On This Day

Events in History on May 17

  • 218 7th recorded perihelion passage of Halley's Comet
  • 352 Liberius begins his reign as Catholic Pope replacing Julius I
  • 884 St Adrian III begins his reign as Catholic Pope
  • 1521 Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham, is executed for treason
  • 1525 Battle at Zabern: duke of Lutherans beats rebels
  • 1527 Pánfilo de Narváez departs Spain to explore Florida with 600 men - by 1536 only 4 survive

ExecutionExecution of Anne Boleyn

1536 Anne Boleyn's 4 "lovers" executed shortly before her own beheading
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Anne Boleyn is beheaded after a four day show trial
Anne Boleyn is beheaded after a four day show trial

AgreementTreaty of Interest

1544 Scot Earl Matthew Lennox signs secret treaty with Henry VIII

King of England Henry VIII
King of England
Henry VIII
  • 1579 Artois, Henegouwen and French-Flanders sign Treaty, the Peace of Parma recognizing Spanish Duke van Parma as land guardian
  • 1590 Anne of Denmark is crowned Queen of Scotland.
  • 1620 1st merry-go-round seen at a fair in Philippapolis, Turkey
  • 1630 Italian Jesuit Niccolo Zucchi, 1st to see 2 belts on Jupiter surface
  • 1631 Earl Johann Tilly attacks Maagdenburg
  • 1648 Emperor Ferdinand III defeats Maximilian I of Bavaria
  • 1672 Frontenac becomes Governor of New France (Canada)
  • 1673 Louis Jolliet & Jacques Marquette begin exploring Mississippi

  • 1712 Maximilian Emanuel of Bavaria honored as "sovereign of Netherlands"
  • 1733 Great Britain passes Molasses Act, putting high tariffs on rum and molasses imported to the colonies from a country other than British possessions

Victory in battleVictory in Battle

1742 Battle of Chotusitz: Prussia led by Frederick the Great defeats Austria

King of Prussia Frederick the Great
King of Prussia
Frederick the Great
  • 1744 French army takes Austrian Netherlands
  • 1750 -18] Tax revolt in Gorinchem
  • 1756 Britain declares war on France (7 Years' or French & Indian War)
  • 1775 American Revolutionary War: the Continental Congress bans trade with Canada
  • 1787 English slave ship Sisters, en route from Africa to Cuba, capsizes killing hundreds
  • 1792 24 merchants form New York Stock Exchange at 70 Wall Street
  • 1794 Hard frost in southern New England
  • 1803 John Hawkins & Richard French patent the Reaping Machine
  • 1809 Papal States annexed by France
  • 1814 Denmark cedes Norway to Sweden (National Day)
  • 1814 Norwegian constitution passed by constitutent assembly at Eidsvoll
  • 1814 Occupation of Monaco changes from French to Austrian

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1824 The diaries of Lord Byron are burnt by six of the poet's friends at the office of John Murray in London, sometimes described as “the greatest crime in literary history”

Romantic Poet Lord Byron
Romantic Poet
Lord Byron
  • 1848 Gerrit, Count Schimmelpenninck resigns as Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Netherlands
  • 1849 Fire destroy Centrum in St Louis, Missouri
  • 1853 Thorbeckes liberals win 2nd-Parliamentary election
  • 1859 Australian Rules Football first 'laws of the game' published
  • 1862 Battle of Princeton West Virginia, ends with about 128 casualities
  • 1863 Battle of Big Black River Bridge, Mississippi
  • 1863 Rosalía de Castro publishes Cantares Gallegos, her first book in the Galician language
  • 1864 Battle of Adairsville Georgia, Union forces Confederates to retreat
  • 1865 The International Telegraph Union (later the International Telecommunication Union) is established

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1871 Native American fighter General William T. Sherman escapes from the Comanches in an ambulance

  • 1872 Bohemian Club incorporated in San Francisco

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1876 7th US Cavalry under General George Armstrong Custer leaves Fort Lincoln

  • 1877 Edwin T Holmes installs 1st telephone switchboard burglar alarm

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1881 Frederick Douglass appointed recorder of deeds for Washington, D.C.

