In 1558, Elizabeth I acceded to the English throne upon the death of her half-sister, Queen Mary, beginning a 44-year reign.
In 1800, Congress held its first session in the partially completed U.S. 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 (roh-DAN’) died in Meudon at age 77.
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 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 1997, 62 people, most of them foreign tourists, were killed when militants opened fire at the Temple of Hatshepsut (haht-shehp-SOOT’) in Luxor, Egypt; the attackers were killed by police.
In 2001, the Taliban confirmed the death of Osama bin Laden’s military chief Mohammed Atef in an airstrike three days earlier.
In 2003, Arnold Schwarzenegger was sworn in as the 38th governor of California.
In 2006, former “Seinfeld” star Michael Richards unleashed a barrage of racial epithets during a stand-up routine at the Laugh Factory in West Hollywood.
Ten years ago: In their first meeting since the election, Barack Obama and former rival John McCain met at the president-elect’s transition headquarters in Chicago, where they pledged to work together on ways to change Washington’s “bad habits.” St. Louis Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols won his second NL MVP award.
Five years 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.
One year ago: Sen. Al Franken apologized to the woman who had accused him of forcibly kissing her and groping her during a 2006 USO tour; the Minnesota Democrat said he remembered the encounter differently. The Rev. Jesse Jackson disclosed that he had been receiving outpatient care for two years for Parkinson’s disease. Argentina’s Navy said it had lost contact with a submarine carrying 44 crew members off the country’s southern coast; an explosion occurred near the time and place where the sub went missing. (Argentina eventually gave up hope of finding survivors; the search for the sub was unsuccessful.)
Today’s Birthdays: Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., is 84. Rock musician Gerry McGee (The Ventures) is 81. Singer Gordon Lightfoot is 80. Singer-songwriter Bob Gaudio is 77. Movie director Martin Scorsese (skor-SEH’-see) is 76. Actress Lauren Hutton is 75. Actor-director Danny DeVito is 74. “Saturday Night Live” producer Lorne Michaels is 74. Baseball Hall of Famer Tom Seaver is 74. Movie director Roland Joffe is 73. Former Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean is 70. Former House Speaker John Boehner (BAY’-nur) is 69. Actor Stephen Root is 67. Rock musician Jim Babjak (The Smithereens) is 61. Actress Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio is 60. Actor William Moses is 59. Entertainer RuPaul is 58. Actor Dylan Walsh is 55. Former National Security Adviser Susan Rice is 54. Actress Sophie Marceau is 52. Actress-model Daisy Fuentes is 52. Blues singer/musician Tab Benoit (behn-WAH’) is 51. Rhythm-and-blues singer Ronnie DeVoe (New Edition; Bell Biv DeVoe) is 51. Rock musician Ben Wilson (Blues Traveler) is 51. Actor David Ramsey is 47. Actor Leonard Roberts is 46. Actress Leslie Bibb is 45. Actor Brandon Call is 42. Country singer Aaron Lines is 41. Actress Rachel McAdams is 40. Rock musician Isaac Hanson (Hanson) is 38. Actor Justin Cooper is 30. Musician Reid Perry (The Band Perry) is 30. Actress Raquel Castro is 24.
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).