It happened today – this day in history – May 17

1510: Death of painter Sandro Botticelli.

1536: Anne Boleyn’s supposed “four lovers” are executed shortly before her own beheading two days later.

1590: Anne of Denmark is crowned Queen of Scotland.

1733: Britain passes Molasses Act, putting high tariffs on rum and molasses imported to the colonies from a country other than British possessions.

1749: Birth of Edward Jenner, father of immunology.

1756: Britain declares war on France (Seven Years War).

1792: 24 merchants form the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street.

1824: Lord Byron’s diaries are burnt by six of the poet’s friends – sometimes described as “the greatest crime in literary history”.

1861: The first colour photograph of a tartan ribbon is shown by Scottish scientist John Clerk Maxwell to the Royal Institution in London.

1884: Alaska becomes a US territory.

1895: Cricketer W G Grace completes his 100th century for Gloucestershire against Somerset at Bristol.

1897: The first successful submarine able to run submerged for any considerable distance and combineing electric and gasoline engines is launched in the US by its designer John Philip Holland.

1899: The foundation is laid to the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.

1900: British troops relieve the Cape colony of Mafeking. On the same day, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum is first published.

1915: The last Liberal government of Herbert Asquith falls.

1916: British Summer Time introduced.

1926: Chiang Kai-shek is made supreme warlord in Canton.

1940: Germany occupies Brussels, Belgium, and begins the invasion of France.

1943: Howard Hughes crashes into Lake Mead, while test flying his Sikorsky S-43, killing CAA inspector Ceco Cline and Richard Felt.

1949: The British government recognises the Republic of Ireland.

1961: Cuban leader Fidel Castro offers to exchange Bay of Pigs prisoners for 500 bulldozers.

1966: During a Bob Dyan concert at The Free Trade Hall in Manchester, a member of the audience shouted out “Judas”, unhappy with the singer’s move from acoustic to electric.

1972: The IRA fires on workers leaving the Mackies engineering works in west Belfast.

1973: The Senate Watergate Committee begins its hearings. On the same day, five British Army soldiers are killed by a Provisional IRA booby-trap bomb in Omagh, County Tyrone.

1974: The UVF explodes four bombs in Republic of Ireland, killing 33 civilians, wounding 300.

1976: Thousands are killed in an earthquake in Uzbekistan.

1977: Menachem Begin’s Likoed party wins election in Israel.

1984: Prince Charles calls the proposed addition to the National Gallery, a “monstrous carbuncle on the face of a much-loved and elegant friend.”

1987: Tom Petty’s house in LA is destroyed by fire.

1993: Intel’s new Pentium processor is unveiled.

1996: Blues guitarist Johnny Guitar Watson suffered a fatal heart attack while on stage in Yokohama, Japan.

2002: Songwriter Sharon Sheeley, girlfriend of Eddie Cochran and survivor of the 1960 car crash that took his life, dies aged 62.

2003: Arsenal beats Southampton 1-0 with a goal from Robert Pires to win the FA Cup final at the MillenniumStadium, Cardiff.

2005: Kylie Minogue is diagnosed with breast cancer.

2006: Paul McCartney and Heather Mills announced their separation. On the same day, Barcelona beats Arsenal 2-1 to win the Champions League.

2007: Trains from North and South Korea cross the 38th Parallel in a test-run for the first time since 1953.

2008: Portsmouth beat Cardiff City, 1-0 (Kanu) to win the FA Cup at Wembley Stadium.

2012: Donna Summer died of lung cancer.

2014: Arsenal beat Hull City, 3–2 after extra time to win the FA Cup at Wembley Stadium. On the same day, St Johnstone win the Scottish Cup for first time in 130 years, defeating Dundee Utd 2-0.

2015: A gun fight between rival biker gangs and police in Waco, Texas leaves 9 dead and 18 injured.

2019: Novelist Herman Wouk dies aged 103.

BIRTHDAYS: Taj Mahal (Henry Saint Clair Fredericks), musician, 78; Bill Bruford, drummer, 72; Andrew Latimer, guitar/flute (Camel), 71; Sugar Ray (Charles) Leonard, boxer, 64; Enya (Ni Bhraonain), singer/songwriter, 59; Craig Ferguson, comedian/TV host, 58; Trent Reznor, singer/songwriter (Nine Inch Nails), 55; Jeremy Vine, broadcaster, 55; Jordan Knight, singer (NKOTB), 50; Josh Homme , singer-guitarist/songwriter (QOTSA) 47; Andrea Corr, singer (The Corrs), 46; Leon Osman, former footballer, 39.

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]