On This Day

On This Day in History for April 17

Events in History

  • 858 Benedict III's reign as Catholic Pope ends with his death

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

DiscoveryVoyage of Discovery

1610 English explorer Henry Hudson departs London, England aboard Discovery on his fourth, final and fatal voyage to discover a north west passage to the Pacific

Explorer Henry Hudson
Henry Hudson

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1711 Charles VI becomes Holy Roman Emperor after the death of his brother Joseph I

Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI
Holy Roman Emperor
Charles VI
  • 1747 French troops occupy Zeeuws-Flanders, Netherlands
  • 1758 Francis Williams, 1st US black college graduate, publishes poems
  • 1774 First Unitarianism church service in England held by Theophilus Lindsey at the Essex Street Capel in London
  • 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
  • 1824 Russia abandons all North American claims south of 54° 40'N
  • 1839 Guatemala forms a republic
  • 1853 Johan Rudolf Thorbecke's government in the Netherlands resigns
  • 1853 US Marine Hospital at Presidio, San Francisco forms
  • 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 Abraham' Lincoln's assassination

16th US President Abraham Lincoln
16th US President
Abraham Lincoln
  • 1895 Treaty of Shimonoseki is signed ending the First Sino-Japanese War (1894-95)
  • 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
  • 1907 Ellis Island, New York records 11,745 immigrants
  • 1924 Metro Pictures, Goldwyn Pictures & Louis B Mayer Co merged to form Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM)
  • 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
  • 1935 Provincial-National elections (Musserts NSB achieves 7.9%, 44 chairs)
  • 1941 British troop land in Iraq
  • 1941 US Office of Price Administration forms (handled rationing)
  • 1941 Egyptian steamer SS Zamzam attacked and later scuttled by German cruiser Atlantis (all on board rescued)
  • 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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1943 Marshal Admiral Yamamoto flies from Truk to Rabaul

WWII Admiral who Led the Attack on Pearl Harbor Isoroku Yamamoto
WWII Admiral who Led the Attack on Pearl Harbor
Isoroku Yamamoto
  • 1943 SS General Jürgen Stroop arrives in Warsaw
  • 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

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
  • 1956 Bulgaria premier Valko Chervenkov 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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1958 Brussels World Fair opens in Belgium, with a model by chemist Rosalind Franklin who had died of cancer the day before

Chemist and Molecular Biologist Rosalind Franklin
Chemist and Molecular Biologist
Rosalind Franklin
  • 1960 American Samoa sets up a constitutional government

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
  • 1964 Ford Mustang formally introduced ($2,368 base)
  • 1964 Jerrie Mock becomes 1st woman to fly solo around the world
  • 1967 Shortwave Radio NY Worldwide goes back on the air after a week off
  • 1967 Surveyor 3 launched; soft lands on Moon, April 20

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1969 Alexander Dubček forced to resign as first secretary of Czechoslovakia's Communist Party

Leader of Czechoslovakia Alexander Dubček
Leader of Czechoslovakia
Alexander Dubček

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 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
  • 1971 Egypt, Libya & Syria form federation (FAR)
  • 1972 Revised Dutch constitution proclaimed
  • 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 The Khmer Rouge captures Phnom Penh, Cambodia marking the end of the Cambodian Civil war (Kampuchea National Day)
  • 1977 Christian-democrats win Belgium parliamentary election
  • 1978 63,500,000 shares traded on NY stock exchange (record)
  • 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
  • 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 In Warsaw, police route 1,000 Solidarity supporters
  • 1983 India entered space age launching SLV-3 rocket
  • 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"
  • 1987 Richard Wilbur appointed as American poet laureate
  • 1987 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • 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

USARodney King Riots

1993 Two Los Angeles police officers convicted in federal court of violating Rodney King's civil rights and sentenced to prison, while two others are acquitted,

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Damage in Los Angeles after the 1992 riots, which killed 63 people and caused over $1 billion in damages
Damage in Los Angeles after the 1992 riots, which killed 63 people and caused over $1 billion in damages
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  • 1993 STS-56 (Discovery) lands
  • 1994 Aruba government of Oduber falls
  • 1997 John Bell aged 115 receives a new pacemaker

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

Birthdays in History

  • 1278 Michael IX Palaeologus, co-ruling Byzantine Emperor (1295-1320), eldest son of Andronikos II Palaiologos and Anna of Hungary, born in Constantinople, Byzantine Empire (d. 1320)
  • 1539 Tobias Stimmer, Swiss painter (Strasbourg astronomical clock), born in Schaffhausen, Switzerland (d. 1584)
  • 1573 Maximilian I, Elector of Bavaria, born in Munich, Germany (d. 1651)
  • 1586 John Ford, English dramatist ('Tis Pity She's a Whore), born in Ilsington, Devon, England (d. 1639)
  • 1598 Giovanni Riccioli, Italian astronomer (Almagestum Novum), born in Ferrara, Italy (d. 1671)

