Committee released 22 hours of tape recordings secretly made by Linda Tripp

• 2006, official naming of element 111, Roentgenium (Rg)

• 2003, Rush Limbaugh returned to radio after five weeks of rehabilitation for a painkiller addiction. ALSO: Accused Washington sniper John Muhammad was convicted of capital murder by a jury in Virginia Beach, Va., and sentenced to die. He was executed Nov. 10, 2009

• 2004, President Vladimir Putin announced Russia was developing a new missile system

• 2007, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte delivered a blunt message to Pakistan’s military ruler, President Gen. Pervez Musharraf, telling him emergency rule had to be lifted and his opponents freed ahead of elections

• 2010, House Democrats elected Nancy Pelosi to remain as their leader despite massive party losses in midterm elections

• 2013, intense thunderstorms and tornadoes swept across the Midwest, causing extensive damage in several central Illinois communities, killing more than half a dozen people. AND: A Tatarstan Airlines Boeing 737 crashed 450 miles east of Moscow, killing all 50 people on board

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