Historical Events on April 17

  • April
  • 858 Benedict III ends his reign as Catholic Pope

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1387 Geoffrey Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales" characters begin their pilgrimage to Canterbury (according to scholars)

Author and Poet Geoffrey Chaucer
Author and Poet
Geoffrey Chaucer
  • 1397 Geoffrey Chaucer tells the "Canterbury Tales" for the first time at the court of English King Richard II

AgreementContract of Interest

1492 Christopher Columbus signs a contract with the Spanish monarchs to find the "Indies" with the stated goal of converting people to Catholicism. This promises him 10% of all riches found, and the governorship of any lands encountered.

Explorer of the New World Christopher Columbus
Explorer of the New World
Christopher Columbus
  • 1524 Giovanni Verrazano, a Florentine navigator, discovers New York Bay
  • 1534 Sir Thomas More confined in the Tower of London
  • 1555 Siena surrenders to Spanish troops
  • 1596 Archduke Albrecht of Austria occupies Calais
  • 1704 1st successful US newspaper; published in Boston by John Campbell
  • 1711 Charles VI becomes Holy Roman Emperor after the death of his brother Joseph I
  • 1747 French troops occupy Zeeuws-Flanders, Netherlands
  • 1758 Francis Williams, 1st US black college graduate, publishes poems
  • 1797 Sir Ralph Abercromby attacks San Juan, Puerto Rico, one of the largest invasions of Spanish territories in America

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1808 Bayonne Decree by Napoleon I of France orders seizure of US ships

French Emperor Napoléon Bonaparte
French Emperor
Napoléon Bonaparte
  • 1817 1st US school for deaf (Hartford, Connecticut)
  • 1824 Russia abandons all North American claims south of 54° 40'N

  • 1839 Guatemala forms republic
  • 1853 Johan Rudolf Thorbecke's government in the Netherlands resigns
  • 1853 US Marine Hospital at Presidio, San Francisco forms
  • 1860 Champion of England Tom Sayers and American John Heenan fight out brutal 2 hour, 27 minute draw near Farnborough, England; police stop fight acknowledged as first world title bout
  • 1861 Indianola TX - "Star of West" taken by Confederacy
  • 1861 Virginia secedes from the Union (US Civil War)
  • 1863 Grierson's raid begins as Colonel Grierson and 1700 horse troopers set off from La Grange, Tennessee
  • 1864 Battle of Plymouth, North Carolina
  • 1864 Bread revolt in Savannah, Georgia
  • 1864 Grant suspends prisoner-of-war exchanges
  • 1865 Mary Surratt is arrested as a conspirator in Lincoln's assassination
  • 1869 1st pro baseball games-Cincinnati Reds 24, Cin amateurs 15
  • 1875 Modern Snooker invented by Sir Neville Chamberlain, a bored British officer in Jabalpur, India
  • 1892 1st Sunday NL baseball game, Reds beat Cards 5-1
  • 1895 Treaty of Shimonoseki is signed ending the First Sino-Japanese War (1894-95)
  • 1899 3rd Boston Marathon won by Lawrence Brignolia in 2:54:38
  • 1900 7 high chiefs of American Samoa sign Instrument of Cession
  • 1905 US Supreme Court judges maximum work day unconstitutional in Lochner v. New York by declaring the "right to free contract" implicit in the due process clause of the 14th Amendment of the Constitution
  • 1905 9th Boston Marathon won by Fred Lorz in 2:38:25.4
  • 1907 Ellis Island, New York records 11,745 immigrants

Sport awardBoston Marathon

1911 15th Boston Marathon won by Clarence DeMar in race record 2:21:39.6; first of 7 race victories

Marathon Runner Clarence DeMar
Marathon Runner
Clarence DeMar
  • 1912 1st unofficial gold record (Al Jolson's "Ragging The Baby To Sleep")
  • 1916 20th Boston Marathon won by Arthur Roth in 2:27:16.4
  • 1922 26th Boston Marathon won by Clarence DeMar in race record 2:18:10; his 2nd race victory; first of 3 consecutive wins
  • 1923 Longest NL opening game, Phillies & Dodgers tie 5-5 in 14

