On This Day

Historical Events on May 17

  • 218 7th recorded perihelion passage of Halley's Comet
  • 352 Liberius begins his reign as Catholic Pope replacing Julius I
  • 884 St Adrian III begins his reign as Catholic Pope
  • 1521 Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham, is executed for treason
  • 1525 Battle at Zabern: duke of Lutherans beats rebels
  • 1527 Pánfilo de Narváez departs Spain to explore Florida with 600 men - by 1536 only 4 survive

Execution of Anne Boleyn

1536 Anne Boleyn's 4 "lovers" executed shortly before her own beheading

Treaty of Interest

1544 Scot Earl Matthew Lennox signs secret treaty with Henry VIII

  • 1579 Artois, Henegouwen and French-Flanders sign Treaty, the Peace of Parma recognizing Spanish Duke van Parma as land guardian
  • 1590 Anne of Denmark is crowned Queen of Scotland.
  • 1620 1st merry-go-round seen at a fair in Philippapolis, Turkey
  • 1630 Italian Jesuit Niccolo Zucchi, 1st to see 2 belts on Jupiter surface
  • 1631 Earl Johann Tilly attacks Maagdenburg
  • 1648 Emperor Ferdinand III defeats Maximilian I of Bavaria
  • 1672 Frontenac becomes Governor of New France (Canada)
  • 1673 Louis Jolliet & Jacques Marquette begin exploring Mississippi
  • 1683 Pirates sack Velacruz, New Spain, taking 4,000 prisoners for ransom
  • 1712 Maximilian Emanuel of Bavaria honored as "sovereign of Netherlands"

Music History

1713 Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi's first opera "Ottone in villa" opens at Teatro delle Grazie in Vicenza, Republic of Venice (now Italy)

  • 1733 Great Britain passes Molasses Act, putting high tariffs on rum and molasses imported to the colonies from a country other than British possessions

Victory in Battle

1742 Battle of Chotusitz: Prussia led by Frederick the Great defeats Austria

  • 1744 French army takes Austrian Netherlands
  • 1750 -18] Tax revolt in Gorinchem
  • 1756 Britain declares war on France (7 Years' or French & Indian War)
  • 1775 American Revolutionary War: the Continental Congress bans trade with Canada
  • 1787 English slave ship Sisters, en route from Africa to Cuba, capsizes killing hundreds
  • 1792 24 merchants form New York Stock Exchange at 70 Wall Street
  • 1794 Hard frost in southern New England
  • 1803 John Hawkins & Richard French patent the Reaping Machine
  • 1809 Papal States annexed by France
  • 1814 Denmark cedes Norway to Sweden (National Day)
  • 1814 Norwegian constitution passed by constituent assembly at Eidsvoll
  • 1814 Occupation of Monaco changes from French to Austrian

Historic Event

1824 The diaries of Lord Byron are burnt by six of the poet's friends at the office of John Murray in London, sometimes described as “the greatest crime in literary history”

  • 1848 Gerrit, Count Schimmelpenninck resigns as Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Netherlands
  • 1849 Fire destroy Centrum in St Louis, Missouri
  • 1853 Thorbeckes liberals win 2nd-Parliamentary election
  • 1859 Australian Rules Football first 'laws of the game' published
  • 1860 German football club TSV 1860 München is founded

Famous Photo

1861 First color photograph of a tartan ribbon shown by Scottish scientist James Clerk Maxwell to the Royal Institution in London

  • 1862 Battle of Princeton West Virginia, ends with about 128 causalities
  • 1863 Battle of Big Black River Bridge, Mississippi
  • 1863 Rosalía de Castro publishes Cantares Gallegos, her first book in the Galician language
  • 1864 Battle of Adairsville Georgia, Union forces Confederates to retreat
  • 1865 The International Telegraph Union (later the International Telecommunication Union) is established

Historic Event

1871 Native American fighter General William T. Sherman escapes from the Comanches in an ambulance

  • 1872 Bohemian Club incorporated in San Francisco
  • 1875 1st Kentucky Derby: Oliver Lewis aboard Aristides wins in 2:37.75

Historic Event

1876 7th US Cavalry under General George Armstrong Custer leaves Fort Lincoln

  • 1877 Edwin T Holmes installs 1st telephone switchboard burglar alarm
  • 1881 7th Kentucky Derby: HOF jockey Jim McLaughlin aboard heavy favourite Hindoo wins in 2:40.00

