On This Day in History September 17

September 17 – Events:

  • 1176 – The Battle of Myriokephalon is fought.
  • 1462 – The Battle of Swiecino (or Battle of Zarnowiec) is fought during Thirteen Years’ War.
  • 1577 – Peace of Bergerac signed between Henry III of France and the Huguenots.
  • 1630 – The city of Boston, Massachusetts, is founded.
  • 1631 – Sweden wins a major victory at the Battle of Breitenfeld against the Holy Roman Empire during the Thirty Years War.
  • 1776 – The Presidio of San Francisco is founded in New Spain.
  • 1778 – Treaty of Fort Pitt signed, the first formal treaty between the United States and a Native American tribe (the Lenape or Delaware).
  • 1787 – The United States Constitution is signed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • 1809 – Peace between Sweden and Russia in the Finnish War. The territory to become Finland is ceded to Russia by the Treaty of Fredrikshamn.
  • 1814 – Francis Scott Key finishes his The Star-Spangled Banner poem.
  • 1859 – Joshua A. Norton declares himself Emperor Norton I of the United States.
  • 1862 – American Civil War: George B. McClellan halts the northward drive of Robert E. Lee’s Confederate army in the single-day Battle of Antietam, the bloodiest day in American history.
  • 1862 – American Civil War: The Allegheny Arsenal explosion resulted in the single largest civilian disaster during the war.
  • 1894 – Battle of Yalu River, the largest naval engagement of the First Sino-Japanese War.
  • 1900 – Philippine-American War: Filipinos under Juan Cailles defeat Americans under Colonel Benjamin F. Cheatham at Mabitac.
  • 1908 – The Wright Flyer flown by Orville Wright, with Lieutenant Thomas Selfridge as passenger, crashes, killing Selfridge. He becomes the first airplane fatality.
  • 1914 – Andrew Fisher becomes Prime Minister of Australia for the third time.
  • 1916 – World War I: Manfred von Richthofen (“The Red Baron”), a flying ace of the German Luftstreitkräfte, won his first aerial combat near Cambrai, France.
  • 1920 – National Football League is organized in Canton, Ohio, United States.
  • 1924 – The Border Defence Corps was established in the Second Polish Republic for the defence of the eastern border against armed Soviet raids and local bandits.
  • 1928 – The Okeechobee Hurricane strikes southeastern Florida, killing upwards of 2,500 people. It is the third deadliest natural disaster in US history, behind the Galveston Hurricane of 1900 and the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
  • 1939 – The Soviet Union joined Nazi Germany’s invasion of Poland during the Polish Defensive War of 1939.
  • 1939 – World War II: A German U-boat U 29 sinks the British aircraft carrier HMS Courageous.
  • 1941 – A decree of the Soviet State Committee of Defense, restoring Vsevobuch in the face of the Great Patriotic War, was issued
  • 1943 – Russian city of Bryansk liberated from Nazis.
  • 1944 – Allied Airborne troops parachute into the Netherlands as the “Market” half of Operation Market Garden.
  • 1947 – James V. Forrestal was sworn in as the first Secretary of Defense of United States.
  • 1948 – Lehi (also known as the Stern gang) assassinates Count Folke Bernadotte, who was appointed by the UN to mediate between the Arabs and Jews.
  • 1949 – The Canadian steamship SS Noronic burns in Toronto Harbor with the loss of over 118 lives.
  • 1956 – Television was first broadcast in Australia.
  • 1957 – The North East Humanists group was founded in Newcastle upon Tyne.
  • 1967 – Jim Morrison and The Doors defy CBS censors on The Ed Sullivan Show.
  • 1970 – Fighting breaks out along the Syria-Jordanian border between Jordanian troops and the fedayeen.
  • 1976 – The first Space Shuttle, Enterprise, was unveiled by NASA.
  • 1978 – The Camp David Accords were signed by Israel and Egypt.
  • 1983 – Vanessa Williams becomes the first black Miss America.
  • 1991 – North Korea, South Korea, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, the Marshall Islands and Micronesia  join the United Nations.
  • 1991 – The first version of the Linux kernel (0.01) is released to the Internet.
  • 1991 – Guns N’ Roses much anticipated Use Your Illusion albums were finally released.
  • 1993 – Last Russian troops leave Poland.
  • 2001 – The New York Stock Exchange opened for the first time since the September 11 attacks; the Dow Jones Industrial Average posted its biggest point drop in its history, closing down 684.81 points to 8920.70.
  • 2004 – Tamil is declared the first classical language in India.
  • 2007 – AOL, once the largest ISP in the U.S., officially announces plans to refocus the company as an advertising business and to relocate its corporate headquarters from Dulles, Virginia to New York, New York.