Abolitionist Frederick Douglass
Frederick Douglass
  • 1881 Revised version of New Testament
  • 1883 Buffalo Bill's 1st Wild West show opens in Omaha, Nebraska.
  • 1884 Alaska becomes a US territory
  • 1890 Clyde Fitch's "Beau Brummel" premieres in NYC
  • 1890 Comic Cuts, 1st weekly comic paper, published in London

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1897 The first successful submarine that can run submerged for any considerable distance and combines electric and gasoline engines is launched in the USA by its designer John Philip Holland

  • 1898 Camp Merritt forms in Presidio [see 0503]
  • 1899 Victoria & Albert Museum foundation laid, London, England
  • 1900 British troops relieve Mafeking (Cape Colony)
  • 1900 In China, three villages within 100 miles of Peking are burned by Boxers and 60 Chinese Christians killed
  • 1900 "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" is first published by L. Frank Baum with illustrations by William Wallace Denslow in Chicago
  • 1902 Greek archaeologist Valerios Stais discovers the Antikythera mechanism, an ancient mechanical analog computer
  • 1904 Maurice Ravel's "Shéhérazade" premieres in Paris
  • 1906 Switzerland's Simplon Tunnel open to rail traffic
  • 1909 White firemen on Georgia lroad strike to protest against hiring blacks
  • 1910 Canada sets the designs for the 1-50 cent coins

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1915 Last liberal British government of H. H. Asquith falls

British Prime Minister H. H. Asquith
British Prime Minister
H. H. Asquith
  • 1915 National Baptist Convention chartered
  • 1916 British Summer Time (Daylight Savings) introduced
  • 1919 UK War Department orders use of National Star Insignia on all airplanes
  • 1920 1st De Havilland double-decker flight (London) lands in Schiphol
  • 1920 1st flight by Dutch airlines KLM (Koninklijke-Luchtvaart-Maatschappij)
  • 1921 Belgian and Luxembourg sign customs union

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1921 US President Warren G. Harding opens (via telephone) 1st Valencia Orange Show

29th US President Warren G. Harding
29th US President
Warren G. Harding
  • 1923 Fire during closing day ceremonies at Grover Cleveland School, South Carolina
  • 1925 Cleveland Indian Tris Speaker gets his 3,000th hit

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1926 Chiang Kai-shek is made supreme warlord in Canton

Chinese Military and Political Leader Chiang Kai-shek
Chinese Military and Political Leader
Chiang Kai-shek
  • 1926 Wilhelm Marx succeeds Hans Luther as Chancellor of Germany
  • 1927 U.S. Army aviation pioneer Major Harold Geiger dies in the crash of his Airco DH.4 de Havilland plane at Olmstead Field, Pennsylvania
  • 1932 US Congress changes name "Porto Rico" to "Puerto Rico"
  • 1933 Vidkun Quisling and Johan Bernhard Hjort form Nasjonal Samling, the national-socialist party of Norway
  • 1937 Juan Negrin succeeds Largo Caballero as Spain's premier
  • 1938 US Congress approves Vinson Naval Act, which funds a two-ocean navy
  • 1940 Germany occupies Brussels, Belgium and begins invasion of France
  • 1940 Nazis bombs Middelburg/B IJzerdrat begins illegal defiance
  • 1941 Pennsylvania declares legal holiday to honor A's manager Connie Mack

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1942 Dutch SS vows loyalty to Hitler

Dictator of Nazi Germany Adolf Hitler
Dictator of Nazi Germany
Adolf Hitler
  • 1943 The United States Army contracts with the University of Pennsylvania's Moore School to develop the ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer).
  • 1943 World War II: the Dambuster Raids by No. 617 Squadron RAF on German dams

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1943 Millionaire Howard Hughes crashes into Lake Mead, while test flying his Sikorsky S-43, killing CAA inspector Ceco Cline and Richard Felt

