Events in History on April 17

  • April
  • 858 Benedict III ends his reign as Catholic Pope

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
  • 1704 1st successful US newspaper; published in Boston by John Campbell
  • 1711 Charles VI becomes Holy Roman Emperor after the death of his brother Joseph I
  • 1747 French troops occupy Zeeuws-Flanders, Netherlands
  • 1758 Francis Williams, 1st US black college graduate, publishes poems
  • 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
  • 1817 1st US school for deaf (Hartford, Connecticut)
  • 1824 Russia abandons all North American claims south of 54° 40'N

  • 1839 Guatemala forms republic
  • 1853 Johan Rudolf Thorbecke's government in the Netherlands resigns
  • 1853 US Marine Hospital at Presidio, San Francisco forms
  • 1860 Champion of England Tom Sayers and American John Heenan fight out brutal 2 hour, 27 minute draw near Farnborough, England; police stop fight acknowledged as first world title bout
  • 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 Lincoln's assassination
  • 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
  • 1912 1st unofficial gold record (Al Jolson's "Ragging The Baby To Sleep")
  • 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)

AgreementTreaty of Interest

1939 Stalin signs British-France-Russian anti-Nazi pact

Soviet General Secretary Joseph Stalin
Soviet General Secretary
Joseph Stalin
  • 1941 British troop land in Iraq

  • 1941 US Office of Price Administration forms (handled rationing)
  • 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
  • 1943 Marshal Admiral Yamamoto flies from Truk to Rabaul
  • 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 Tchervenkov 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
  • 1958 Brussells (Belgium) World Fair opens
  • 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
  • 1969 Alexander Dubček forced to resign as first secretary of Czechoslovakia's Communist Party

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 The Band (formerly The Hawks), perform their 1st concert
  • 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 Khmer Rouge captures Phnom Penh, Cambodia (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
  • 1981 "Caveman" with Ringo premieres
  • 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 US poet laureate
  • 1987 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • 1989 18th Boston Women's Marath won by Ingrid Kristiansen of Nor in 2:24:33
  • 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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1993 Two Los Angeles police officers convicted in federal court of violating Rodney King's civil rights

Victim of Police Violence Rodney King
Victim of Police Violence
Rodney King
  • 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

United <b>Nations</b>United Nations

2009 Former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark becomes the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the first woman to lead the organization

Former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark
Former New Zealand Prime Minister
Helen Clark

Historic PublicationSt. Cuthbert Gospel

2012 The 8th century St. Cuthbert Gospel, Europe's oldest intact book, is purchased by the British Library for 9 million pounds
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The St. Cuthbert Gospel cover and the first page of text
The St. Cuthbert Gospel cover and the first page of text
  • 2013 5 people are killed in Wana, Pakistan, by a United States drone attack
  • 2013 15 people are killed and 100 are injured after a fertilizer plant explodes in West, Texas
  • 2013 North Korea blocks a South Korean supply delegation from the Kaesong joint industrial zone
  • 2013 Same-sex marriage is legalized in New Zealand
  • 2014 Abdelaziz Bouteflika wins a fourth term as President of Algeria
  • 2017 1st living giant shipworm at 3 ft found in the Philippines, really a type of clam
  • 2018 Former F.B.I. director James Comey publishes his political autobiography “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership”
  • 2018 Protests across India at the rape and murder of an 8-year old Muslim girl in Kathua, Bengalu
  • 2019 Research showing pigs brains partially brought back to life at Yale University, published in "Nature"
  • 2019 Terror alert closes schools in Denver, Colorado, due to 18 year-old woman obsessed with Columbine massacre, who is then found dead
  • 2019 10 babies with "bubble boy disease" cured using a gene therapy made from HIV at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, according to new study