Person of interestMarguerite Bourgeoys

1620 Marguerite Bourgeoys, French founder of the Congregation of Notre Dame (first Canadian saint), born in Troyes, France (d. 1700)

First Canadian Saint Marguerite Bourgeoys
First Canadian Saint
Marguerite Bourgeoys
  • 1622 Henry Vaughan, English poet (Silex Scintillans), born in Newton St. Bridget, Brecknockshire, Wales (d. 1695)
  • 1644 Abraham Jansz Storck, Dutch painter, baptized in Amsterdam (d. 1708)
  • 1666 François Valentijn, Dutch vicar and writer (Old and New East-India), born in Dordrecht, Netherlands (d. 1727)
  • 1676 Frederik I, van Hessen Kassel, King of Sweden (1720-51), born in Kassel, Germany (d. 1751)
  • 1699 Robert Blair, Scottish poet (The Grave), born in Edinburgh, Scotland (d. 1746)
  • 1710 Henry Erskine, 10th Earl of Buchan, British Freemason (d. 1767)
  • 1734 Taksin, King of Siam (1767-82), born in Ayutthaya, Thailand (d. 1782)
  • 1741 Samuel Chase, American judge (signed US Declaration of Independence), born in Somerset County, Maryland (d. 1811)
  • 1750 François de Neufchâteau, French statesman and intellectual figure, born in Saffais, France (d. 1828)
  • 1756 Dheera Chinnamalai, Indian Polygar (governor) and freedom fighter, born in Melapalayam, Kongu Nadu (now Tamil, India) (d. 1805)
  • 1788 Joseph Gilbert Totten, American Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in New Haven, Connecticut (d. 1864)
  • 1794 Carl Friedrich Philipp von Martius, German botanist and explorer, born in Erlangen, Germany (d. 1868)
  • 1798 Étienne Bobillier, French mathematician, born in Lons-le-Saunier, France (d. 1840)
  • 1809 Philip St. George Cocke, American Brigadier General (Confederate Army), born in Bremo Bluff, Virginia (d. 1861)
  • 1813 Henry Washington Benham, American Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Cheshire, Connecticut (d. 1884)
  • 1816 Thomas Hazlehurst, English Methodist chapel builder, born in Runcorn, Cheshire, England (d. 1876)
  • 1827 Frans Baeckelmans, Flemish architect (St Amanduskerk, Antwerp), born in Antwerp, Belgium (d. 1896)

Person of interestJ. P. Morgan

1837 J. P. Morgan, Sr. [John Pierpont], American financier and banker (General Electric, Steel Corporation, AT&T), born in Hartford, Connecticut (d. 1913)

Industrialist and Banker J. P. Morgan
Industrialist and Banker
J. P. Morgan
  • 1842 Maurice Rouvier, French statesman and Prime Minister of France (1905–06), born in Aix-en-Provence, France (d. 1911)
  • 1845 Isabel Barrows, American editor and penologist (Conference on Negro Question), born in Irasburg, Vermont (d. 1913)
  • 1849 William R. Day, American diplomat and Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, born in Ravenna, Ohio (d. 1923)
  • 1863 Augustus Edward Hough Love, English mathematician (theory of elasticity), born in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, England (d. 1940)
  • 1865 Ursula Ledóchowska, Polish-Austrian Catholic saint and foundress of the Ursulines of the Agonizing Heart of Jesus, born in Loosdorf, Austrian Empire (d. 1939)
  • 1866 Ernest Starling, British physiologist (Frank-Starling law of the heart), born in London (d. 1927)
  • 1868 Karel Rudolph Gallas, Dutch lexicographer (French Dictionary), born in Amsterdam (d. 1956)
  • 1869 Johannes Marinus Meulenhoff, Dutch publisher, born in Zwolle, Netherlands (d. 1939)
  • 1870 Ray Stannard Baker, American journalist (Puliter Prize 1940), born in Lansing, Michigan (d. 1946)
  • 1876 Ian Hay [John Hay Beith], British novelist and playwright (Pip, Carrying On), born in Rusholme, Manchester (d. 1952)
  • 1877 Matsudaira Tsuneo, Japanese diplomat, born in Tokyo, Japan (d. 1949)
  • 1881 Anton Wildgans, Austrian poet and playwright (Armut), born in Vienna (d. 1932)
  • 1884 Leo Frank, American convict (murder of a 13-year-old employee), born in Cuero, Texas (d. 1915)
  • 1885 Isak Dinesen [Karen Blixen-Finecke], Danish baroness and writer (Out of Africa), born in Rungsted, Zealand, Denmark (d. 1962)
  • 1892 Jean Haesaert, Flemish lawyer and sociologist, born in Lokeren, Belgium (d. 1961)
  • 1897 Antonius Coolen, Dutch author (Village by the River), born in Wijlre, Netherlands (d. 1961)

