On This Day in History for February 17

Events in History

Events 1 - 100 of 142

  • 1370 Battle at Rudau: Germany beats Lithuania
  • 1461 Wars of the Roses: Second Battle of St Albans - Lancastrian army defeats Yorkists and recapture King Henry VI
  • 1500 Battle of Hemmingstedt - German peasant army repels ducal army of Schleswig and Holstein

Victory in battleVictory in Battle

1510 Portuguese admiral Afonso de Albuquerque first conquers the city of Goa, entering it with little conflict

Admiral and Duke of Goa Afonso de Albuquerque
Admiral and Duke of Goa
Afonso de Albuquerque
  • 1568 Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian II agrees to pay tribute to the Ottoman Empire for peace
  • 1598 Boris Godunov chosen as Tsar of Russia
  • 1600 Philosopher Giordano Bruno is burned alive at Campo de' Fiori in Rome, charged with heresy.

Electoral defeatElection of Interest

1621 Myles Standish is elected as the first commander of the Plymouth Colony

Military Leader of Plymouth Colony Myles Standish
Military Leader of Plymouth Colony
Myles Standish
  • 1634 William Prynne tried in Star Chamber for publishing "Histrio-masti"
  • 1670 France & Bavaria sign military assistance treaty
  • 1691 Thomas Neale granted English patent for American postal service
  • 1714 Parliament of Paris accepts Pope Clemens XI's "Unigenitus" degree
  • 1772 1st Partition of Poland signed in Vienna by Austria, Prussia and Russia

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1776 1st volume of Gibbon's "Decline & Fall of Roman Empire" published

Historian Edward Gibbon
Historian
Edward Gibbon
  • 1791 Messier catalogs M83 (spiral galaxy in Hydra)
  • 1795 Thomas Seddal harvests 8.3-kg potato from his garden Chester, England

Electoral defeatElection of Interest

1801 US House of Representatives breaks electoral college tie, chooses Thomas Jefferson President over Aaron Burr

3rd US President Thomas Jefferson
3rd US President
Thomas Jefferson
3rd Vice President of the United States Aaron Burr
3rd Vice President of the United States
Aaron Burr
  • 1814 Battle of Mormant: French Imperial army defeat Russian Austrian forces (War of the Sixth Coalition)
  • 1817 1st US city lit by gas (Baltimore)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1836 HMS Beagle/Charles Darwin leaves Tasmania

Naturalist Charles Darwin
Naturalist
Charles Darwin

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1837 Charles Lyell makes his presidential address to the Geographical Society, London and announces that Richard Owen has concluded from Darwin's fossils that extinct species were related to current species in the same locality

Geologist Charles Lyell
Geologist
Charles Lyell
  • 1848 Toscane gets liberal Constitution
  • 1854 Britain recognises independence of Orange Free State (South Africa)
  • 1864 Confederate submarine HL Hunley sinks Union ship Housatonic
  • 1865 -18] Battle of Charleston SC
  • 1865 Columbia, South Carolina burns down during American Civil War
  • 1867 Gyula Andressy becomes premier of Hungary
  • 1870 Esther Morris appointed first female in Justice of the Peace in the United States
  • 1870 Mississippi becomes 9th state readmitted to US after Civil War
  • 1876 Sardines first canned by Julius Wolff in Eastport, Maine
  • 1878 1st telephone exchange in SF opens with 18 phones
  • 1880 Tsar Alexander II of Russia survives an assassination attempt
  • 1883 A Ashwell patents free-toilet in London

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1885 Bismarck gives Carl Peters' firm management of East-Africa

German Statesman Otto von Bismarck
German Statesman
Otto von Bismarck
  • 1896 Muzzling Order on the London County Council enforced
  • 1897 National Organization of Mothers forms (Parent Teacher Association)

Victory in battleVictory in Battle

1897 Emilio Aguinaldo and a group of katipuneros defeat Spanish forces led by General Camilo de Polavieja at the Battle of Zapote Bridge in Cavite

Revolutionary and 1st President of the Philippines Emilio Aguinaldo
Revolutionary and 1st President of the Philippines
Emilio Aguinaldo
  • 1902 A general strike in Barcelona and nearby towns leads to government-troop reprisals that leave 40 dead
  • 1905 Frances Willard becomes 1st women honored in National Statuary Hall
  • 1911 1st hydroplane flight to & from a ship (Glenn Curtiss, San Diego)
  • 1913 1st minimum wage law in US takes effect (Oregon)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1913 NY Armory Show introduces Picasso, Matisse, Duchamp to US public

