On This Day

Historical Events on September 17

  • 642 Arab forces under Amr ibn al-'As conquer Alexandria
  • 1048 Battle of Kapetron: night battle between invading Seljuk Turks and Byzantine-Georgian forces of Constantine IX, Byzantines drive back Turks but unable to stop huge plunder

Historic Event

1156 Emperor Frederick Barbarossa issues the 'Privilegium Minus' decree, which elevated Austria to a duchy.

  • 1176 At the Battle of Myriokephalon the Byzantines fail to recover Anatolia from Turkish rule.
  • 1394 Jews are expelled from France by order of King Charles VI
  • 1462 The Battle of Świecino (or Battle of Żarnowiec) is fought during Thirteen Years' War.
  • 1562 Council of Trente takes ecclesiastical canon
  • 1584 Gent surrenders to Duke of Parma

Historic Event

1595 Pope Clemens VIII recognizes Henry IV as King of France

  • 1598 Dutch sailors discover island of Mauritius
  • 1631 Battle of Breitenfeld: King Gustaaf Adolf of Sweden defeats Johann Tserclaes, Count of Tilly.
  • 1644 French troops occupy Mainz
  • 1678 France & Spain sign Treaties of Nijmegen
  • 1683 Dutch scientist Antonie van Leeuwenhoek is the first to report the existence of bacteria
  • 1691 Massachusetts Bay Colony granted new charter
  • 1730 Turkish coup under Mahmud I; Sultan Ahmed III flees
  • 1737 Georg-August University opens in Göttingen

Historic Event

1745 Edinburgh occupied by Jacobites under Charles Edward Stuart (aka the Young Pretender or Bonny Prince Charlie)

  • 1776 The Presidio of San Francisco is founded in New Spain.
  • 1778 1st treaty between the US & Indian tribes signed (Fort Pitt)
  • 1787 Prussian troops conquer Gorinchem

Constitution of the United States

1787 The US Constitution is signed by delegates at the Philadelphia Convention

Historic Discovery

1789 William Herschel discovers Mimas, satellite of Saturn

  • 1809 Peace between Sweden and Russia in the Finnish War. The territory to become Finland is ceded to Russia by the Treaty of Fredrikshamn.
  • 1819 First whaling ship arrives in Hawaii

Historic Expedition

1835 Charles Darwins lands on Chatham in Galapagos archipelago

Historic Event

1849 Harriet Tubman 1st escapes slavery in Maryland with two of her brothers

  • 1850 Fourth great fire in San Francisco

Historic Event

1859 Joshua Abraham Norton, English-born resident of San Francisco, proclaims himself his Imperial Majesty Emperor Norton I, Emperor of the United States of America

Murder of Interest

1859 James Donnelly is sentenced to hang for murdering Patrick Farrell, but a petition for clemency reduces his sentence to 7 years in Kingston Penitentiary

  • 1861 First class for escaped slaves taught by Mary Peake at Fortress Monroe Virginia (now Hampton University).
  • 1862 Battle of Antietam [Battle of Sharpsburg], bloodiest day in the American Civil War: 22,000 dead, wounded or missing in first battle on Union soil
  • 1862 Battle of Cumberland Gap, TN-evacuted by Federals
  • 1862 Battle of Mumfordville, Kentucky, US Col J Wilder surrenders city
  • 1862 American Civil War: The Allegheny Arsenal explosion results in the single largest civilian disaster during the war; 78 workers killed.
  • 1863 Pope Pius IX encyclical On persecution in New Grenada
  • 1864 American Civil War: Grant approves Sheridan's plan for Shenandoah Valley Campaign
  • 1871 Mont Cenis railway tunnel Switzerland opens
  • 1872 Phillip W Pratt patents his sprinkler system for extinguishing fires
  • 1873 19 students attend opening class at Ohio State University
  • 1876 Race riots in South Carolina
  • 1897 US Open Men's Golf, Chicago GC: Englishman Joe Lloyd wins his only major title by 1 stroke over runner-up Willie Anderson of Scotland; last 36-hole US Open
  • 1899 1st British troops leave Bombay for South Africa
  • 1900 The Commonwealth of Australia is proclaimed
  • 1900 Philippine–American War: Filipinos under Juan Cailles defeat Americans under Colonel Benjamin F. Cheatham at Mabitac.
  • 1900 USA, Anthracite coal miners go out on strike for better wages until the October 25, by which time the owners are persuaded that their stand is harming President McKinley's campaign
  • 1901 Battle of Blood River Port: Boer Gen Botha beats Major Gough's cavalry
  • 1901 Battle at Elands River Port: Boer Gen Smuts destroys unit 17th Lancers
  • 1902 US protests anti-semitism in Romania
  • 1903 Boston Pilgrims clinch AL pennant, beating Cleveland, 14-3

