On July 17
180 Twelve inhabitants of Scillium in North Africa were executed for being Christians. This was the earliest record of Christianity in that part of the world.
1203 The Fourth Crusade captured Constantinople by assault. The Byzantine emperor Alexius III Angelus fled into exile.
1402 Zhu Di, better known by his era name as the Yongle Emperor, assumed the throne over the Ming Dynasty of China.
1453 Hundred Years’ War: Battle of Castillon: The French under Jean Bureau defeated the English under the Earl of Shrewsbury, who was killed in the battle in Gascony.
1586 A meeting took place at Lüneburg between several Protestant powers to discuss the formation of an ‘evangelical’ league of defence, called the ‘Confederatio Militiae Evangelicae’, against the Catholic League.
1674 Isaac Watts, English hymnwriter, was born (d. 1748).
1717 King George I sailed down the River Thames with a barge of 50 musicians, where George Frideric Handel’s Water Music was premiered.
1762 Catherine II became tsar of Russia on the murder of Peter III.
1771 Bloody Falls Massacre: Chipewyan chief Matonabbee, travelling as the guide to Samuel Hearne on his Arctic overland journey, massacred a group of unsuspecting Inuit.
1791 Members of the French National Guard under the command of General Lafayette opened fire on a crowd of radical Jacobins at the Champ de Mars, Paris, during the French Revolution, killing as many as 50 people.
1794 The sixteen Carmelite Martyrs of Compiegne were executed 10 days prior to the end of the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror.
1815 Napoleonic Wars: In France, Napoleon surrenders at Rochefort, Charente-Maritime to British forces.
1856 The Great Train Wreck of 1856 in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania killed over 60 people.
1863 The British invasion force led by General Duncan Cameron had its first significant encounter with Waikato Maori at Koheroa, near Mercer.
1867 Harvard School of Dental Medicine, the first dental school in the US, was established in Boston.
1870 Charles Davidson Dunbar, British military piper, was born (d. 1939).
1889 Erle Stanley Gardner, American lawyer and author (Perry Mason), was born (d. 1970).
1899 James Cagney, American actor, was born (d. 1986).
1899 NEC Corporation was organised as the first Japanese joint venture with foreign capital.
1902 Christina Stead, Australian novelist, was born (d. 1983).
1912 Art Linkletter, Canadian television host, was born (d. 2010).
1917 Phyllis Diller, American comedienne, was born.
1917 King George V of the United Kingdom issues a Proclamation stating that the male line descendants of the British royal family will bear the surname Windsor.
“A Good Riddance”. Propaganda cartoon from Punch, Vol. 152, 27 June 1917, commenting on the King having ordered the relinquishing of the German titles held by members of His Majesty’s family.
1918 The RMS Carpathia, the ship that rescued the 705 survivors from the RMS Titanic, was sunk off Ireland by the German SM U-55; 5 lives were lost.
1920 Juan Antonio Samaranch, Spanish chairman of the International Olympic Committee, was born (d. 2010).
1920 Gordon Gould, inventor of the laser , was born (d. 2005).
1933 After successfully crossing the Atlantic Ocean, the Lithuanian research aircraft Lituanica crashed in Europe.
1935 Donald Sutherland, Canadian actor, was born.
1936 Spanish Civil War: An Armed Forces rebellion against the recently-elected leftist Popular Front government of Spain started the civil war.
1938 Douglas Corrigan took off from Brooklyn to fly the “wrong way” to Ireland and becames known as “Wrong Way” Corrigan.
1939 Paddy, a ginger and brown Airedale terrier, which achieved national celebrity status due to his exploits on the Wellington waterfront (and beyond)., died.
1939 Spencer Davis, British singer and guitarist (Spencer Davis Group), was born.
1940 Tim Brooke-Taylor, English comedian, was born.
1942 World War II: The Battle of Stalingrad started.
1944 Port Chicago disaster: Two ships laden with ammunition for the war exploded in Port Chicago, California, killing 320.
1944 World War II: Napalm incendiary bombs were dropped for the first time by American P-38 pilots on a fuel depot at Coutances, near St. Lô, France.
1945 World War II: Potsdam Conference – U.S. President Harry Truman, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, the three main Allied leaders, began their final summit of the war.
1947 Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, was born.
1948 The South Korean constitution was proclaimed.
1954 Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, was born.
1955 Disneyland televised its grand opening in Anaheim, California.
1962 Nuclear weapons testing: The “Small Boy” test shot Little Feller I becomes the last atmospheric test detonation at the Nevada Test Site.
1968 Abdul Rahman Arif was overthrown and the Ba’ath Party installed as the governing power in Iraq with Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr as the new Iraqi President.
1973 King Mohammed Zahir Shah of Afghanistan was deposed by his cousin Mohammed Daoud Khan while in Italy undergoing eye surgery.
1975 Andre Adams, New Zealand Cricketer, was born.
1975 Apollo-Soyuz Test Project: An American Apollo and a Soviet Soyuz spacecraft dock edwith each other in orbit marking the first such link-up between spacecraft from the two nations.
1976 East Timor was annexed, and becomes the 27th province of Indonesia.
1976 The opening of the Summer Olympics in Montreal was marred by 25 African teams boycotting the New Zealand team.
1979 Nicaraguan president General Anastasio Somoza Debayle resigned and fled to Miami.
1981 The opening of the Humber Bridge.
1981 Structural failure led to the collapse of a walkway at the Hyatt Regency in Kansas City, Missouri killing 114 people and injuring more than 200.
1989 First flight of the B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber.
1996 TWA Flight 800: Off the coast of Long Island, New York, a Paris-bound TWA Boeing 747 exploded, killing all 230 on board.
1997 The F.W. Woolworth Company closed after 117 years in business.
1998 Papua New Guinea earthquake: A tsunami triggered by an undersea earthquake destroyed 10 villages in Papua New Guinea killing an estimated 3,183, leaving 2,000 more unaccounted for and thousands more homeless.
1998 A diplomatic conference adopted the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, establishing a permanent international court to prosecute individuals for genocide, crime against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression.
1999 The animated television show Spongebob Squarepants made its official series premiere on Nickelodeon.
2002 Apple Inc. premiered iCal at Macworld Expo, this date appears default on Dock.
2007 TAM Airlines (TAM Linhas Aéreas) Flight 3054 crashed on landing during rain in São Paulo with an estimated 199 deaths.
2007 – Trans-Neptunian Object 2007 OR10 is discovered.
2009 Jakarta double bombings at the JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton Hotels killed 9 people including 4 foreigners.
Sourced from NZ History Online & WIkipedia