  • 1924 Metro Pictures, Goldwyn Pictures & Louis B Mayer Co merged to form Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1925 NY Yankee Babe Ruth has ulcer surgery

Baseball Legend Babe Ruth
Baseball Legend
Babe Ruth
  • 1925 Paul Painlevé succeeds Edouard Herriot as French premier
  • 1927 Japan's Wakarsoeki government falls, Baron Tanaka becomes premier
  • 1930 Abkhazian ASSR forms in Georgian SSR
  • 1930 DuPont scientist Elmer K. Bolton invents neoprene using Julius Nieuwland's divinyl acetylene

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1932 Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia ends slavery

Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie
Ethiopian Emperor
Haile Selassie
  • 1933 Chicago Bears win their 1st NFL Game beating NY Giants 23-21
  • 1933 37th Boston Marathon won by Leslie Pawson in 2:31:01.6
  • 1934 New Fenway Park opens, Washington Senators beat Red Sox 6-5
  • 1935 Provincial-National elections (Musserts NSB achieves 7.9%, 44 chairs)

Sport defeatBoxing Title Fight

1939 Joe Louis KOs Jack Roper in 1 for heavyweight boxing title

Boxer and World Heavyweight Champion Joe Louis
Boxer and World Heavyweight Champion
Joe Louis
  • 1939 SN Behrman's "No Time for Comedy" premieres in NYC

AgreementTreaty of Interest

1939 Stalin signs British-France-Russian anti-Nazi pact

Soviet General Secretary Joseph Stalin
Soviet General Secretary
Joseph Stalin
  • 1939 43rd Boston Marathon won by Ellison Brown in 2:28:51.8; his second victory in the event
  • 1941 British troop land in Iraq
  • 1941 US Office of Price Administration forms (handled rationing)
  • 1941 World War II: The Kingdom of Yugoslavia surrenders to Germany.
  • 1942 12 Lancasters bomb MAN factory in Augsburg
  • 1942 Operations begin to destroy Sobibor Concentration Camp
  • 1942 POW French General Henri Giraud escapes from his castle prison in Festung Königstein
  • 1943 Marshal Admiral Yamamoto flies from Truk to Rabaul
  • 1943 SS General Jürgen Stroop arrives in Warsaw
  • 1944 48th Boston Marathon won by Gerard Cote of Canada in 2:31:50.4; second straight victory; 3rd of 4 titles
  • 1945 8th Air Force bombs Dresden
  • 1945 German occupiers flood Wieringermeer, Netherlands

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1945 Benito Mussolini flees from Salò to Milan

Italian Dictator Benito Mussolini
Italian Dictator
Benito Mussolini
  • 1945 US troops land in central Mindanao, Philippines during Battle of Mindanao
  • 1946 Syria declares independence from French administration

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1947 Jackie Robinson bunts for his 1st major league hit

Baseball Player Jackie Robinson
Baseball Player
Jackie Robinson

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1948 Elpidio Quirino assumes the Presidency of the Philippines, taking his oath of office two days after the death of President Manuel Roxas

6th President of the Philippines Elpidio Quirino
6th President of the Philippines
Elpidio Quirino
  • 1950 54th Boston Marathon won by Kee Yong Ham of South Korea in 2:32:39

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1951 NY Yankee Mickey Mantle's 1st game, he goes 1 for 4

Baseball Legend Mickey Mantle
Baseball Legend
Mickey Mantle
  • 1953 Mickey Mantle hits a 565' (172 m) HR in Washington, D.C.'s Griffith Stadium
  • 1956 Bulgaria premier Tchervenkov resigns
  • 1956 Premium Savings Bonds introduced in Great Britain
  • 1956 USSR's Cominform (Parliament) dissolves
  • 1956 Willie Mosconi sinks 150 consecutive balls in a billiard tournament
  • 1958 Brussells (Belgium) World Fair opens
  • 1960 American Samoa sets up a constitutional government
  • 1960 Cleveland Indians trade Rocky Colavito to Tigers for Harvey Kuenn

