On This Day in History for July 17

Events in History

Events 1 - 100 of 162

  • 180 6 inhabitants of Scillium in North Africa are executed for being Christians. Earliest record of Christianity in that part of the world.
  • 561 John III begins his reign as Catholic Pope succeeding Pelagius I
  • 855 St Leo IV dies, ending his reign as Catholic Pope; he will be succeeded by Benedict III

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1054 Emperor Henry III crowns his son Henry IV king

Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV
Holy Roman Emperor
Henry IV
  • 1070 Arnulf III the Hapless becomes earl of Flanders
  • 1203 Siege of Constantinople begins during the fourth Crusade, Crusaders aboad a Venetian fleet attack the city
  • 1245 Pope bans emperor Frederik II Hohenstaufen for 3rd time
  • 1393 Osmanen occupy Turnovo, Bulgaria
  • 1429 Dauphin crowned King Charles VII of France (despite having been king since 1422)
  • 1453 Battle of Castillon: French army beats English force under Talbot, turning point of the 100 Years' War
  • 1473 Charles the Stout conquers Nijmegen

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1505 Martin Luther enters into an Augustinian monastery at Erfurt

Founder of Protestanism Martin Luther
Founder of Protestanism
Martin Luther
  • 1509 Venice recaptures Padua
  • 1549 Jews are expelled from Ghent Belgium
  • 1552 Siena drives Spanish troops out of Verdun
  • 1583 Spanish & Walloon troops conquer Dunkerk

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1585 English secret service discovers Anthony Babington's murder plot against Queen Elizabeth I

Queen of England and Ireland Elizabeth I
Queen of England and Ireland
Elizabeth I
  • 1596 At 10:30AM Dutch explorer Willem Barents arrives at Novaya Zemlya

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1603 Sir Walter Raleigh arrested by forces of King James

Explorer Walter Raleigh
Walter Raleigh
  • 1686 A meeting takes place at Lüneburg between several Protestant powers in order to discuss the formation of an 'evangelical' league of defence, called the 'Confederatio Militiae Evangelicae', against the Catholic League.
  • 1712 Great Britain, Portugal & France sign ceasefire [or 19th]
  • 1727 Simon van Slingelandt appointed Dutch pension advisor
  • 1740 Prospero Lambertini chosen Pope Benedictus XIV

MurderMurder of Interest

1762 Catherine II becomes tsarina of Russia following the murder of Peter III

Empress of Russia Catherine the Great
Empress of Russia
Catherine the Great

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1774 Captain James Cook arrives in the New Hebrides (Vanuatu)

Explorer James Cook
James Cook
  • 1775 1st military hospital approved
  • 1791 Members of the French National Guard under the command of General Lafayette open fire on a crowd of radical Jacobins at the Champ de Mars, Paris, during the French Revolution, killing as many as 50 people.
  • 1794 Richard Allen organizes Philadelphia's Bethel African Meth Episcopal Church
  • 1821 Spain cedes Florida to US
  • 1841 British humorous and satirycal magazine "Punch" first published; it finally closed in 2002
  • 1850 Harvard Observatory takes 1st photograph of a star (Vega)
  • 1856 The Great Train Wreck of 1856 between Camp Hill and Fort Washington, Pennsylvania kills over 60 people.
  • 1858 Recovery of the bell of HMS Lutine from ship's wreck, hung from rostrum in Lloyd's of London's Underwriting Room
  • 1861 US Congress authorizes paper money
  • 1861 Manassas, VA Gen Beauregard requests reinforcements for his 22,000 men, Gen Johnston is ordered to Manassas
  • 1862 Naval Engagement at Pascagoula River MS: USS Potomac Expedition
  • 1862 US army authorized to accept blacks as laborers
  • 1862 United army officially divides corps
  • 1862 R John Hunt Morgan:Cynthiana, KY CS24 US17 Skirmish at Columbia, TN
  • 1863 Battle of Honey Springs - largest battle in Indian Territory
  • 1863 Māori forces are defeated by British troops at Koheroa, Waikato, in the New Zealand Wars between Maori tribes and British colonials
  • 1864 CSA President Davis replaces Gen Joe Johnston with John Bell Hood
  • 1866 Italian fleet under Admiral Count Carlo Pellion di Persano captures Austrian Fort Lissa
  • 1867 1st US dental school, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, established
  • 1878 Nqwiliso, tribal chief of Western Pondoland and eldest son of Ndamase, signs a treaty with H.G. Elliott ceding sovereign rights and shipping in the Umzimvubu River mouth to the Cape government, Southern Africa
  • 1879 1st railroad opens in Hawaii