Painter Pablo Picasso
Painter
Pablo Picasso
Painter and Sculptor Marcel Duchamp
Painter and Sculptor
Marcel Duchamp
Impressionist Painter Henri Matisse
Impressionist Painter
Henri Matisse
  • 1915 Edward Stone, 1st US combatant to die in WW I, is mortally wounded
  • 1917 In Australia, Nationalist Party takes over a coalition government
  • 1921 Arthur Honegger's "Pastorale D'ete" premieres
  • 1924 Johnny Weissmuller sets 100-yard freestyle record (52.4 seconds)
  • 1926 Avalanche buries 75 in Sap Gulch, Bingham, Utah; 40 die
  • 1930 French government of André Tardieu falls for the first time
  • 1931 Hockey's Hershey Bears (now with AHL) 1st game
  • 1933 1st issue of "Newsweek" magazine published
  • 1933 Marinus van der Lubbe arrives in Glindow, at Potsdam
  • 1933 US Senate accept Blaine Act: ending prohibition
  • 1934 1st high school auto driving course offered (State College, Penn)
  • 1936 -58°F (-50°C), McIntosh, South Dakota (state record)
  • 1936 S. N. Behrman's play "End of Summer" premieres in NYC
  • 1938 1st public experimental demonstration of Baird color TV (London)
  • 1940 Crew of the British destroyer Cossack board German Altmark in Jøssingfjord, Norway, and realised 299 British prisoners after hand-to-hand fighting with bayonets and the last recorded Royal Naval action with cutlass.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1943 Adolf Hitler visits field marshal Erich von Manstein's headquarters in Zaporozje, Ukraine and stays until the 19th

Dictator of Nazi Germany Adolf Hitler
Dictator of Nazi Germany
Adolf Hitler
  • 1943 Dutch churches protest at Seyss-Inquart against persecution of Jews
  • 1943 Major General Omar Bradley flies to Washington, D.C.
  • 1944 Battle of Eniwetok Atoll begins; US victory on Feb 22
  • 1944 US begins night bombing of Truk
  • 1946 Humanistic Covenant forms in Amsterdam
  • 1947 Dutch RC bishops publish manifest against "godless communism"
  • 1947 Voice of America begins broadcasting to USSR
  • 1949 Chaim Weitzman elected 1st president of Israel
  • 1949 Ice Pairs Championship at Paris won by Andrea Kekesy/Ede Kiraly of HUN
  • 1949 Ladies' Figure Skating Champions in Paris won by Alena Vrzanova of CZE
  • 1949 Men's Figure Skating Championship in Paris won by Richard Button USA
  • 1949 Richard Button retains world figure skating championship in Paris
  • 1950 31 die in a train crash in Rockville Center NY
  • 1955 Ice Pairs Championship at Vienna won by Frances Dafoe and Norris Bowden of Canada
  • 1955 Ladies Figure Skating Championship in Vienna won by Tenley Albright US
  • 1956 Ice Pairs Championship at Garmisch won by Schwarz & Oppelt of AUT
  • 1956 Ladies' Figure Skating Championship in Garmisch won by Carol Heiss USA
  • 1956 Men's Figure Skating Championship in Garmisch won by H A Jenkins USA
  • 1957 A fire at a home for the elderly in Warrenton, Missouri kills 72 people.
  • 1958 Comic strip "BC" 1st appears
  • 1959 1st weather satellite launched, Vanguard 2, 9.8 kg
  • 1962 Storm in Hamburg kills 265
  • 1964 US House of Representatives accept Law on the civil rights
  • 1964 US Supreme Court rules - 1 man 1 vote (Westberry v Sanders)
  • 1965 US Ranger 8 launched, will transmit 7,137 lunar pictures
  • 1966 French satellite Diapason D-1A launch into Earth orbit
  • 1967 Kosmos 140 (Soyuz Test) launches into Earth orbit
  • 1969 Golda Meir sworn in as the first female Prime Minister of Israel
  • 1970 US army officer Jeffrey McDonald murders his pregnant wife & two small daughters
  • 1970 Robert Marasco's "Child's Play" premieres in NYC
  • 1972 British Parliament votes to join European Common Market

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1972 US President Richard Nixon leaves Washington, D.C. for China

