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

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]