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This Day in History - July 17

July 17

1453 – France defeats England at Castillon, France, ending the Hundred Years’ War

1674 – English minister and hymn writer Isaac Watts is born

1762 – Peter III of Russia is murdered and his wife, Catherine II, takes the throne

1763 – American fur trader John Jacob Astor is born

1785 – France limits the importation of goods from Britain

1790 – Scottish philosopher and economist Adam Smith, dies

1791 – National Guard troops open fire on a crowd of demonstrators in Paris

1799 – Ottoman forces, supported by the British, capture Aboukir, Egypt from the French

1801 – The US fleet arrives in Tripoli

1815 – Napoleon Bonaparte surrenders to the British at Rochefort, France

1821 – Andrew Jackson becomes the governor of Florida

1864 – Confederate President Jefferson Davis replaces General Joseph Johnston with General John Bell Hood in hopes of defeating Union General William Sherman outside Atlanta

1870 – “Wild Bill” Hickok shoots two soldiers in self-defense, killing one

1888 – Israeli writer SY Agnon is born

1889 – Writer and creator of Perry Mason, Erle Stanley Gardner is born

1894 – Belgian astronomer Georges Lemaitre is born

1898 – Photographer Bernice Abbott is born

1898 – US troops take Santiago de Cuba during the Spanish-American War

1899 – American actor James Cagney is born

1902 – Novelist and screenwriter Christina Stead is born

1912 – Radio and television personality Art Linkletter is born

1912 – French mathematician, physicist, engineer Henri Poincare dies

1917 – A three-day stretch of fighting in the streets peaks in Petrograd, Russia, after the provisional government falls temporarily

1920 – Nils Bohlin, engineer and inventor of the three-point seatbelt, is born

1922 – English poet and literary critic Donald Davie is born

1923 – Writer James Purdy is born

1925 – Hungarian poet Laszlo Nagy is born

1935 – Composer Peter Schickele is born

1938 – Douglas “Wrong Way” Corrigan leaves Floyd Bennett field in Brooklyn, New York on a flight back to the West Coast and winds up in Dublin, Ireland

1939 – 2nd Supreme Leader of Iran, Iranian politician, Ali Khamenei is born

1941 – New York Yankees center fielder Joe DiMaggio fails to get a hit against the Cleveland Indians, which brings his historic 56-game hitting streak to an end

1944 – Field Marshall Erwin Rommel is wounded when an Allied fighter strafes his staff car in France

1944 – An ammunition ship explodes in Port Chicago, California, killing 332

1945 – The Potsdam Conference begins between the US, Soviet Union and Great Britain

1946 – Chinese communists attack the Nationalist army on the Yangtze River

1947 – Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, is born

1952 – Actor and singer David Hasselhoff is born

1954 – Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, is born

1955 – Disneyland opens in Anaheim, California

1959 – American singer, songwriter and actress Billie Holliday dies

1960 – American pilot Francis Gary Powers pleads guilty to spying charges in a Moscow court

1966 – Ho Chi Minh orders a partial mobilization of North Vietnam to defend against American airstrikes

1967 – American composer and saxophonist John Coltrane dies

1967 – Jimi Hendrix drops out of touring with the Monkees, a publicity stunt dreamed up by his manager.  Hendrix didn’t like the Monkees’ music and the Monkees’ fans didn’t much appreciate Hendrix

1972 – South Vietnamese paratroopers fight their way to within 200 yards of the Citadel in Quang Tri City

1975 – The US spacecraft Apollo 18 and the Soviet spacecraft Soyuz 19 dock in space and the two commanders shake hands and exchange gifts

1987 – Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North and Rear Admiral John Poindexter begin testifying to Congress regarding the Iran-Contra scandal

1996 – TWA Flight 800 explodes over the Atlantic Ocean, killing all 230 aboard.  While the investigation pointed to mechanical failure, conspiracists charged that a rogue missile strike by the US Navy, training nearby, had caused the explosion

2009 – American journalist Walter Cronkite dies

2011 – Casey Anthony is released from jail, 12 days after being acquitted on charges she killed her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee


Written by Crystal McCann

Crystal is the Chief Operating Officer of Lanterns Media Network and the owner of Madisons Media. She lives in Texas with her husband and dogs and is the proud mother of two adult children.


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