On This Day in History November 17

November 17 – Events:

  • 284 – Diocletian is proclaimed emperor by his soldiers.
  • 473 – The future Zeno I is named associate emperor by Emperor Leo I.
  • 1183 – Battle of Mizushima.
  • 1292 – (O.S.) John Balliol becomes King of Scotland.
  • 1511 – Spain and England ally against France.
  • 1558 – Elizabethan era begins: Queen Mary I of England dies and is succeeded by her half-sister Elizabeth I of England.
  • 1603 – English explorer, writer and courtier Sir Walter Raleigh goes on trial for treason.
  • 1659 – Peace of the Pyrenees is signed between France and Spain.
  • 1777 – Articles of Confederation was submitted to the states for ratification.
  • 1796 – Napoleonic Wars: Battle of Arcole – French forces defeat the Austrians in Italy.
  • 1800 – The United States Capitol building in Washington, DC holds its first session of the U.S. Congress.
  • 1812 – Napoleonic Wars: Battle of Krasnoi.
  • 1820 – Captain Nathaniel Palmer becomes the first American to see Antarctica (the Palmer Peninsula was later named after him).
  • 1827 – The Delta Phi fraternity, America’s oldest continuous social fraternity, was founded at Union College in Schenectady, New York.
  • 1831 – Ecuador and Venezuela were separated from Greater Colombia.
  • 1855 – David Livingstone becomes the first European to see Victoria Falls in what is now present-day Zambia-Zimbabwe.
  • 1856 – American Old West: On the Sonoita River in present-day southern Arizona, the United States Army establishes Fort Buchanan in order to help control new land acquired in the Gadsden Purchase.
  • 1858 – Modified Julian Day zero.
  • 1863 – American Civil War: Siege of Knoxville begins – Confederate forces led by General James Longstreet place Knoxville, Tennessee under siege.
  • 1869 – In Egypt, the Suez Canal, linking the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea, is inaugurated in an elaborate ceremony.
  • 1871 – The National Rifle Association is granted a charter by the state of New York.
  • 1876 – Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s patriotic Slavonic March made its premiere in Moscow to a warm reception by the Russian people.
  • 1878 – First assassination attempt against Umberto I of Italy.
  • 1903 – The Russian Social Democratic Labor Party splits into two groups; the Bolsheviks (Russian for “majority”) and Mensheviks (Russian for “minority”).
  • 1903 – Dahomey (Benin) becomes a French protectorate.
  • 1905 – The Eulsa Treaty is signed between Japan and Korea.
  • 1911 – The Omega Psi Phi fraternity, the first African-American fraternity at a historically black college or university, is founded at Howard University in Washington, D.C.
  • 1919 – King George V of the United Kingdom proclaims Armistice Day (later Remembrance Day). The idea was first suggested by Edward George Honey.
  • 1922 – Former Ottoman sultan Mehmed VI goes into exile in Italy.
  • 1933 – United States recognizes Soviet Union.
  • 1939 – Nine Czech students are executed as a response to anti-Nazi demonstrations prompted by the death of Jan Opletal; in addition, Czech universities are shut down and over a thousand Czech students sent to concentration camps.
  • 1939 – The Rome-Rio de Janeiro air connection is created.
  • 1950 – Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, was enthroned as Tibet’s head of state at the age of fifteen.
  • 1953 – The remaining human inhabitants of the Blasket Islands, Kerry, Ireland are evacuated to the mainland.
  • 1954 – Colonel Gamal Abdel Nasser becomes president of Egypt.
  • 1962 – President John F. Kennedy dedicates Dulles International Airport, serving the Washington, D.C. region.
  • 1967 – Vietnam War: Acting on optimistic reports he was given on November 13, US President Lyndon B. Johnson tells his nation that, while much remained to be done, “We are inflicting greater losses than we’re taking…We are making progress.”
  • 1968 – Alexandros Panagoulis is condemned to death for attempting to assassinate Greek dictator George Papadopoulos.
  • 1969 – Cold War: Negotiators from the Soviet Union and the United States meet in Helsinki to begin SALT I negotiations aimed at limiting the number of strategic weapons on both sides.
  • 1970 – Vietnam War: Lieutenant William Calley goes on trial for the My Lai massacre.