Sports History

1906 Playing as "Sullivan" Columbia University jr Eddie Collins debuts with A's

  • 1908 Thomas Selfridge becomes first fatality of powered flight
  • 1909 Denis Peyrony and Louis Capitan discover the skull of an adult male Neanderthal (La Ferrassie 1) during excavations in a rock shelter near La Ferrassie, France
  • 1911 1st transcontinental airplane flight, NY-Pasadena in 82 hrs 4 min

Sports History

1912 Center fielder Casey Stengel breaks in with Brooklyn & hits 4 singles

  • 1914 Andrew Fisher becomes Prime Minister of Australia for the third time.
  • 1916 40,000 Amsterdam demonstrators demand general voting right

Historic Event

1916 WWI flying ace The Red Baron of the German Luftstreitkräfte, wins his first aerial combat near Cambrai, France

Sports History

1917 Honus Wagner, retires at 43, Pirates retire his #33

  • 1920 Cards set a record of 12 consecutive hits in 4th (10) & 5th (2) innings
  • 1920 National Football League is born in Canton, Ohio; 12 teams pay $100 each to join American Professional Football Association; renamed the NFL in 1922
  • 1922 Cyclist Piet Moeskops becomes world sprint champ
  • 1922 Radio Moscow begins transmitting (12 KWs-most powerful station)
  • 1923 Sutton Vane's "Outward Bound," premieres in London
  • 1924 Italy signs treaty of Rapallo
  • 1926 Hurricane hits Miami & Palm Beach Florida; about 450 die

Historic Event

1927 Charles Lindbergh visits San Francisco

  • 1927 US National Championship Men's Tennis, Forest Hills NY: Frenchman Rene Lacoste successfully defends title; beats Bill Tilden 11-9, 6-3, 11-9
  • 1928 Hurricane hits Lake Okeechobee Florida drowning 1,800-2500
  • 1928 Pitcher Ray Boggs hits 3 batters in 1 inning
  • 1928 US National Championship Men's Tennis: Frenchman Henri Cochet wins his only US title; beats American Frank Hunter 4-6, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5, 6-3
  • 1929 British troops begin withdrawal from occupied Germany
  • 1931 1st LP record demonstrated (RCA Victor, NYC), venture failed
  • 1931 Operetta "Viktoria & Her Hussar" by Paul Abraham (adapted for English by Harry Graham) premieres in London at Palace Theatre h
  • 1931 Red Sox Earl Webb sets record with 65 en route to 67 doubles

Album Release

1934 RCA Victor releases 1st 33 1/3 rpm recording - Beethoven's Fifth Symphony performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra, led by Leopold Stokowski at the Philadelphia Academy of Music

  • 1934 USSR joins League of Nations (Netherland, Switzerland & Portugal vote no)

