Events in History on February 17

  • 1370 Battle at Rudau: Germany beats Lithuania
  • 1461 Wars of the Roses: Second Battle of St Albans - Lancastrian army defeats Yorkists and recapture King Henry VI
  • 1500 Battle of Hemmingstedt - German peasant army repels ducal army of Schleswig and Holstein

Victory in battleVictory in Battle

1510 Portuguese admiral Afonso de Albuquerque first conquers the city of Goa, entering it with little conflict

Admiral and Duke of Goa Afonso de Albuquerque
Admiral and Duke of Goa
Afonso de Albuquerque
  • 1568 Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian II agrees to pay tribute to the Ottoman Empire for peace
  • 1598 Boris Godunov chosen as Tsar of Russia
  • 1600 Philosopher Giordano Bruno is burned alive at Campo de' Fiori in Rome, charged with heresy.

Electoral defeatElection of Interest

1621 Myles Standish is elected as the first commander of the Plymouth Colony

Military Leader of Plymouth Colony Myles Standish
Military Leader of Plymouth Colony
Myles Standish
  • 1634 William Prynne tried in Star Chamber for publishing "Histrio-masti"
  • 1670 France & Bavaria sign military assistance treaty
  • 1691 Thomas Neale granted English patent for American postal service
  • 1714 Parliament of Paris accepts Pope Clemens XI's "Unigenitus" degree
  • 1772 1st Partition of Poland signed in Vienna by Austria, Prussia and Russia

Book releaseHistoric Publication

1776 1st volume of Edward Gibbon's seminal work "The Decline and Fall of Roman Empire" published

Historian Edward Gibbon
Edward Gibbon
  • 1791 Messier catalogs M83 (spiral galaxy in Hydra)
  • 1795 Thomas Seddal harvests 8.3-kg potato from his garden Chester, England

Electoral defeatElection of Interest

1801 US House of Representatives breaks electoral college tie, chooses Thomas Jefferson President over Aaron Burr

3rd US President Thomas Jefferson
3rd US President
Thomas Jefferson
3rd Vice President of the United States Aaron Burr
3rd Vice President of the United States
Aaron Burr
  • 1814 Battle of Mormant: French Imperial army defeat Russian Austrian forces (War of the Sixth Coalition)
  • 1817 1st US city lit by gas (Baltimore)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1837 Charles Lyell makes his presidential address to the Geographical Society, London and announces that Richard Owen has concluded from Darwin's fossils that extinct species were related to current species in the same locality

Geologist Charles Lyell
Charles Lyell
  • 1848 Tuscany gets liberal Constitution
  • 1854 Britain recognises independence of Orange Free State (South Africa)
  • 1864 Confederate submarine HL Hunley sinks Union ship Housatonic
  • 1865 -18] Battle of Charleston, South Carolina
  • 1865 Columbia, South Carolina, burns down during American Civil War
  • 1867 Gyula Andressy becomes premier of Hungary
  • 1876 Sardines first canned by Julius Wolff in Eastport, Maine
  • 1878 1st telephone exchange in San Francisco opens with 18 phones
  • 1880 Tsar Alexander II of Russia survives an assassination attempt
  • 1883 A Ashwell patents free-toilet in London

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1885 Bismarck gives Carl Peters' firm management of East-Africa

German Statesman Otto von Bismarck
German Statesman
Otto von Bismarck
  • 1896 Muzzling Order on the London County Council enforced
  • 1897 National Organization of Mothers forms (Parent Teacher Association)

Victory in battleVictory in Battle

1897 Emilio Aguinaldo and a group of katipuneros defeat Spanish forces led by General Camilo de Polavieja at the Battle of Zapote Bridge in Cavite

Revolutionary and 1st President of the Philippines Emilio Aguinaldo
Revolutionary and 1st President of the Philippines
Emilio Aguinaldo
  • 1902 A general strike in Barcelona and nearby towns leads to government-troop reprisals that leave 40 dead
  • 1905 Frances Willard becomes 1st women honored in National Statuary Hall
  • 1911 1st hydroplane flight to & from a ship (Glenn Curtiss, San Diego)
  • 1913 1st minimum wage law in US takes effect (Oregon)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1913 NY Armory Show introduces Picasso, Matisse, Duchamp to US public

Painter Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso
Painter and Sculptor Marcel Duchamp
Painter and Sculptor
Marcel Duchamp
Impressionist Painter Henri Matisse
Impressionist Painter
Henri Matisse
  • 1915 Edward Stone, 1st US combatant to die in WW I, is mortally wounded
  • 1917 In Australia, Nationalist Party takes over a coalition government