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1890 Cecil Rhodes becomes Premier of Cape Colony

British Businessman and Imperialist Politician Cecil Rhodes
British Businessman and Imperialist Politician
Cecil Rhodes
  • 1897 1st ship arrives in Seattle carrying gold from Yukon
  • 1898 Spanish American War: Spaniards surrender to US forces at Santiago de Cuba
  • 1900 NY Giant Christy Mathewson begins career losing to Bkln Superbas
  • 1902 Lord Tennyson, son of the poet, is named to succeed Lord Hopetown, first governor general of Australia

  • 1903 The Russian Social Democratic Workers Party meets, first in Brussels and then London because their leaders have been forced into exile by the Russian Government

Electoral defeatElection of Interest

1906 Clement Armand Fallieres is elected President of France, but power lies with Georges Clémenceau

Prime Minister of France Georges Clémenceau
Prime Minister of France
Georges Clémenceau
  • 1911 Overthrown shah of Persia Mohammed Ali lands on Astrabad with army
  • 1912 IAF (Intl Amateur Athletic Federation) forms in Sweden
  • 1915 Italian offensive at Isonzo

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1917 Royal Proclamation by King George V changes name of British Royal family from German Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to Windsor

King of the United Kingdom George V
King of the United Kingdom
George V
  • 1919 Finland adopts constitution
  • 1919 Yanks 21 hits, Browns 17 hits Browns win 7-6 in 17, on squeeze play
  • 1922 Curacao harbor workers begin strike under Felix Chacuto
  • 1923 Carl Mays gave up 13 runs & 20 hits in 13-0 lose to Indians
  • 1925 Tris Speaker, is 5th to get 3,000 hits

Sports record brokenWorld Record

1926 Paavo Nurmi walks world record 4x1500m (16:11.4)

Runner nicknamed the
Runner nicknamed the "Flying Finn"
Paavo Nurmi
  • 1929 USSR breaks diplomatic relations with China
  • 1933 After successfully crossing the Atlantic Ocean, the Lithuanian research aircraft Lituanica crashes in Germany under mysterious circumstances.
  • 1935 Variety's famous headline "Sticks Nix Hick Pix"
  • 1936 Carl Hubbell begins winning streak, beating Pittsburgh 6-0

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1936 Spanish generals Francisco Franco and Emilio Mola lead a right-wing uprising, starting the Spanish Civil War

Spanish Dictator and General Francisco Franco
Spanish Dictator and General
Francisco Franco
  • 1938 Douglas (Wrong Way) Corrigan leaves NY for LA, wound up in Ireland
  • 1942 3' of rain falls on Pennsylvania, flooding kills 15
  • 1942 Estimated 34.5" (87.5 cm) of rainfall, Smethport, Pa (state record)
  • 1942 Transport #6 departs with French Jews to nazi-Germany
  • 1943 RAF bombs Germany rocket base Peenemunde
  • 1944 2 ammunition ships explodes at Port Chicago, California kills 322
  • 1944 Soviet troops cross river Bug/march into Poland
  • 1948 Israeli army captures Nazareth
  • 1948 Proclamation of constitution of Republic of (South) Korea
  • 1950 Indonesian troops land on Buru, South-Molukka
  • 1950 Suppression of Communism Act comes into force in South Africa
  • 1951 Leopold III, King of the Belgians, abdicates in favour of his son Boudouin I
  • 1951 Western New England College in Springfield, Massachusetts, is chartered.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1952 Shah of Persia Mohammed Reza Pahlavi named Ghavam Sultaneh premier

