On This Day

Historical Events on June 17

  • 653 St Martin I ends his reign as Catholic Pope
  • 656 Ali ibn Abu Talib elected the 4th Caliph of the Rashidun Caliphate
  • 676 Pope Adeodatus II's (Deusdetit II) reign ends with his death
  • 1091 Floris II de Vette becomes earl of Holland
  • 1119 Charles the Good becomes earl of Flanders
  • 1397 Union of Kalmar established between Denmark, Sweden and Norway

Assassination Attempt

1462 Vlad III the Impaler attempts to assassinate Mehmed II (The Night Attack) forcing him to retreat from Wallachia

  • 1497 Battle of Deptford Bridge - forces under King Henry VII soundly defeat Cornish rebels led by Michael An Gof
  • 1535 English Catholic Cardinal John Fischer state rights
  • 1565 Matsunaga Hisahide assassinates the 13th Ashikaga shogun, Ashikaga Yoshiteru
  • 1579 Anti-English uprising in Ireland
  • 1580 Battle at Hardenberg: Spanish troops beat rebels
  • 1583 Brabant: Duke of Parma beats French mercenaries
  • 1609 Netherlands, England and France sign 12 year Covenant

Taj Mahal

1631 Mumtaz Mahal dies during childbirth. Her husband, Mughal emperor Shah Jahan I, then spends more than 20 years building her tomb, the Taj Mahal

  • 1665 Battle of Viciosa (Monte Claros): English & Portuguese army beat Spain
  • 1700 Massachusetts orders priest to leave the colony
  • 1734 French troops occupy Philipsburg at Rhine
  • 1745 American colonials capture Louisburg, Cape Breton Island from French
  • 1769 Design of Madonnina statue chosen, symbol of the city of Milan that stands atop spire of the Cathedral, designed by sculptor Giuseppe Perego [1]
  • 1773 Cúcuta, Colombia is founded by Juana Rangel de Cuéllar
  • 1775 Battle of Bunker Hill (actually it was Breed's Hill)

Historic Event

1788 After a lengthy stay in Europe, future US President John Adams and his wife Abigail Adams return to Boston

  • 1789 French Revolution: During the meeting of the Estates-General, the Third Estate proclaims itself the 'National Assembly'
  • 1815 Stephen Decatur conquers Algerian frigate Mashouda
  • 1824 US Bureau of Indian Affairs established

Historic Invention

1837 Charles Goodyear obtains his 1st rubber patent

  • 1839 King of Hawaii Kamehameha III issues Edict of toleration which gives Roman Catholics freedom to worship in the Hawaiian Islands. The Hawaii Catholic Church and the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace is later established
  • 1850 Paddle-wheeler "G P Griffith" burns off Mentor Ohio (206 die)
  • 1855 Heavy French/British bombing of Sebastopol, Crimea: 2,000+ killed
  • 1856 Republican Party opens its 1st national convention in Philadelphia
  • 1861 Battle of Boonville, MI-Brigadier General Lyon defeats Confederate forces
  • 1863 Battle at Middleburg, Virginia
  • 1863 Battle of Aldie, Confederates fail to drive back Union in Virginia
  • 1863 Naval Engagement at Warsaw Sound GA-USS Weehawken vs CSS Atlanta
  • 1863 Travelers Insurance Co of Hartford chartered (1st accident insurer)
  • 1864 -18] Confederate troops pull back out Solves/lost Mt, Georgia
  • 1864 640m long ponton bridge over James River, Virginia finished
  • 1864 Confederate General John B Hood replaces General Johnston as head of the Army of Tennessee
  • 1864 Skirmish at Mud Creek/Noyes's (Nose) Creek, Georgia
  • 1876 1st to hit 2 HRs; & score 5 runs in 9 inn NL game (George Hall, A's)
  • 1876 Battle of Rosebud/Battle Where Girl Saved Her Brother
  • 1877 Indian Wars: Battle of White Bird Canyon - the Nez Perce defeat the US Cavalry at White Bird Canyon in the Idaho Territory
  • 1880 Providence Grays MLB pitcher John M. Ward throws a perfect game beating the Buffalo Bisons, 5-0; second perfect game in National League in 6 days; next one takes 84 years
  • 1882 Tornado kills 130 in Iowa