  • 1970 – Luna program: The Soviet Union lands Lunokhod 1 on Mare Imbrium (Sea of Rains) on the Moon. This is the first roving remote-controlled robot to land on another world and was released by the orbiting Luna 17 spacecraft.
  • 1970 – Douglas Engelbart receives the patent for the first computer mouse.
  • 1973 – Watergate scandal: In Orlando, Florida, US President Richard Nixon tells 400 Associated Press managing editors “I am not a crook”.
  • 1973 – The Athens Polytechnic Uprising against the military regime ends in a bloodshed in the Greek capital.
  • 1974 – Aliança Operário-Camponesa (Worker-Peasant Alliance) founded in Portugal, as a front of PCP(m-l).
  • 1983 – The Zapatista Army of National Liberation is founded.
  • 1989 – Cold War: Velvet Revolution begins: In Czechoslovakia, a student demonstration in Prague is quelled by riot police. This sparks an uprising aimed at overthrowing the communist government (it succeeds on December 29).
  • 1990 – Fugendake, part of the Mount Unzen volcanic complex, Nagasaki prefecture, Japan becomes active again and erupts.
  • 1997 – In Luxor, Egypt, 62 people are killed by 6 Islamic militants outside the Temple of Hatshepsut, known as Luxor massacre (The police then kill the assailants).
  • 2000 – A catastrophic landslide in Log pod Mangartom, Slovenia, kills 7, and causes millions of SIT of damage. It is one of the worst catastrophes in Slovenia in the past 100 years.
  • 2000 – Alberto Fujimori is removed from office as president of Peru.
  • 2003 – Arnold Schwarzenegger is inaugurated as Governor of California.
  • 2004 – Kmart Corp. announces it is buying Sears, Roebuck and Co. for $11 billion USD and naming the newly merged company Sears Holdings Corporation.
  • 2005 – Italy’s choice of national anthem, Il Canto degli Italiani, becomes official in law for the first time, almost 60 years after it was provisionally chosen following the birth of the republic.
  • 2006 – Official naming of element 111, Roentgenium (Rg).

November 17 – Birthdays:

  • 9 – Vespasian, Roman Emperor (d. 79)
  • 1502 – Atahualpa, last emperor of the Inca (d. 1533)
  • 1503 – Agnolo Bronzino, Italian painter (d. 1572)
  • 1576 – Roque Gonzales, Paraguayan missionary (d. 1628)
  • 1587 – Joost van den Vondel, Dutch poet (d. 1679)
  • 1612 – Dorgon, Manchu prince (d. 1650)
  • 1681 – Pierre François le Courayer, French theologian (d. 1776)
  • 1685 – Pierre Gaultier, French-Canadian trader and explorer (d. 1749)
  • 1729 – Maria Antonietta of Spain, queen of Sardinia (d. 1785)
  • 1755 – Louis XVIII of France (d. 1824)
  • 1765 – Étienne-Jacques-Joseph-Alexandre MacDonald, French marshal (d. 1840)
  • 1790 – August Ferdinand Möbius, German mathematician (d. 1868)
  • 1793 – Charles Lock Eastlake, British painter (d. 1865)
  • 1799 – Titian Peale, American artist (d. 1885)
  • 1816 – August Wilhelm Ambros, Austrian composer (d. 1876)
  • 1827 – Petko Slavejkov, Bulgarian writer (d. 1895)
  • 1835 – Andrew L. Harris, governor of Ohio (d. 1915)
  • 1854 – Hubert Lyautey, French general (d. 1934)
  • 1857 – Joseph Babinski, Polish-French neurologist (d. 1932)
  • 1866 – Voltairine de Cleyre, American anarchist (d. 1912)
  • 1868 – Korbinian Brodmann, German neurologist (d. 1918)
  • 1877 – Frank Calder, the first NHL President (d. 1943)
  • 1878 – Grace Abbott, American social worker (d. 1939)
  • 1878 – Lise Meitner, Austrian physicist (d. 1968)
  • 1887 – Bernard Montgomery, British World War II commander (d. 1976)
  • 1894 – Richard Nikolaus Graf Coudenhove-Kalergi, Austrian politician (d. 1972)
  • 1895 – Mikhail Bakhtin, Russian philosopher (d. 1975)
  • 1895 – Gregorio López y Fuentes, Mexican author (d. 1966)
  • 1896 – Lev Vygotsky, Russian psychologist (d. 1934)
  • 1897 – Frank Fay, American actor (d. 1961)
  • 1899 – Douglas Shearer, Canadian film sound engineer (d. 1971)
  • 1901 – Walter Hallstein, German politician (d. 1982)
