September 17 in history

On September 16:

1111 Highest Galician nobility led by Pedro Fróilaz de Traba and the bishop Diego Gelmírez crowned Alfonso VII as “King of Galicia“.

1176  The Battle of Myriokephalon.


1462  The Battle of Świecino (also known as the Battle of Żarnowiec) during Thirteen Years’ War.

1577  The Peace of Bergerac was signed between Henry III of France and the Huguenots.

1631  Sweden won a major victory at the Battle of Breitenfeld against the Holy Roman Empire during the Thirty Years War.


1683  Antonie van Leeuwenhoek wrote to the Royal Society describing “animalcules“: the first known description of protozoa.


1778  The Treaty of Fort Pitt was signed, the first formal treaty between the United States and a Native American tribe (the Lenape or Delaware Indians).

1787 The United States Constitution was signed in Philadelphia.

1809  Peace between Sweden and Russia in the Finnish War, the territory which became Finland was ceded to Russia by the Treaty of Fredrikshamn.

1859 Joshua A. Norton declared himself “Emperor Norton I” of the United States.

1862 American Civil War: George B. McClellan halted the northward drive of Robert E. Lee’s Confederate army in the single-day Battle of Antietam, the bloodiest day in American history.

Battle of Antietam by Thulstrup.jpg

1862  American Civil War: The Allegheny Arsenal explosion resulted in the single largest civilian disaster during the war.

1883 William Carlos Williams, American writer, was born (d. 1963).


1894  The Battle of Yalu River, the largest naval engagement of the First Sino-Japanese War.

Battle of the Yellow Sea by Korechika.jpg

1900  Philippine-American War: Filipinos under Juan Cailles defeated Americans under Colonel Benjamin F. Cheatham at Mabitac.

1908  The Wright Flyer flown by Orville Wright, with Lieutenant Thomas Selfridge as passenger, crashed killing Selfridge who became the first airoplane fatality.


1914  Andrew Fisher becamePrime Minister of Australia for the third time.


1916 Mary Stewart, English novelist, was born.

MaryStewart TheHollowHills.jpg

1916   World War I: Manfred von Richthofen (“The Red Baron”), a flying ace of the German Luftstreitkräfte, won his first aerial combat near Cambrai, France.


1923 Hank Williams, American musician, was born (d. 1953).

1924  The Border Defence Corps was established in the Second Polish Republic for the defence of the eastern border against armed Soviet raids and local bandits.

1928  The Okeechobee Hurricane struck southeastern Florida, killing upwards of 2,500 people.


1929 Sir Stirling Moss, English race car driver. ws born.


1931 Anne Bancroft, American actress, was born (d. 2005).

Black-and-white studio publicity headshot of Bancroft (late 1960s).

1939  World War II: A German U-boat U 29 sank the British aircraft carrier HMS Courageous.


1939  Taisto Mäki became the first man to run the 10,000 metres in under 30 minutes, in a time of 29:52.6.

1941 New Zealand abolished the death penalty for murder.

Death penalty abolished...for the time being

1941  World War II: A decree of the Soviet State Committee of Defense, restoring Vsevobuch in the face of the Great Patriotic War, was issued

1944  World War II: Allied Airborne troops parachuted into the Netherlands as the “Market” half of Operation Market Garden.

Waves of paratroops land in Holland.jpg

1945 Bruce Spence, New Zealand actor, was born.


1948  The Lehi (also known as the Stern gang) assassinated Count Folke Bernadotte, who was appointed by the UN to mediate between the Arab nations and Israel.

1949 The Canadian steamship SS Noronic burned in Toronto Harbour with the loss of over 118 lives.


1956 Television was first broadcast in Australia.

1976 The first Space Shuttle, Enterprise, was unveiled by NASA.

Space Shuttle Enterprise

1978  The Camp David Accords were signed by Israel and Egypt.

1980  After weeks of strikes at the Lenin Shipyard in Gdańsk, Poland, the nationwide independent trade union Solidarity was established.


1980 Former Nicaraguan President Anastasio Somoza Debayle was killed.

1983 Vanessa Williams became the first black Miss America.

1991 – The first version of the Linux kernel (0.01) was released to the Internet.

1992 An Iranian Kurdish leader and his two joiners were assassinated by political militants in Berlin.


1993 Last Russian troops left Poland.

2001  The New York Stock Exchange reopened for trading after the September 11 Attacks, the longest closure since the Great Depression.


2004 Tamil was declared the first classical language in India.


2006  Fourpeaked Mountain in Alaska erupted, marking the first eruption for the long-dormant volcano in at least 10,000 years.


2007  AOL, once the largest ISP in the U.S., officially announced plans to refocus the company as an advertising business and to relocate its corporate headquarters from Dulles, Virginia to New York.

AOL logo.svg

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

One Response to September 17 in history

  1. poneke says:

    1941 New Zealand abolished the death penalty for murder.

    Actually, executions in New Zealand stopped in 1935 when Labour won power. The party was opposed to capital punishment. It commuted all death sentences until the law itself was repealed in 1941.

    The National opposition campaigned in 1949 on a platform of reinstating hanging. When they won that election, they kept their promise and hanged people up to the time they lost power in 1957.

    Labour then stopped hanging.

    In 1961, after National won power again, it brought in a new Crimes Act to reinstate hanging.

    A small group of National MPs led by Rob Muldoon crossed the floor of the House to vote with Labour against a return to hanging.

    Muldoon said that whether someone lived or died should not depend which party was in power.

    He was a lifelong opponent of capital punishment and said a number of times that Arthur Thomas would have been executed had hanging still been the law.

    At the 1987, the National Opposition, trying to ride Laura Norda’s wagon, promised a referendum on bringing back capital punishment. The party was soundly defeated, losing three more seats to Labour. I do not say this was cause and effect as the election was about Rogernomics, which many National voters liked, but National has not mentioned the “h” word since.


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