On This Day in History July 17

July 17 – Events:

  • 180 – Twelve inhabitants of Scillium in North Africa executed for being Christians. This is the earliest record of Christianity in that part of the world.
  • 1203 – Fourth Crusade captures Constantinople by assault; the Byzantine emperor Alexius III Angelus flees from his capital into exile.
  • 1453 – Hundred Years’ War: Battle of Castillon – The French under Jean Bureau utterly defeat the English under the Earl of Shrewsbury, who is killed in the battle in Gascony
  • 1762 – Catherine II becomes tzar of Russia upon the accidental murder of Peter III of Russia.
  • 1771 – Bloody Falls Massacre: Chipewyan chief Matonabbee traveling as the guide to Samuel Hearne on his Arctic overland journey, massacre a group of unsuspecting Inuit.
  • 1791 – Members of the French National guard under the command of General Lafayette open fire on a crowd of radical Jacobins at the Champ de Mars, Paris, during the French Revolution, killing as many as 50 people.
  • 1794 – The sixteen Carmelite Martyrs of Compiegne are executed 10 days prior to the end of the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror.
  • 1815 – Napoleonic Wars: In France, Napoleon surrenders at Rochefort, Charente-Maritime to British forces.
  • 1856 – The Great Train Wreck of 1856, occurs in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania killing over 60 people.
  • 1899 – NEC Corporation is organized as the first Japanese joint venture with foreign capital.
  • 1917 – King George V of the United Kingdom issues a Proclamation stating that the male line descendants of the British royal family will bear the surname Windsor.
  • 1918 – By order of the Bolshevik Party and carried out by Cheka, Emperor Nicholas II of Russia, his immediate family, and retainers were murdered at the Ipatiev House in Ekaterinburg, Russia.
  • 1933 – After successfully crossing the Atlantic ocean, the Lithuanian research aircraft Lituanica crashes in Europe under mysterious circumstances.
  • 1936 – Spanish Civil War: An Armed Forces rebellion against the recently-elected leftist Popular Front government of Spain starts the Spanish civil war.
  • 1941 – Joe DiMaggio’s baseball hitting streak ends at 56 games, by Cleveland Indian pitchers, Al Smith & Jim Bagby.
  • 1944 – Port Chicago disaster: Near the San Francisco Bay, two ships laden with ammunition for the war explode in Port Chicago, California, killing 320.
  • 1944 – World War II: Napalm incendiary bombs were dropped for the first time by American P-38 pilots on a fuel depot at Coutances, near St. Lô, France
  • 1945 – World War II: Potsdam Conference – At Potsdam, President Harry S. Truman, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, the three main Allied leaders, begin their final summit of the war. The meeting will end on August 2.
  • 1951 – Western New England College in Springfield, Massachusetts is chartered.
  • 1955 – Disneyland televises its grand opening in Anaheim, California
  • 1962 – Nuclear testing: The “Small Boy” test shot Little Feller I becomes the last atmospheric test detonation at the Nevada Test Site.
  • 1968 – The date of the July 17 Revolution in Iraq when Abdul Rahman Arif was overthrown and the Ba’ath Party installed as the governing power in Iraq with Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr as the new Iraqi President.
  • 1973 – King Mohammed Zahir Shah of Afghanistan is deposed by his cousin Mohammed Daoud Khan while in Italy undergoing eye surgery.
  • 1975 – Apollo-Soyuz Test Project: An American Apollo and a Soviet Soyuz spacecraft dock with each other in orbit marking the first such link-up between spacecraft from the two nations.
  • 1976 – History of East Timor: East Timor was annexed, and became the 27th province of Indonesia.
  • 1976 – The opening of the Summer Olympics is marred by 25 African teams boycotting the New Zealand team
  • 1979 – Nicaraguan president General Anastasio Somoza Debayle resigns and flees to Miami.
  • 1989 – First flight of the B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber.
  • 1996 – Off the coast of Long Island, New York, a Paris-bound Boeing 747 carrying TWA flight 800 explodes, killing all 230 on board.
  • 1997 – The F.W. Woolworth Company closes after 117 years in business.
  • 1998 – Papua New Guinea earthquake: A tsunami triggered by an undersea earthquake destroys 10 villages in Papua New Guinea killing an estimated 3,183, leaving 2,000 more unaccounted for and thousands more homeless.
  • 1998 – Biologists report in the journal Science how they sequenced the genome of the bacterium that causes syphilis, Treponema pallidum.
  • 2007 – TAM Airlines (TAM Linhas Aéreas) Flight 3054 crashed upon landing during rain in São Paulo. This is Brazil’s deadliest aviation accident to date with an estimated 199 deaths.