  • 1901 – Lee Strasberg, Austrian director (d. 1982)
  • 1902 – Eugene Wigner, Hungarian physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1995)
  • 1904 – Isamu Noguchi, American sculptor (d. 1988)
  • 1905 – Queen Astrid of the Belgians (d. 1935)
  • 1905 – Mischa Auer, American actor (d. 1967)
  • 1906 – Soichiro Honda, Japanese automobile pioneer (d. 1992)
  • 1906 – Rollie Stiles, American baseball player (d. 2007)
  • 1907 – Israel Regardie, Aleister Crowley’s secretary (d. 1985)
  • 1911 – Christian Fouchet, French diplomat (d. 1974)
  • 1916 – Shelby Foote, American historian (d. 2005)
  • 1920 – Camillo Felgen, Luxembourgish singer (d. 2005)
  • 1922 – Stanley Cohen, American biochemist, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
  • 1923 – Bert Sutcliffe, New Zealand cricketer (d. 2001)
  • 1923 – Hubertus Brandenburg, Roman Catholic Bishop of Stockholm
  • 1925 – Rock Hudson, American actor (d. 1985)
  • 1925 – Charles Mackerras, Australian-born conductor
  • 1927 – Robert Brown, American actor
  • 1928 – Rance Howard, American actor
  • 1929 – Norm Zauchin, baseball player (d. 1999)
  • 1930 – Bob Mathias, American decathlete (d. 2006)
  • 1934 – Fenella Fielding, English actress
  • 1935 – Bobby Joe Conrad, American football player
  • 1935 – Toni Sailer, Austrian skier
  • 1936 – Dahlia Ravikovitch, Israeli poet (d. 2005)
  • 1937 – Peter Cook, British comedian (d. 1995)
  • 1938 – Gordon Lightfoot, Canadian singer
  • 1939 – Auberon Waugh, British author (d. 2001)
  • 1940 – Luke Kelly, Irish folk music singer and banjo player
  • 1942 – Martin Scorsese, American film director
  • 1942 – Khang Khek Leu, Cambodian politician
  • 1943 – Lauren Hutton, American actress
  • 1944 – Jim Boeheim, Hall of Fame Coach
  • 1944 – Danny DeVito, American actor
  • 1944 – Rem Koolhaas, Dutch architect
  • 1944 – Lorne Michaels, Canadian producer
  • 1944 – Tom Seaver, baseball player
  • 1944 – Gene Clark, American singer and songwriter (The Byrds) (d. 1991)
  • 1945 – Elvin Hayes, American basketball player
  • 1945 – Roland Joffé, Anglo-French film director
  • 1946 – Terry E. Branstad, Governor of Iowa
  • 1946 – Martin Barre, English rock musician (Jethro Tull)
  • 1947 – Steven E. de Souza, American scriptwriter
  • 1947 – Inky Mark, Canadian politician
  • 1948 – Howard Dean, American politician
  • 1950 – Tom Walkinshaw, Scottish race car driver and race team owner
  • 1951 – Stephen Root, American actor
  • 1951 – Dean Paul Martin, American singer and actor (d. 1987)
  • 1952 – Ties Kruize, Dutch field hockey player
  • 1954 – Mark Brandon Read, Australian criminal
  • 1955 – Dennis Maruk, Canadian hockey player
  • 1955 – Yolanda King, daughter of Martin Luther King, Jr. (d. 2007)
  • 1957 – Debbie Thrower, BBC News Reader
  • 1958 – Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, American actress
  • 1959 – Terry Fenwick, English footballer
  • 1960 – Jonathan Ross, British presenter
  • 1960 – Kirk Fogg, host of Legends of the Hidden Temple
  • 1960 – RuPaul, American drag entertainer
  • 1961 – Robert Stethem, U.S. Navy Seabee diver murdered by terrorists on TWA Flight
  • 847 (d. 1985)
  • 1962 – Dédé Fortin, Quebec singer (Les Colocs) (d. 2000)
  • 1964 – Ralph Garman, American actor and radio personality
  • 1964 – Mitch Williams, Major League Baseball player
  • 1965 – Amanda Brown, Australian musician (The Go-Betweens) and composer
  • 1966 – Jeff Buckley, American musician (d. 1997)
  • 1966 – Sophie Marceau, French actress
  • 1966 – Daisy Fuentes, Cuban model and actress
  • 1966 – Kate Ceberano, Australian singer
  • 1966 – Richard Fortus, American guitarist (Guns N’ Roses)
  • 1968 – Amber Michaels, German porn actress
  • 1969 – Jean-Michel Saive, Belgian table tennis player
  • 1969 – Ryotaro Okiayu, Japanese voice actor
  • 1970 – Paul Allender, British guitarist (Cradle of Filth)