Statue of Liberty

1885 Statue of Liberty arrives in NYC aboard French ship `Isere'

  • 1895 US Ship Canal (W 225th St) in the Bronx completed; cutting Marble Hill off from Manhattan

Historic Event

1896 Polar explorers Fridtjof Nansen and Frederick Jackson meet by chance in Franz Josef Land, the Arctic

  • 1897 William Frank Powell, NJ educator, named minister to Haiti
  • 1898 The United States Navy Hospital Corps is established
  • 1901 US Open Men's Golf, Myopia Hunt GC: Willie Anderson of Scotland wins first of his 4 Open titles by 1 stroke in an 18-hole playoff with Alex Smith
  • 1901 The College Board introduces its first standardized test, the forerunner to the SAT
  • 1902 US Congress pass the New Lands Reclamation Act, which establishes a fund from sale of public lands to build irrigation dams for arid Western lands
  • 1906 International Lawn Tennis Challenge, Wimbledon: Laurence Doherty & Reginald Doherty beat Raymond Little & Holcombe Ward 3-6, 11-9, 9-7, 6-1 to give British Isles an unassailable 3-0 lead over US (ends 5-0)
  • 1911 Belgium government of De Broqueville forms

Florence Cathedral

1911 US National Championship Women's Tennis, Philadelphia CC: Hazel Hotchkiss Wightman beats Florence Sutton 8-10, 6-1, 9-7 for her third straight US singles title

Historic Event

1915 The League to Enforce Peace is organised at Independence Hall in Philadelphia with William Howard Taft as president; its program anticipates the League of Nations

  • 1916 1st national congress of Sarekat Islam at Bandoeng Java
  • 1916 US troops under General Pershing march into Mexico
  • 1919 "Barney Google" cartoon strip, by Billy De Beck, premieres
  • 1920 Dutch 2nd Chamber accept Anti-revolution law
  • 1927 US Open Men's Golf, Oakmont CC: American-based Scotsman Tommy Armour defeats Harry Cooper by 3 strokes in an 18-hole playoff to win the first of his 3 major titles

Historic Event

1928 Amelia Earhart leaves Newfoundland to become 1st woman (passenger) to fly Atlantic (as a passenger in a plane piloted by Wilmer Stultz)

Sports History

1930 Continuing a rich vein of form Australian cricket icon Don Bradman scores 131 in 1st Test v England at Trent Bridge, Nottingham

  • 1932 Oil tanker Cymbeline explodes in Montreal, Canada
  • 1932 Bonus Army: around a thousand World War I veterans amass at the United States Capitol as the US Senate considers a bill that would give them certain benefits
  • 1933 Kansas City Massacre: 1 FBI agent, 4 cops & 1 gangster killed by mob
  • 1938 Japan declares war on China
  • 1939 Last public guillotining in France. Eugen Weidmann, a convicted murderer, is guillotined in Versailles outside the prison Saint-Pierre

French Open Men's Tennis

1939 French Championships Men's Tennis: American collegiate champion Don McNeill beats countryman Bobby Riggs 7-5, 6-0, 6-3

  • 1939 44th Women's French Championships: Simonne Mathieu beats Jadwiga Jedrzejowska (6-3, 8-6)
  • 1940 France asks Germany for terms of surrender in WW II
  • 1940 General De Gaulle departs Bordeaux for London
  • 1940 Germany occupiers ration bread in Holland
  • 1940 USSR occupies Estonia
  • 1940 World War II: sinking of the RMS Lancastria by the Luftwaffe near Saint-Nazaire, France

Sports History

1943 Player-manager Joe Cronin of Red Sox hits two 3-run pinch home runs

  • 1944 -19] French troops under Lattre de Tssigny conquer Elba

Meeting of Interest

1944 Hitler secretly meets with Field Marshals von Rundstedt and Rommel in Marjival, Soissons, France to assess response to Normandy Invasion

