On October 17:
539 BC – King Cyrus The Great of Persia marched into Babylon, releasing the Jews from almost 70 years of exile and making the first Human Rights Declaration.
1091 T8/F4 tornado struck the heart of London.
1346 Battle of Neville’s Cross: King David II of Scotland was captured by Edward III of England near Durham.
1448 Second Battle of Kosovo: the mainly Hungarian army led by John Hunyadi was defeated by an Ottoman army led by Sultan Murad II.
1456 The University of Greifswald was established, making it the second oldest university in northern Europe.
1604 Kepler’s Star: German astronomer Johannes Kepler observed a supernova in the constellation Ophiuchus.
1610 Louis XIII was crowned in Rheims.
1660 Nine Regicides, the men who signed the death warrant of Charles I, were hung, drawn and quartered.
1662 Charles II of England sold Dunkirk to France for 40,000 pounds.
1771 Premiere in Milan of the opera Ascanio in Alba, composed by Wolfgang Mozart, age 15.
1777 American troops defeated the British in the Battle of Saratoga.
1781 General Charles Cornwallis surrendered to the American revolutionists at Yorktown, Virginia.
1797 Treaty of Campo Formio signed between France and Austria.
1800 England took control of the Dutch colony of Curaçao.
1806 Former leader of the Haitian Revolution, Emperr Jacques I was assassinated.
1814 London Beer Flood killed nine.
1860 First The Open Championship for golf.
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 begins the first commercial transatlantic wireless service between Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, and Clifden, Ireland.
1912 Bulgaria, Greece and Serbia declared war on the Ottoman Empire, joining Montenegro in the First Balkan War.
1915 Arthur Miller, American playwright, was born (d. 2005).
1918 Rita Hayworth, American actress, was born (d. 1987).
1930 Robert Atkins, American nutritionist, was born (d. 2003).
1931 Al Capone convicted of income tax evasion.
1933 Albert Einstein, fled Nazi Germany and moved to the U.S.A.
1941 Jim Seals American singer (Seals and Crofts), was born.
1941 – German troops executed the male population of the villages Kerdyllia in Serres, Greece and burned the houses down.
1942 Gary Puckett, American musician, was born.
1943 Burma Railway (Burma-Thailand Railway) was completed.
1945 A large crowd headed by CGT (trade union) and Evita, gathered in the Plaza de Mayo to demand Juan Peron’s release. Known to the Peronists as the Día de la lealtad (Loyalty Day), it is considered the founding day of Peronism.
1956 The first commercial nuclear power station was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth in Sellafield, Cumbria.
1961 Scores of Algerian protesters were massacred by the Paris police at the instigation of Nazi collaborator Maurice Papon, then chief of the Prefecture of Police.
1964 Prime Minister of Australia Robert Menzies opened the artificial Lake Burley Griffin in the middle of Canberra.
1965 The 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair closed after a two year run.
1966 A fire at a building in New York, killed 12 firefighters
1969 Ernie Els, South African golfer, was born.
1970 Quebec Vice-Premier and Minister of Labour Pierre Laporte was murdered by members of the FLQ terrorist group.
1973 OPEC started an oil embargo against a number of western countries, considered to have helped Israel in its war against Syria.
1977 German Autumn: Four days after it was hijacked, Lufthansa Flight 181 landed in Mogadishu.
1979 Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
1987 First commemoration of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.
1989 Loma Prieta earthquake (7.1 on the Richter scale) hit the San Francisco Bay Area, causesd57 deaths directly and 6 indirectly.
1998 At Jesse, in the Niger Delta, a petroleum pipeline exploded killing about 1200 villagers, some of whom are scavenging gasoline.
2000 Train crash at Hatfield, north of London, led to collapse of Railtrack.
2003 The pinnacle was fitted on the roof of Taipei 101, a 101-floor skyscraper which became the World’s tallest highrise.
2006 The United States population reached 300 million.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia