On This Day

Historical Events on January 17

  • 1287 King Alfonso III of Aragon invades Minorca.
  • 1377 Pope Gregory XI moves the Papacy back to Rome from Avignon
  • 1501 Cesare Borgia returns in triumph to Rome from Romagna

DiscoveryVoyage of Discovery

1524 Beginning of Giovanni da Verrazzano's voyage to find a passage to China

  • 1536 Francois Rabelais absolved of apostasy by Pope Paul III
  • 1562 Edict of St Germain recognizes Huguenots in France
  • 1584 Bohemia adopts Gregorian calendar

BattleDeclaration of War

1595 King Henry IV of France declares war on Spain

  • 1601 France gains Bresse, Bugey, Valromey & Gex in treaty with Spain
  • 1656 Brandenburg & Sweden sign Treaty of Königsberg
  • 1718 Avalanche destroys every building in Leukerbad, Switzerland; kills 53
  • 1746 Battle of Falkirk Muir, the Jacobites under Charles Stuart defeat Hanoverian forces
  • 1757 German Diet declares war on Prussia

DiscoveryHistoric Discovery

1773 Captain James Cook becomes 1st to cross Antarctic Circle (66° 33' S)

Explorer James Cook
Explorer
James Cook
  • 1775 9 old women burnt as witches for causing bad harvests in Kalisk, Poland
  • 1775 Richard Brinsley Sheridan's play "The Rivals" premieres in London

  • 1779 Captain James Cook's last notation in Discovery's ship's log
  • 1799 Maltese patriot Dun Mikiel Xerri, along with a number of other patriots, is executed

Victory in battleNew Settlement

1821 Mexico permits Moses Austin and 300 US families to settle in Texas, after his death leaves to son Stephen

Founder of Texas Stephen F. Austin
Founder of Texas
Stephen F. Austin
  • 1827 Duke of Wellington appointed British supreme commander
  • 1832 Johannes van den Bosch appointed governor general of Dutch East Indies
  • 1852 British recognize independence of Transvaal (in South Africa)
  • 1862 -Jan 22nd) BBT Ft Henry, Tennessee by USS Lexington
  • 1863 Civil War skirmish near Newtown, Virginia

BattleBattle of Interest

1864 General James Longstreet's command ends heavy fighting at Dandridgem, Tennessee

Confederate General James Longstreet
Confederate General
James Longstreet
  • 1871 1st cable car patented, by Andrew Smith Hallidie in the US (begins service in 1873)
  • 1873 A group of Modoc warriors defeats the United States Army in the First Battle of the Stronghold, a part of the Modoc War
  • 1874 Armed Democrats seize Texas government ending Radical Reconstruction
  • 1882 1st Dutch female physician Aletta Jacobs opens her office
  • 1885 British beat Mahdists at Battle of Abu Klea in Sudan
  • 1893 -17°F (-27°C), Millsboro, Delaware (state record)
  • 1893 Queen Liliuokalani is deposed by an American coup, Kingdom of Hawaii becomes a republic
  • 1893 Franco-Russian Alliance is signed
  • 1895 French president Casimir-Perier resigns; Félix Faure installed.
  • 1899 US takes possession of Wake Island in the Pacific

Music releaseTheater Premiere

1904 Anton Chekhov's play "Cherry Orchard" opens at Moscow Art Theater

Author and Playwright Anton Chekhov
Author and Playwright
Anton Chekhov
  • 1905 Punchboards patented by Charles Brewer & C G Scannell, Chicago
  • 1911 Failed assassination attempt on premier Briand in French Assembly
  • 1911 Percy Mackaye's "Scarecrow" premieres in NYC

DiscoveryHistoric Expedition

1912 Captain Robert Scott's expedition arrives at the South Pole, one month after Roald Amundsen

Polar Explorer Robert Falcon Scott
Polar Explorer
Robert Falcon Scott
Polar Explorer Roald Amundsen
Polar Explorer
Roald Amundsen
  • 1913 Raymond Poincaré elected president of France

Music releaseTheater Premiere

1914 Gerhart Hauptmann's play "Der Bogen des Odysseus" premieres in Berlin

Dramatist, Author and Nobel Laureate Gerhart Hauptmann
Dramatist, Author and Nobel Laureate
Gerhart Hauptmann
  • 1915 Antoni van Leeuwenhoek's Hospital in Amsterdam opens
  • 1915 Russia occupies Bukovina & Western Ukraine