Last Shah of Iran Mohammad Reza Pahlavi
Last Shah of Iran
Mohammad Reza Pahlavi
  • 1954 Construction of Disneyland commences
  • 1954 Theodor Heuss re-elected president of West Germany
  • 1955 Arco, Idaho, becomes 1st US city lit by nuclear power
  • 1955 Disneyland televises its grand opening in Anaheim, California.
  • 1958 King Hussein declares himself head of Jordan/Iraqi federation
  • 1958 Peter Shaffer's "Five Finger Exercise" premieres in London
  • 1958 US performs atmospheric nuclear test at Enwetak
  • 1959 2,000 ft long by 1,300 foot wide section of ridge falls into Madis
  • 1959 Tibet abolishes serfdom
  • 1959 River Canyon extending man-made Lake Hebgen by 5 miles. (Montana)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1959 Paleoanthropologist Mary Leakey discovers partial skull of a new species of early human ancestor, Zinjanthropus boisei or 'Zinj' (now called Paranthropus boisei) lived in Africa almost 2 million years ago

Paleoanthropologist Mary Leakey
Mary Leakey
  • 1961 John Chancellor becomes news anchor of Today Show
  • 1962 East Berliner Peter Fechter flees over Berlin Wall
  • 1962 Robert White in X-15 sets altitude record of 108 km (354,300 ft)
  • 1962 Senate rejects medicare for aged
  • 1962 US performs nuclear Test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1964 Don Campbell sets record for turbine vehicle, 690.91 kph (429.31 mph)

Birthdays in History

  • 1487 Ismail I, Shah of Persia, converted Iran from Sunni to Shi'ah (d. 1524)
  • 1674 Isaac Watts, England, writer/preacher/hymnist (Horae Lyrican)
  • 1704 John Kay, English inventor (developed the flying shuttle), born in Lancashire, England (d. around 1779)
  • 1744 Elbridge Gerry, (DR) 5th VP (Mass-Gov), invented gerrymandering
  • 1745 Petr Alekseevich Pahlen, Russian general (d. 1826)
  • 1763 Johannes H van der Palm, Dutch theologist/minister of Education

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1763 John Jacob Astor [Johann Jakob Astor] German-American businessman (first multi-millionaire in the United States), born in Walldorf, Electoral Palatinate, Holy Roman Empire (d. 1848)

Businessman John Jacob Astor
John Jacob Astor
  • 1797 Hippolyte Delaroche, French painter (d. 1856)
  • 1827 Frederick A Able, English chemist/inventor (cordiet)
  • 1830 Eelco Refer, linguist (Dictionary for the Dutch translator)
  • 1831 Xianfeng, Emperor of China (d. 1861)
  • 1839 Ephraim Shay, American inventor (d. 1916)
  • 1859 Luis Munoz Rivera, Puerto Rico, journalist (founded Federalist Party)
  • 1871 Lyonel C A Feininger, US cartoonist/painter
  • 1876 Maxim M Litvinov, [Meyer H Wallach], Russian diplomat
  • 1876 Rosa Jackson Lumpkin, lived to be 115 years old, born in Flint, Georgia (d. 1991)
  • 1883 Bart de Ligt, anti militarist theologist (Acting Peace)
  • 1888 Shmuel Agnon, Israel, novelist (Day Before Yesterday-Nobel 1966)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1889 Erle Stanley Gardner, American detective writer (Perry Mason), born in Malden, Massachusetts (d. 1970)

