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On this day - November 16

1724: Highwayman Jack Sheppard was hanged in front of 200,000 people at Tyburn.

1824: Explorers Hamilton Hume and William H Hovell discovered Australia's Murray River.

1869: The formal opening of the Suez Canal took place. It had taken 10 years to make the 100-mile waterway devised by Ferdinand de Lesseps.

1896: Oswald Mosley, English fascist leader, was born.

1920: The Bolsheviks defeated the White Russians in the Crimea, ending Russia's Civil War.

1937: MPs voted in favour of air raid shelters being erected in towns and cities. Winston Churchill insisted they were "indispensable". Labour opposed it, fearing it would mean a big rise in rates.

1959: The Sound Of Music, a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, opened on Broadway.

1960: Clark Gable, the "King of Hollywood" and Oscar winner, died after shooting the final scenes of The Misfits opposite Marilyn Monroe.

1989: A pillar of South African apartheid crumbled when beach access restrictions were removed by president FW de Klerk.

ON THIS DAY LAST YEAR: There were swings towards Labour as the party held its two seats in parliamentary by-elections.

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