Person of interestThornton Wilder

1897 Thornton Wilder, American playwright and writer (Bridge of San Luis Rey), born in Madison, Wisconsin (d. 1975)

Playwright and Writer Thornton Wilder
Playwright and Writer
Thornton Wilder
  • 1899 Vincent Wigglesworth, British entomologist (Metamorphosis hormones), born in Kirkham, Lancashire, England (d. 1994)
  • 1901 George Keyt, Sri Lankan painter, born in Ceylon (d. 1993)
  • 1902 Jaime Torres Bodet, Mexican politician, 2nd Director-General of the UNESCO (1948-52), born in Mexico City, Mexico (d. 1974)
  • 1906 Sidney Garfield, American physician and pioneer of health maintenance organizations (Kaiser Permanente), born in Elizabeth, New Jersey (d. 1984)
  • 1909 Alain Poher, French politician and President of the European Parliament (1966-69), born in Ablon-sur-Seine, France (d. 1996)
  • 1909 Humphrey Sims Moore, British pacifist and journalist (founder of Peace News), born in Samoa (d. 1995)
  • 1911 Hervé Bazin, French writer (Head Against the Wall), born in Angers, Maine-et-Loire, France (d. 1996)
  • 1912 Isador Caplan, British lawyer and Aldeburgh Festival pioneer, born in Blackpool, England (d. 1995)
  • 1914 George Davis, American art director (20th Century Fox), born in Kokomo, Indiana (d. 1984)
  • 1916 Ryoei Saito, Japanese businessman (Daishowa Paper Manufacturing), born in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan (d. 1996)

Person of interestSirimavo Bandaranaike

1916 Sirimavo Bandaranaike, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka (1960-65, 1970-77 and 1994-2000) and 1st female head of state, born in Ratnapura, British Ceylon (d. 2000)

World's 1st Female Head of State Sirimavo Bandaranaike
World's 1st Female Head of State
Sirimavo Bandaranaike
  • 1917 Bill Clements, American politician, Governor of Texas (1987-91), born in Dallas, Texas (d. 2011)
  • 1919 Gilles Lamontagne, Canadian politician, 24th Lieutenant Governor of Quebec (1984-90), born in Montreal, Quebec (d. 2016)
  • 1919 Osvaldo Dorticós Torrado, Cuban communist politician and 14th President of Cuba (1959-76), born in Cienfuegos, Cuba (d. 1983)
  • 1920 Bengt Anderberg, Swedish poet and writer (Kain), born in Gothenburg, Sweden (d. 2008)
  • 1920 Joan Warburton, Scottish painter, born in Edinburgh, Scotland (d. 1996)
  • 1923 Lindsay Anderson, British director (Thursday's Children), born in Bangalore, India (d. 1994)
  • 1923 Lloyd Biggle Jr., American sci-fi author (Silence is Deadly), born in Waterloo, Iowa (d. 2002)
  • 1923 Norman Potter, English cabinetmaker, designer and writer, born in London (d. 1995)
  • 1924 Patrick Sergeant, British investor and founder (Euromoney Publications)
  • 1924 Althea Simmons, American human rights activist and chief lobbyist (NAACP), born in Shreveport, Louisiana (d. 1990)
  • 1925 John Yates, Anglican bishop (Lambeth England), born in Burslem, Staffordshire
  • 1926 Arthur Hockaday, Director-General (Commonwealth War Graves Commission), born in Plymouth
  • 1928 Cynthia Ozick, American author (Pagan Rabbi & Other Stories), born in NYC, New York
  • 1931 John Chalstrey, 668th Lord Mayor of London
  • 1931 Joyce Molyneux, British chef and author
  • 1931 Ruth Etchells, English poet and principal (St John's College-Durham), born in Liverpool
  • 1932 Han J. A. Hansen [Jansen], Dutch journalist (King Comes!)
  • 1937 Brian Sedgemore, British MP (Labour Party 1974-79 and 1983-2005), born in Exmouth, Devon (d. 2015)
  • 1937 Eduard Stepanov, Russian cosmonaut, born in Werkhopeniye, Russia (d. 2015)
  • 1937 Ferdinand Piëch, Austrian-German automotive engineer and executive (Volkswagen Group), born in Vienna, Austria
  • 1938 David Dilks, British historian and vice-chancellor (Hull U), born in Foleshill, Coventry
  • 1938 Ben Barnes, American politician (36th Lieutenant Governor of Texas), born in Gorman, Texas
  • 1938 Kerry Wendell Thornley, Co-founder of Discordianism, born in California (d. 1998)
  • 1941 Max Stafford-Clark, English artistic director (Royal Court Theatre), born in Cambridge, England
  • 1945 Vincent van der Burg, Dutch scientist, lawyer, and politician (CDA), born in Zeist, Netherlands
  • 1952 Arkan [Željko Ražnatović], Serbian paramilitary leader, born in Brežice, Slovenia (d. 2000)
  • 1956 Kaye Young, American WBL forward (NY Stars, NJ Stars), born in Bunn, North Carolina
  • 1956 Pillow [Theresa Jean Bell], American bodybuilder (Gold Classic 1983)
  • 1957 Nick Hornby, English writer (High Fidelity), born in Redhill, Surrey
  • 1961 Frank J. Christensen, American labor leader, born in Chicago, Illinois
  • 1964 Raye Hollitt, American bodybuilder (American Gladiators), born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
  • 1965 Yoshiki Kuroda, Japanese urban planner and Sayako Kuroda's husband, born in Tokyo
  • 1967 Birgitta Jonsdottir, Icelandic politician, Head of the Pirate Party, born in Reykjavík, Iceland
  • 1968 Prince Maurits of Orange-Nassau, van Vollenhoven, eldest son of Princess Margriet of the Netherlands and Pieter van Vollenhoven, born in Utrecht, Netherlands
  • 1968 Adam McKay, American director (The Big Short, Vice), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Weddings in History