Victory in battleVictory in Battle

1915 Battle of Sarikamish ends with a Russian victory over Ottoman forces led by Enver Pasha with loss of over 30,000 men of the Turkish Third Army during Caucasus Campaign

Leader of the Ottoman Empire Enver Pasha
Leader of the Ottoman Empire
Enver Pasha
  • 1916 Rodman Wanamaker organises a lunch to discuss forming a golfers association (later the PGA) at the Taplow Club, Martinique Hotel, New York City
  • 1917 US pays Denmark $25 million for Virgin Islands (or 3/21)
  • 1920 Paul Deschanel elected President of France
  • 1920 First day Prohibition comes into effect in the US as a result of the 18th amendment
  • 1923 Belgian Working people Party protest against occupied Ruhrgebied
  • 1923 Origin of Brown lunation numbers
  • 1928 1st fully automatic photographic film developing machine patented
  • 1929 Popeye makes 1st appearance, in comic strip "Thimble Theater"

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1933 Australian cricket batting champion Don Bradman takes only his 2nd Test wicket; bowls England's Walter Hammond for 85 during 338-run 3rd Test defeat in Adelaide

Cricket Legend Donald Bradman
Cricket Legend
Donald Bradman
  • 1934 Carl Hubbell, NL MVP winner, gets $18,000 contract by the NY Giants
  • 1934 Electric Home & Farm Authority incorporated
  • 1934 NY Giants reward MVP pitcher Carl Hubbell with $18,000 contract
  • 1937 LPGA Titleholders Championship Women's Golf, Augusta CC: Patty Berg wins inaugural event by 3 strokes ahead of Dorothy Kirby
  • 1938 Supreme Soviet elects Michail Kalinin as presidium chairman

AppointmentAppointment of Interest

1938 Joseph P. Kennedy becomes the 44th United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom

Patriarch of the Kennedy family Joseph P. Kennedy
Patriarch of the Kennedy family
Joseph P. Kennedy
  • 1939 Ed Barrow is elected Yankee president succeeding deceased J Ruppert

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1941 Chiang Kai-shek disbands the Communist New Fourth Army after the New Fourth Army incident at Maolin, Anhui Province between the nationalist and communist armies leaves many dead

Chinese Military and Political Leader Chiang Kai-shek
Chinese Military and Political Leader
Chiang Kai-shek
  • 1943 Tin Can Drive Day in the US, salvage collected for the war effort
  • 1944 British corvette HMS Violet sinks U-641 in Atlantic Ocean
  • 1945 Auschwitz concentration camp begins evacuation
  • 1945 Gilbert Dodds, record miler (4:05.3), retires to do gospel work
  • 1945 Soviet army enters the devastated city of Warsaw and clears German resistance
  • 1945 Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, credited with saving tens of thousands of Jews from the Nazis, arrested by Soviet secret police in Hungary
  • 1946 United Nations Security Council holds its 1st meeting
  • 1947 Ammunition factory explodes in Muiden, Netherlands, 16 die
  • 1948 Netherlands & Indonesia agree to a cease-fire
  • 1948 Trial of 11 US Communist party members begins in NYC
  • 1949 "The Goldbergs", first airs in the US on CBS
  • 1950 "Alive & Kicking" opens at Winter Garden Theater NYC for 46 performances
  • 1950 The Great Brinks Robbery - 11 men rob $1.2M cash & $1.5M securities from armored car company Brink's offices in Boston, Massachusetts
  • 1951 China refuses ceases-fire in Korea
  • 1952 1952 NFL Draft: Bill Wade from University of Vanderbilt first pick by Los Angeles Rams
  • 1953 Australian Championships Women's Tennis: In an all-American final Maureen Connolly wins 1st leg of her Grand Slam; beats Julia Sampson 6-3, 6-2

Sport awardAustralian Tennis Open

1953 Australian Championships Men's Tennis: In an all-Australian final Ken Rosewall wins his first Grand Slam title; beats Mervyn Rose 6-0, 6-3, 6-4

Tennis Player and Eight-Time Major Champion Ken Rosewall
Tennis Player and Eight-Time Major Champion
Ken Rosewall

Appears on tv showTelevision Debut

1954 Jacques Cousteau's 1st network telecast airs on "Omnibus" (CBS)

Oceanographer, Explorer and Scientist Jacques Cousteau
Oceanographer, Explorer and Scientist
Jacques Cousteau
  • 1954 4th NFL Pro Bowl, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum: Eastern Conference beats Western Conference, 20-9; MVP: Chuck Bednarik, Philadelphia Eagles, LB
  • 1955 US Submarine Nautilus begins 1st nuclear-powered test voyage
  • 1957 9-county commission recommends creation of BART
  • 1959 "Say, Darling" closes at ANTA Theater NYC after 332 performances