  • 1944 Iceland dissolves its union with Denmark and declares itself a Republic
  • 1944 Resistance fighter and poet Col Blake arrives in London
  • 1945 Day of Unity in West Germany (National Day)
  • 1946 SW Bell inaugurates mobile telephone commercial service, St Louis
  • 1947 Earnest Reuter becomes mayor of Berlin
  • 1947 Pan Am Airways' 1st round-the-world civil air service leaves NYC
  • 1950 1st kidney transplant (Chicago)
  • 1950 Egypt, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia & Syria sign security pact
  • 1951 "Flahooley" closes at Broadhurst Theater NYC after 40 performances
  • 1952 2 mine cave-ins at Charleroi, Belgium
  • 1953 Most runs scored in 1 inning (17 by Red Sox)
  • 1953 Riots in East Germany for reunification

Historic Event

1953 US Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas stays executions of spies Julius & Ethel Rosenberg scheduled for next day their 14th anniversary

Historic Event

1954 CIA exile army lands in Guatemala. Organised by John Foster Dulles and United Fruit Co.

Boxing Title Fight

1954 Rocky Marciano beats Ezzard Charles by unanimous points decision in his 3rd world heavyweight boxing title defence at Yankee Stadium, NYC

  • 1954 Televised Senate Army McCarthy hearings ends

Historic Event

1956 Golda Meir begins her term as Israel's foreign minister

  • 1957 "So Rare" by Jimmy Dorsey Orch peaks at #2
  • 1957 Tuskegee boycott begins (Blacks boycotted city stores)
  • 1958 Radio Moscow reports execution of Hungarian ex-premier Imre Nagy
  • 1958 The Wooden Roller Coaster at Playland, which is in the Pacific National Exhibition, Vancouver, Canada opened, and is still open to this day

Historic Publication

1958 "Things Fall Apart" by Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe published by Heinemann - considered most widely read book in African literature

Election of Interest

1959 Eamon de Valera elected President of Ireland

Baseball Event

1960 Ted Williams hit his 500th HR

  • 1961 Billy Barnes' musical revue "Billy Barnes People", starting Ken Berry, Dave Ketchum, and Jo Anne Worley, closes at Royale Theater, NYC, after 7 performances
  • 1961 US Open Men's Golf, Oakland Hills CC: Gene Littler wins his sole major title, 1 stroke ahead of runners-up Bob Goalby and Doug Sanders

US Golf Open

1962 US Open Men's Golf, Oakmont CC: Jack Nicklaus wins his first major title by 3 strokes in an 18-hole playoff with Arnold Palmer

  • 1962 FIFA World Cup Final, Estadio Nacional, Santiago, Chile: Brazil go 1-down early but recover to beat Czechoslovakia, 3-1
  • 1962 Chicago Cub Lou Brock is 2nd to HR into Polo Grounds right-center field bleachers
  • 1963 British House of Commons debates Profumo-Christine Keeler affair
  • 1963 Supreme Court rules against Bible reading/prayer in public schools
  • 1965 11.08" (28.14 cm) of rainfall, Holly, Colorado (state 24-hour record)
  • 1965 1st bombing by B-52 (50 km north of Saigon)
  • 1965 British rock band The Kinks arrive in NYC beginning their 1st US tour
  • 1966 Peter Green joins John Mayall's Bluebreakers
  • 1967 "Somebody To Love" by Jefferson Airplane peaks at #5

Music Concert

1967 Barbra Streisand: "A Happening in Central Park" concert performance for audience of 135,000

  • 1967 China becomes world's 4th thermonuclear power by exploding a hydrogen bomb
  • 1967 Longest doubleheader 9:15 (Tigers & Athletics)
  • 1968 Belgium government of Eyskens-Merlot forms
  • 1968 KQEC TV channel 32 in San Francisco, California (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • 1968 Ohio Express' "Yummy Yummy Yummy" goes gold

Oh! Calcutta! - The Bare Facts

1969 "Oh! Calcutta!" opens in NYC (almost entirely in the nude)

  • 1970 Led Zeppelin begin their last European tour
  • 1971 Carole King's album "Tapestry" goes to #1 on US album charts and stays there for 15 weeks
  • 1972 "Long Haired Lover From Liverpool" by Little Jimmy Osmond peaks at #38

