January 17 in history

1287– King Alfonso III of Aragon invaded Minorca

1377 Pope Gregory XI moved the Papacy back to Rome from Avignon.

1524 Beginning of Giovanni da Verrazzano‘s voyage to find a passage to China.

1608 Emperor Susenyos of Ethiopia surprised an Oromo army at Ebenat; his army reportedly killed 12,000 Oromo at the cost of 400 men.

1648 England’s Long Parliament passed the Vote of No Addresses, breaking off negotiations with King Charles I and thereby setting the scene for the second phase of the English Civil War.

1773 Captain James Cook and his crew became the first Europeans to sail below the Antarctic Circle.

1820  Anne Brontë, British author, was born  (d. 1849).

1852 The United Kingdom recognised the independence of the Boer colonies of the Transvaal.

1853 The New Zealand Constitution Act (UK) of 1852, which established a system of representative government for New Zealand, was declared operative by Governor Sir George Grey.

1863  David Lloyd George, British Prime Minister, was born  (d. 1945).

1865 Charles Fergusson, Governor-General of New Zealand, was born (d. 1951).

1877  May Gibbs, Australian children’s author, was born.

1899 Al Capone, American gangster, was born  (d. 1947) .

1899 Nevil Shute, English author, was born (d. 1960).

1904 Anton Chekhov‘s The Cherry Orchard received its premiere performance at the Moscow Art Theatre.

1905  Peggy Gilbert, American jazz saxophonist and bandleader, was born (d. 2007).

1912 Sir Robert Falcon Scott (Scott of the Antarctic) reached the South Pole, one month after Roald Amundsen.

1917 The United States paid Denmark $25 million for the Virgin Islands.

1927 – Norman Kaye, Australian actor and musician, was born (d. 2007)

1928 Vidal Sassoon, English cosmetologist, was born (d. 2012). 

1929 Popeye the Sailor Man, a cartoon character created by Elzie Crisler Segar, first appeared in the Thimble Theatre comic strip.

1933  Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan, French-born Pakistani diplomat (UN High Commissioner for Refugees), was born (d. 2003)

1933  Shari Lewis, American ventriloquist, was born(d. 1998).

1941 Dame Gillian Weir, New Zealand organist, was born.

1942 Muhammad Ali, American boxer, was born.

1942 Ita Buttrose, Australian journalist and businesswoman, was born.

1945  Soviet forces capture the almost completely destroyed Polish city of Warsaw.

1945 – The Nazis began the evacuation of the Auschwitz concentration camp as Soviet forces closed in.

1946 The UN Security Council held its first session.

1949 Mick Taylor, British musician (The Rolling Stones), was born.

1949 The Goldbergs, the first sitcom on American television, first aired.

1950 The Great Brinks Robbery – 11 thieves stolel more than $2 million from an armored car Company’s offices in Boston, Massachusetts.

1956 Paul Young, English musician, was born.

1961 President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivered a televised farewell address to the nation three days before leaving office, in which he warned against the accumulation of power by the “military-industrial complex“.

1962 Jim Carrey, Canadian actor and comedian, was born.

1964  Michelle Obama, First Lady of the United States, was born.

1966 A B-52 bomber collided with a KC-135 Stratotanker over Spain, dropping three 70-kiloton nuclear bombs near the town of Palomares and another one into the sea in the Palomares incident.

1973 Ferdinand Marcos became “President for Life” of the Philippines.

1982 “Cold Sunday” in the United States  – temperatures fell to their lowest levels in over 100 years in numerous cities.

1983 The tallest department store in the world, Hudson’s, flagship store in downtown Detroit closed due to high cost of operating.

1989 Stockton massacre: Patrick Purdy opened fire with an assault rifle at the Cleveland Elementary School playground, killing five children and wounding 29 others and one teacher before taking his own life.

1991  Gulf War: Operation Desert Storm began early in the morning.

1991 – Harald V became King of Norway on the death of his father, Olav V.

1995 The Great Hanshin earthquake: A magnitude 7.3 earthquake near Kobe, Japan, caused extensive property damage and killed 6,434 people.

2002 –  Mount Nyiragongo erupted in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, displacing an estimated 400,000 people.

2007 The Doomsday Clock was set to five minutes to midnight in response to North Korea nuclear testing.

2008 – British Airways Flight 38 crash landed just short of London Heathrow Airport with no fatalities.

2010 – Rioting began between Muslim and Christian groups in Jos, Nigeria, resulting in at least 200 deaths.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

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