Sport awardNFL Pro Bowl

1960 10th NFL Pro Bowl, LA Memorial Coliseum: Western Conference beats Eastern Conference, 38-21; MVPs: Johnny Unitas, Baltimore Colts, QB; Eugene Lipscomb, Baltimore Colts, DL

NFL Quarterback Johnny Unitas
NFL Quarterback
Johnny Unitas

MurderAssassination

1961 Eisenhower allegedly orders assassination of Congo's Patrice Lumumba

34th US President & WWII General Dwight D. Eisenhower
34th US President & WWII General
Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • 1961 President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivers a televised farewell address to the nation three days before leaving office, in which he warns against the accumulation of power by the "military-industrial complex".

Sport awardNBA All-Star Game

1961 11th NBA All-Star Game, Onondaga County Coliseum, Syracuse, NY: West beats East, 153-131; MVP: Oscar Robertson, Cincinnati Royals, PG; at 22, youngest player to receive All-Star MVP honours, 23 points & 14 assists

NBA Player Oscar Robertson
NBA Player
Oscar Robertson

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1962 NASA civilian pilot Neil Armstrong takes X-15 to 40,690m

Astronaut & 1st Man on the Moon Neil Armstrong
Astronaut & 1st Man on the Moon
Neil Armstrong
  • 1962 Roy Harris' 8th Symphony, premieres in San Francisco
  • 1963 Joe Walker takes X-15 to altitude of 82 km

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1963 Wilt Chamberlain of NBA SF Warriors scores 67 points vs LA

NBA Legend Wilt Chamberlain
NBA Legend
Wilt Chamberlain
  • 1966 B-52/KC-135 tankers crash near Spanish coast at Palomares, 7 die

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1966 Martin Luther King Jr. opens campaign in Chicago

Civil Rights Activist Martin Luther King Jr.
Civil Rights Activist
Martin Luther King Jr.
  • 1969 Soviet spacecraft Soyuz 5 lands
  • 1970 357 baseball players are available in the free-agent draft
  • 1970 9th AFL All Star Game, Astrodome, Houston: Western Division beats Eastern Division, 26-3; MVP: John Hadl, LA Chargers, QB
  • 1970 John M Burgess installed as bishop of Protestant Episcopals (Mass)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1970 Sporting News names Willie Mays as Player of the Decade for the 1960s

MLB Legend Willie Mays
MLB Legend
Willie Mays
  • 1971 Super Bowl V, Miami Orange Bowl, Miami, FL: Baltimore Colts beat Dallas Cowboys, 16-13; MVP: Chuck Howley, Dallas, LB
  • 1971 At a party conference in Dublin, Sinn Féin end their 65 year abstentionist policy and agree that any elected representative could take their seat at the Dáil
  • 1972 Section of Memphis' Highway 51 South renamed Elvis Presley Boulevard
  • 1972 Seven men who were held as internees escape from the prison ship HMS Maidstone in Belfast Lough, North Ireland
  • 1972 "My Hang-Up Is You" single released by Freddie Hart (Billboard Song of the Year 1972)
  • 1973 City of Amsterdam decides to support Hanoi
  • 1973 New Philippine constitution names Marcos president for life
  • 1974 Styne, Comdem & Green's musical "Lorelei" premieres in NYC

Music release#1 in the Charts

1976 "I Write the Songs" by Barry Manilow hits #1

Musician Barry Manilow
Musician
Barry Manilow
  • 1976 Hermes rocket launched by European Space Agency
  • 1976 Blondie release their debut single "X Offender" written by Debbie Harry and Gary Valentine
  • 1977 KC releases Tommy Davis, ends an 18-year career with 10 teams

  • 1977 NFL Pro Bowl, Seattle Kingdome: AFC beats NFC, 24-14; MVP: Mel Blount, Pittsburgh Steelers, CB
  • 1977 Zaire president Mobutu visits Belgium
  • 1977 Gary Gilmore is executed by firing squad in the Utah state prison, convicted of murder

Music ConcertSex Pistols' Break Up

1978 After a tumultuous final tour The Sex Pistols break up as a band, which is announced the following day
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Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious on stage during the band's last show at Winterland in San Francisco, January 14, 1978
Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious on stage during the band's last show at Winterland in San Francisco, January 14, 1978
  • 1979 USSR performs underground nuclear test
  • 1980 NASA launches Fltsatcom-3
  • 1980 A Provisional Irish Republican Army bomb prematurely detonates on a passenger train near Belfast, killing three and injuring five (including the bombers)
  • 1981 Philippino president Marcos ends state of siege
  • 1982 "Cold Sunday" in the United States would see temperatures fall to their lowest levels in over 100 years in numerous cities