September 17 – Birthdays:

  • 64 – Julia Flavia, daughter of Roman Emperor Titus; lover of Domitian.
  • 879 – King Charles III of France (d. 929)
  • 1192 – Minamoto no Sanetomo, Japanese shogun (d. 1219)
  • 1271 – Wenceslas II of Bohemia and Poland (d. 1305)
  • 1550 – Pope Paul V (d. 1621)
  • 1580 – Francisco de Quevedo, Spanish writer (d. 1645)
  • 1630 – Ranuccio II Farnese, Duke of Parma (d. 1694)
  • 1639 – Hans Herr, Mennonite bishop (d. 1725)
  • 1657 – Sophia Alekseyevna, regent of Russia (d. 1704)
  • 1677 – Stephen Hales, English physiologist, chemist, and inventor (d. 1761)
  • 1687 – Durastante Natalucci, Italian historian (d. 1772)
  • 1688 – Maria Luisa of Savoy, first queen of Philip V of Spain (d. 1714)
  • 1730 – Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, Prussian army officer (d. 1794)
  • 1739 – John Rutledge, 2nd (appointed) Chief Justice of the United States (d. 1800)
  • 1743 – Marquis de Condorcet, French mathematician (d. 1794)
  • 1771 – Johann August Apel, German jurist and writer (d. 1816)
  • 1820 – Émile Augier, French dramatist (d. 1889)
  • 1826 – Bernhard Riemann, German mathematician (d. 1866)
  • 1854 – David Dunbar Buick, American automobile pioneer (d.1929)
  • 1857 – Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, Russian rocket scientist (d. 1935)
  • 1868 – James Alexander Calder, Canadian politician (d. 1956)
  • 1869 – Christian Lous Lange, Norwegian Nobel Peace Prize recipient (d. 1938)
  • 1879 – Rube Foster, American baseball player, manager and executive (d. 1930)
  • 1881 – Alfred Francis Blakeney Carpenter, English soldier (d. 1955)
  • 1883 – William Carlos Williams, American writer (d. 1963)
  • 1884 – Charles Tomlinson Griffes, American composer (d. 1920)
  • 1890 – Gabriel Heatter, American radio commentator (d. 1972)
  • 1897 – Earl Webb, baseball player (d. 1965)
  • 1900 – John Willard Marriott, American hotelier (d. 1985)
  • 1900 – Hughie Critz, baseball player (d. 1980)
  • 1901 – Francis Chichester, English adventurer (d. 1972)
  • 1903 – Karel Miljon, Dutch boxer (d. 1984)
  • 1903 – Frank O’Connor, Irish-American short-story writer (d. 1966)
  • 1906 – Edgar Wayburn, American environmentalist
  • 1907 – Warren Burger, 15th Chief Justice of the United States (d. 1995)
  • 1912 – Irena Kwiatkowska, Polish actress and comedian
  • 1918 – Chaim Herzog, President of Israel (d. 1997)
  • 1922 – Agostinho Neto, Angolan politician (d. 1979)
  • 1923 – Hank Williams, American musician (d. 1953)
  • 1926 – Bill Black, American musician (d. 1965)
  • 1926 – Curtis Harrington, American film director (d. 2007)
  • 1927 – George Blanda, American football player
  • 1928 – Roddy McDowall, English actor (d. 1998)
  • 1929 – Sir Stirling Moss, English race car driver
  • 1929 – Pat Crowley, American actress
  • 1930 – Edgar Mitchell, American astronaut
  • 1930 – Jim Rohn, American business philosopher
  • 1930 – Thomas Stafford, American astronaut
  • 1930 – Lalgudi Jayaraman, Indian violinist
  • 1931 – Anne Bancroft, American actress (d. 2005)
  • 1933 – Chuck Grassley, American politician
  • 1933 – Dorothy Loudon, American actress (d. 2003)
  • 1933 – Claude Provost, National Hockey League player (d. 1984)
  • 1934 – Maureen Connolly, American tennis player (d. 1969)
  • 1935 – Ken Kesey, American author (d. 2001)
  • 1937 – Orlando Cepeda, Puerto Rican Major League Baseball player
  • 1938 – Bobby Wine, American Major League Baseball player
  • 1939 – Shelby Flint, American singer
  • 1939 – David Souter, U.S. Supreme Court Justice
  • 1940 – Jan Eliasson, Swedish diplomat
  • 1940 – Sotiris Moustakas, Greek actor (d. 2007)
  • 1941 – Bob Matsui, U.S. Congressman (d. 2005)
  • 1942 – Des Lynam, English television presenter
  • 1942 – Robert Graysmith, Zodiac killer researcher
