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  Daily Almanac
Today's Events | On Horizon | On This Day | Newslink | Notable | Almanac archive

Tuesday, November 17, 1998


There has not been a meteor storm since the onset of the space age.

-- Peter Brown, an astrophysicist monitoring Leonid Meteor Shower


today's events

  • The Leonid Meteor Shower occurs today, featuring glowing trails of comet dust in the night sky. Said to be the most intense meteor shower in 30 years, it threatens about 500 satellites now circling the globe.

  • Top Democratic and Republican pollsters in Washington are scheduled to release new data and analyze how 1998 election results will influence issues of interest to gays, and upcoming legislation.

on the horizon

  • On Wednesday, November 18, House Republicans are scheduled to meet in Washington to choose leadership for the 106th Congress, including a replacement for outgoing Speaker Newt Gingrich.

  • On Thursday, November 19, the House Judiciary Committee is to open impeachment hearings in Washington. Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr is scheduled to testify.

  • On Friday, November 20, animal rights groups plan to hold a candlelight vigil in Bethesda, Maryland, to protest suffering and violent deaths of turkeys for Thanksgiving.

  • On Saturday, November 21, The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival is scheduled in Chicago.

  • On Sunday, November 22, ambassadors and representatives from Egypt, Jordan, Israel, and the Palestinian Authority are scheduled to convene at a special symposium on the Mideast peace process. The State Department's Middle East coordinator is also scheduled to speak.


Take a virtual tour of over 30 museums here.

  • Governor of Iowa Terry E. Branstad is 52.
  • Actor Danny DeVito ("Twins") is 54.
  • Writer Shelby Foote is 82.
  • Actress Lauren Hutton ("American Gigolo") is 54.
  • Singer Gordon Lightfoot is 60.
  • Actress Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio ("The Color of Money") is 40.
  • Former Congressman Bob Mathias is 68.
  • Film director Martin Scorsese ("Goodfellas") is 56.

on this day

  • In 1800, the U.S. Congress met for the first time in the new capital, Washington, D.C., and President John Adams became the first occupant of the Executive Mansion (later called the White House).

  • In 1869, the Suez Canal was opened to navigation, after more than 10 years of construction.

  • In 1958, the civilian government of Sudan was overthrown by the military, Ibrahim Abboud became prime minister.

  • In 1969, Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) between the Soviet Union and the U.S. opened in Helsinki, Finland.

  • In 1970, the Russian Luna 17 spacecraft landed an eight-wheeled lunar vehicle on the moon.

  • In 1972, Argentine ex-president Juan Peron arrived in Buenos Aires after 17 years of exile.

  • In 1974, the first general election in Greece for over 10 years ended with a decisive victory for the New Democracy Party of Constantine Karamanlis.

  • In 1989, Tens of thousands of people marched through Prague demanding an end to communist rule in Czechoslovakia, but riot police and army paratroopers moved in to crush the biggest challenge to the hard-line communist leadership in 20 years.

  • In 1991, The eastern Croatian town of Vukovar fell to the Serb-dominated federal army, after an 86-day siege.

  • In 1991, Son Sen -- a leader of the Khmer Rouge, which was responsible for the deaths of a million Cambodians in the 1970s -- returned to Phnom Penh to take his seat in a power-sharing administration.

  • In 1993, Judges from 11 nations were sworn in at the inaugural session of the U.N. Yugoslavia war crimes tribunal -- the first such forum since the Nuremberg and Tokyo trials judged World War II criminals.

  • In 1993, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

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