Aviator and Businessman Howard Hughes
Aviator and Businessman
Howard Hughes
  • 1944 -18] Allied air raid on Surabaja, Java
  • 1944 Chinese and US armed forces take Myitkyina Airport, Burma

Battle of InterestD-Day

1944 General Eisenhower sets D-Day for June 5th
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"Into the Jaws of Death" by Robert F. Sargent
  • 1944 Operation Straightline: Allies land in Dutch New Guinea
  • 1945 2 US P-47 Thunderbolts bomb Kiushu
  • 1946 KVP Labor/Communists win 1st post-WW2 Dutch parliamentary elections
  • 1946 US President Harry Truman seizes control of nation's railroads to delay a strike
  • 1948 Israel liberates Acre, Nebi Yusha & Telel-Kadi
  • 1948 Soviet Union recognizes Israel
  • 1949 British government recognises Republic of Ireland (previously Irish Free State)
  • 1953 Yanks & Browns use record 41 players in a game
  • 1954 US Supreme Court unanimously rules on Brown v Topeka Board of Education reverses 1896 "separate but equal" Plessy v Ferguson decision
  • 1955 Dutch government of Drees resigns
  • 1957 Prayer Pilgrimage, biggest civil rights demonstration to date (DC)
  • 1957 School desegregation law, Brown v Board of education
  • 1958 Emergency crisis proclaimed in Algeria

PortugalSanctuary of Christ the King

1959 Sanctuary of Christ the King inaugurated, a 28 meter (92 ft) high monument and shrine overlooking Lisbon, Portugal by sculptor Francisco Franco de Sousa
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The Sanctuary of Christ the King in Almada, Portugal
The Sanctuary of Christ the King in Almada, Portugal
  • 1960 1st atomic reactor system patented by J W Flora of Canoga Park, California

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1961 Fidel Castro offers to exchange Bay of Pigs prisoners for 500 bulldozers

Cuban Revolutionary and President Fidel Castro
Cuban Revolutionary and President
Fidel Castro
  • 1962 Marin County withdraws from BART district
  • 1963 US performs nuclear Test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1967 Dylan's 1965 UK Tour is released as film "Don't Look Back"
  • 1968 European Space Research Org launches 1st satellite
  • 1968 Frank Howard belts record 8th HR in 5th straight game
  • 1968 US performs nuclear Test at Nevada Test Site

  • 1969 Russian probe Venera 6 landed on Venus
  • 1971 Washington State bans sex discrimination
  • 1972 Netherlands & People's Republic of China exchange ambassadors
  • 1972 The Irish Republican Army (IRA) fires on workers leaving the Mackies engineering works in west Belfast (Although the factory was sited in a Catholic area it had an almost entirely Protestant workforce)
  • 1973 Joe Ferguson, hits the 6,000th Dodger home run
  • 1973 Senate Watergate Committee begins its hearings
  • 1973 US performs 3 nuclear tests at Rifle Colorado
  • 1973 Five British Army soldiers are killed by a Provisional Irish Republican Army booby-trap bomb in Omagh, County Tyrone
  • 1974 Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) explode four bombs in Republic of Ireland, killing 33 civilians, wounding 300 (highest number of casualties in a single incident during "The Troubles")
  • 1975 10CC releases "I'm Not in Love"

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1975 Mick Jagger punches a restaurant window, gets 20 stitches

Rock Star Mick Jagger
Rock Star
Mick Jagger
  • 1976 Earthquake in Uzbekistan: thousands killed

Electoral defeatElection of Interest

1977 Menachem Begin's Likoed party wins election in Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin
Israeli Prime Minister
Menachem Begin
  • 1978 Lee Lacy hits record 3rd consecutive pinch-hit home run
  • 1979 -12°F (-11°C), on top of Mauna Kea, Hawaii (state record)
  • 1980 V. S. Kumar Anandan from Sri Lanka balances on one foot for 33 hours (Guinness World Record)
  • 1980 Major race riot in Miami Florida - 16 killed, 300 injured
  • 1983 Israel & Lebanon sign a peace treaty

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1984 Prince Charles calls proposed addition to the National Gallery, London, a "monstrous carbuncle on the face of a much-loved and elegant friend," sparking controversy on the role of the Royal Family and course of modern architecture.