Detective Writer Erle Stanley Gardner
Detective Writer
Erle Stanley Gardner
  • 1897 Elbert Parr Tuttle, lawyer/judge
  • 1898 Berenice Abbott, photographer (World of Atget), born in Springfield, Ohio
  • 1898 Osmond Borradaile, Canadian cinematographer (d. 1999)
  • 1901 Bruno Jasieński, Polish poet (d. 1938)
  • 1902 Christina Stead, Australia, novelist (Man Who Loved Children)
  • 1909 Hardy Amies, royal dressmaker (Queen Elizabeth II), born in London, England
  • 1911 Yang Jiang, Chinese writer (Six Chapters From My Life ‘Downunder,’), born in Beijing (d. 2016)
  • 1913 Roger Garaudy, French philosopher
  • 1913 Bertrand Goldberg, American architect (d. 1997)
  • 1914 James Purdy, Hicksville, Ohio, writer (The House of the Solitary Maggot), (disputed birthdate, 1923), (d. 2009)
  • 1915 Habib Rajab, South African trader and collector of oriental art who fought against a takeover of the Grey Street complex by White traders, born in Durban, South Africa (d. 1973)
  • 1917 Kenan Evren, Turkish soldier and politician, (President of Turkey 1980-1989 by military coup), born in Alaşehir, Manisa Province (d. 2015)
  • 1918 Carlos Manuel Arana Osorio, President of Guatemala (d. 2003)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1920 Gordon Gould, American physicist (inventor of the laser) born in NYC, New York (d. 2005)

Physicist Gordon Gould
Gordon Gould
  • 1922 Donald Alfred Davie, poet/critic
  • 1923 John Cooper, English race car designer (d. 2000)
  • 1928 Jean Muir, British fashion designer and dressmaker, born in London (d. 1995)
  • 1929 Sergei K. Godunov, Russian mathematician
  • 1932 Hal Riney, American advertising executive (d. 2008)
  • 1934 Rainer Kisch, German writer, born in Döbeln
  • 1934 Lucio Tan, Chinese Filipino businessman (Philippine Airlines), in Amoy China
  • 1937 Jose Ignacio Cabrujas, writer
  • 1939 Warwick Hutton, artist

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1939 Ali Hosseini Khamenei, Supreme Leader of Iran (1989- ) and Muslim cleric, born in Mashhad, Khorasan, Iran

Leader of Iran Ali Hosseini Khamenei
Leader of Iran
Ali Hosseini Khamenei
  • 1942 Peter Sissons, British newsreader
  • 1945 Alexander, Crown Prince of Yugoslavia

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1947 Camilla Parker Bowles (Duchess of Cornwall), wife of Prince Charles, born in London, England

Duchess of Cornwall Camilla Parker Bowles
Duchess of Cornwall
Camilla Parker Bowles
  • 1948 Phillip Harris, rocker
  • 1952 Robert R[ick] McCammon, American sci-fi author (Baal, Mystery Walk)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1954 Angela Merkel, German politician, Chancellor of Germany (2005-), born in Hamburg, West Germany

Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel
Chancellor of Germany
Angela Merkel
  • 1954 J. Michael Straczynski, American author
  • 1955 Paul Stamets, American mycologist and environmentalist
  • 1956 Julie Bishop, Australian Liberal Party politician and Minister for Foreign Affairs (2013-present), born in Lobethal, South Australia
  • 1959 Janet Lynn Kavandi, Springfield Mo, PhD/astronaut (sk:STS 91)
  • 1963 Letsie III, King of Lesotho
  • 1966 Sten Tolgfors, Swedish politician
  • 1971 Cory Doctorow, Canadian author and activist
  • 1975 Gino D'Acampo, Italian celebrity chef
  • 1975 Terence Tao, Australian-Chinese mathematician
  • 1978 Ricardo Arona, Brazilian mixed martial artist
  • 1998 Felipe Juan Froilán de Marichalar y de Borbón, Spanish royal

Weddings in History

  • 1990 PLO-leader Jasser Arrafat marries Soha Tawil in Tunis

HeartWedding of Interest

1990 Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat (56) weds Suha Tawil (27)

