On October 17:
539 BC King Cyrus The Great of Persia marched into the city of Babylon, releasing the Jews from almost 70 years of exile and made the first Human Rights Declaration
1662 Charles II of England sold Dunkirk to France for 40,000 pounds.
1814 The London Beer Flood killed nine people.
1877 Chief Justice Sir James Prendergast declared the Treaty of Waitangi “worthless” and a “simple nullity”.
1888 Thomas Edison filed a patent for the Optical Phonograph (the first movie).
1907 – Guglielmo Marconi‘s company began the first commercial transatlantic wireless service between Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, Canada and Clifden, Ireland.
1915 US playwright – Arthur Miller was born.
1918 US actress Rita Hayworth was born.
1930 US nutritionist Robert Atkins was born.
1942 US musician Gary Puckett was born.
1969 Ernie Els, South African golfer, was born.
1979 – Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
2007 The Dalai Lama received the United States Congressional Gold Medal.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.
The Battle of Dunkirk ended on June 3, 1940.
The following day Winston Churchill delivered his fight on the beaches speech:
We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.
Tens of thousands of soldiers were evacuated from from Dunkirk by civilian boats. The desperation of the situation and bravery of the soldiers and their rescuers was depicted in Paul Gallico’s novel, The Snow Goose.