It happened today – this day in history – June 17

1239: Birth of Edward I in London.

1462: Vlad Dracula III (the Impaler) attempts to assassinate Mehmed II, forcing him to retreat from Wallachia.

1497: Forces under Henry VII soundly defeat Cornish rebels at the Battle of Deptford Bridge.

1579: Explorer Francis Drake lands on the coast of California at Drakes Bay, naming it “New Albion”.

1855: Heavy French/British bombing of Sebastopol, Crimea.

1882: Composer Igor Stravinsky is born in Oranienbaum, Russia.

1885: The Statue of Liberty arrives in New York City aboard French ship `Isere’.

1894: The first US polio epidemic breaks out in Rutland, Vermont.

1916: US troops under General Pershing march into Mexico.

1938: Japan declares war on China.

1939: Last public guillotining in France. Eugen Weidmann, a convicted murderer, is executed in Versailles.

1940: The USSR occupies Estonia.

1944: Iceland dissolves its union with Denmark and declares itself a republic.

1950: The first kidney transplant is carried out in Chicago.

1954: Session guitarist Guitarist Danny Cedrone died of a broken neck following a freak accident 10 days after recording the iconic lead guitar break on Bill Haley and his Comets’ “Rock Around the Clock”. On the same day, Rocky Marciano defeats Ezzard Charles by a unanimous points decision in his third defence of the world heavyweight boxing title.

1955: Colonel Tom Parker takes over the handling of Elvis Presley’s career from previous manager Bob Neal.

1956: Golda Meir becomes Israel’s foreign minister.

1959: Eamon de Valera is elected President of Ireland.

1961: Film star Jeff Chandler [Ira Grossel], dies as a result of medical malpractice aged 42.

1962: Jack Nicklaus wins his first major title, the US Open, in an 18th hole play-off with Arnold Palmer. On the same day, Brazil beat Czechoslovakia, 3-1 to win the World Cup in Santiago, Chile.

1965: Working on the Help! album at Abbey Road studios, recording of the Beatles song Yesterday was completed with an overdubbed second vocal by Paul McCartney and the addition of a string quartet. The band also recorded the song Wait in just four takes, but this song was held back for the Rubber Soul album.

1966: Peter Green replaces Eric Clapton in John Mayall’s Bluebreakers.

1969: The show “Oh! Calcutta!” opens in New York.

1970: Edwin Land patents the Polaroid camera.

1972: Chilean President Salvador Allende forms a new socialist government. On the same day, five men are arrested after trying to bug the Democratic National Committee office in the Watergate Complex in Washington.

1974: The Provisional IRA bombs the Houses of Parliament in London, injuring 11 people and causing extensive damage.

1976: Ian Dury played his last gig with Kilburn and the High Roads at The Assembly Hall, Walthamstow, before starting his solo career. The Sex Pistols and The Stranglers were also on the bill. On the same day, Indonesia annexes Portuguese East-Timor.

1977: After Jimmy Helms pulled out of a gig at Shoreditch College, the social committee decided to call upon neighbour Elton John and ask if he would perform. He did the gig for two bottles of wine.

1978: The Provisional IRA kill an RUC officer and kidnap another near Crossmaglen, County Armagh.

1982: President Galtieri resigns after leading Argentina to defeat in the Falkland Islands.

1990: Hale Irwin wins his third US Open golf title.

1991: South Africa abolishes the last of its apartheid laws. On the same day, Payne Stewart wins a Monday playoff of the US Open with 1987 champion Scott Simpson.

1994: LA police chase former American footballer and actor O J Simpson in his Ford Bronco after he fails to turn himself in on murder charges relating to his ex wife Nicole and her friend Ron Goldman.

1996: The 15th Amendment to the Irish Constitution, which removes the prohibition on divorce, is signed into law following a vote the previous year.

2007: Ángel Cabrera wins the US Open golf tournament.

2008: Hollywood actress and dancer Cyd Charisse (Tula Finklea), dies aged 86.

2014: Actress Patsy Byrne (nanny in Blackadder II) dies at 80.

2015: Nine people are shot and killed inside Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, by a 21 year old gunman.

2017: Actor Bill Cosby’s trial for aggravated indecent assault is declared a mistrial after jurors fail to reach a verdict.

2019: Former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi dies after collapsing during a court appearance in Cairo. On the same day, Gloria Vanderbilt, American fashion designer, artist, heiress and socialite, dies at 95.

BIRTHDAYS: Ken Loach, director, 84; Chris Spedding, session guitarist, 76; Eddy Merckx, cycling champion, 75; Tony Roche, tennis legend, 75; Ken Livingstone, politician, 75; Barry Manilow (Pincus), singer, 74; Guy Evans, drummer (Van der Graaf Generator) 73; Philip Chevron, guitarist (The Pogues) 63; Bobby Farrelly, director, 62; Thomas Haden Church, actor, 60; Greg Kinnear, actor, 57; Jason Patric, actor, 54; Venus Williams, tennis champion, 40; Lee Ryan, singer (Blue) 37; Kendrick Lamar, hip hop artist, 33.

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]