  • 1944 – Reinhold Messner, Italian mountain climber
  • 1945 – David Emerson, Canadian politician
  • 1945 – Phil Jackson, American basketball player and NBA head coach
  • 1945 – Bruce Spence, New Zealand actor
  • 1946 – Billy Bonds, English footballer
  • 1947 – Tessa Jowell, British politician
  • 1948 – Jeff MacNelly, American political cartoonist (d. 2000)
  • 1948 – John Ritter, American actor (d. 2003)
  • 1950 – Narendra Modi, Indian politician
  • 1950 – Chris Heister, Swedish politician
  • 1950 – Fee Waybill, American musician (The Tubes)
  • 1951 – Cassandra Peterson, American actress
  • 1953 – Altaf Hussain, Pakistani politician and founder of MQM
  • 1954 – Joël-François Durand, French composer
  • 1955 – Koralia Karanti, Greek actress
  • 1955 – Charles Martinet, American actor
  • 1956 – Thad Bosley. American major league baseball player
  • 1956 – Rita Rudner, American comedian
  • 1956 – Brian Andreas, American writer, sculptor, painter and publisher
  • 1959 – Charles Lawson, Northern Irish actor
  • 1960 – Damon Hill, English race car driver and one-time F1 world champion
  • 1960 – John Franco, American baseball player
  • 1961 – Ty Tabor, American guitarist and singer (King’s X)
  • 1962 – Baz Luhrmann, Australian film director
  • 1962 – Dustin Nguyen, Vietnamese American actor
  • 1963 – Masahiro Chono, Japanese professional wrestler
  • 1963 – Amy Roloff, American reality star
  • 1963 – Michael Adler, American businessman
  • 1963 – Rami Saari, Israeli poet and translator
  • 1963 – Wendy Northcutt, Author of the Darwin Awards
  • 1965 – Yuji Naka, Japanese video game programmer
  • 1965 – Guy Picciotto, American musician (Rites of Spring, Fugazi)
  • 1965 – Bryan Singer, American director
  • 1966 – Doug E. Fresh, American rapper, record producer, and beatboxer
  • 1967 – Malik Yoba, American actor
  • 1973 – Anastacia, American singer
  • 1968 – Marie-Chantal, Crown Princess of Greece
  • 1969 – Ken Doherty, Irish snooker player
  • 1969 – Keith Flint, Member of the British band The Prodigy
  • 1969 – Matthew Settle, American actor
  • 1970 – Mark Brunell, American football player
  • 1971 – Adriana Sklenaríková, Slovak supermodel
  • 1971 – Mike Catt, English rugby player
  • 1971 – Ian Whyte (actor), Welsh actor and basketball player
  • 1973 – Ada Choi, Hong Kong actress
  • 1973 – Demis Nikolaidis, Greek footballer
  • 1974 – Rasheed Wallace, American basketball player
  • 1974 – Mirah, American musician
  • 1974 – Tormod Granheim, Norwegian adventurer
  • 1975 – Jimmie Johnson, American race car driver
  • 1975 – Austin St. John, American actor
  • 1975 – Constantine Maroulis, American singer
  • 1976 – Daniella Rush, Czech pornographic actress
  • 1977 – Simone Perrotta, Italian football player
  • 1978 – Shawn Horcoff, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1979 – Akin Ayodele, American football player
  • 1979 – Chuck Comeau, Canadian musician (Simple Plan)
  • 1979 – Steffen Algreen, Danish footballer
  • 1980 – Danny Haren, American baseball player
  • 1981 – Bakari Koné, Ivory Coast footballer
  • 1981 – Casey Janssen, American baseball player
  • 1981 – Jonathan Radtke, American musician (Kill Hannah)
  • 1982 – Garth Murray, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1983 – Jennifer Peña, American singer
  • 1984 – Eugenia Volodina, Russian supermodel
  • 1985 – Alexander Ovechkin, Russian hockey player
  • 1985 – Mason Raymond, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1985 – Brendan Clarke, Irish Soccer Player with St. Patrick’s Athletic
  • 1985 – Jon Walker, American musician (Panic! at the Disco)
  • 1986 – Dimitrios Regas, Greek sprinter
  • 1987 – Paul Huntington, English footballer
  • 1991 – Jordan McCoy, American entertainer
  • 1994 – Taylor Ware, American yodeler