Historic Event

1935 Manuel Luis Quezon y Molina chosen 2nd President of Philippines

  • 1937 1st NFL game in Washington, D.C.; Redskins beat NY Giants 13-3

Historic Event

1938 British premier Neville Chamberlain leaves Munich

  • 1939 German U-29 sinks British aircraft carrier Courageous, 519 die
  • 1939 Poland's President Ignacy Mościck and Prime Minister Felicjan Sławoj Składkowski flee to Romania
  • 1939 Soviet Union invades Eastern Poland allowing Germans to advance West, taking 217,000 Poles prisoner, without a formal declaration of war
  • 1939 Taisto Mäki of Finland becomes first man to run 10,000 metres in under 30 minutes, in a time of 29:52.6 in Helsinki

US Men's Tennis Open

1939 US National Championship Men's Tennis, Forest Hills, NY: Reigning Wimbledon champion Bobby Riggs beats fellow American Welby van Horn 6-4, 6-2, 6-4

US Open Women's Tennis

1939 US National Championship Women's Tennis, Forest Hills, NY: Dual champion Alice Marble beats Helen Jacobs 6-0, 8-10, 6-4

  • 1940 Nazis deprive Jews of possessions

Historic Event

1940 Adolf Hitler indefinitely postpones Operation Sealion, the planned German invasion of Great Britain

Sports History

1941 Cards' Stan Musial makes his major league debut, going 2-for-4

  • 1941 World War II: A decree issued by the Soviet State Committee of Defense, restoring Vsevobuch "Universal compulsory military training of the citizens of the USSR" in the face of the "Great Patriotic War"
  • 1941 The New Zealand Labour Party abolishes the death penalty (It is reintroduced by the National government in 1950 before being finally removed from the statute book in 1961)

Meeting of Interest

1941 Famous meeting between Danish physicist Niels Bohr and German head of nuclear energy project Werner Heisenberg in Copenhagen to discuss nuclear weapons (date approximate)

  • 1943 Load of "ammunition in transit" explodes at Norfolk Naval Air Station
  • 1943 World War II: Soviet city of Bryansk is liberated from Nazis.

Historic Event

1944 British Premier Winston Churchill travels to US

  • 1944 Dutch begin railroad strike against German occupiers
  • 1944 Operation Market Garden: In the largest airborne operation of WWII, Allied paratroopers land in the Netherlands in a failed attempt to capture the Arnhem bridge over the Rhine
  • 1946 "Gypsy Lady" opens at Century Theater NYC for 79 performances
  • 1946 "If the Shoe Fits" opens at Century Theater NYC for 20 performances

Sports History

1947 Jackie Robinson is named Rookie of Year by Sporting News

  • 1947 James Forrestal sworn in as 1st US Secretary of Defense
  • 1948 KCOP TV channel 13 in Los Angeles/Hollywood, CA (IND) begins
  • 1948 WLS TV channel 7 in Chicago, IL (ABC) begins broadcasting
  • 1949 128 die as fire guts Canadian passenger steamer Noronic in Toronto
  • 1949 Ryder Cup Golf, Ganton GC: US beats Great Britain, 7-5; Americans win 6 of 8 singles matches to claim victory
  • 1949 North Atlantic Treaty Council meets for 1st time
  • 1949 WFAA TV channel 8 in Dallas-Fort Worth, TX (ABC) begins broadcasting
  • 1949 3rd Cannes Film Festival: "The Third Man" directed by Carol Reed wins the Grand Prix du Festival International du Film
  • 1950 San Francisco 49ers (formerly AAFC) play 1st NFL game, lose 21-17
  • 1951 "Borscht Capades" opens at Royale Theater NYC for 90 performances
  • 1951 Romanian bishop A Pacha of Timisoara sentenced to 18 years
  • 1952 "I am an American Day" & "Constitution Day" renamed "Citizenship Day"

Sports History

1953 Ernie Banks becomes Chicago Cubs 1st black player

Boxing Title Fight

1954 In a quick re-match at Yankee Stadium, NYC, Rocky Marciano KOs Ezzard Charles in the 8th round to retain his world heavyweight boxing title

Historic Publication

1954 "Lord of the Flies" by William Golding is published by Faber and Faber in London