Appointment of Interest

1881 Frederick Douglass appointed recorder of deeds for Washington, D.C.

  • 1881 Revised version of New Testament
  • 1884 Alaska becomes a US territory

Theater Premiere

1890 Clyde Fitch's play "Beau Brummel" premieres in NYC

  • 1890 Comic Cuts, 1st weekly comic paper, published in London
  • 1890 Pietro Mascagni's opera "Rustic Chivalry" premieres in Rome at the Teatro Costanzi
  • 1894 19th Preakness: Fred Taral aboard Assignee wins in 1:49.25

Sports History

1895 W. G. Grace completes his 100th 100 v Somerset at Bristol

Historic Event

1897 The first successful submarine that can run submerged for any considerable distance and combines electric and gasoline engines is launched in the USA by its designer John Philip Holland

  • 1898 Camp Merritt forms in Presidio [see 0503]
  • 1899 Victoria & Albert Museum foundation laid, London, England
  • 1900 British troops relieve Mafeking (Cape Colony)
  • 1900 In China, three villages within 100 miles of Peking are burned by Boxers and 60 Chinese Christians killed
  • 1900 "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" is first published by L. Frank Baum with illustrations by William Wallace Denslow in Chicago
  • 1902 Greek archaeologist Valerios Stais discovers the Antikythera mechanism, an ancient mechanical analog computer
  • 1903 Cleveland Indians beat NY Highlanders 9-2 in Columbus Ohio

Music History

1904 Maurice Ravel's song cycle "Shéhérazade" premieres with Jeanne Hatto as soprano, at the Salle Nouveau Théâtre, Paris, France

  • 1905 Waseda U of Tokyo defeats LA High School 5-3 in baseball
  • 1906 Switzerland's Simplon Tunnel open to rail traffic
  • 1909 White firemen on Georgia lroad strike to protest against hiring blacks
  • 1910 Canada sets the designs for the 1-50 cent coins
  • 1911 36th Preakness: Eddie Dugan aboard Watervale wins in 1:51
  • 1915 40th Preakness: Douglas Hoffman aboard Rhine Maiden wins in 1:58
  • 1915 Cubs George "Zip" Zabel relieves with 2 outs in 1st & winds up with 4-3 19-inning win over Brooklyn in longest relief job ever

Historic Event

1915 Last liberal British government of H. H. Asquith falls

  • 1915 National Baptist Convention chartered
  • 1916 British Summer Time (Daylight Savings) introduced
  • 1919 UK War Department orders use of National Star Insignia on all airplanes
  • 1920 1st De Havilland double-decker flight (London) lands in Schiphol
  • 1920 1st flight by Dutch airlines KLM (Koninklijke-Luchtvaart-Maatschappij)
  • 1921 Belgian and Luxembourg sign customs union

Historic Event

1921 US President Warren G. Harding opens (via telephone) 1st Valencia Orange Show

  • 1923 Fire during closing day ceremonies at Grover Cleveland School, South Carolina
  • 1924 50th Kentucky Derby: John Mooney aboard Black Gold wins in 2:05.2

Baseball Record

1925 Cleveland Indian Tris Speaker gets his 3,000th hit

Historic Event

1926 Chiang Kai-shek is made supreme warlord in Canton

  • 1926 Wilhelm Marx succeeds Hans Luther as Chancellor of Germany
  • 1927 Chicago Cubs beat Boston Braves, 4-3, in 22 innings
  • 1927 U.S. Army aviation pioneer Major Harold Geiger dies in the crash of his Airco DH.4 de Havilland plane at Olmstead Field, Pennsylvania

Sports History

1930 56th Kentucky Derby: Earl Sande aboard Gallant Fox wins in 2:07.6

  • 1932 US Congress changes name "Porto Rico" to "Puerto Rico"

Historic Event

1933 Vidkun Quisling and Johan Bernhard Hjort form Nasjonal Samling, the national-socialist party of Norway

  • 1937 Juan Negrin succeeds Largo Caballero as Spain's premier
  • 1938 US Congress approves Vinson Naval Act, which funds a two-ocean navy
  • 1938 Radio quiz show "Information Please!" debuts on NBC Blue Network
  • 1939 1st televised baseball game is broadcast on NBC, with Princeton defeating Columbia 2-1
  • 1940 Germany occupies Brussels, Belgium and begins invasion of France
  • 1940 Nazis bombs Middelburg/B IJzerdrat begins illegal defiance
  • 1941 Pennsylvania declares legal holiday to honor A's manager Connie Mack

Historic Event

1942 Dutch SS vows loyalty to Hitler

  • 1943 The United States Army contracts with the University of Pennsylvania's Moore School to develop the ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer).
  • 1943 World War II: the Dambuster Raids by No. 617 Squadron RAF on German dams