  • 1994 Jennie Garth weds Dan Clark

Deaths in History

  • 326 Alexander of Alexandria, Patriarch of Alexandria
  • 485 Proclus, Greek mathematician, dies in Athens [or Apr 14]
  • 617 Donnán of Eigg, Celtic Christian martyr, patron saint of Eigg
  • 818 Bernhard I, King of Italy, dies
  • 858 Benedict III, Italian Pope (855-58), dies
  • 1080 King Harald III of Denmark (b. 1041)
  • 1272 Zita, Italian maid and saint from Lucca, dies at about 59
  • 1297 Willem van Afflighem, Flemish poet and abbot St Truiden, dies at about 86
  • 1427 John IV, Duke of Brabant, dies at 23
  • 1539 George the Bearded, Duke of Saxony (1500-39), dies at 67
  • 1574 Joachim Camerarius [Liebhard Kammerer], German classical scholar, dies at 74
  • 1630 Christian I, ruler of Anhalt-Bernburg (battle of White Mt), dies
  • 1679 John van Kessel, Flemish painter, dies at 53
  • 1680 Kateri Tekakwitha [Lily of the Mohawks], first Native American saint (b. 1656)
  • 1696 Marie de Rabutin-Chantal, French writer (b. 1626)
  • 1711 Joseph I, Holy Roman Emperor (1705-11), dies of smallpox at 32
  • 1713 David Hollatz, Pomeranian dogmatician (b. 1648)
  • 1726 Princess Henriëtte Amalia of Anhalt-Dessau, monarch of Nassau-Dietz, dies at 49
  • 1742 Arvid Horn, Swedish statesman (b. 1664)
  • 1761 Thomas Bayes, English mathematician