37th US President Richard Nixon
37th US President
Richard Nixon
  • 1972 Sales of the Volkswagen Beetle model exceed those of Ford Model T
  • 1974 Robert K. Preston, a disgruntled U.S. Army private, buzzes the White House with a stolen helicopter.
  • 1974 16th Daytona 500: Richard Petty wins (140.894 MPH)
  • 1976 Macau adopts constitution (Organic Law of Macau)
  • 1978 11 civilians and 1 RUC officer are killed and 30 wounded by a Provisional Irish Republican Army incendiary bomb at the La Mon Restaurant near Belfast
  • 1979 China invades Vietnam, marking the start of the Sino-Vietnamese War
  • 1979 Eric Heiden equals skating world record 1000m (1:14.99)
  • 1980 22nd Daytona 500: Buddy Baker wins (177.602 MPH)
  • 1981 Chrysler Corp reports largest corporate losses in US history
  • 1983 Bob Bourne fails on 8th Islander penalty shot

Birthdays in History

  • 1490 Charles de Bourbon, officer/governor (Lombardy)
  • 1519 Francis, Duke of Guise, French soldier and politician (d. 1563)
  • 1581 Fausto Poli, Italian Catholic priest (d. 1653)
  • 1583 J Henry Alting, Dutch theologist
  • 1646 Pierre Le Pesant, sieur de Boisguilbert, French economist (d. 1714)
  • 1699 Hans Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff, German architect (Sanssouci)
  • 1718 Matthew Tilghman, American Continental Congressman (d. 1790)
  • 1723 Tobias Mayer, "method of lunars" for longitude determination
  • 1740 Horace B de Saussure, Swiss physicist/geologist
  • 1752 Friedrich M Klinger, German playwright (Wirrwarr)
  • 1754 Nicolas Baudin, French explorer (d. 1803)
  • 1758 John Pinkerton, Scottish historian
  • 1774 Raphaelle Peale, US, painter (After the Rain-1823)
  • 1781 René-Theophile-Hyacinthe Lannec, France, inventor (stethoscope)
  • 1796 Philipp Franz von Siebold, German physician (d. 1866)
  • 1804 Samuel Read Anderson, Brigadier General (Confederate Army), (d. 1883)
  • 1816 Haller Nutt, Southern Plantation owner (d. 1864)
  • 1820 Elzéar-Alexandre Taschereau, Catholic cardinal (d. 1898)
  • 1824 William Farrar "Baldy" Smith, Mjr Gen (Union volunteers), (d. 1903)
  • 1836 Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer, Spanish poet (d. 1870)
  • 1837 Francis Jay Herron, Major General (Union volunteers), (d. 1902)
  • 1837 Sam[uel] van Houten, Dutch (lib) minister (child labor laws)
  • 1844 A Montgomery Ward, found mail-order business (Montgomery Ward)
  • 1848 Louisa Lawson, Australian suffragist and writer (d. 1920)
  • 1849 Selwyn Image, Bodiam Sussex, painter
  • 1854 Friedrich A Krupp, German arms manufacturer
  • 1855 Otto Liman von Sanders, German general in Turkey (WW I)
  • 1857 Samuel Sidney McClure, Irish-American newspaper editor/publisher
  • 1861 Princess Helena, Duchess of Albany (d. 1922)
  • 1862 Mori Ōgai, Japanese novelist and poet (d. 1922)
  • 1863 Fyodor Sologub, Russian symbolist novelist and poet (d. 1927)
  • 1864 Andrew Barton "Banjo" Paterson, NSW Australia, poet (Waltzing Matilda)
  • 1864 Jozef Murgaš, Slovak inventor (d. 1929)
  • 1867 William Cadbury, England, chocolate manufacturer (Cadbury)
  • 1870 Louis de Raet, Belgian economist/founder (Flemish People's Party)
  • 1874 Thomas J Watson, US, representative/founder (IBM)
  • 1877 Henri Vandeputte, Belgian author/poet (L'homme Jeune)
  • 1877 Isabelle Eberhardt, Swiss explorer and writer (d. 1904)
  • 1877 André Maginot, French politician (d. 1932)
  • 1879 Dorothy Canfield Fisher, US, novelist (Book-of-Month-Club)
  • 1880 Alvaro Obregon, general/president Mexico (1920-24)
  • 1884 Arthur Vanderpoorten, Flemish minister of Internal affairs (1940)
  • 1888 Otto Stern, German/US physicist (Stern-Gerlach-experiment, Nobel 1943)
  • 1888 Ronald Aburthnott Knox, English priest/writer (Viaduct Murder)
  • 1889 H[aroldson] L Hunt, Texas oil multi-millionaire
  • 1891 Georg Britting, writer
  • 1892 Theodor Plievier, German writer (Des Kaisers Kulis, Stalingrad)
  • 1903 Johannes Linthorst Homan, director of the queen in Groningen
  • 1904 Albert Kuyle, [Louis Kuitenbrouwer], Dutch writer (Jesus' Robe)
  • 1904 Hans Morgenthau, German political philosopher (d. 1980)
  • 1906 Galo Plaza Lasso, President of Ecuador (1948-52), head of OAS (1968-75)
  • 1907 Charles B Timmer, Dutch translator/writer (Russia Black on White)
  • 1912 Andre Norton, American author (d. 2005)
  • 1914 Albert Westerlinck, [Jose J M Aerts], Flemish literary
  • 1914 Per-Jakez Helias, writer/teacher
  • 1917 Abdur Rahman Badawi, Egyptian philosopher (d. 2002)
  • 1917 Guillermo González Camarena, Mexican inventor (d. 1965)
  • 1918 Charles A Hayes, (Rep-D-IL, 1983- )
  • 1918 Olive Gibbs, peace campaigner
  • 1920 Colin Franklin, doctor
  • 1920 Trevor Oswald Ling, religious studies professor
  • 1922 Enrico Banducci, American nightclub owner (d. 2007)
  • 1923 Alden Winship Clausen, Hamilton Ill, banker (President of World Bank)
  • 1924 Gevork Vartanian, Iran, Soviet intelligence agent (Operation Long Jump), (d. 2012)
  • 1929 Chaim Potok, American novelist (Promise), born in NYC, New York
  • 1930 Ruth Rendell, English thriller writer (Inspector Wexford novels), born in South Woodford, Essex
  • 1933 Craig Thomas, (Rep-R-Wyoming)
  • 1938 Mary Frances Berry, educator/head (US Commission on Civil Rights)
  • 1942 Huey Newton, Black Panther leader
  • 1944 Bernie Grant, British politician (Labour)
  • 1945 Willie J L Swildens-Rozendal, Dutch MP (PvdA)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1955 Mo Yan, Chinese novelist

