On this day in history, June 17
|Updated: 6/18 5:43 pm
||Published: 6/18 5:41 pm
- 1462 – Vlad III the Impaler attempts to assassinate Mehmed II (The Night Attack) forcing him to retreat from Wallachia.
- 1497 – Battle of Deptford Bridge – forces under King Henry VII defeat troops led by Michael An Gof.
- 1565 – Matsunaga Hisahide assassinates the 13th Ashikaga shogun, Ashikaga Yoshiteru.
- 1579 – Sir Francis Drake claims a land he calls Nova Albion (modern California) for England.
- 1596 – The Dutch explorer Willem Barentsz discovers the Arctic archipelago of Spitsbergen.
- 1631 – Mumtaz Mahal dies during childbirth. Her husband, Mughal emperor Shah Jahan I, will spend the next 17 years building her mausoleum, the Taj Mahal.
- 1673 – French explorers Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet reach the Mississippi River and become the first Europeans to make a detailed account of its course.
- 1773 – Cúcuta, Colombia, is discovered by Juana Rangel de Cuéllar.
- 1775 – American Revolutionary War: Colonists inflict heavy casualties on British forces while losing the Battle of Bunker Hill.
- 1789 – In France, the Third Estate declares itself the National Assembly.
- 1839 – In the Kingdom of Hawaii, Kamehameha III issues the edict of toleration which gives Roman Catholics the freedom to worship in the Hawaiian Islands. The Hawaii Catholic Church and the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace are established as a result.
- 1843 – The Wairau Affray, the first serious clash of arms between Māori and British settlers in the New Zealand Wars, takes place.
- 1861 – Battle of Vienna, Virginia in the American Civil War.
- 1863 – Battle of Aldie in the Gettysburg Campaign of the American Civil War.
- 1876 – American Indian Wars: Battle of the Rosebud – 1,500 Sioux and Cheyenne led by Crazy Horse beat back General George Crook's forces at Rosebud Creek in Montana Territory.
- 1877 – American Indian Wars: Battle of White Bird Canyon – the Nez Perce defeat the U.S. Cavalry at White Bird Canyon in the Idaho Territory.
- 1885 – The Statue of Liberty arrives in New York Harbor.
- 1898 – The United States Navy Hospital Corps is established.
- 1900 – Boxer Rebellion: Allied Western and Japanese forces capture the Taku Forts in Tianjin, China.
- 1901 – The College Board introduces its first standardized test, the forerunner to the SAT.
- 1910 – Aurel Vlaicu pilots an A. Vlaicu nr. 1 on its first flight.
- 1930 – U.S. President Herbert Hoover signs the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act into law.
- 1932 – Bonus Army: around a thousand World War I veterans amass at the United States Capitol as the U.S. Senate considers a bill that would give them certain benefits.
- 1933 – Union Station Massacre: in Kansas City, Missouri, four FBI agents and captured fugitive Frank Nash are gunned down by gangsters attempting to free Nash.
- 1939 – Last public guillotining in France: Eugen Weidmann, a convicted murderer, is guillotined in Versailles outside the Saint-Pierre prison
- 1940 – World War II: sinking of the RMS Lancastria by the Luftwaffe near Saint-Nazaire, France.
- 1940 – World War II: the British Army's 11th Hussars assault and take Fort Capuzzo in Libya, Africa from Italian forces.
- 1940 – The three Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania fall under the occupation of the Soviet Union.
- 1944 – Iceland declares independence from Denmark and becomes a republic.
- 1948 – A Douglas DC-6 carrying United Airlines Flight 624 crashes near Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania, killing all 43 people on board.
- 1953 – East Germany Workers Uprising: in East Germany, the Soviet Union orders a division of troops into East Berlin to quell a rebellion.
- 1958 – The Ironworkers Memorial Second Narrows Crossing, in the process of being built to connect Vancouver and North Vancouver (Canada), collapses into the Burrard Inlet killing many of the ironworkers and injuring others.
- 1958 – The wooden roller coaster at Playland, which is in the Pacific National Exhibition, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada opens. It is still open today.
- 1960 – The Nez Perce tribe is awarded $4 million for 7 million acres (28,000 km2) of land undervalued at 4 cents/acre in the 1863 treaty.
- 1963 – The United States Supreme Court rules 8 to 1 in Abington School District v. Schempp against requiring the reciting of Bible verses and the Lord's Prayer in public schools.
- 1963 – A day after South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem announced the Joint Communique to end the Buddhist crisis, a riot involving around 2,000 people breaks out. One person is killed.
- 1967 – The People's Republic of China announces a successful test of its first thermonuclear weapon.
- 1971 – President Richard Nixon declares the U.S. War on Drugs.
- 1972 – Watergate scandal: five White House operatives are arrested for burgling the offices of the Democratic National Committee, in an attempt by some members of the Republican party to illegally wiretap the opposition.
- 1987 – With the death of the last individual of the species, the Dusky Seaside Sparrow becomes extinct.
- 1991 – Apartheid: the South African Parliament repeals the Population Registration Act which required racial classification of all South Africans at birth.
- 1992 – A "joint understanding" agreement on arms reduction is signed by U.S. President George Bush and Russian President Boris Yeltsin (this would be later codified in START II).
- 1994 – Following a televised low-speed highway chase, O.J. Simpson is arrested for the murders of his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman.
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