  • 1921 Arthur Honegger's "Pastorale D'ete" premieres
  • 1924 Johnny Weissmuller sets 100-yard freestyle record (52.4 seconds)
  • 1926 Avalanche buries 75 in Sap Gulch, Bingham, Utah; 40 die
  • 1930 French government of André Tardieu falls for the first time
  • 1931 Hockey's Hershey Bears (now with AHL) 1st game
  • 1933 First issue of American news magazine "Newsweek" is published
  • 1933 Marinus van der Lubbe arrives in Glindow, at Potsdam
  • 1933 US Senate accept Blaine Act: ending prohibition
  • 1934 1st high school auto driving course offered (State College, Penn)
  • 1936 -58°F (-50°C), McIntosh, South Dakota (state record)
  • 1936 S. N. Behrman's play "End of Summer" premieres in NYC
  • 1938 1st public experimental demonstration of Baird color TV (London)
  • 1940 Altmark Incident: Crew of the British destroyer "Cossack" board German "Altmark" in Jøssingfjord, Norway, releasing 299 British prisoners after hand-to-hand fighting with bayonets and the last recorded Royal Naval action with cutlass

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1943 Adolf Hitler visits field marshal Erich von Manstein's headquarters in Zaporozje, Ukraine and stays until the 19th

Dictator of Nazi Germany Adolf Hitler
Dictator of Nazi Germany
Adolf Hitler
  • 1943 Dutch churches protest at Seyss-Inquart against persecution of Jews
  • 1943 Major General Omar Bradley flies to Washington, D.C.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1943 Dow Chemical and Corning Glass Works form a joint venture to explore and produce silicon materials, based off of the work of James Franklin Hyde

  • 1944 Battle of Eniwetok Atoll begins; US victory on Feb 22
  • 1944 US begins night bombing of Truk
  • 1946 Humanistic Covenant forms in Amsterdam
  • 1947 Dutch RC bishops publish manifest against "godless communism"
  • 1947 Voice of America begins broadcasting to USSR
  • 1949 Chaim Weitzman elected 1st president of Israel
  • 1949 Ice Pairs Championship at Paris won by Andrea Kekesy and Ede Kiraly of Hungary
  • 1949 Ladies' Figure Skating Champions in Paris won by Alena Vrzanova of CZE
  • 1949 Men's Figure Skating Championship in Paris won by Richard Button of the USA
  • 1950 31 die in a train crash in Rockville Center NY
  • 1955 Ice Pairs Championship at Vienna won by Frances Dafoe and Norris Bowden of Canada
  • 1955 Ladies Figure Skating Championship in Vienna won by Tenley Albright US
  • 1956 Ice Pairs Championship at Garmisch won by Schwarz & Oppelt of AUT
  • 1956 Ladies' Figure Skating Championship in Garmisch won by Carol Heiss USA
  • 1956 Men's Figure Skating Championship in Garmisch won by H A Jenkins USA
  • 1957 A fire at a home for the elderly in Warrenton, Missouri kills 72 people.
  • 1958 Comic strip "BC" 1st appears
  • 1959 1st weather satellite launched, Vanguard 2, 9.8 kg
  • 1962 Storm in Hamburg kills 265
  • 1964 US House of Representatives accept Law on the civil rights
  • 1964 US Supreme Court rules - 1 man 1 vote (Westberry v Sanders)
  • 1965 US Ranger 8 launched, will transmit 7,137 lunar pictures
  • 1966 French satellite Diapason D-1A launch into Earth orbit
  • 1967 Kosmos 140 (Soyuz Test) launches into Earth orbit

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1969 Golda Meir sworn in as the first female Prime Minister of Israel

4th Prime Minister of Israel Golda Meir
4th Prime Minister of Israel
Golda Meir
  • 1970 US army officer Jeffrey MacDonald murders his pregnant wife and two small daughters
  • 1970 Robert Marasco's "Child's Play" premieres in NYC
  • 1972 British Parliament votes to join the European Common Market

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1972 US President Richard Nixon leaves Washington, D.C. for China

37th US President Richard Nixon
37th US President
Richard Nixon

Historic CommunicationVolkswagen Beetle

1972 Sales of the Volkswagen Beetle model exceed those of Ford Model T
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Conference meetingMeeting of Interest

1973 US National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger meets Chinese leader Mao Zedong, where the latter jokingly offers to send 10 million Chinese women to the United States

