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On July 17th...

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855 Pope Leo IV died.

924 King Edward the Elder of England died.

1025 Boleslaw I Chobry, Duke of Poland, died.

1203 Crusaders aboard a Venetian fleet laid siege to Constantinople.

1453 A French army defeated an English army at Castillon.

1549 Jews were expelled from Ghent, Belgium.

Walter Raleigh1603 Sir Walter Raleigh was arrested by forces of King James.

1674 Isaac Watts, hymn writer and preacher, was born.

1740 Prospero Lambertini was elected Pope Benedictus XIV.

Elbridge Gerry1744 American statesman Elbridge Gerry was born.

Timothy Pickering1745 Timothy Pickering, U. S. Secretary of State and Secretary of War, was born.

1762 Catherine II became Tsarina of Russia.

John Jacob Astor1763 Businessman John Jacob Astor was born.

1790 Economist Adam Smith died.

1791 Members of the French National Guard opened fire on radical Jacobins at Champ de Mars, killing about 50 people.

1794 Industrialist John Roebuck died.

1816 The L'Argus accidentally discovered a raft carrying survivors of the wrecked French frigate Méduse.

Florida1821 Spain formally transferred Florida to the United States.

1841 The first issue of the British satirical magazine Punch was published.

Charles Grey1845 Charles Grey, Prime Minister of Great Britain and Ireland, died.

1850 Harvard University took the first photograph of a star (Vega).

1856 A train crash between Camp Hill and Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, killed more than 60 people.

1861 The U. S. Congress authorized the issuance of paper money.

1863 Maori forces were defeated by British troops at Koheroa, Waikato, New Zealand.

1867 The first dental college in the United States was established at Harvard.

1879 The first railroad in Hawaii began service.

1881 Explorer Jim Bridger died.

1882 William Renshaw won the men's singles championship at Wimbledon.

1885 William Renshaw won the men's singles championship at Wimbledon.

1886 William Renshaw won the men's singles championship at Wimbledon.

Dorothea Lynde Dix1887 Dorothea Lynde Dix, the first female lobbyist of more than local significance in the United States, died.

1889 Author Erle Stanley Gardner was born.

1890 Cecil Rhodes became Premier of Cape Colony.

1898 Santiago, Cuba, surrendered to American forces.

1899 Actor James Cagney was born.

James Abbott McNeil Whistler1903 Painter James Abbott McNeil Whistler died.

Art Linkletter1912 Television personality Art Linkletter was born.

1914 Giants outfielder Red Murray was knocked unconscious by lightning after catching a fly ball to end a 21-inning game.

George V1917 King George V changed the name of the British Royal Family from Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to Windsor.
Phyllis Diller1917 Comedian Phyllis Diller was born.

Czar Nicholas II1918 Czar Nicholas II and his family were killed by Bolshevik revolutionaries.
1918 Country singer Red Sovine was born.

1927 Nicolas Frantz won the Tour de France.

1928 Mexican President Alvaro Obregon was assassinated.
1928 Giovanni Giolitti, five-time Prime Minister of Italy, died.

1929 Ace Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation was formed.

1935 Singer Diahann Carroll was born.
1935 Actor Donald Sutherland was born.

1936 The Spanish Civil War began.

Douglas Corrigan1938 Douglas Corrigan took off from New York City, New York, on what was supposed to be a flight to California.

1939 Henry Picard won the PGA Championship.

1941 Joe DiMaggio's hitting streak of 56 consecutive games came to an end.

1944 Two ammunition ships exploded at Port Chicago, California, killing 322 persons.
1944 Soviet troops crossed Bug River and marched into Poland.

1945 The Potsdam Conference began.

1947 Camilla Parker Bowles, wife of Prince Charles of the United Kingdom, was born.

1948 The constitution of the Republic of (South) Korea was proclaimed.

Leopold III1951 King Leopold III of Belgium abdicated in favor of his son, Baudouin.

1952 Singer Nicolette Larson was born.
1952 Jazz singer Phoebe Snow was born.

1955 Disneyland opened to the public.
1955 Arco, Idaho, became the first U. S. city to be lit by nuclear power.
1955 Beverly Hanson won the first LPGA Championship.

1958 British paratroopers landed in Jordan to honor a request made by King Hussein.
1958 Aviator Henri Farman died.

1959 Mary Leakey discovered the partial skull of a new species of early human ancestor, Zinjanthropus boisei.
1959 Manuel Urrutia Lleo resigned as President of Cuba.
1959 Singer Billie Holliday died.

1960 Gastone Nencini won the Tour de France.

1961 Baseball player Ty Cobb died.

1964 A new land speed record of 403.1 mph was set by Donald Campbell in a jet-propelled automobile at Lake Eyrie Salt Flats, Australia.

Jim Ryun1966 Jim Ryun set a new world record of 3:51.3 for the mile.

1967 A United Nations peace-keeping force took up positions in the Suez Canal area.
1967 Saxophonist John Coltrane died.

1968 Iraqi President Abdul Rahman Arif was ousted by the military.
The Beatles' film Yellow Submarine premiered in London.

1972 The first two women began training as FBI agents at Quantico, Virginia.

King Mohammed Zahir Shah1973 King Mohammed Zahir Shah of Afghanistan was deposed by a coup.

1974 Baseball player Jay Hanna "Dizzy" Dean died.

1975 Apollo 18 and Soyuz 19 made the first ever United States/Soviet Union link-up in space.

1976 The 21st Olympic Games opened in Montreal, Canada.

1978 New York Yankee manager Billy Martin and Reggie Jackson fought in the dugout after Jackson refused to bunt.

1981 Two walkways above the lobby of the Hyatt Regency in Kansas City, Missouri, collapsed, killing 114 persons and injuring more than 200 others.

1983 Tom Watson won the British Open.

1984 Pierre Mauroy resigned as Premier of France.
1984 The U. S. Congress passed the National Minimum Drinking Age Act, requiring states to raise the drinking age to 21 in order to receive federal highway funds.

1987 Flooding on the Guadalupe River at Comfort, Texas, killed 10 teenagers.

1988 Steve Ballesteros won the British Open.

1990 The Minnesota Twins became the first team to turn two triple plays in a game and still lose, to the Boston Red Sox, 1-0.

1992 The Slovak Parliament declared independence from Czechsolovakia.

1994 Nice Price won the British Open.
1994 Brazil defeated Italy for the FIFA World Cup.

1996 TWA Flight 800 exploded and crashed into the Atlantic near East Moriches, New York, killing all 230 persons aboard.

2005 Tiger Woods won the British Open.
2005 Edward Heath, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, died.

2006 Mystery writer Mickey Spillane died.

2007 TAM Flight 3054 crashed while landing in São Paulo, Brazil, during a rain storm, killing an estimated 199 people.

2009 Bombs at the JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels in Jakarta, Indonesia killed 9 persons.
Walter Cronkite2009 Newscaster Walter Cronkite died.

2011 Darren Clarke won the British Open.
2011 Japan defeated the United States for the FIFA Women's World Cup.

2013 Flash floods killed 58 persons in Sichuan Province, China.

2014 Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down over the Eastern Ukraine by a surface-to-air missile, killing all 298 persons aboard.

2015 A suicide bomber killed 120 persons in Khan Bani Saad, Iraq.
2015 Race car driver Jules Bianchi died of injuries suffered during an accident at the Japanese Grand Prix in 2014.

2016 Henrik Stenson won the British Open.

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This page was last updated on July 16, 2018.