September 17  -Deaths:

  • 1179 – Hildegard of Bingen, German abbess and composer (b. 1098)
  • 1322 – Robert III of Flanders (b. 1249)
  • 1422 – Constantine II of Bulgaria
  • 1563 – Henry Manners, 2nd Earl of Rutland, English soldier
  • 1574 – Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, first Spanish Governor of Florida (b. 1519)
  • 1575 – Heinrich Bullinger, Swiss religious reformer (b. 1504)
  • 1621 – Robert Bellarmine, Italian saint (b. 1542)
  • 1630 – Thomas Lake, English statesman (b. 1567)
  • 1665 – Philip IV of Spain (b. 1605)
  • 1679 – John of Austria the Younger, Spanish general (b. 1629)
  • 1727 – Glückel of Hameln, German businesswoman (b. 1647)
  • 1762 – Francesco Geminiani, Italian violinist (b. 1687)
  • 1771 – Tobias Smollett, Scottish novelist (b. 1721)
  • 1803 – Franz Xaver Süssmayr, Austrian composer (b. 1766)
  • 1808 – Benjamin Bourne, American politician (b. 1755)
  • 1836 – Antoine Laurent de Jussieu, French botanist (b. 1748)
  • 1863 – Alfred de Vigny, French author (b. 1797)
  • 1873 – Alexander Berry, Scottish adventurer (b. 1781)
  • 1879 – Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, French architect (b. 1814)
  • 1894 – Deng Shichang, Chinese admiral (b. 1849)
  • 1899 – Charles Alfred Pillsbury, American industrialist (b. 1842)
  • 1907 – Ignaz Brüll, Austrian pianist (b. 1846)
  • 1933 – Joseph De Piro, Maltese missionary (b. 1877)
  • 1936 – Ettie Annie Rout, New Zealand activist (b. 1877)
  • 1938 – Bruno Jasienski, Polish poet (b. 1901)
  • 1951 – Jimmy Yancey, American pianist (b. 1898)
  • 1966 – Fritz Wunderlich, German tenor (b. 1930)
  • 1968 – Anastacia, Singer/Songwriter, Fashion Designer
  • 1972 – Akim Tamiroff, Georgian actor (b. 1899)
  • 1973 – Hugo Winterhalter, American bandleader (b. 1909)
  • 1980 – Anastasio Somoza Debayle, President of Nicaragua (b. 1925)
  • 1982 – Manos Loïzos, Greek composer (b. 1937)
  • 1984 – Richard Basehart, American actor (b. 1914)
  • 1987 – Harry Locke, British character actor (b. 1913)
  • 1991 – Zino Francescatti, French violinist (b. 1902)
  • 1993 – Christian Nyby, American film and television director (b. 1913)
  • 1996 – Spiro Agnew, Vice President of the United States (b. 1918)
  • 1997 – Red Skelton, American actor and comedian (b. 1913)
  • 1998 – Ted Binion, Las Vegas casino heir (b. 1943)
  • 2000 – Nicole Reinhart, American cyclist (b. 1976)
  • 2000 – Paula Yates, English TV personality (b. 1960)
  • 2001 – Lou Dog, Dalmatian of Sublime singer/guitarist Bradley Nowell
  • 2003 – Erich Hallhuber, German actor (b. 1951)
  • 2005 – Alfred Reed, American composer (b. 1921)
  • 2006 – Patricia Kennedy Lawford, American socialite (b. 1924)

September 17 – Holidays:

  • The fourth day of the Eleusinian Mysteries in ancient Greek mythology, when the initiates sacrificed a pig.
  • Angola – National Heroes’ Day.
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