Historic Event

1943 Millionaire Howard Hughes crashes into Lake Mead, while test flying his Sikorsky S-43, killing CAA inspector Ceco Cline and Richard Felt

  • 1944 -18] Allied air raid on Surabaja, Java
  • 1944 Chinese and US armed forces take Myitkyina Airport, Burma
  • 1944 Operation Straightline: Allies land in Dutch New Guinea
  • 1945 2 US P-47 Thunderbolts bomb Kiushu
  • 1946 KVP Labor/Communists win 1st post-WW2 Dutch parliamentary elections
  • 1946 US President Harry Truman seizes control of nation's railroads to delay a strike
  • 1947 "Street Scene" closes at Adelphi Theater NYC after 148 performances
  • 1948 Israel liberates Acre, Nebi Yusha & Telel-Kadi
  • 1948 Soviet Union recognizes Israel
  • 1949 British government recognises Republic of Ireland (previously Irish Free State)
  • 1952 77th Preakness: Conn McCreary aboard Blue Man wins in 1:57.4
  • 1953 Yanks & Browns use record 41 players in a game
  • 1954 US Supreme Court unanimously rules on Brown v Topeka Board of Education reverses 1896 "separate but equal" Plessy v Ferguson decision
  • 1955 Dutch government of Drees resigns
  • 1957 Prayer Pilgrimage, biggest civil rights demonstration to date (DC)
  • 1957 School desegregation law, Brown v Board of education

Cannes Film Festival

1957 10th Cannes Film Festival: "Friendly Persuasion" directed by William Wyler wins the Palme d'Or

  • 1958 83rd Preakness: Ismael Valenzuela aboard Tim Tam wins in 1:57.2
  • 1958 Emergency crisis proclaimed in Algeria

Golf Record

1959 Sam Snead sets PGA record for 36 holes at 122

Sanctuary of Christ the King

1959 Sanctuary of Christ the King inaugurated, a 28 meter (92 ft) high monument and shrine overlooking Lisbon, Portugal by sculptor Francisco Franco de Sousa

  • 1960 1st atomic reactor system patented by J W Flora of Canoga Park, California

Historic Event

1961 Fidel Castro offers to exchange Bay of Pigs prisoners for 500 bulldozers

  • 1961 Columbia Records officially opens the Pitman Pressing Plant, designed by American architect Minoru Yamasaki, in Pitman, New Jersey
  • 1962 Marin County withdraws from BART district
  • 1963 Bruno Sammartino beats Buddy Rogers in NYC, to become WWWF champ
  • 1963 Houston Colt .45's Don Notterbart no-hits Phillies, 4-1
  • 1963 US performs nuclear Test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1964 Phillies triple play Houston Colt .45s

Sports History

1964 First Tim Horton's coffee and donut shop opens in Hamilton, Ontario by NHL player Tim Horton

  • 1966 KFDO (now KVIJ) TV channel 8 in Sayre, OK (ABC) begins broadcasting
  • 1967 Dylan's 1965 UK Tour is released as film "Don't Look Back"
  • 1968 European Space Research Org launches 1st satellite
  • 1968 Frank Howard belts record 8th HR in 5th straight game
  • 1968 US performs nuclear Test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1969 "My Wife, My Dog, My Cat" by Maskman & The Agents hits #92
  • 1969 94th Preakness: Bill Hartack aboard Majestic Prince wins in 1:55.6
  • 1969 Baltimore, Cleveland & Pittsburgh agree to go from NFC to AFC in NFL
  • 1969 Russian probe Venera 6 landed on Venus

Baseball Record

1970 Hank Aaron becomes 9th player to get 3,000 hits

Music History

1970 Anonymous buyer purchases one of the pairs of ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland in "The Wizard of Oz" for $15,000 at MGM Studio auction, and donates them to the Smithsonian Institution

  • 1971 Stephen Schwartz' musical "Godspell" premieres off-Broadway
  • 1971 Washington State bans sex discrimination
  • 1972 Netherlands & People's Republic of China exchange ambassadors
  • 1972 The Irish Republican Army (IRA) fires on workers leaving the Mackies engineering works in west Belfast (Although the factory was sited in a Catholic area it had an almost entirely Protestant workforce)
  • 1973 "Nash at Nine" opens at Helen Hayes Theater NYC for 21 performances
  • 1973 Joe Ferguson, hits the 6,000th Dodger home run
  • 1973 Senate Watergate Committee begins its hearings

#1 in the Charts

1973 Stevie Wonder releases the music single "You Are The Sunshine Of My Life", goes to #1 and wins him a Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance

  • 1973 US performs 3 nuclear tests at Rifle Colorado
  • 1973 Angels outfielder Bobby Valentine breaks his leg trying to scale wall to prevent a Dick Green home run during a 5-4 loss to the A's
  • 1973 Five British Army soldiers are killed by a Provisional Irish Republican Army booby-trap bomb in Omagh, County Tyrone
  • 1974 Symbionese Liberation Army shoot-out with Los Angeles police kills six SLA members in the gunfire and resulting fire. One of the largest police shootouts in US history, with more than 9,000 rounds fired.

