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On June 17th...

Independence Day (Iceland)

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1397 The Union of Kalmar was established between Denmark, Sweden, and Norway.

1497 Forces under King Henry VII of England defeated Cornish rebels led by Michael An Gof at Deptford Bridge.

1501 King Jan I Olbracht of Poland died.

1565 Matsunaga Hisahide assassinated Shogun Ashikaga Yoshiteru.

Francis Drake1579 Francis Drake landed on the coast of California.

1631 Mumtaz Mahal, wife of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan I, died during childbirth.

Marquette-Joliet Expedition1673 Father Jacques Marquette and fur trader Louis Joliet reached the junction of the Wisconsin and Mississippi rivers.

1682 King Charles XII of Sweden was born.

1696 King Jan III Sobieski of Poland died.

1703 John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, was born.

1719 Essayist Joseph Addison died.

17971 Aga Mohammed Khan, ruler of Persia, was castrated and killed.

Battle of Bunker Hill1775 The Battle of Bunker Hill was fought.

1818 Composer Charles Gounod was born.

1824 The U. S. Bureau of Indian Affairs was established.

1850 The paddle-wheeler G. P. Griffith burned off Mentor, Ohio, killing 206 persons.

John C. Fremont1856 John C. Fremont was nominated as the Republican Party's first candidate for President of the United States.

1862 Charles J. Canning, 1st Viceroy of the British Indies, died.

Edmund Ruffin1865 Edmund Ruffin, agriculturalist and secessionist, died.

1866 American politician Lewis Cass died.

1876 Harriet Scott, who with husband Dred Scott sued for her freedom, died.

1877 The Nez Perce defeated the U. S. Cavalry at White Bird Canyon, Idaho Territory.
Actor Charles Coburn was born.

1882 Composer Igor Stravinsky was born.

Statue of Liberty1885 The Statue of Liberty arrived in New York Harbor.

1887 Educator Mark Hopkins died.

1894 The first poliomyelitis epidemic in the United States broke out in Rutland, Vermont.

1895 The U. S. Ship Canal in Bronx, New York, was completed.

1898 The United States Navy Hospital Corps was established.
1898 Artist M. C. Escher was born.

1900 Nazi official Martin Bormann was born.

1904 Actor Ralph Bellamy was born.

1907 Designer Charles Eames was born.

1910 Country singer Red Foley was born.

1911 Hazel Hotchkiss Wightman defeated Florence Sullivan 8-10, 6-1, 9-7 for the U. S. Women's National Championship.

1914 Novelist John Hersey was born.

1915 The League to Enforce Peace was organized at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

King George V1917 King George V of the United Kingdom announced that the royal family would from that time on be known as the House of Windsor.

1919 The "Barney Google" comic strip debuted.

Amelia Earhart1928 Amelia Earhart became the first female passenger on a transatlantic flight.

1932 About a thousand World War I veterans gathered at the U. S. Capitol while the Senate considered a bill giving them certain benefits.
Actor Peter Lupus was born.

1933 An FBI agent, four policemen, and one gangster were killed by a mob in Kansas City, Missouri.

1938 Japan declared war on China.

1939 Convicted murderer Eugen Weidmann became the last person to be publicly guillotined in France.

1940 France asked Germany for terms of surrender.
1940 The German Luftwaffe sank the RMS Lancastria near Saint-Nazaire, France.
1940 Football player Bobby Bell was born.

1942 Canadian politician Charles Fitzpatrick died.

1943 Politician Newt Gingrich was born.
1943 Singer Barry Manilow was born.

Republic of Iceland1944 The Republic of Iceland was established.

1945 Radio personality Art Bell was born.

1946 Southwestern Bell inaugurated commercial mobile telephone service in St. Louis, Missouri.

1947 Pan Am Aiways was chartered as the first worldwide passenger airline.

1950 The world's first kidney transplant was performed in Chicago, Illinois.

1951 Comedian Joe Piscopo was born.

1953 U. S. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas stayed the executions of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.
The Boston Red Sox scored a record 17 runs in a single inning.

1954 The Senate Army-McCarthy Hearings began.
1954 Rocky Marciano defeated Ezzard Charles for the heavyweight boxing title.
1954 Actor Mark Linn-Baker was born.

1958 France agreed to withdraw all troops in Tunisian territory to the Bizerte naval and air base.
1958 The Hungarian Justice Ministry announced the executions of former Premier Imre Nagy and Major General Pal Maleter.
1958 An unfinished bridge collapsed in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, killing 18 workmen.

Rudolf Nureyev1961 Soviet ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev defected to the West while his troupe was in Paris, France.
1961 The 37,000 members of the National Maritime Union went on strike.
1961 Gene Littler won the U.S. Golf Open.

1962 Convicts seized control of the St. Vincent de Paul Federal Penitentiary near Montreal, Canada, and set it on fire.
1962 Jack Nicklaus won the U. S. Golf Open.
1962 Brazil defeated Czechoslovakia for the FIFA World Cup.

1963 The U. S. Supreme Court ruled that required readings of the Lord's Prayer and Bible passages in public schools violates the First Amendment.

1967 China exploded its first hydrogen bomb.
1967 The Detroit Tigers and Kansas City Athletics played the longest ever double-header, 9 hours 15 minutes.

Edwin Land1970 Edwin Land patented the Polaroid camera.

Watergate1972 Five men were arrested while breaking into Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate hotel and office complex.
1972 Nine firefighters were killed while fighting a fire at the Hotel Vendome in Boston, Massachusetts.

1973 Johnny Miller won the U. S. Golf Open.

1975 Voters in the Northern Mariana Islands approved commonwealth status with the United States.

1976 Indonesia annexed Portuguese East Timor.

1979 Hale Irwin won the U. S. Golf Open.

1980 Tennis player Venus Williams was born.

1981 A battle between Muslims and Christians in Cairo, Egypt, killed 14 persons.
1981 Yitzhak Zuckerman, Jewish resistance hero during World War II, died.

President Ronald Reagan1982 President Ronald Reagan delivered his "evil empire" speech before the United Nations General Assembly.

1986 Warren Earl Burger resigned as Chief Justice of the United States.
Singer Kate Smith died.

1987 The Dusky Seaside Sparrow became extinct.
1987 Baseball manager Dick Howser died.

1989 Football player John Matuszak died.

1990 Hale Irwin won the U. S. Golf Open.

1991 President Zachary Taylor's body was exhumed to find out how he died.
1991 South Africa repealed its last apartheid laws.

1992 Inkhata-followers killed 42 persons at Boipatong, South Africa.

1994 O. J. Simpson led police on a 1½-hour chase through Los Angeles, California.

2000 South African jurist Ismail Mahomed died.

2007 Ángel Cabrera won the U. S. Golf Open.

2008 The Boston Celtics defeated the Los Angeles Lakers for the NBA Championship.
Dancer Cyd Charisse died.

2010 The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Boston Celtics for the NBA Championship.

2012 Webb Simpson won the U. S. Golf Open.

2015 A gunman killed 9 persons inside the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina.
2015 Suleyman Demirel, former President and Prime Minister of Turkey, died.

2017 The USS Fitzgerald collided with the Philippine cargo ship ACX Crystal in Japanese waters, killing 7 U. S. sailors.

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This page was last updated on June 16, 2018.