Historic Event

1972 Chilean President Salvador Allende forms a new socialist government

  • 1972 Five men arrested after trying to bug Democratic National Committee office in Watergate Complex, Washington
  • 1972 9 firefighters are killed in the Hotel Vendome fire in Boston
  • 1973 Canadian Open Golf (La Canadienne), Montreal Municipal GC: Jocelyne Bourassa of Canada wins inaugural event in a playoff with Sandra Haynie & Judy Rankin
  • 1973 US Open Men's Golf, Oakmont CC: Johnny Miller fires a record final round 63 (-8) to win his first major championship, 1 stroke ahead of runner-up John Schlee

Music Recording

1973 Dolly Parton records her song "I Will Always Love You" (later a huge hit for Whitney Houston) for RCA in Nashville

  • 1974 The Provisional Irish Republican Army bombs the Houses of Parliament in London, injuring 11 people and causing extensive damage
  • 1975 Voters in Northern Mariana Islands approve commonwealth status with US
  • 1976 ABA (Nets, Pacers, Nuggets & Spurs) merges into NBA
  • 1976 Indonesia annexes Portuguese East-Timor
  • 1978 "Cheeseburger In Paradise" by Jimmy Buffett peaks at #32
  • 1978 Ron Guidry sets Yankee record with 18 strike-outs
  • 1978 The Provisional Irish Republican Army kill an RUC officer and kidnap another near Crossmaglen, County Armagh
  • 1979 "Sarava" closes at Mark Hellinger Theater NYC after 140 performances
  • 1979 US Open Men's Golf, Inverness Club: Hale Irwin wins his second Open title, 2 strokes ahead of former champions Jerry Pate and Gary Player

Album Release

1980 Columbia Records releases Bruce Springsteen's fifth studio album "The River"; the 2-record set becomes a global smash, going top five in 8 countries

  • 1981 Battle between Muslims & Christians in Cairo, 14 killed

Historic Event

1982 US President Reagan's 1st UN General Assembly address "We must serve mankind through genuine disarmament."

  • 1982 President Galtieri resigns after leading Argentina to defeat in the Falkland Islands

Historic Event

1983 Ed Warren and Lorraine Warren exorcise a "werewolf demon" from Bill Ramsey, although lack of photo or video evidence has called this claim into question

  • 1985 18th Space Shuttle Mission (51-G)-Discovery 5 launched
  • 1986 US Chief Justice Warren Earl Burger resigns and Antonin Scalia nominated as his replacement
  • 1987 With the death of the last individual, the Dusky Seaside Sparrow becomes extinct
  • 1988 Microsoft releases MS DOS 4.0
  • 1988 Soyuz TM-5 launches
  • 1988 Women sentenced to 90 years in 1st product tampering murder case
  • 1989 US beats Guatemala 2-1 in 3rd round of 1990 world soccer cup
  • 1990 "Some Americans Abroad" closes at Vivian Beaumont NYC after 62 performances
  • 1990 "Zoya's Apartment" closes at Circle in Sq Theater NYC after 45 performances
  • 1990 US Open Men's Golf, Medinah CC: Hale Irwin wins his 3rd Open title; defeats Mike Donald at the 91st hole, the first in sudden-death, after tying the 18-hole Monday playoff
  • 1991 US Open Golf, Hazeline National GC: Payne Stewart wins a Monday playoff with 1987 champion Scott Simpson
  • 1991 Country entertainer Minnie Pearl suffers a stroke at 78

Historic Event

1991 The body of the 12th US President, Zachary Taylor, is exhumed to test how he died; rumors had persisted since his death in 1850 of arsenic poisoning - no evidence of this was found

  • 1991 South Africa abolishes last of its apartheid laws
  • 1992 Connecticut Governor Lowell Weicker and WFAN DJ Don Imus change places for 1 day

Sports History

1992 Philadelphia 76ers trade Charles Barkley to Phoenix Suns

  • 1992 Slaughtering by Inkhata-followers at Boipatong, South Africa, kills 42
  • 1993 Indians' Carlos Baerga hits 3 home runs against Detroit