  • 1955 Sammy Fain and Dan Shapiro's musical comedy "Ankles Aweigh" closes at Mark Hellinger Theater, NYC. after 176 performances

Sports History

1955 Future MLB Hall of Famer Baltimore Oriole Brooks Robinson goes 2-4 in his 1st game

  • 1956 Black students enter Clay Ky elementary school
  • 1956 Yanks clinch pennant #22 on Mantle's 50th homer of year
  • 1956 Television is first broadcast in Australia.
  • 1957 KETV TV channel 7 in Omaha, NB (ABC) begins broadcasting
  • 1957 Scott Crossfield takes X-15 up for 1st powered flight
  • 1957 Thailand military coup under marshal Sarit Thanarat

Film & TV History

1957 Two male attorneys "stand in" as actress Sophia Loren & producer Carlo Ponti wed by proxy in Juarez, Mexico

  • 1957 The North East Humanists group is founded in Newcastle upon Tyne.
  • 1958 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1959 59th US Golf Amateur Championship won by Jack Nicklaus
  • 1959 Transit 1A, 1st navigational satellite launched; failed to orbit
  • 1959 Typhoon kills 2,000 in Japan & Korea
  • 1960 "Vintage '60" closes at Brooks Atkinson Theatre NYC after 8 performances
  • 1960 Cuba nationalizes US banks

US Men's Tennis Open

1960 US National Championship Men's Tennis, Forest Hills, NY: In an all-Australian final Neale Fraser wins 2nd straight US title; beats Rod Laver 6-4, 6-4, 9-7

US Open Women's Tennis

1960 US National Championship Women's Tennis: American Darlene Hard wins her first US singles title; beats defending champion Maria Bueno of Brazil 6-4, 10-12, 6-4

  • 1961 "Car 54, Where are You?" premieres on US TV
  • 1961 Minnesota Vikings' 1st NFL game (beat Chicago Bears 37-13)

Historic Event

1961 Samuel Beckett's "Happy Days," premieres in NYC

  • 1961 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR

Sports History

1961 Fran Tarkenton plays his first NFL Game against the Chicago Bears, coming off the bench to lead the Vikings to a 37-13 victory, also becoming the only QB to throw four touchdown passes in his first career game

  • 1962 Justice Department files 1st suit to end segregation in public schools
  • 1962 US space officials announce selection of 9 new astronauts
  • 1963 "The Fugitive" starring David Janssen premieres on ABC TV
  • 1963 Train struck makeshift bus full of migrant workers, killing 32
  • 1964 "Bewitched" premieres on ABC TV
  • 1964 Beatles are paid a then record $150,000 for a concert (Kansas)

Sports History

1964 Yankee Mickey Mantle gets career hits #1999, 2000 & 2001 & his 450th HR in 6-2 victory over Los Angeles Angels at New York

Music Single

1964 The Supremes release single "Baby Love"

  • 1965 WPHL TV channel 17 in Philadelphia, PA (IND) begins broadcasting
  • 1965 CBS premiere of WWII sitcom "Hogan's Heroes"
  • 1966 Cleve pitchers set AL record striking out 19 batters in 1st 9 innings
  • 1966 "Mission Impossible" premieres on CBS-TV
  • 1967 Mount Washington cog railway train derails, kills 8 (NH)
  • 1967 New Orleans Saints 1st NFL game, they lose to LA Rams 27-13
  • 1968 Gaylord Perry (Giants) no-hits St Louis Cardinals, 1-0
  • 1968 Zond 5 completes circumnavigation of Moon
  • 1970 Jordan launches offensive against guerrilla army
  • 1970 WSWP TV channel 9 in Grandview, WV (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • 1972 BART begins passenger service in San Francisco
  • 1972 Tanzania troops march in to Uganda

Television Debut

1972 TV comedy "M*A*S*H", adapted from the movie, starring Alan Alda, Loretta Swit, Wayne Rogers, and McLean Stevenson debuts on CBS in the US