Chinese Revolutionary and Chairman of the Communist Party Mao Zedong
Chinese Revolutionary and Chairman of the Communist Party
Mao Zedong
US Secretary of State and Political Scientist Henry Kissinger
US Secretary of State and Political Scientist
Henry Kissinger
  • 1974 Robert K. Preston, a disgruntled U.S. Army private, buzzes the White House with a stolen helicopter.
  • 1976 Macau adopts constitution (Organic Law of Macau)
  • 1978 11 civilians and 1 RUC officer are killed and 30 wounded by a Provisional Irish Republican Army incendiary bomb at the La Mon Restaurant near Belfast
  • 1979 China invades Vietnam, marking the start of the Sino-Vietnamese War
  • 1979 Eric Heiden equals skating world record 1000m (1:14.99)
  • 1981 Chrysler Corp reports largest corporate losses in US history
  • 1983 Bob Bourne fails on 8th Islander penalty shot
  • 1983 Netherlands adopts constitution
  • 1983 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1985 1st class postage rises from 20 cents to 22 cents
  • 1985 1st day/night game at the MCG, Australia v England
  • 1985 3rd person to receive an artificial heart (Murray Haydon)
  • 1985 Laffit Pincay Jr is third to ride 6,000th winners at Santa Anita
  • 1986 1st Francophone Summit convenes at Versailles
  • 1986 Howard Stern radio show returns to NYC morning radio (WXRK 92.3 FM)
  • 1986 Johnson & Johnson announces it no longer sell capsule drugs
  • 1986 Libyan bombers attack N'djamena Airport in Chad
  • 1987 Don Mattingly wins highest salary arbitration ($1,975,000 per year)
  • 1988 Lebanese terrorists kidnap UN truce observer Lt Col William Higgins
  • 1988 US Lt Col Williamm Higgins kidnapped by Lebanese terrorists & later killed
  • 1989 6-week study of Arctic atmosphere shows no ozone "hole"
  • 1989 Mauritania, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia & Libya form common market

  • 1989 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • 1991 US male Figure Skating championship won by Todd Eldredge
  • 1993 Haitian ferry boat capsize in storm, 800-2,000 die
  • 1995 Colin Fergusson found guilty of killing 6 people on the Long Island Rail Road in NY
  • 1995 Federal judge allows lawsuit claiming US tobacco makers knew nicotine was addictive & manipulated its levels to keep customers hooked
  • 1997 Weekly Standard shows evidence Larry Flint sexually abused his daughter
  • 1998 US Naval Academy cadet Diane Zamora, 20, convicted of capital murder
  • 1998 Larry Wayne Harris & Bill Levitt arrested for possession of anthrax
  • 2002 Westlife go to No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'World Of Our Own.' The Irish boy band's 10th UK No.1 single.
  • 2003 The London Congestion Charge scheme begins.
  • 2006 A massive mudslide occurs in Southern Leyte, Philippines; the official death toll is set at 1,126.
  • 2008 Kosovo declares independence from Serbia.
  • 2012 The President of Germany, Christian Wulff, resigns over a corruption scandal
  • 2013 37 people are killed and 130 are injured in a series of Baghdad car bombings
  • 2013 5 people are killed and 11 are injured after a gas explosion destroyed an apartment complex in Frenštát pod Radhoštěm, Czech Republic
  • 2013 President Rafael Correa wins the Ecuadorian general election in a landslide victory

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2014 US Secretary of State John Kerry claims climate change requires urgent action and that only a small "window of time" remained open

US Secretary of State John Kerry
US Secretary of State
John Kerry
  • 2016 Oldest known case of human-Neanderthal sex (100,000 yrs ago) revealed by Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (Leipzig), 50,000 yr old Neanderthal woman's remains from Altai mountains show traces of Homo Sapiens DNA
  • 2016 Channing Dungey announced new President of ABC Entertainment Group, first African-American to lead a major US broadcast network
  • 2016 Car bomb attack on military convoy in Ankara, Turkey, by Kurdish militant eaves 28 dead

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2016 Chief executive Tim Cook confirms Apple will contest an FBI order to unlock the phone of San Bernardino gunman Syed Rizwan Farook

CEO of Apple Tim Cook
CEO of Apple
Tim Cook
  • 2017 Discovery of a new mostly underwater continent Zealandia in the South Pacific announced in research journal "GSA Today"
  • 2018 3 suicide bombers kill 18 in Konduga, north-east Nigeria