Today is Monday, Nov. 17, the 321st day of 2014. There are 44 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Nov. 17, 1889, the Union Pacific Railroad Co. began direct, daily railroad service between Chicago and Portland, Oregon, as well as Chicago and San Francisco.
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 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 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 1989, the Walt Disney animated feature “The Little Mermaid” opened in wide release.

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

Ten years ago: It was announced that Kmart was acquiring Sears in a surprise $11 billion deal. In Washington state, officials said Republican gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi led Democratic opponent Christine Gregoire by only 261 votes. (After three counts of the ballots, Gregoire was declared the winner by just 129 votes out of 2.9 million cast.)
Five years ago: President Barack Obama held formal, closed-door talks in Beijing with Chinese President Hu Jintao. Sarah Palin’s autobiography “Going Rogue” was released; 1 million copies sold in less than two weeks.
One year ago: Intense thunderstorms and tornadoes swept across the Midwest, causing extensive damage in several central Illinois communities, killing more than half a dozen people. A Tatarstan Airlines Boeing 737 crashed 450 miles east of Moscow, killing all 50 people on board. Doris Lessing 94, an independent and often irascible author who won the Nobel Prize in 2007, died in London.
Today’s Birthdays: Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., is 80. Rock musician Gerry McGee (The Ventures) is 77. Singer Gordon Lightfoot is 76. Singer-songwriter Bob Gaudio is 73. Movie director Martin Scorsese is 72. Actress Lauren Hutton is 71. Actor-director Danny DeVito is 70. “Saturday Night Live” producer Lorne Michaels is 70. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Tom Seaver is 70. Movie director Roland Joffe is 69. Former Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean is 66. House Speaker John Boehner is 65. Actor Stephen Root is 63. Rock musician Jim Babjak (The Smithereens) is 57. Actress Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio is 56. Actor William Moses is 55. Entertainer RuPaul is 54. Actor Dylan Walsh is 51. National Security Adviser Susan Rice is 50. Actress Sophie Marceau is 48. Actress-model Daisy Fuentes is 48. Rhythm-and-blues singer Ronnie DeVoe (New Edition; Bell Biv DeVoe) is 47. Rock musician Ben Wilson (Blues Traveler) is 47. Actor David Ramsey is 43. Actor Leonard Roberts is 42. Actress Leslie Bibb is 41. Actor Brandon Call is 38. Country singer Aaron Lines is 37. Actress Rachel McAdams is 36. Rock musician Isaac Hanson (Hanson) is 34. Actor Justin Cooper is 26. Musician Reid Perry (The Band Perry) is 26. Actress Raquel Castro is 20.
Thought for Today: “The upper classes are merely a nation’s past; the middle class is its future.” — Ayn Rand, Russian-American author (1905-1982).

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