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1982 Czech tennis star Ivan Lendl scores a 6–7, 2–6, 7–6, 6–2, 6–4 win over American Vitas Gerulaitis to claim his first of 5 ATP Masters Grand Prix titles at Madison Square Garden, NYC

Tennis Player and Eight-Time Major Champion Ivan Lendl
Tennis Player and Eight-Time Major Champion
Ivan Lendl
  • 1983 10th American Music Awards: John Cougar & Rick Springfield, Olivia Newton-John

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1983 Alabama Governor George Wallace, becomes governor for a record 4th time

Governor of Alabama and Segregationist George Wallace
Governor of Alabama and Segregationist
George Wallace
  • 1983 Nigeria expels 2 million illegal aliens, mostly Ghanaians
  • 1984 Supreme Court rules (5-4) that private use of home VCRs to tape TV programs for later viewing does not violate federal copyright laws
  • 1985 Azharuddin scores second Test century in second Test (v England)
  • 1986 Tim Witherspoon beats Tony Tubbs in 15 for heavyweight boxing title
  • 1986 2nd Sundance Film Festival: "Smooth Talk" wins Grand Jury Prize Dramatic

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1987 US President Reagan signs secret order permitting covert sale of arms to Iran

US President & Actor Ronald Reagan
US President & Actor
Ronald Reagan
  • 1988 "Teddy & Alice" closes at Minskoff Theater NYC after 77 performances
  • 1988 Leslie Manigay elected President of Haiti

Sport awardAFC Championship

1988 AFC Championship, Mile High Stadium, Denver: Denver Broncos beat Cleveland Browns, 38-33; features infamous "The Fumble", Browns' Earnest Byner at Denver 3-yard line with 1:12 remaining

NFL Quarterback John Elway
NFL Quarterback
John Elway
  • 1988 NFC Championship, RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C.: Washington Redskins beat Minnesota Vikings, 17-10
  • 1989 Al Arbour wins his 600th NHL game as coach
  • 1989 Gunman opens fire in California schoolyard; 5 students slain, 30 wounded
  • 1989 Murden & Metz are 1st women to reach South Pole overland (on skis)
  • 1989 Phoenix Suns cancel game at Miami Heat, due to racial unrest in Miami
  • 1990 5th Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Awards: Bobby Darin
  • 1990 Dave Stewart signs record $3,500,000 per year Oak A's contract
  • 1990 Who, Simon & Garfunkel, 4 Seasons, 4 Tops, Hank Ballard, Platters & The Kinks inducted into Cleveland's Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
  • 1991 Iraq fires 8 Scud missiles on Israel
  • 1991 Mountie Jacques Rougeau beats Hart for WWF intercontinental title
  • 1991 Andy Van Hellemond sets NHL record for most games worked by a referee when he appears in his 1,173rd regular season encounter as the St. Louis Blues host the Montreal Canadiens
  • 1991 Harald V becomes King of Norway on the death of his father, Olav V
  • 1991 Operation Desert Storm begins, with US-led coalition forces bombing Iraq, during the Gulf War
  • 1992 Sarah Ferguson attends dinner of Everglades club (club excludes Jews)
  • 1993 14th ACE Cable Awards: Bravo! wins the Golden CableACE for its dedication to films, cultural arts and performing arts programming
  • 1993 Russian Irina Privalova cycles world record 300m indoor (35.45")
  • 1993 AFC Championship, Joe Robbie Stadium, Miami: Buffalo Bills beat Miami Dolphins, 29-10
  • 1993 NFC Championship, Candlestick Park, SF: Dallas Cowboys beat San Francisco 49ers, 30-20
  • 1994 6.6 Earthquake hits Los Angeles killing 60, $30B in damage

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1994 Actress Elizabeth Taylor released from the hospital after hip treatment

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1994 Patrick Ewing becomes first New York player to reach the 15,000-point mark in his NBA career; scores a game-high 34 points in the Knicks' 106-94 win over visiting Minnesota

