This Day in History: Nov. 16

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

On this day, Nov. 16 …

2006: Democrats embrace Nancy Pelosi as the first woman House speaker in history, but then select Rep. Steny Hoyer as majority leader against her wishes.

Also on this day:

  • 1776: British troops capture Fort Washington in New York during the American Revolution.
  • 1914: The newly created Federal Reserve Banks open in 12 cities.
  • 1933: The United States and the Soviet Union establish diplomatic relations.

Al Capone, right, Chicago’s infamous gang overlord during prohibition, leaves Harrisburg, Pa., on Nov. 16, 1939 with a federal officer for Lewisburg, Pa., where he was released after spending seven years in prison in Atlanta and San Francisco’s Alcatraz. (AP Photo)

  • 1939: Mob boss Al Capone, ill with syphilis, is released from prison after serving 7 1/2 years for tax evasion and failure to file tax returns.
  • 1959: The Rodgers and Hammerstein musical “The Sound of Music” opens on Broadway.
  • 1961: House Speaker Samuel T. Rayburn dies in Bonham, Texas, having served as speaker since 1940 except for two terms.
  • 1966: Dr. Samuel H. Sheppard is acquitted in Cleveland at his second trial of murdering his pregnant wife, Marilyn.
  • 1973: Skylab 4, carrying a crew of three astronauts, is launched from Cape Canaveral on an 84-day mission.
  • 1981: Actor William Holden is found dead in his apartment in Santa Monica, Calif.; he was 63.
  • 1982: An agreement is announced in the 57th day of a strike by National Football League players.
  • 1997: China’s most prominent pro-democracy campaigner, Wei Jingsheng, arrives in the United States after being released following nearly 18 years of imprisonment in his country.
  • 2008: Iraq’s Cabinet overwhelmingly approves a security pact with the United States calling for American forces to remain in the country until 2012.
  • 2008: Space shuttle Endeavour links up with the international space station.
  • 2008: The Pittsburgh Steelers rally to beat the San Diego Chargers 11-10, the first such final score in NFL history.
  • 2013: In his weekly Saturday radio and Internet address, President Barack Obama says improved energy efficiency and higher energy production in the United States are yielding environmental and economic benefits that were helping ensure cleaner air and a more competitive business landscape.

  • 2017: Minnesota Democratic Sen. Al Franken becomes the first member of Congress to be caught up in a wave of allegations of sexual abuse and inappropriate behavior, after a Los Angeles radio anchor accuses him of forcibly kissing her and groping her during a 2006 USO tour.

  • 2017: The federal bribery trial of Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey ends with the jury hopelessly deadlocked on all charges. (Federal prosecutors would decide not to retry him.) 

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