July 17 – Birthdays:

  • 1487 – Ismail I, Shah of Persia (d. 1524)
  • 1674 – Isaac Watts, English hymnwriter (d. 1748)
  • 1698 – Pierre Louis Maupertuis, French mathematician (d. 1759)
  • 1744 – Elbridge Gerry, 5th Vice President of the United States (d. 1814)
  • 1745 – Petr Alekseevich Pahlen, Russian general (d. 1826)
  • 1763 – John Jacob Astor, American businessman (d. 1848)
  • 1797 – Hippolyte Delaroche, French painter (d. 1856)
  • 1831 – Xianfeng, Emperor of China (d. 1861)
  • 1839 – Ephraim Shay, American inventor (d. 1916)
  • 1888 – Shmuel Yosef Agnon, Israeli writer, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1970)
  • 1898 – George Robert Vincent, American sound recording pioneer (d. 1985)
  • 1889 – Erle Stanley Gardner, American lawyer and author (Perry Mason) (d. 1970)
  • 1898 – Osmond Borradaile, WWI veteran and Canadian cinematographer (d. 1999)
  • 1899 – James Cagney, American actor (d. 1986)
  • 1900 – Marcel Dalio, French actor (d. 1983)
  • 1901 – Luigi Chinetti, Italian-American race car driver and team owner (NART; d. 1994)
  • 1901 – Bruno Jasienski, Polish poet (d. 1938)
  • 1902 – Christina Stead, Australian novelist (d. 1983)
  • 1911 – Ted Anderson, English footballer (d. 1979)
  • 1913 – Bertrand Goldberg, American architect (d. 1997)
  • 1912 – Art Linkletter, Canadian television host (d. 2010)
  • 1917 – Phyllis Diller, American comedian
  • 1917 – Red Sovine, American country music singer (d. 1980)
  • 1917 – Lou Boudreau, Major League baseball player and manager (d. 2001)
  • 1918 – Carlos Manuel Arana Osorio, President of Guatemala (d. 2003)
  • 1920 – Juan Antonio Samaranch, Spanish chairman of the International Olympic Committee
  • 1920 – Kenneth Wolstenholme, English sports commentator (d. 2002)
  • 1920 – Gordon Gould, inventor of the laser (d. 2005)
  • 1921 – František Zvarík, Slovakian actor
  • 1923 – John Cooper, English race car designer (d. 2000)
  • 1926 – Édouard Carpentier, French-born professional wrestler
  • 1928 – Vince Guaraldi, American musician and composer (d. 1976)
  • 1929 – Sergei K. Godunov, Russian mathematician
  • 1935 – Diahann Carroll, American actor
  • 1935 – Peter Schickele, American composer, author, and radio host
  • 1935 – Donald Sutherland, Canadian actor
  • 1939 – Ali Khamenei, Supreme Leader of Iran
  • 1939 – Andrée Champagne, French Canadian actress and politician
  • 1939 – Spencer Davis, British singer and guitarist (Spencer Davis Group)
  • 1940 – Tim Brooke-Taylor, English comedian
  • 1941 – Daryle Lamonica, American football player
  • 1942 – Don Kessinger, baseball player
  • 1942 – Peter Sissons, British newsreader
  • 1944 – Carlos Alberto, Brazilian football player
  • 1944 – Catherine Schell, Hungarian born British actress
  • 1945 – Alexander, Crown Prince of Yugoslavia
  • 1946 – Alun Armstrong, English actor
  • 1947 – Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall
  • 1947 – Wolfgang Flür, German musician (Kraftwerk)
  • 1948 – Ron Asheton, American musician and composer (Iggy Pop & The Stooges)
  • 1948 – Luc Bondy, Swiss theatre and opera director
  • 1949 – Terence “Geezer” Butler, British musician and lyricist (Black Sabbath)