Hall of Fame NBA Centre Patrick Ewing
Hall of Fame NBA Centre
Patrick Ewing
  • 1995 "Carousel" closes at Beaumont Theater NYC after 322 performances
  • 1995 7.2 earthquake destroys Kobe, Japan and kills 5,372
  • 1995 Australia beat Australia A 2-0 to win cricket's World Series Cup
  • 1995 LA Rams announce that they are moving to St Louis
  • 1996 The Czech Republic applies for membership of the European Union.
  • 1996 Iraq agrees to talks concerning a UN plan to allow for the Iraqi sale of $1 billion of oil; proceeds from the sale would be used for humanitarian purposes

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1996 Detroit center Steve Yzerman scores his 500th career NHL goal as the Red Wings beat Colorado, 3-2 at Joe Louis Arena and joins Gordie Howe as the only players to score 500 goals for Detroit

NHL Legend Steve Yzerman
NHL Legend
Steve Yzerman

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1997 NBA suspends Dennis Rodman indefinitely for kicking cameraman

Basketball Player Dennis Rodman
Basketball Player
Dennis Rodman

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1998 US President Bill Clinton faces sexual harassment charges from Paula Jones

42nd US President Bill Clinton
42nd US President
Bill Clinton
  • 1999 AFC Championship, Mile High Stadium, Denver: Denver Broncos beat New York Jets, 23-10; features infamous "The Miss", Vikings' PK Gary Anderson misses field goal late 4th quarter
  • 1999 NFC Championship, Metrodome, Minneapolis: Atlanta Falcons beat Minnesota Vikings, 30-27 (OT)

Music awardsMusic Awards

2000 27th American Music Awards: Shania Twain & Will Smith win

  • 2001 President Bill Clinton posthumously raises Meriwether Lewis' rank from Lieutenant to Captain
  • 2001 OPEC agrees at a meeting of ministers in Vienna, to reduce members' oil production quotas by 1.5 million barrels per day
  • 2002 Mount Nyiragongo erupts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, displacing an estimated 400,000 people.

Film tv awardsFilm Awards

2003 8th Critics' Choice Movie Awards: Chicago Best Picture

  • 2007 Doomsday Clock set to five minutes to midnight in response to North Korea's 1st nuclear test
  • 2010 A dragon boat from Chung Ling High School capsizes and collides with a tugboat amid strong currents in Penang, Malaysia, killing 6 people and injuring 12

Film tv awardsGolden Globes

2010 67th Golden Globes: Avatar, Jeff Bridges, Sandra Bullock win

  • 2011 "Sure Thing" single released by Miguel (Billboard Song of the Year 2011)

Sports record brokenNBA Record

2012 LeBron James becomes youngest player in NBA history to record 20,000 career points during the Miami Heat's 92-75 victory over Golden State; James, 28 years, 17 days, passes Kobe Bryant, 29 years, 122 days

Basketball Player LeBron James
Basketball Player
LeBron James
  • 2013 106 people are massacred by Syrian army forces in Homs
  • 2013 33 people are killed by a series of bombs across Iraq
  • 2013 4 people are killed and over 2,000 are evacuated after a massive flood hits Jakarta, Indonesia
  • 2013 8 people are killed in a plane crash in Chiapas, Mexico
  • 2013 Japan unveils plans to build the world’s largest wind farm near the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant
  • 2014 21 people are killed in a suicide bombing in a restaurant in Kabul, Afghanistan
  • 2015 American boxer Deontay Wilder wins the WBC heavyweight championship by unanimous decision over Bermane Stiverne at MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas; Wilder first American to hold a heavyweight title since Shannon Briggs in 2007

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2016 Fourth Democratic presidential candidates debate: Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders clash over healthcare and gun control in Charleston, South Carolina

US Senator Bernie Sanders
US Senator
Bernie Sanders
Politician and US First Lady Hillary Clinton
Politician and US First Lady
Hillary Clinton

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2017 US President Barack Obama commutes WikiLeaks discloser Chelsea Manning's prison sentence from 35 to 7 years

44th US President Barack Obama
44th US President
Barack Obama
  • 2017 Nigerian military mistakely bomb refugee camp killing more than 70 in Rann, Borno state

PlaneFlight MH370 Disappears

2017 Search for missing aircraft MH370 over the Indian Ocean is called off
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Post-it notes written by well-wishers in Malaysia after Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 went missing
Post-it notes written by well-wishers in Malaysia after Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 went missing
  • 2019 China executes Cai Dongjia, the country's "godfather of crystal meth" from Boshe, Guangdong
  • 2019 Indian spiritual leader Ram Rahim Singh and two aides sentenced to life in prison for murdering journalist who exposed sexual abuse at the sect
  • 2019 Car bomb in Bogota, Colombia, outside the National Police Academy kills at least 8 and injures 41