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This Day In History – 17th November

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Hello there! Thank you for wanting to know more than you did yesterday. We have compiled a list of important and interesting events which happened on 17th November from all across the world. Happy reading!

  • 1558 Elizabeth I ascended the English throne: The Virgin Queen ascended the throne after the death of her half-sister, Queen “Bloody” Mary I on 17th November. An illegitimate child of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, her right to the throne wasn’t always guaranteed. But she ended up reigning England from 1558 to 1603, in what is known as the Elizabethan Age. England flourished as a major European power in politics, commerce, and the arts, during her reign. She was a woman ruler in a patriarchal world, and wore her coronation ring on her wedding finger as a sign of her symbolic marriage to her country.
This Day In History - 17th November
Queen Elizabeth I
  • 1869 Suez Canal inaugurated: The Suez Canal, connecting the Mediterranean and the Red seas, was inaugurated in an elaborate ceremony. Then, only 500 ships navigated in its first full year of operation. But after some improvements in 1876, it soon grew into one of the world’s most heavily travelled shipping lanes. Today, around 50 ships navigate the canal daily, carrying more than 300 million tons of goods every year.
  • 1939 Students resistance led to the declaration of International Students’ Day: On this day in 1939, students resisted the Nazi occupation in the streets of Prague. This succeeded the Nazis storming the University of Prague, killing nine student leaders and sending 1,200 students to concentration camps. This led to the declaration of November 17 as International Students’ Day by the International Students Council in London. Today, many universities observe it as a nonpolitical celebration of the multiculturalism of their international students.
  • 1968 Football game cut off to air Heidi: “Whatever you do, you better not leave an NFL football game,” said a network executive. NBC outraged its viewers by switching off a football game with just 65 seconds to play, in favor of a children’s story. The Oakland Raiders scored two touchdowns in nine seconds to beat the New York Jets. TV viewers poured in their complaints when they missed such a classic game over Heidi.
  • 1978 Rachel McAdams born: Canadian actress Rachel McAdams was born today. She is best known for her roles in Mean Girls, The Notebook, Midnight in Paris, Spotlight, and many more.
This Day In History - 17th November
Rachel McAdams
  • 1982 Yusuf Pathan born: Indian International cricketer Yusuf Pathan made his first-class debut in 2001 as a right-handed batsman and a right-arm off-break bowler. He first played for India in the inaugural 2007 T20 World Cup.
  • 1991 First condom ad aired on TV: The first condom ad was a 15-second ad for Trojan brand condoms run by the Fox television network, aired on 17th November. It featured a close-up shot of a young redheaded man who says, “I’m a nice guy and go out with nice girls. But these days, some pretty terrible things are happening to some really nice people.” A box of condoms is displayed while an announcer says, “Trojan latex condoms: To reduce the risk.”
  • 2003 Arnold Schwarzenegger becomes governor of California: The Terminator star and former bodybuilder was sworn in as the 38th governor of California at the State Capital in Sacramento. Prior to him, famous actor Ronald Reagan also served as the 33rd governor of California in 1967.
  • 2008 Twilight premiers in LA: Directed by Catherine Hardwicke, the first film in the Twilight Saga film series premiered today in Los Angeles. It is based on the novels by Stephenie Meyer and stars Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson. In 2009, it became the most purchased DVD of the year.
This Day In History - 17th November
  • 2015 Ireland’s first same-sex marriage ceremony: The first same-sex marriage in Ireland took place between Richard Dowling and Cormac Gollogly in County Tipperary on 17th November. This happened after the new marriage legislation became official. Gallogly described the day as “a real whirlwind” while Dowling said, “It was nice to be like everyone else.”
  • 2019 First known case of COVID-19: The first-ever case of COVID-19 can be traced back to a 55-year-old individual from the Hubei province in China. More than a month later, doctors started noting cases in Wuhan.
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