  • 1949 – Charlie Steiner, American sports broadcaster
  • 1951 – Lucie Arnaz, American actress
  • 1950 – Derek de Lint, Dutch actor
  • 1950 – P.J. Soles, German-born American actress
  • 1952 – David Hasselhoff, American actor and musician
  • 1952 – Phoebe Snow, singer and songwriter
  • 1952 – Nicolette Larson, American singer (d. 1997)
  • 1954 – Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany
  • 1954 – J. Michael Straczynski, American author
  • 1955 – Paul Stamets, American mycologist and environmentalist
  • 1956 – Bryan Trottier, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1957 – Fern Britton, British television presenter
  • 1958 – Wong Kar-wai, Chinese film director
  • 1960 – Mark Burnett, English-born television producer
  • 1960 – Robin Shou, Hong Kong actor
  • 1960 – Jan Wouters, Dutch football player and manager
  • 1961 – Jonathan Potts, Canadian actor
  • 1963 – Matti Nykänen, Finnish ski jumper
  • 1963 – Letsie III, King of Lesotho
  • 1963 – John Ventimiglia, American actor
  • 1965 – Craig Morgan, American singer
  • 1965 – Alex Winter, English film director
  • 1965 – Santiago Segura, Spanish film director and actor
  • 1966 – Sten Tolgfors, Swedish politician
  • 1968 – Bitty Schram, American actress
  • 1970 – Mandy Smith, English model and singer
  • 1971 – Jarrett Cordes, American hip-hip artist (P.M. Dawn)
  • 1971 – Cory Doctorow, Canadian author and activist
  • 1972 – Jason Rullo, American drummer (Symphony X and formerly Redemption)
  • 1972 – Jaap Stam, Dutch footballer
  • 1973 – Michael Wilson, American Libratarion
  • 1973 – Eric Moulds, American football player
  • 1973 – Tony Dovolani, Albanian ballroom dancer
  • 1973 – Liam Kyle Sullivan, American comedian and actor
  • 1974 – Laura Macdonald, Scottish jazz musician
  • 1975 – Elena Anaya, Spanish actress
  • 1975 – Cécile de France, Belgian actress
  • 1975 – Paul Hinojos, American guitarist (At the Drive-In, The Mars Volta)
  • 1975 – Konnie Huq, English television presenter
  • 1975 – Terence Tao, Australian Chinese mathematician
  • 1975 – Gino D’Acampo, Italian celebrity chef
  • 1976 – Dagmara Dominczyk, Polish actress
  • 1976 – Eric Winter, American actor
  • 1976 – Matthew Holmes, Australian actor
  • 1977 – M.I.A., British rapper
  • 1977 – Lehmber Hussainpuri, Famous Indian Singer
  • 1977 – Marc Savard, Canadian hockey player
  • 1978 – Mike Hettinga, American professional wrestler
  • 1978 – Katharine Towne, American actress
  • 1979 – Mike Vogel, American actor
  • 1980 – Ryan Miller, NHL hockey player
  • 1980 – Javier Camuñas, Spanish footballer
  • 1981 – Elpida Romantzi, Greek archer
  • 1982 – Natasha Hamilton, British singer (Atomic Kitten)
  • 1983 – Ryan Guettler, professional Australian BMX rider
  • 1983 – Brooke Kinsella, British actress
  • 1983 – Adam Lind, American baseball player
  • 1984 – Sotiris Leontiou, Greek footballer
  • 1985 – Neil McGregor, Scottish footballer
  • 1985 – Tom Fletcher, British singer (McFly)
  • 1986 – Dana, Korean singer/dancer/actress (TSZX)
  • 1989 – Josie Lopez, American actress
  • 1989 – Marko Todorovic, Swiss swimmer
  • 1992 – Taavi Rand, Estonian ice skater
  • 1998 – Felipe Juan Froilán de Marichalar y de Borbón, Spanish royal

