Today in History: November 17, Arnold Schwarzenegger becomes governor of California

In 1800, Congress held its first session in the partially completed US Capitol building.

In 1869, the Suez Canal opened in Egypt.

In 1917, French sculptor Auguste Rodin died 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 1969, the first round of Strategic Arms Limitation Talks between the United States and the Soviet Union opened in Helsinki, Finland.

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 of the 66 American hostages being held at the US Embassy in Tehran.

In 1989, the Walt Disney animated feature “The Little Mermaid” opened in wide release.

In 1997, 62 people, most of them foreign tourists, were killed when militants opened fire at the Temple of Hatshepsut in Luxor, Egypt; the attackers were killed by police.

In 2002, Abba Eban, the statesman who helped persuade the world to approve creation of Israel and dominated Israeli diplomacy for decades, died near Tel Aviv at age 87.

In 2003, Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Austrian-born actor who had become one of America’s biggest movie stars of the 1980s and ‘90s, was sworn in as the 38th governor of California.

In 2012, a speeding train crashed into a bus carrying Egyptian children to their kindergarten, killing 48 children and three adults.

In 2013, Doris Lessing, an independent and often irascible author who won the Nobel Prize in 2007, died in London at age 94.

In 2018, Argentina’s navy announced that searchers had found a submarine that disappeared a year earlier with 44 crewmen aboard; the government said it would be unable to recover the vessel.

In 2020, President Donald Trump fired the nation’s top election security official, Christopher Krebs, who had refuted Trump’s unsubstantiated claims of electoral fraud and vouched for the integrity of the vote.

Last year, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she would not seek a leadership position in the new Congress, a pivotal realignment making way for a new generation of leaders after Democrats lost control of the House to Republicans in the midterm elections.

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