Prince of Wales Prince Charles
Prince of Wales
Prince Charles
  • 1985 Les Anderson, catches record 97 lb 4 oz Chinook Salmon, off Alaska
  • 1987 USS Stark hit by Iraqi missiles, 37 sailors die
  • 1989 Longest Cab Ride Ever: 14,000 miles costs $16,000!

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1989 Nelson Mandela receives a BA from University of South Africa

Anti-apartheid activist and South African President Nelson Mandela
Anti-apartheid activist and South African President
Nelson Mandela
  • 1990 Dow Jones avg hits a record 2,831.71
  • 1990 European court rules on pension rights for men & women
  • 1990 WIBC Bowling Queens won by Patty Ann
  • 1990 World Health Organization takes homosexuality out of its list of mental illnesses

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1990 The Bank of China Tower in Hong Kong designed by I. M. Pei opens as the first supertall skyscraper outside the US

Architect I. M. Pei
I. M. Pei
  • 1992 Expos Gary Carter is 3rd to catch 2,000 games (joins Boone & Fisk)

InventionHistoric Invention

1993 Intel's new Pentium processor is unveiled

Semiconductor Pioneer and CEO of Intel Andrew Grove
Semiconductor Pioneer and CEO of Intel
Andrew Grove
  • 1994 Bakili Muluzi's UDF wins Malawi presidents/parliamentary election
  • 1997 WIBC Bowling Queens won by Sandra Jo Shiery-Odom
  • 1997 Troops loyal to Laurent Kabila march into Kinshasa.
  • 2000 In the Philippines an explosion rocks Glorietta 2 injuring 13 persons, mostly teenagers. According to local authorities, the homemade bomb was placed in front of a toilet beside a video arcade.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2001 US President George W. Bush calls for reduced regulations to encourage more oil, gas, and nuclear production

43rd US President George W. Bush
43rd US President
George W. Bush
  • 2004 Massachusetts becomes the first U.S. state to legalize same-sex marriage
  • 2006 The aircraft carrier USS Oriskany is sunk in the Gulf of Mexico to be an artificial reef
  • 2007 Trains from North and South Korea cross the 38th Parallel in a test-run agreed by both governments. This is the first time that trains have crossed the Demilitarized Zone since 1953.
  • 2007 Demolition work begins at Dublin's famous Lansdowne Road Stadium to be replaced by the new Aviva Stadium, opened in 2010
  • 2009 Video game Minecraft is first released to the public while in development
  • 2013 90 people are killed and 200 are injured after a series of bombings across Iraq
  • 2014 Atlético Madrid win the 2013–14 La Liga
  • 2014 Bayern Munich defeats Borussia Dortmund to win the 2013–14 DFB-Pokal
  • 2014 The center-right Hindu Nationalist Party, the BJP, wins landslide election victory in India
  • 2014 St Johnstone FC win the Scottish Cup for 1st time in 130 years, defeating Dundee United 2-0
  • 2015 A mudslide hits the alpine town of Salgar in Western Colombia killing over 50 people
  • 2015 Gun fight between rival biker gangs and police in Waco, Texas leaves 9 dead and 18 injured. 170 later arrested for organised crime.
  • 2015 Canada defeats Russia to win gold at the 2015 IIHF World Championship
  • 2015 Melbourne Victory FC defeats Sydney FC to win the Australian A-League
  • 2018 Gina Haspel confirmed as the first female director of the CIA by the US Senate
  • 2018 Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo spreads to the city of Mbandaka
  • 2019 Taiwan's parliament votes to legalize same-sex marriage, the first Asian country
  • 2019 Tyler, the Creator releases his fifth studio album "Igor" which becomes his first number-one album in the United States