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1961 1,400 Cuban exiles land in Bay of Pigs in a doomed attempt to overthrow Fidel Castro

Cuban Revolutionary and President Fidel Castro
Cuban Revolutionary and President
Fidel Castro

Film tv awardsAcademy Awards

1961 33rd Academy Awards: "Apartment" wins best film, Burt Lancaster & Elizabeth Taylor win best actor, actress

  • 1961 65th Boston Marathon won by Eino Oksanen of Finland in 2:23:39; his 2nd event title

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1961 Jimmy Stewart accepts an honorary Oscar on behalf of his friend Gary Cooper, who is too ill to attend

  • 1964 "Cafe Crown" opens at Martin Beck Theater NYC for 3 performances
  • 1964 "High Spirits" opens at Alvin Theater NYC for 375 performances
  • 1964 1st game at Shea Stadium, NY Mets lose to Pittsburgh Pirates, 4-3
  • 1964 Ford Mustang formally introduced ($2,368 base)
  • 1964 Jerrie Mock becomes 1st woman to fly solo around the world
  • 1966 100th international soccer match between Netherlands and Belgium (3-1)
  • 1967 Shortwave Radio NY Worldwide goes back on the air after a week off
  • 1967 Surveyor 3 launched; soft lands on Moon, April 20
  • 1967 71st Boston Marathon: Dave McKenzie of New Zealand wins in 2:15:45; American Bobbi Gibb 1st woman for 2nd straight year in 3:27:17 (unsanctioned)
  • 1967 Italian boxer Nino Benvenuti beats American Emile Griffith in a 15 round points decision to win world middleweight crown at Madison Square Garden; start of famous trilogy of fights between the pair
  • 1968 "Fade Out-Fade In" closes at Mark Hellinger Theater NYC after 72 performances
  • 1968 A's 1st game in Oakland-Alameda Stadium, lose 4-1 to Baltimore Orioles
  • 1969 Alexander Dubček forced to resign as first secretary of Czechoslovakia's Communist Party
  • 1969 Mont Expos Bill Stoneman no-hits Phillies, 7-0

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1969 Sirhan Sirhan is convicted of assassinating US Senator Robert F. Kennedy

US Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy
US Attorney General
Robert F. Kennedy
  • 1969 The Band (formerly The Hawks), perform their 1st concert
  • 1969 People's Democracy activist Bernadette Devlin becomes the youngest woman Member of Parliament ever elected to Westminster at 21 years old
  • 1970 Apollo 13 limps back safely, Beech-built oxygen tank no help

Music releaseAlbum Release

1970 Paul McCartney's 1st solo album "McCartney" is released

Musician and Beatle Paul McCartney
Musician and Beatle
Paul McCartney
  • 1971 Egypt, Libya & Syria form federation (FAR)
  • 1972 76th Boston Marathon: Olavi Suomalainen of Finland wins men's race in 2:15:39; American Nina Kuscsik takes inaugural women's title in 3:10:26; first year women's race officially sanctioned
  • 1972 Revised Dutch constitution proclaimed
  • 1972 Kiteman attempting to throw out 1st ball in Phillie Vet crashes into centerfield seats
  • 1973 German counter-terrorist unit GSG 9 founded.
  • 1974 Bundy victim Susan Rancourt disappears from CWU, Ellensburg, Washington

  • 1974 Muslim fundamentalists assault military academy in Heliopolis, Egypt
  • 1975 Khmer Rouge captures Phnom Penh, Cambodia (Kampuchea National Day)