  • 1972 – Leonard Roberts, American actor
  • 1973 – Eli Marrero, American baseball player
  • 1973 – Bernd Schneider, German footballer
  • 1973 – Alexei Urmanov, Russian figure skater
  • 1974 – Leslie Bibb, American actress
  • 1974 – Berto Romero, Spanish humorist
  • 1975 – Lord Infamous, Rapper
  • 1975 – Diane Neal, American actress
  • 1976 – Brandon Call, American actor
  • 1977 – Ryk Neethling, South African swimmer
  • 1978 – Zoë Bell, New Zealand actress
  • 1978 – Reggie Wayne, American football player
  • 1979 – Brad Bradley, American professional wrestler
  • 1979 – Matthew Spring, English footballer
  • 1980 – Isaac Hanson, American musician (Hanson)
  • 1980 – Mercedes Martinez, professional wrestler
  • 1981 – Sarah Harding, English singer (Girls Aloud)
  • 1982 – Katie Feenstra, American basketball player
  • 1983 – Yiannis Bourousis, Greek basketball player
  • 1983 – Ryan Braun, American baseball player
  • 1983 – Harry Lloyd, English actor
  • 1983 – Nick Markakis, American baseball player
  • 1983 – Christopher Paolini, American novelist
  • 1984 – Park Han-byul, South Korean actress
  • 1986 – Nani, Portuguese football player
  • 1990 – Shanica Knowles, American actress
  • 1992 – Darian Weiss, American actor; Cassiopeia Quaranta, American playgirl
  • 1994 – Raquel Castro, American actress

November 17 – Deaths:

  • 375 – Valentinian I, Roman Emperor (b. 321)
  • 594 – Gregory of Tours, bishop and historian (b. c.539)
  • 641 – Emperor Jomei of Japan (b. 593)
  • 680 – Hilda of Whitby (b. 614)
  • 885 – Queen Liutgard
  • 1231 – Elisabeth of Hungary, daughter of Andrew II of Hungary (b. 1207)
  • 1302 – St. Gertrude the Great (b. 1256)
  • 1326 – Edmund FitzAlan, 9th Earl of Arundel, English politician (b. 1285)
  • 1494 – Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, Italian philosopher (b. 1463)
  • 1558 – Mary I of England (b. 1516)
  • 1558 – Reginald Cardinal Pole, Archbishop of Canterbury (b. 1500)
  • 1562 – Antoine de Bourbon, father of Henry IV of France (b. 1518)
  • 1592 – John III of Sweden (b. 1537)
  • 1600 – Kuki Yoshitaka, Japanese naval commander (b. 1542)
  • 1632 – Gottfried Heinrich Graf zu Pappenheim, Bavarian field marshal (b. 1594)
  • 1643 – Jean-Baptiste Budes, Comte de Guébriant, Marshal of France (b. 1602)
  • 1648 – Thomas Ford, English composer
  • 1665 – John Earle, English bishop
  • 1668 – Joseph Alleine, English preacher (b. 1634)
  • 1690 – Charles de Sainte-Maure, duc de Montausier, French soldier (b. 1610)
  • 1708 – Ludolf Backhuysen, Dutch painter (b. 1631)
  • 1713 – Abraham van Riebeeck, Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies (b. 1653)
  • 1720 – Calico Jack, English pirate (b. 1682)
  • 1747 – Alain-René Lesage, French writer (b. 1668)
  • 1768 – Thomas Pelham-Holles, 1st Duke of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Prime Minister of the
  • United Kingdom (b. 1693)
  • 1776 – James Ferguson, British astronomer (b. 1710)
  • 1780 – Bernardo Bellotto, Italian painter (b. 1720)
  • 1794 – Jacques François Dugommier, French general (b. 1738)
  • 1796 – Catherine II of Russia, Empress of Russia (b. 1729)
  • 1808 – David Zeisberger, Moravian missionary (b. 1721)
  • 1818 – Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, queen consort of King George III (b. 1744)
  • 1835 – Antoine Charles Horace Vernet, French painter (b. 1758)
  • 1849 – Prince Alexander of Hohenlohe-Waldenburg-Schillingsfürst, German priest and miracle-worker (b. 1794)
  • 1858 – Robert Owen, British father of the cooperative movement (b. 1771)
  • 1897 – George Hendric Houghton, American Protestant Episcopal clergyman (b. 1820)
  • 1902 – Hugh Price Hughes, Methodist Social Reformer (b. 1847)
  • 1905 – Adolphe of Luxembourg, (b. 1817)
  • 1910 – Ralph Johnstone, pioneer pilot, 1st ‘American’ pilot killed in the crash of an
  • airplane, Denver, Colorado.