  • 1974 Courageous (US) beats Southern Cross (Aust) in 23rd America's Cup
  • 1975 Rollout of 1st space shuttle orbiter Enterprise (OV-101)
  • 1976 Amnesty International receives Erasmus-prize
  • 1976 NASA publicly unveils space shuttle Enterprise in Palmdale, California, named after Star Trek Enterprise with cast attending

Album Release

1976 Ringo Starr releases album "Ringo's Rotogravure"

  • 1977 Ryder Cup Golf, Royal Lytham & St Annes: US wins 12½-7½; last time a Great Britain & Ireland team competes for Ryder Cup
  • 1977 China performs nuclear test at Lop Nor, PRC
  • 1977 Dave Kingman hits his 1st Yankee homer, Reggie hits 2 more
  • 1977 Fleetwood Mac's "Rumors" is #1 for 19th straight week
  • 1978 30th Emmy Awards: "All in the Family"; Ed Asner & Sada Thompson win

Historic Event

1978 Anwar Sadat, Menachem Begin and Jimmy Carter sign the Camp David Accords, frameworks for peace in the Middle East and between Egypt and Israel

  • 1978 After 6 losses to the New York Yankees in September, the Boston Red Sox finally score a 7-3 win over their arch rivals at Yankee Stadium
  • 1979 Pietro Mennea runs world record 200 m (19.72")

Baseball Record

1979 Royals' George Brett is 6th to have 20 doubles/triples/HRs in a season

Film Premiere

1980 "Divine Madness" starring Bette Midler, premieres

  • 1980 Iraq under Saddam Hussein signs accord with Algeria
  • 1980 South Korea opposition leader Kim Dae Jung sentenced to death
  • 1980 Oak A's Rick Langford is removed with 2 outs in 9th inning ending his consecutive complete-game streak at 22
  • 1980 Iraq breaks 1975 treaty with Iran and proclaims sovereignty over Shatt al-Arab waterway

Historic Event

1980 Polish workers under the leadership of Lech Wałęsa found the Solidarity movement at the Gdańsk Shipyard

Sports History

1981 Fernando Valenzuela sets NL rookie record with 8th shutout of season

Music Single

1982 "Bad to the Bone" single by George Thorogood and the Destroyers first released

  • 1983 Chicago White Sox clinch their 1st-ever AL West championship

Music History

1983 Vanessa Williams (NY), 20, crowned 56th Miss America 1984, 1st winner of African American descent

Toronto Film Festival

1983 8th Toronto International Film Festival: "The Big Chill" directed by Lawrence Kasdan wins the People's Choice Award

Baseball Record

1984 Dwight Gooden ties record of 32 strikeouts in consecutive games

Baseball Record

1984 Reggie Jackson is 13th to hit 500 HRs

  • 1984 USSR performs underground nuclear test
  • 1985 Soyuz T-14 carries 3 cosmonauts to Salyut 7 space station
  • 1986 Bomb attack in Paris, 6 killed
  • 1986 Marina Stepanova of USSR sets 400m hurdle woman's record (52.94)
  • 1986 Mets clinch NL East Championship
  • 1986 US Senate confirms William Rehnquist as 16th chief justice
  • 1987 Philadelphia celebrates 200th anniversary of Constitution

Papal Visit

1987 Pope John Paul II arrives in San Francisco, meets with AIDS patients, and embraces an AIDS infected child

  • 1988 24th Olympic games open at Seoul, Korea
  • 1988 Jeff Reardon becomes 1st to record 40 or more saves in both AL & NL
  • 1988 13th Toronto International Film Festival: "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown" directed by Pedro Almodovar wins the People's Choice Award
  • 1989 -21] Hurricane Hugo, kills 85 in Charleston, South Carolina
  • 1989 41st Emmy Awards: "LA Law", "Cheers", Dana Delany & Candice Bergen win