Person of interestBenjamin Franklin

1790 Benjamin Franklin, US Founding Father, inventor, ambassador and writer (Poor Richards Almanac), dies at 84

United States Founding Father Benjamin Franklin
United States Founding Father
Benjamin Franklin
  • 1799 Richard Jupp, English architect (East India House) (b. 1728)
  • 1835 William Henry Ireland, English forger (Shakespearean manuscripts), dies
  • 1837 Edouard viscount de Walckiers, South Netherland banker and politician, dies at 78
  • 1838 Johanna Schopenhauer, German writer and mother of Arthur Schopenhauer, dies at 71
  • 1840 Hannah Webster Foster, American author (The Coquette; or, The History of Eliza Wharton), dies at 81
  • 1843 Samuel Morey, American inventor (early internal combustion engines and was a pioneer in steamships), dies at 80
  • 1863 Daniel Smith Donelson, Confederate general and cousin of Andrew Jackson, dies at 61
  • 1870 Marie-Caroline of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, Duchess of Berry, Italian princess of the House of Bourbon, dies at 71
  • 1882 George Jennings, English sanitary engineer (invented first public flush toilets), dies at 71
  • 1902 Francis of Assisi of Bourbon, King Consort of Spain (b. 1822)
  • 1910 Ignacio Mariscal, Mexican lawyer and diplomat (Secretary of Foreign Affairs), dies at 80
  • 1930 Alexander Golovin, Russian painter (b. 1863)
  • 1932 Patrick Geddes, Scottish biologist and town planner who coined the term conurbation, dies at 77
  • 1936 Charles Ruys de Beerenbrouck, Dutch PM (1918-23, 29-33), dies at 62
  • 1937 Yi Sang, Korean author and poet (Dying Words, Wings, Child’s Bone), dies of tuberculosis in a Japanese prison camp at 26
  • 1942 Jean Baptiste Perrin, French physicist, (1926 Nobel Prize in Physics for discovery of sedimentation equilibrium), dies at 71
  • 1945 Hannie Schaft, Dutch communist resistance fighter known as the "Girl with red hair", executed at 24
  • 1945 Ion Pillat, Romania poet and senator (Umbra timpului), dies at 54
  • 1945 Walter Model, German fieldmarshal, commits suicide at 54
  • 1948 Johan Paul van Limburg Stirum, Dutch diplomat (Governor General of the Dutch East Indies) and aristocrat, dies at 75
  • 1954 Lucreţiu Pătrăşcanu, Romanian communist activist and sociologist, dies at 53
  • 1962 Louise Fazenda, dies of cerebral hemorrhage at 66
  • 1970 Sergei U S Aleksi, patriarch of Russian-Orthodox church, dies at 92
  • 1975 Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, Indian philosopher and leader, Second President of India (1962-67), dies at 86
  • 1976 Jean-Jacques Gailliard, Belgian painter, dies at 85
  • 1976 Henrik Dam, Danish biochemist, Nobel laureate (b. 1895)
  • 1977 William Cardinal Conway, Northern Irish clergyman (b. 1913)
  • 1983 Mark W Clark, US general (WWII), dies at 87
  • 1984 Mark W. Clark, American general, dies at 87
  • 1985 Ilona Bodden, writer, dies
  • 1986 Bessie Head, Botswana writer (When Rain Clouds Gather, Maru, A Question of Power), dies at 49
  • 1987 Cecil Harmsworth King, owner of Mirror Group Newspapers (b. 1901)
  • 1987 Willie Donnell Smith, American fashion designer (WilliWear), dies of pneumonia at 39
  • 1987 Cornelius Van Til, Dutch philosopher and Christian apologist, dies at 91
  • 1988 Louise Nevelson, American sculptor (featured at the 31st Venice Biennale), dies of brain tumor at 88
  • 1989 Charles Lampkin, dies
  • 1990 Ralph David Abernathy, US civil rights leader, dies
  • 1991 Jack Yellen, American poet (Sons o' Fun), dies at 97
  • 1993 Turgut Özal, president of Turkey (1989-93), dies at 65
  • 1995 Nancy Mayhew Youngman, English painter and educationalist, dies at 88
  • 1995 Frank E. Resnik, American business executive (Philip Morris USA), dies at 66
  • 1996 Eva Jones, German poet and novelist (Taboo), dies at 82
  • 1996 Jose Luis Lopez Aranguren, philosopher, dies at 86
  • 1997 Chaim Herzog, 6th President of Israel (1983-93), dies at 78
  • 1997 Allan Francovich, American documentarian
  • 2003 Robert Atkins, American dietician (b. 1930)
  • 2003 John Paul Getty Jr., American-born British oil magnate and billionaire (Getty Oil), dies of a chest infection at 70
  • 2003 Yiannis Latsis, Greek shipping tycoon, dies at 92
  • 2004 Edmond Pidoux, Swiss writer (L'histoire de Jonas), dies at 95
  • 2006 Jean Bernard, French physician and haematologist, dies at 98
  • 2008 Aimé Césaire, French Martinican poet and politician, dies at 94
  • 2009 Honoré Desmond Sharrer, American artist (Tribute to the American Working People), dies aged 88
  • 2009 Martin Garrod, British Commandant General Royal Marines, dies at 73

Person of interestBarbara Bush

2018 Barbara Bush, First Lady of the US (1989-93) and wife of George H. W. Bush, dies following long illness at 92

US First Lady Barbara Bush
US First Lady
Barbara Bush
  • 2019 Alan García, President of Peru (Peruvian Aprista Party: 1985-90, 2006-11), commits suicide by shooting himself as police try to arrest him on corruption charges at 69