Today is Monday, Nov. 16, the 320th day of 2009. There are 45 days left in the year.
On Nov. 16, 1959, the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical “The Sound of Music,” inspired by the real-life story of the Trapp Family Singers, opened on Broadway with Mary Martin as Maria and Theodore Bikel as Capt. von Trapp.
On this date:
In 1776: British troops captured Fort Washington in New York during the American Revolution.
In 1885: Canadian rebel leader Louis Riel was executed for high treason.
In 1933: the United States and the Soviet Union established diplomatic relations.
In 1961: House Speaker Samuel T. Rayburn died in Bonham, Texas, having served as speaker since 1940 except for two terms.
In 1966: Dr. Samuel Sheppard was acquitted in his second trial of murdering his pregnant wife, Marilyn, in 1954.
In 1999: Nathaniel Abraham, at 13 one of the youngest murder defendants in U.S. history, was convicted in Pontiac, Mich., of second-degree murder for shooting a stranger outside a convenience store with a rifle when he was 11. (Nathaniel was sentenced to juvenile detention until his 21st birthday; he was released in January 2007. However, he was sentenced in January 2009 to at least four years in prison for a drug-related conviction.)
In 2003: President George W. 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.