July 17 – Deaths:

  • 521 – Magnus Felix Ennodius, bishop and Latin poet (b. 474)
  • 656 – Uthman ibn Affan, Third Caliph, assassinated.
  • 924 – King Edward the Elder of England
  • 1070 – Baldwin VI, Count of Flanders (b. 1030)
  • 1453 – John Talbot, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury, English military leader
  • 1531 – Hosokawa Takakuni, Japanese military commander (b. 1484)
  • 1566 – Bartolomé de Las Casas, Spanish priest (b. 1484)
  • 1571 – Georg Fabricius, German poet and historian (b. 1516)
  • 1588 – Sinan, Ottoman architect (b. 1489)
  • 1645 – Robert Carr, 1st Earl of Somerset, Scottish politician
  • 1704 – Pierre-Charles Le Sueur, French fur trader and explorer
  • 1709 – Robert Bolling, English settler in Virginia (b. 1646)
  • 1790 – Adam Smith, Scottish economist and philosopher (b. 1723)
  • 1791 – Martin Dobrizhoffer, Austrian Jesuit missionary (b. 1717)
  • 1793 – Charlotte Corday, French aristocrat and murderer (b. 1768)
  • 1794 – John Roebuck, British inventor (b. 1718)
  • 1845 – Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (b. 1764)
  • 1878 – Aleardo Aleardi, Italian poet (b. 1812)
  • 1881 – Jim Bridger, American mountain man, Indian fighter, and explorer (b. 1804)
  • 1885 – Jean-Charles Chapais, Canadian politician (b. 1811)
  • 1887 – Dorothea Dix, American social activist (b. 1802)
  • 1893 – Frederick A. Johnson, American politician (b. 1833)
  • 1894 – Josef Hyrtl, Austrian anatomist (b. 1810)
  • 1894 – Charles-Marie-René Leconte de Lisle, French poet (b. 1818)
  • 1907 – Hector Malot, French writer (b. 1830)
  • 1912 – Henri Poincaré, French mathematician (b. 1854)
  • 1918 – Family of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia (b. 1868):
    • Tsaritsa Alexandra Fyodorovna (b. 1872)
    • Grand Duchess Olga (b. 1895)
    • Grand Duchess Tatiana (b. 1897)
    • Grand Duchess Maria (b. 1899)
    • Grand Duchess Anastasia (b. 1901)
    • Tsarevich Alexei (b. 1904)
  • 1928 – Giovanni Giolitti, Italian statesman (b. 1842)
  • 1935 – George William Russell, Irish nationalist, poet and artist (b. 1867)
  • 1944 – William James Sidis, gifted mathematician and child prodigy (b. 1898)
  • 1945 – Ernst Busch, German field marshal (b. 1885)
  • 1946 – General Dragoljub Mihailovic, commandant of the Yugoslav Royal Army in the Fatherland (b. 1893)
  • 1950 – Evangeline Booth, the 4th General of The Salvation Army (b. 1865)
  • 1959 – Billie Holiday, American singer (b. 1915)
  • 1959 – Eugene Meyer, American businessman and newspaper publisher (b. 1875)
  • 1961 – Ty Cobb, baseball player (b. 1886)
  • 1967 – John Coltrane, American musician (b. 1926)
  • 1974 – Dizzy Dean, Major League baseball pitcher (b. 1910)
  • 1975 – Konstantine Gamsakhurdia, Georgian writer and public benefactor (b. 1893)
  • 1980 – Boris Delaunay, Russian mathematician (b. 1890)
  • 1987 – Yujiro Ishihara, Japanese actor (b. 1934)
  • 1988 – Bruiser Brody, professional wrestler (b. 1946)
  • 1995 – Juan Manuel Fangio, Argentinian race car driver (b. 1911)
  • 1996 – Chas Chandler, bass guitarist (The Animals), record producer and manager (b. 1938)
  • 2001 – Katharine Graham, American publisher (b. 1917)
  • 2003 – David Kelly, Welsh UN weapons inspector (b. 1944)
  • 2003 – Rosalyn Tureck, American pianist and harpsichordist (b. 1914)
  • 2004 – Pat Roach, British professional wrestler and actor (b. 1937)
  • 2005 – Laurel Aitken, Jamaican singer (b. 1927)
  • 2005 – Geraldine Fitzgerald, Irish-born actress (b. 1913)
  • 2005 – Edward Heath, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (b. 1916)
  • 2005 – Gavin Lambert, British-born screenwriter (b. 1924)
  • 2005 – Joe Vialls, Australian writer (b. 1944)
  • 2006 – Sam Myers, American musician and songwriter (b. 1936)
  • 2006 – Mickey Spillane, American author (b. 1918)
  • 2007 – Júlio Redecker, Brazilian Politician (b. 1956)

July 17 – Holidays:

  • South Korea – Constitution Day.
  • Kyoto, Japan – Gion Matsuri.
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