Novelist Mo Yan
Novelist
Mo Yan
  • 1959 Aryeh Deri, Israeli rabbi and politician
  • 1968 Bryan Cox, National Football League player
  • 1978 Jacob Wetterling, American kidnapping victim
  • 1988 Natascha Kampusch, Austrian kidnapping victim

Weddings in History

  • 1841 Dutch ex-king Willem I marries Henriette d'Oultremont de Wégimont
  • 1906 26th US President Theodore Roosevelt's daughter Alice marries in the White House

HeartWedding of Interest

1955 Novelist J. D. Salinger (36) weds Claire Douglas

Novelist J. D. Salinger
Novelist
J. D. Salinger

Deaths in History

  • 364 Jovian (Flavius Jovianus), Christian emperor of Rome (363-64), dies at about 32
  • 440 St. Mesrop Mashtots, Armenian theologian and linguist
  • 956 Hugo the Great, earl of Paris/duke of Francia, dies at about 55
  • 1339 Otto, Duke of Austria (b. 1301)
  • 1371 Ivan Alexander of Bulgaria
  • 1596 Friedrich Sylburg, German classical scholar (b. 1536)
  • 1600 Giordano Bruno, advocate of Copernican theory, burned at stake
  • 1609 Ferdinando I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany (b. 1549)
  • 1612 Ernst of Bayern, prince/bishop of Luik/archbish Cologne, dies at 57
  • 1612 Jodocus Hondius, Flemish cartoonist/mathematician, dies at 48
  • 1624 Juan de Mariana, Spanish historian (b. 1536)
  • 1659 Abel Servien, French diplomat (b. 1593)
  • 1673 Molière, [Jean Baptiste Poquelin], French playwright (The Misanthrope), dies. (b. 1622)
  • 1680 Denzil Holles, 1st Baron Holles, English statesman and writer (b. 1599)
  • 1688 Rev James Renwick, hanged in Scotland for being a Presbyterian
  • 1715 Antoine Galland, French interpreter, dies at 68
  • 1768 Arthur Onslow, English politician (b. 1691)
  • 1780 Andreas Felix von Oefele, German historian and librarian (b. 1706)
  • 1796 James Macpherson, Scottish writer and poet, dies at 59
  • 1827 Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi, Swiss educator, dies at 81
  • 1847 William Collins, landscape painter, dies
  • 1852 Micha Joseph Levenson, Hebrew poet, dies
  • 1854 Hugues F R de Lamennais, French priest/writer, dies at 71
  • 1854 John Martin, English painter (b. 1789)
  • 1856 Heinrich Heine, German poet, dies at 58 in Paris
  • 1874 [Lambert] Adolphe J Quetelet, Belgium astronomer/sociologist, dies at 77
  • 1875 Luis NF Varela, Brazilian romantic poet, dies at 33
  • 1878 Jose Amador de los Rios, Spanish historian/poet, dies at 59
  • 1883 Vasudeo Balwant Phadke, Indian revolutionary (b. 1845)
  • 1890 Christopher Sholes, American inventor (b. 1819)
  • 1905 Serge Alexandrovich, gov-gen Moscow, murdered
  • 1907 Henry Olcott, co-founder (Theosophical Society-Madras), dies
  • 1907 Henry Steel Olcott, US co-founder (Theosophist Society), dies at 74