Palestinian Leader Yasser Arafat
Palestinian Leader
Yasser Arafat
  • 2006 "Wheel of Fortune" Original host Chuck Woolery (65) weds Kim Barnes at The Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas

Deaths in History

  • 180 Christenen Cittinus/Donatus/Natzalus/Secunda/Speratus/Vestia sentenced to death as Christians in Carthage
  • 521 Magnus Felix Ennodius, bishop and Latin poet (b. 474)
  • 656 Uthman ibn Affan, Third Caliph, assassinated.
  • 855 Leo IV, Italian Pope (reigned 847-55), dies
  • 924 King Edward the Elder of England (899-924)
  • 1025 Boleslaw I Chobry, [the brave], duke/king of Poland, dies
  • 1070 Boudouin VI, count of Flanders/Henegouwen, dies
  • 1345 Jacob Van Artevelde, [Manner Man], Flemish broker, lynched
  • 1453 John Talbot, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury, English military leader
  • 1510 Tree of Commonwealth, beheaded at about 48
  • 1531 Hosokawa Takakuni, Japanese military commander (b. 1484)
  • 1571 Georg Fabricius, German poet and historian (b. 1516)
  • 1588 Sinan, Ottoman architect (b. 1489)
  • 1627 Lieven de Key, Flemish master builder (Vleeshal), dies at about 67
  • 1645 Robert Carr, 1st Earl of Somerset, Scottish politician
  • 1704 Pierre-Charles Le Sueur, French fur trader and explorer
  • 1709 Robert Bolling, English settler in Virginia (b. 1646)
  • 1746 Anthonie van de Heim, Dutch pension advisor (1737-46), dies at 53
  • 1753 Andre-Joseph Panckoucke, French book publisher/merchant, dies
  • 1762 Peter III, Emperor of Russia (1762), dies at 34

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1790 Adam Smith, Scottish economist (Wealth of Nations) and moral philosopher, dies at 67

Economist and Philosopher Adam Smith
Economist and Philosopher
Adam Smith
  • 1791 Martin Dobrizhoffer, Austrian Jesuit missionary (b. 1717)
  • 1793 Charlotte Corday, French revolutionary who murdered Jean-Paul Marat in a bath, is guillotined at 24
  • 1794 John Roebuck, English inventor and industrialist (b. 1718)
  • 1838 John Whites, hydraulic engineer, dies at 82

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1845 Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (Whig: 1830-34), dies at 81

British Prime Minister Charles Grey
British Prime Minister
Charles Grey
  • 1863 James Johnston Pettigrew, US attorney/Confederate, dies at 35
  • 1864 Daniel McCook Jr, American Brigadier General (Union Army), dies at 29
  • 1864 Dirk Dark Curtius, attorney/liberal minister of Justice, dies at 71
  • 1878 Aleardo [Gaetano] Aleardi, Italian/Aust poet (Tre Fiumi), dies at 65
  • 1879 Maurycy Gottlieb, Ukrainian painter (b. 1856)
  • 1881 Jim Bridger, American mountain man, Indian fighter, and explorer (b. 1804)
  • 1885 Jean-Charles Chapais, Canadian politician (b. 1811)
  • 1887 Dorothea Dix, french social activist (b. 1802)
  • 1893 Frederick A. Johnson, American politician (b. 1833)
  • 1894 Josef Hyrtl, Austrian anatomist (b. 1810)
  • 1903 James A McNeill Whistler, US/British writer (Bride Tomorrow), dies at 69
  • 1912 J-Henri Poincaré, French mine engineer/mathematician, dies at 58
  • 1918 Aleksei Romanov, son and heir of Russian Tsar Nicholas II, executed at 13
  • 1918 Alexandra Fjodorova, wife of Tsar Nicholas II, shot to death at 46