Sports record brokenBaseball Record

1976 NL greatest comeback, trailing 12-1 Phils win 18-16 in 10, Mike Schmidt hits 4 consecutive HRs

MLB Third Baseman Mike Schmidt
MLB Third Baseman
Mike Schmidt

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1976 Australian tennis star Evonne Goolagong Cawley wins her second WTA Tour Championship at the Los Angeles Sports Arena; beats Chris Evert 6–3, 5–7, 6–3

Tennis Legend Chris Evert
Tennis Legend
Chris Evert
  • 1977 "I Love My Wife" opens at Barrymore Theater NYC for 864 performances
  • 1977 Christian-democrats win Belgium parliamentary election
  • 1978 63,500,000 shares traded on NY stock exchange (record)
  • 1978 82nd Boston Marathon: US double; Bill Rodgers wins his 2nd men's title in 2:10:13; Gayle Barron women's champion in 2:44:52
  • 1978 Pulitzer prize awarded to Carl Sagan for "Dragons of Eden"
  • 1979 Brian Clark's "Whose Life is it Anyway?" premieres in London
  • 1979 Four Royal Ulster Constabulary officers are killed by a Provisional Irish Republican Army van bomb in Bessbrook, County Armagh; the bomb is believed to be the largest PIRA bomb used up to that point
  • 1981 "Caveman" with Ringo premieres
  • 1981 Isle Potvin's 3 playoff power-play goals tie NHL record vs Oilers
  • 1981 Ranger's Anders Hedberg is 2nd to score on a Stanley Cup penalty shot
  • 1982 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1982 Proclamation of the Constitution Act by Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau

Prime Minister of Canada Pierre Trudeau
Prime Minister of Canada
Pierre Trudeau
  • 1983 1st National Coin Week begins
  • 1983 Grete Waltz runs female world record marathon (2:25:29)
  • 1983 In Warsaw, police route 1,000 Solidarity supporters
  • 1983 India entered space age launching SLV-3 rocket

Sports record brokenBaseball Record

1983 Nolan Ryan strikes out his 3,500th batter

MLB Pitching Legend Nolan Ryan
MLB Pitching Legend
Nolan Ryan
  • 1983 NY Islanders tie NHL record with 3 shorthanded playoff goals vs NY Rangers
  • 1984 Braves pitcher Pascual Perez suspended due to cocaine usage
  • 1984 During Libyan Embassy demonstration in London, British police officer Yvonne Fletcher shot dead
  • 1986 Netherlands & Scilly Islands sign peace treaty (war of 1651)
  • 1986 Pulitzer prize awarded to Larry McMurtry for "Lonesome Dove"

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1987 Julius Erving becomes 3rd NBA (and ABA) player to score 30,000 points

NBA Legend Julius Erving
NBA Legend
Julius Erving
  • 1987 Richard Wilbur appointed as American poet laureate
  • 1987 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • 1988 Ethiopian Belayneh Densimo runs world record marathon (2:06:50)
  • 1989 18th Boston Women's Marath won by Ingrid Kristiansen of Nor in 2:24:33
  • 1989 93rd Boston Marathon: Abebe Mekonen of Ethiopia takes men's race in 2:09:06; Ingrid Kristiansen of Norway wins her 2nd women's title in 2:24:33
  • 1989 Maximum NY State unemployment benefits raised to $245 per week
  • 1989 Polish labor union granted legal status
  • 1989 Soviet-US agreement allows Soviets to fight US pros
  • 1990 Gas explosion on passenger train in Kumrahar India, 80 die
  • 1991 Dow Jones closes above 3,000 for 1st time (3,004.46)
  • 1991 Railroad workers go on strike in US

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1993 Two Los Angeles police officers convicted in federal court of violating Rodney King's civil rights

Victim of Police Violence Rodney King
Victim of Police Violence
Rodney King
  • 1993 STS-56 (Discovery) lands