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1909 Geronimo [one who yawns], Apache chief, dies at 79

Apache Leader Geronimo
Apache Leader
Geronimo
  • 1912 Aloys von Aerenthal, foreign minister (Austria-Hungary), dies at 57
  • 1912 Lawrence Oates, British explorer (Antarctica), dies
  • 1917 Edmund Bishop, English secretary of Thomas Carlyle, dies at 70

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1918 Wilfrid Laurier, Canadian PM (1896-1911), dies

Prime Minister of Canada Wilfrid Laurier
Prime Minister of Canada
Wilfrid Laurier

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1924 Henry Bacon, American architect, dies at 57

Architect Henry Bacon
Architect
Henry Bacon
  • 1932 Frans Gailliard, Belgian painter/graphic artist (Egina), dies at 70
  • 1934 Albert I LCMM von Saksen-Coburg, king of Belgium (1909-34), dies at 58
  • 1934 Siegbert Tarrasch, German chess player (b. 1862)
  • 1936 Erich Schaeder, German theologist (Theozentrische), dies at 74
  • 1943 Konstantin Bogaevsky, Russian painter (b. 1872)
  • 1944 Fausto Agnelli, Swiss painter, dies at 64
  • 1954 Evert Gorter, children artist (Kindergeneeskunde), dies at 72
  • 1958 Hugh McCrae, Australian writer (b. 1876)
  • 1966 Hans Hofmann, German/US painter (Search for the Real), dies at 85
  • 1970 Shmuel Yosef Agnon, Jewish novelist (Nobel 1966), dies at 81
  • 1977 Janani Luwum, Ugandan Archbishop (b. 1922)
  • 1980 Graham Sutherland, English artist (official WWII war artist), dies at 76
  • 1986 Jiddu Krishnamurti, Indian philosopher (Kingdom Happiness), dies at 90
  • 1990 Frans Kellendonk, Dutch writer (Good for Nothing), dies at 39
  • 1991 Enrique Bermudez, commandant (Contra), dies
  • 1993 Alfredo de Leon, leader (Philippines Red Scorpio Gang), killed
  • 1994 Randy Shilts, US journalist (& the band played on), dies of AIDs at 41
  • 1995 Thelma Hulbert, painter, dies at 81
  • 1995 Timothy Hugh Brown, theatre critic, dies at 52
  • 1996 Bentley Bridgewater, british Museum secretary, dies at 84
  • 1996 Henry Guinness, missionary, dies at 87
  • 1996 Jean Writer-Pierre Herve Bazin, dies at 84
  • 1996 Michael Raptis, writer/recolutionary, dies at 84
  • 1997 Zein Isa, Palestinian militant imprisoned in the United States for the honor killing of his daughter
  • 1998 Ernst Juenger, German writer, dies at 102
  • 2001 Khalid Abdul Muhammed, American Nation of Islam spokesman (b. 1948)
  • 2004 José López Portillo, President of Mexico (b. 1920)
  • 2007 Jurga Ivanauskaitė, Lithuanian writer (b. 1961)
  • 2007 Maurice Papon, French Nazi collaborator (b. 1910)
  • 2009 Conchita Cintrón, Chilean bullfighter (b. 1922)
  • 2012 Ulric Neisser, American psychologist, dies at 83