Murder of Interest

1994 O.J. Simpson doesn't turn himself in on murder charges, LA police chase his Ford Bronco for 1½ hours before he eventually gives up (seen live on national TV)

  • 1995 "Who's Tommy" closes at St James Theater NYC after 899 performances
  • 1995 WLAF World Bowl 3, Olympic Stadium, Amsterdam: Frankfurt Galaxy beats Amsterdam Admirals, 26-22
  • 1996 Howard Stern Radio Show premieres in Syracuse NY on WAQX 95.7 FM
  • 1996 The Fifteenth Amendment to the Irish Constitution, which removes the prohibition on divorce, is signed into law following a vote the previous year
  • 1997 NHL announces it will add Nashville in 1998, Atlanta in 1999 & Minneapolis-St Paul & Columbus, Ohio in 2000

Historic Publication

2003 Moneyball, a book about the 2003 Oakland Athletics baseball team and GM Billy Beane's sabermetric approach, inspired by Bill James, is published

Hall of Fame

2006 Sci-Fi author Anne McCaffrey inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame

  • 2007 US Open Men's Golf, Oakmont GC: Ángel Cabrera wins his first major title, 1 stroke ahead of Jim Furyk and Tiger Woods; first Open won by an Argentine or a South American
  • 2008 First day of legal same-sex marriage in California
  • 2008 NBA Finals: Boston Celtics beat Los Angeles Lakers, 131-92 in Game 6 for first title since 1986 and 17th overall; MVP: Paul Pierce

NBA Finals

2010 NBA Finals: Depending champion Los Angeles Lakers beat Boston Celtics, 83-79 in Game 7 for franchise's 16th NBA title; MVP: Kobe Bryant

  • 2012 France's Socialist Party wins a majority in the legislative election
  • 2012 Greek voters return to the polls after the failed May 6 election
  • 2012 US Open Men's Golf, Olympic Club, SF: American Webb Simpson wins his first major title, 1 stroke ahead of runners-up Graeme McDowell and Michael Thompson

Music History

2013 Dance hit "Wake Me Up" released by Swedish DJ and record producer Avicii with vocals by Aloe Blacc

  • 2015 9 people are shot and killed inside Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, by a 21 year old gunman

Historic Event

2015 US Treasury announced that the image of Alexander Hamilton will be replaced from the US $10 bill by an image of a woman

  • 2017 Forest fires in Pedrógão Grande, Portugal begin, kill 62 people, more than 1,600 firefighters fight 156 fires

Film & TV History

2017 Bill Cosby trial for aggravated indecent assault declared a mistrial after jurors couldn't reach a verdict

  • 2017 Collision at sea between U.S.S. Fitzgerald and ACX Crystal, a Philippine cargo ship kills 7 US sailors in Japanese waters
  • 2018 US Open Men's Golf, Shinnecock Hills GC: Brooks Koepka wins by 1 stroke from Tommy Fleetwood for first back-to-back Open titles since 1988-89 (Curtis Strange)
  • 2018 "The Incredibles 2" sets a box office record for an animated release, earning $180 million its opening weekend
  • 2018 Ivan Duque is elected President of Columbia
  • 2018 Historic deal signed between Greece and Macedonia to end dispute over Macedonia's name - changing to North Macedonia
  • 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans: Former F1 world champion Fernando Alonso teams with Kazuki Nakajima and Sébastien Buemi to win for Toyota Gazoo Racing
  • 2018 World electric speed record broken by Jaguar Vector V20E in battery-powered boat at 88.61 mph (142.60 kph) Coniston Water, English Lake District
  • 2019 Former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi dies after collapsing during a court appearance in Cairo
  • 2019 Mayor of Phoenix, Arizona, Kate Gallego apologies for local police threatening to shoot African American family after their four-year shoplifted a doll

Historic Event

2019 Activist Joshua Wong calls on Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam to resign after leaving prison amid street protests the day before of over 2 million people.

  • 2020 Former police officer who shot Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta charged with his murder and aggravated assault
  • 2020 First major breakthrough in treating COVID-19 using steroid dexamethasone announced by Oxford University