Today In History

Today is Wednesday, Nov. 16, the 321st day of 2016. There are 45 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight

On Nov. 16, 1966, Dr. Samuel H. Sheppard was acquitted in his second trial of murdering his pregnant wife, Marilyn, in 1954.

On this date

In 1776, British troops captured Fort Washington in New York during the American Revolution.

In 1914, the newly-created Federal Reserve Banks opened in 12 cities.

In 1933, the United States and the Soviet Union established diplomatic relations.

In 1939, mob boss Al Capone, ill with syphilis, was released from prison after serving 7 1/2 years for tax evasion and failure to file tax returns.

In 1973, Skylab 4, carrying a crew of three astronauts, was launched from Cape Canaveral on an 84-day mission.

In 1981, the Senate confirmed Dr. C. Everett Koop to be surgeon general.

In 1991, former Louisiana governor Edwin Edwards won a landslide victory in his bid to return to office, defeating State Rep. David Duke, a former Ku Klux Klan leader.

In 1993, President Bill Clinton signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, making it harder for government to interfere with religious practices.

Ten years ago: Democrats embraced Nancy Pelosi as the first woman House speaker in history, but then selected Steny Hoyer as majority leader against her wishes. African, Arab, European and U.N. leaders agreed in principle to a joint African Union-United Nations peacekeeping force for Sudan’s Darfur region. Gunmen abducted a private security team of four Americans and an Austrian in southern Iraq. (All five were later slain.)

Five years ago: President Barack Obama, visiting Canberra, said he would send military aircraft and up to 2,500 Marines to northern Australia for a training hub to help allies and protect American interests across Asia.

One year ago: President Barack Obama, in Turkey for a meeting of world leaders, conceded that the Paris terror attacks were a “terrible and sickening setback” in the fight against the Islamic State, but forcefully dismissed critics who were calling for the U.S. to change or expand its military campaign against the extremists.

Thought for Today

“I think the government solution to a problem is usually as bad as the problem and very often makes the problem worse.” — Milton Friedman (1912-2006).