It happened today – on this day in history – February 17

Subscribe to get your latest local news articles by email each day...

Or click here to subscribe to our weekly digital edition. Your details will be stored to support your experience in line with our privacy policy.

1461: Wars of the Roses: Second Battle of St Albans – Lancastrian army defeats Yorkists and recaptures King Henry VI.

1598: Boris Godunov chosen as Tsar of Russia.

1621: Myles Standish is elected as the first commander of the Plymouth Colony.

1776: First volume of Edward Gibbon’s seminal work “The Decline and Fall of Roman Empire” published.

1801: US House of Representatives breaks electoral college tie and chooses Thomas Jefferson as President over Aaron Burr.

1859: Guiseppe Verdi’s opera “Un Ballo in maschera” premieres in Napoli.

1865: Columbia, South Carolina, burns down during the American Civil War.

1880: Alexander II of Russia survives an assassination attempt.

1902: A general strike in Barcelona and nearby towns leads to government-troop reprisals that leave 40 dead.

1904: Giacomo Puccini’s opera “Madama Butterfly” premieres in Milan.

1909: Death of Apache chief Geronimo aged 79.

1924:Swimmer and future ‘Tarzan’ Johnny Weissmuller, sets 100m world freestyle record 57.4s at Miami.

1933: The US Senate accepts The Blaine Act: ending prohibition.

1936: The world’s first superhero, The Phantom, a cartoon strip by Lee Falk, makes his first appearance in comics.

1938: First public experimental demonstration of Baird colour TV in London.

1941: Joe Louis KO’s Gus Dorazio in Round 2 for the heavyweight boxing title.

1949: Chaim Weitzman is elected president of Israel.

1967: The Beatles started recording ‘Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite’ at Abbey Road Studios.

1969: Golda Meir is sworn in as the first female Prime Minister of Israel.

1972: Parliament votes to join the Common Market. On the same day, President Richard Nixon leaves Washington on a groundbreaking visit to China.

1982: Death of jazz pianist/composer Thelonious Monk aged 64.

1995: A Federal judge allows lawsuit claiming US tobacco makers knew nicotine was addictive & manipulated its levels to keep customers hooked.

1998: NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft overtakes Pioneer 10 to become the farthest object from earth in space.

2003: The congestion charge begins in London.

2005: A 1965 Fender Stratocaster guitar belonging to Jimi Hendrix is sold for £100,000 at an auction in London.

2008: Kosovo declares independence from Serbia.

2012: President of Germany, Christian Wulff, resigns over a corruption scandal.

2013: 37 people are killed and 130 injured in a series of Baghdad car bombings.

2014: Musician and sound engineer Bob Casale, best known as guitarist and keyboardist in Devo, died of heart failure in Los Angeles.

2018: Britain’s Lizzy Yarnold wins her second consecutive Olympic women’s skeleton gold medal in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

BIRTHDAYS: Barry Hunphries, comedian, 86; Brenda Fricker, actress, 75; Rene Russo, actress, 66; Lou Diamond Phillips, actor, 58; Michael Bay, director, 55; Denise Richards, actress, 49; Taylor Hawkins, drummer (Foo Fighters) 48; Billie Joe Armstrong, singer/guitarist (Green Day) 48; Svein Berge, musician (Röyksopp) 44; John Hassall, bassist (The Libertines) 39; Paris Hilton, socialite, 39; Joseph Gordon Levitt, actor, 38; Ed Sheeran, singer/songwriter, 29.


Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]