  • 1917 – Auguste Rodin, French sculptor (b. 1840)
  • 1922 – Robert Comtesse, Swiss Federal Councillor (b. 1847)
  • 1928 – Lala Lajpat Rai, Indian author, politician, & freedom fighter (b. 1865)
  • 1929 – Herman Hollerith, American statistician (b. 1860)
  • 1936 – Ernestine Schumann-Heink, Austrian contralto (b. 1861)
  • 1937 – Jack Worrall, Australian cricketer (b. 1860)
  • 1938 – Ante Trumbic, Croatian politician (b. 1864)
  • 1940 – Eric Gill, British sculptor (b. 1882)
  • 1940 – Raymond Pearl, American biologist (b. 1879)
  • 1942 – Ben Reitman, American anarchist, physician (b. 1879)
  • 1947 – Victor Serge, Russian anarchist, novelist, and historian (b. 1890)
  • 1955 – James P. Johnson, American pianist and composer (b. 1894)
  • 1958 – Mort Cooper, baseball player (b. 1913)
  • 1959 – Heitor Villa-Lobos, Brazilian composer (b. 1887)
  • 1968 – Mervyn Peake, British writer (b. 1911)
  • 1973 – The Mother, Sri Aurobindo Ashram (b. 1878)
  • 1979 – John Glascock, British bassist (Jethro Tull)
  • 1980 – Shah Maghsoud Sadegh Angha, 41st Sufi master of Oveyssi order (b. 1916)
  • 1982 – Eduard Tubin, Estonian composer (b. 1905)
  • 1982 – Leonid Borisovitch Kogan, Russian violinist (b. 1924)
  • 1986 – Georges Besse, French automobile executive (b. 1927)
  • 1987 – Paul Derringer, baseball player (b. 1906)
  • 1989 – Gus Farace, American gangster (b. 1960)
  • 1990 – Robert Hofstadter, American physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1915)\
  • 1992 – Andrew Hernandez, American Actor/Music Producer
  • 1993 – Gérard D. Lévesque, Canadian politician (b. 1926)
  • 1995 – Alan Hull, English Rock Musician (Lindisfarne)
  • 1998 – Esther Rolle, American actress (b. 1920)
  • 2000 – Louis Eugène Félix Néel, French physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1904)
  • 2001 – Michael Karoli, German guitarist (b. 1948)
  • 2002 – Abba Eban, Israeli diplomat (b. 1915)
  • 2003 – Arthur Conley, American singer (b. 1946)
  • 2003 – Don Gibson, American singer (b. 1928)
  • 2004 – Mikael Ljungberg, Swedish wrestler (b. 1970)
  • 2004 – Alexander Ragulin, Russian hockey player (b. 1941)
  • 2005 – Marek Perepeczko, Polish actor (b. 1942)
  • 2006 – Ruth Brown, American blues singer (b. 1928)
  • 2006 – Ferenc Puskás, Hungarian footballer (b. 1927)
  • 2006 – Bo Schembechler, American football coach (b. 1929)
  • 2006 – Flo Sandon’s, Italian singer (b. 1924)

November 17 – Holidays:

  • C. Saints – Elisabeth of Hungary; Gregory of Tours; Hilda of Whitby; Hugh of Lincoln; Acisclus
  • International Students Day
  • Slovakia and the Czech Republic – Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day commemorating the beginning of the Velvet Revolution in 1989.
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