  • 1994 "Little More Magic" closes at Belasco Theater NYC after 30 performances
  • 1994 "Twilight - Los Angeles 1992" opens at Cort Theater NYC for 72 performances
  • 1994 55th PGA Seniors Golf Championship: Lee Trevino wins by 1 stroke from Jim Colbert for his 4th Seniors major title
  • 1994 Aruba government of Oduber falls
  • 1995 99th Boston Marathon: Cosmas Ndeti of Kenya claims 3rd straight title in 2:09:22; Uta Pippig of Germany wins 2nd consecutive women's event in 2:25:11
  • 1997 John Bell aged 115 receives a new pacemaker

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1997 NJ Devil Martin Brodeur is 2nd NHL goalie to score in a playoff game

NHL Goalie Martin Brodeur
NHL Goalie
Martin Brodeur
  • 1999 NFL Draft: University of Kentucky quarterback Tim Couch first pick by Cleveland Browns
  • 2000 104th Boston Marathon: Kenyan double; Elijah Lagat wins men's race in 2:09:47; Catherine Ndereba takes women's title in 2:26:11

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2001 A letter between Gale Norton and Jeb Bush is released, stating that the Bush administration has decided to go ahead with plans to auction 6 million acres of potentially oil-and-gas-rich seabed in the Gulf of Mexico

Governor of Florida Jeb Bush
Governor of Florida
Jeb Bush
  • 2002 Four Canadian Forces soldiers are killed in Afghanistan by friendly fire from two United States Air Force F-16s, the first deaths in a combat zone for Canada since the Korean War
  • 2005 51st British Academy Television Awards: "Little Britain" Best Comedy, "Sex Traffic" Best Drama
  • 2006 110th Boston Marathon: Kenyan double; Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot wins 2nd men's title in 2:07:14; Rita Jeptoo takes women's title in 2:23:38

United <b>Nations</b>United Nations

2009 Former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark becomes the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the first woman to lead the organization

Former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark
Former New Zealand Prime Minister
Helen Clark

Film release premierFilm Premier

2011 "Thor", directed by Kenneth Branagh, starring Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman, premieres in Sydney, Australia

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2011 "Game of Thrones", based on the fantasy novels by George R. R. Martin premieres on HBO

Historic PublicationSt. Cuthbert Gospel

2012 The 8th century St. Cuthbert Gospel, Europe's oldest intact book, is purchased by the British Library for 9 million pounds
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The St. Cuthbert Gospel cover and the first page of text
The St. Cuthbert Gospel cover and the first page of text
  • 2013 5 people are killed in Wana, Pakistan, by a United States drone attack
  • 2013 15 people are killed and 100 are injured after a fertilizer plant explodes in West, Texas
  • 2013 North Korea blocks a South Korean supply delegation from the Kaesong joint industrial zone
  • 2013 Same-sex marriage is legalized in New Zealand
  • 2014 Abdelaziz Bouteflika wins a fourth term as President of Algeria

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2015 Jazz composer and musician John Coltrane is awarded a posthumous Special Citation by the Pulitzer Prize board

Jazz Musician John Coltrane
Jazz Musician
John Coltrane
  • 2015 James Anderson becomes the highest wicket-taking bowler in England's test cricket history
  • 2017 1st living giant shipworm at 3 ft found in the Philippines, really a type of clam
  • 2017 121st Boston Marathon: Kenyan double; Geoffrey Kirui takes men's title in 2:09:37; Edna Kiplagat women's champion in 2:21:52
  • 2018 Former F.B.I. director James Comey publishes his political autobiography “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership”
  • 2018 Protests across India at the rape and murder of an 8-year old Muslim girl in Kathua, Bengalu
  • 2019 Research showing pigs brains partially brought back to life at Yale University, published in "Nature"

Music releaseAlbum Release

2019 Beyoncé releases a live album of her 2018 Coachella performance on the same day as her Netflix documentary "Homecoming"

  • 2019 Terror alert closes schools in Denver, Colorado, due to 18 year-old woman obsessed with Columbine massacre, who is then found dead
  • 2019 10 babies with "bubble boy disease" cured using a gene therapy made from HIV at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, according to new study