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Today in history: November 16

Celebrity birthdays, highlights in history, plus more facts about this day
/ Source: The Associated Press

Today is Wednesday, Nov. 16, the 320th day of 2005. There are 45 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On Nov. 16, 1864, Union Gen. William T. Sherman and his troops began their “March to the Sea” during the Civil War.

On this date:
In 1776, British troops captured Fort Washington during the American Revolution.

In 1885, Canadian rebel Louis Riel was executed for high treason.

In 1907, Oklahoma became the 46th state of the union.

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

In 1959, the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical “The Sound of Music” opened on Broadway.

In 1961, House Speaker Samuel T. Rayburn died in Bonham, Texas, having served as speaker since 1940 except for two terms.

In 1973, Skylab 3, carrying a crew of three astronauts, was launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla., on an 84-day mission.

In 1973, President Nixon signed the Alaska Pipeline measure into law.

In 1981, actor William Holden was found dead in his apartment in Santa Monica, Calif.; he was 63.

In 1982, an agreement was announced in the 57th day of a strike by National Football League players.

Ten years ago: Refusing to yield, President Clinton threatened anew to veto the latest Republican offer to end a three-day partial government shutdown; Democrats savaged House Speaker Newt Gingrich for claiming Clinton had snubbed him recently aboard Air Force One. Attorney General Janet Reno disclosed she had Parkinson’s disease.

Five years ago: Al Gore won a legal fight to expand manual recounts as he struggled to trim George W. Bush’s 300-vote lead in Florida’s presidential race. President Clinton began a visit to Vietnam. Civil rights activist Hosea Williams died in Atlanta at age 74.

One year ago: President Bush picked National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice to be his new secretary of state, succeeding Colin Powell. Al-Jazeera television said it had received a video showing a hooded militant shooting a blindfolded woman in the head; it’s believed the woman was kidnapped aid worker Margaret Hassan. Sunni Muslims in Iraq expressed anger over videotape showing the fatal shooting of a wounded and apparently unarmed man in a Fallujah mosque by a U.S. Marine.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Clu Gulager is 77. Blues musician Hubert Sumlin is 74. Journalist Elizabeth Drew is 70. Blues musician W.C. Clark is 66. Actor Steve Railsback is 60. Actor David Leisure is 55. Actress Marg Helgenberger is 47. Rock musician Mani is 43. Country singer-musician Keith Burns (Trick Pony) is 42. Tennis player Zina Garrison is 42. Former baseball player Dwight Gooden is 41. Jazz singer Diana Krall is 41. Actress Lisa Bonet is 38. Actress Tammy Lauren is 37. Rhythm-and-blues singer Bryan Abrams (Color Me Badd) is 36. Actress Martha Plimpton is 35. Olympic gold medal figure skater Oksana Baiul is 28. Actress Maggie Gyllenhaal is 28. Pop singer Trevor Penick is 26. Actress Kimberly J. Brown is 21. Actor Noah Gray-Cabey (“My Wife and Kids”) is nine.

Thought for Today: “No matter how dull, or how mean, or how wise a man is, he feels that happiness is his indisputable right.” — Helen Keller, American author and lecturer (1880-1968).