On November 17:
1493 Christopher Columbus landed on Puerto Rico
1558 Elizabethan era began when Queen Mary I of England died and was succeeded by her half-sister Elizabeth I of England.
1603 English explorer, writer, and courtier Sir Walter Raleigh went on trial for treason.
1800 The United States Congress holds its first session in Washington, D.C.
1811 José Miguel Carrera, Chilean founding father, was sworn in as President of the executive Junta of the government of Chile.
1831 Ecuador and Venezuela were separated from Greater Colombia.
1855 David Livingstone became the first European to see the Victoria Falls.
1903 The Russian Social Democratic Labor Party split into two groups; the Bolsheviks (Russian for “majority”) and Mensheviks (Russian for “minority”).
1919 King George V of the United Kingdom proclaimed Armistice Day (later Remembrance Day). The idea was first suggested by Edward George Honey.
1923 Bert Sutcliffe, New Zealand cricketer, was born.
1925 Rock Hudson, American actor, was born.
1925 The New Zealand and South Seas International Exhibition opened in Dunedin.
1937 Peter Cook, British comedian, was born.
1938 Gordon Lightfoot, Canadian singer, was born.
1939 Auberon Waugh, British author, was born.
1950 Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, was enthroned as the leader of Tibet at the age of fifteen.
1953 The remaining human inhabitants of the Blasket Islands, Kerry, Ireland were evacuated to the mainland.
1970 Douglas Engelbart received the patent for the first computer mouse.
1978 Zoë Bell, New Zealand actress-stuntwoman, was born.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.