This Day in History - November 17

November 17

375 – The Emperor of the West, Valentinian, dies of apoplexy in Pannonia in Central Europe after becoming enraged by the insolence of barbarian envoys

1421 – A storm in the North Sea creates flooding that kills near 10,000 people in what is now the Netherlands

1558 – Mary I of England dies

1558 – Queen Elizabeth takes the throne in England

1558 – The Church of England is re-established

1636 – Henrique Dias, the Brazilian general, wins a battle against the Dutch in Brazil

1755 – Louis XVIII, King of France, is born

1768 – Prime Minister of the UK, Thomas Pelham-Holles, 1st Duke of Newcastle, dies

1777 – Congress submits the Articles of Confederation to the states for ratification

1796 – The Italian army is defeated near the Alpine River in Italy by Napoleon Bonaparte

1796 – Russian wife of Peter III, Catherine the Great, dies

1800 – The 2nd session of the Sixth Congress convenes for the first time in Washington, D.C.

1839 -Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi’s first opera, Oberto, Conte di San Bonifacio, debuts in Milan

1842 – After imprisoning one of the first fugitive slaves to be caught in Massachusetts, a mulatto named George Latimer, an abolitionist meeting is held in Marlboro Chapel, Boston

1856 – The US establishes Fort Buchanan in present-day southern Arizona

1862 – Union General Ambrose Burnside heads north from Washington, D.C. to begin the Fredericksburg campaign

1863 – Confederate General James Longstreet puts Knoxville, Tennessee, under siege. After a failed attack, he abandoned the siege and rejoined General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia

1869 – The Suez Canal is opened

1877 – Russia launches a surprise attack at night that overruns the Turks at Kars, Armenia

1885 – The Serbian Army, along with Russian support, invades Bulgaria

1887 – British field marshal who defeated Rommel in North Africa and led Allied troops from D-Day to the end of World War II, Bernard Law Montgomery is born

1902 – Hungarian physicist Eugene Paul Wigner is born

1903 – Vladimir Lenin’s attempts to impose his own radical views on the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party splits the party into two factions- the Bolsheviks, who back Lenin and the Mensheviks

1913 – The first ship sails through the Panama Canal

1914 – The Germans make a final attempt to advance against Allied positions in the Ypres Salient in Belgium

1916 – American writer, Shelby Foote is born

1917 – French sculptor, Auguste Rodin dies

1918 – Influenza deaths that are reported in the US have exceeded World War I casualties substantially

1918 – German troops leave Brussels

1925 – Actor, Rock Hudson is born

1931 – Charles Lindbergh inaugurates Pam Am service from Cuba to South America in the Sikorsky flying boat American Clipper

1938 – Canadian singer, songwriter, and musician, Gordon Lightfoot is born

1941 – German Luftwaffe general and World War I fighter ace Ernst Udet commits suicide but the Nazi’s tell the people that he died in a flying accident

1942 – Film director, Martin Scorsese is born

1944 – Singer/ songwriter, Gene Clark is born

1944 – Actor, director, and producer, Danny DeVito is born

1944 – Israeli-American TV producer who created Saturday Night Live, Lorne Michaels is born

1949 – Prime Minister of Vietnam since 2006, Nguyen Tan Dung is born

1951 – Britain reports the development of the world’s first nuclear-powered heating system

1964 – 1st President of the European Commission, Walter Hallstein is born

1965 – The NVA ambushes American troops of the 7th Cavalry at Landing Zone Albany in the la Drang Valley

1967 – The American Surveyor 6 makes a six-second flight on the moon, the first lift-off on the moon

1968 – The Oakland Raiders score two touchdowns in nine seconds to beat the New York Jets but with just 65 seconds left to play, NBC switched off the game in favor of its previously scheduled programming, a made-for-TV version of the children’s story Heidi. Viewers took action, complaining to network execs in such numbers that it resulted in one saying, “Whatever you do, you better not leave an NFL football game”

1969 – Soviet and U.S. negotiators meet in Helsinki to begin the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks aka SALT Talks

1970 – The Soviet Luna 17 touches down on the moon

1970 – The court-martial of 1st Lt. William Calley begins, for the massacre of Vietnamese citizens at My Lai

1972 – Wealthy socialite Barbara Baekeland is stabbed to death with a kitchen knife by her 25-year-old son, Antony, in her London, England, penthouse. Antony ordered Chinese take-out calmly, as police arrived on the scene. Antony had shown signs of being schizophrenic, but his father thought psychology to be “professionally amoral” and refused to pay for treatment. Antony was institutionalized at Broadmoor until a bureaucratic mistake led to his release in July 1980. He then moved to New York City, to live with his grandmother until he beat and stabbed her in 1980; luckily, she survived. Antony was then sent to Riker’s Island, where he suffocated himself to death in 1981

1973 – During the Watergate scandal that eventually ended his presidency, President Richard Nixon tells a group of newspaper editors at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, that he is “not a crook”

1978 – Canadian actress, Rachel McAdams is born

1980 – WHHM Television in Washington, D.C. becomes the first black public broadcasting television station

1986 – Leftists of the Direct Action Group in Paris shoot and kill Renault President Georges Besse

1989 – Student demonstration in Prague stopped by riot police, lead to an uprising called the Velvet Revolution that will topple the communist government in December

1993 – A resolution is passed by the US House of Representatives to establish the North American Free Trade Agreement

1993 – Annie Proulx wins the National Book Award for her novel The Shipping News

1993 – General Sani Abacha leads a military coup in Nigeria that overthrows the government of Ernest Shonekan

1998 – DaimlerChrysler began trading its shares on the New York Stock Exchange

2000 – The controversial President of Peru, Alberto Fujimori, is removed from office

2003 – John Muhammad, an ex-soldier, is found guilty of one of a series of sniper shootings known as the Beltway Sniper Attacks, that threatened the Washington, D.C., area. Muhammad and his 17-year-old accomplice, Lee Boyd Malvo, killed 10 people and wounded three others during a three-week killing spree. A jury convicted Muhammad of the 2002 shooting of Dean Meyers while he pumped gas at a Sunoco station in Manassas, Virginia and sentenced him to death

2003 – Actor and former bodybuilder, Arnold Schwarzenegger is sworn in as the 38th governor of California

2012 – Indian politician, Bal Thackeray dies


Written by Crystal McCann

Crystal is the Chief Operating Officer of Lanterns Media Network and the owner of Madisons Media. She lives in Texas with her husband and dogs and is the proud mother of two adult children.

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