1918 Anastasia Nikolaevna, daughter of Tsar Nicholas II, executed at 17

Grand Duchess of Russia Anastasia Nikolaevna
Grand Duchess of Russia
Anastasia Nikolaevna
  • 1918 Botkin, personal physician of Tsar Nicholas II, shot to death
  • 1918 Charitonov, cook of Tsar Nicholas II, shot to death
  • 1918 Demidova, lady in waiting of Russian Tsar Nicholas II, shot to death
  • 1918 Maria Romanova, daughter of Russian Tsar Nicholas II, shot to death


1918 Nicholas II Alexandrovich, last Tsar of Russia, executed at 50

  • 1918 Olga Romanova, daughter of Russian Tsar Nicholas II, shot to death
  • 1918 Tatyana Romanova, daughter of RussianTsar Nicholas II, shot to death
  • 1918 Trupp, lackey of Tsar Nicholas II, shot to death
  • 1922 Heinrich Rubens, German physicist, dies at 57
  • 1928 Alvaro Obregon, President of Mexico is assassinated
  • 1928 Giovanni Giolitti, 5x Prime Minister of Italy (1892-93, 1903-05, 1906-09, 1911-14, 1920-21), dies at 85
  • 1935 George William Russell, Irish nationalist, poet and artist, dies at 68
  • 1941 Emil Barth, German revolutionary (Social Democratic Party), dies at 62
  • 1943 Sir Patrick Duncan, Governor-general of the Union of South Africa (1937 to 1943), dies at 72
  • 1944 Hugh Rigby, English portrait painter (King George V 1928-32), dies
  • 1944 William James Sidis, gifted mathematician and child prodigy (b. 1898)
  • 1946 Dragoljub "Draza" Mihailovic, Yugoslav gen (Nazi), executed at 53
  • 1947 Raoul Wallenberg, Swedish diplomat in WW II (saved thousands of Jews), dies at 34
  • 1950 Evangeline Booth, the 4th General of The Salvation Army (b. 1865)
  • 1954 Dirk B Nanninga, painter, dies at 85
  • 1959 Henri Pourrat, French writer (Le chasseur de la nuit), dies
  • 1959 Eugene Meyer, American businessman and newspaper publisher (b. 1875)
  • 1975 Modoc, the elephant, dies at age 78 (oldest known nonhuman mammal)
  • 1975 Konstantine Gamsakhurdia, Georgian writer and public benefactor (b. 1893)
  • 1980 Boris Delaunay, Russian mathematician (b. 1890)
  • 1989 Heinz Risse, German writer, dies at 91
  • 1993 Ineke Shutter, choreography (Black Girl Goes to School), dies at 61
  • 1993 Scott Salmon, US choreographer (La Cage aux Folles), dies at 51
  • 1993 Vladimir Barmyn, Russian inventor (Stalinorgel), dies at 84
  • 1995 Joe Hutton, northumbrian piper/shepherd, dies at 71
  • 1996 Geoffrey Jellicoe, English landscape architect, dies at 95
  • 1996 John William Fozard, aircraft designer, dies at 68
  • 1996 Paul Touvier, French WW II criminal, dies at 81
  • 2001 Katharine Graham, American publisher (b. 1917)
  • 2003 David Kelly, Welsh UN weapons inspector (b. 1944)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

2005 Edward Heath, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (b. 1916)

British Prime Minister Edward Heath
British Prime Minister
Edward Heath
  • 2005 Joe Vialls, Australian writer (b. 1944)
  • 2006 Mickey Spillane, American author (b. 1918)
  • 2007 Júlio Redecker, Brazilian Politician (b. 1956)
  • 2009 Leszek Kołakowski, Polish philosopher (b. 1927)
  • 2012 William Raspberry, American columnist (Pulitzer 1994), dies at 76
  • 2014 Henry Hartsfield Jr, American astronaut, DIES FROM complications from back surgery at 80
  • 2015 Rev Owen Chadwick, English historian, priest and university chancellor, dies at 99 (d. 2015)