Music History

1974 Dmitri Shostakovich completes his 15th String quartet

  • 1974 Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) explode four bombs in Republic of Ireland, killing 33 civilians, wounding 300 (highest number of casualties in a single incident during "The Troubles")
  • 1974 18th European Cup: Bayern Munich beats Atletico Madrid 4-0 at Brussels
  • 1975 "Funky Gibbon" by The Goodies hits #79
  • 1975 100th Preakness: Darrel McHargue aboard Master Derby wins in 1:56.4
  • 1975 10CC releases "I'm Not in Love"

Music History

1975 Mick Jagger punches a restaurant window, gets 20 stitches

  • 1975 NBC pays $5M for rights to show "Gone With The Wind" one time

Emmy Awards

1976 28th Emmy Awards: "The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Jack Albertson & Michael Learned win

  • 1976 Earthquake in Uzbekistan: thousands killed

Election of Interest

1977 Menachem Begin's Likoed party wins election in Israel

  • 1978 Los Angeles Dodgers Lee Lacy hits record 3rd consecutive pinch-hit home run
  • 1979 Coldest temperature ever recorded in Hawaii - 12°F (-11°C), on top of Mauna Kea
  • 1979 Emmy 6th Daytime Award presentation, "Ryan's Hope" wins Outstanding Daytime Drama Series
  • 1979 Phillies beat Cubs, 23-22, on 50 hits with 11 HRs

Sports History

1980 105th Preakness: Puerto Rican jockey Ángel Cordero Jr., aboard Codex wins his first of 2 Pimlico classics

  • 1980 V. S. Kumar Anandan from Sri Lanka balances on one foot for 33 hours (Guinness World Record)
  • 1980 Major race riot in Miami Florida - 16 killed, 300 injured

Music History

1980 Paul & Linda McCartney appear on "Saturday Night Live"

  • 1981 "Inacent Black" closes at Biltmore Theater NYC after 14 performances
  • 1981 Islanders score 5 power play goals against Flyers in a playoff
  • 1983 Israel & Lebanon sign a peace treaty
  • 1983 Stanley Cup Final, Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY: 4 consecutive titles for NY Islanders; sweep Edmonton Oilers in 4 games with a 4-2 Game 4 win
  • 1984 Cincinnati Reds Mario Soto throws 4 strikeouts in one inning
  • 1984 Mai Shanley, 21, of New Mexico crowned 33rd Miss USA

Historic Event

1984 Prince Charles calls proposed addition to the National Gallery, London, a "monstrous carbuncle on the face of a much-loved and elegant friend," sparking controversy on the role of the Royal Family and course of modern architecture.

  • 1984 Marvin Creamer becomes 1st known person to sail around the world without navigational instruments, arriving back in Cape May, New Jersey, after 513 days
  • 1985 Les Anderson, catches record 97 lb 4 oz Chinook Salmon, off Alaska
  • 1986 "Chicken Song" by Spitting Image hits #1 on the UK pop chart
  • 1986 111th Preakness: Alex Solis aboard Snow Chief wins in 1:54.8
  • 1987 "Stardust" closes at Biltmore Theater NYC after 102 performances
  • 1987 USS Stark hit by Iraqi missiles, 37 sailors die
  • 1989 Longest Cab Ride Ever: 14,000 miles costs $16,000!

Historic Event

1989 Nelson Mandela receives a BA from University of South Africa

Film & TV History

1990 "Cheers" star Kelsey Grammer sentenced to jail for 30 days for DWI

  • 1990 Dow Jones avg hits a record 2,831.71
  • 1990 European court rules on pension rights for men & women
  • 1990 WIBC Bowling Queens won by Patty Ann
  • 1990 World Health Organization takes homosexuality out of its list of mental illnesses

Historic Event

1990 The Bank of China Tower in Hong Kong designed by I. M. Pei opens as the first supertall skyscraper outside the US

  • 1991 Lupita Jones, 23, of Mexico, crowned 40th Miss Universe

LPGA Championship

1992 LPGA Championship Women's Golf, Bethesda CC: Betsy King wins her 5th major title, 11 strokes ahead of runners-up JoAnne Carner, Liselotte Neumann and Karen Noble