Friday, February 17, 2012

February 17 in History

* 364 – Emperor Jovian dies after a reign of eight months. He is found dead in his tent at Tyana (Asia Minor) en route back to Constantinople in suspicious circumstances.
* 1370 – Northern Crusades: Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Teutonic Knights meet in the Battle of Rudau.
* 1500 – Duke Friedrich and Duke Johann attempt to subdue the peasantry of Dithmarschen, Denmark, in the Battle of Hemmingstedt.
* 1600 – The philosopher Giordano Bruno is burned alive at Campo de' Fiori in Rome for heresy.
* 1621 – Myles Standish is appointed as first commander of Plymouth colony.
* 1753 – In Sweden February 17 is followed by March 1 as the country moves from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar.
* 1801 – An electoral tie between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr is resolved when Jefferson is elected President of the United States and Burr Vice President by the United States House of Representatives.
* 1809 – Miami University is chartered by the State of Ohio.
* 1814 – War of the Sixth Coalition: The Battle of Mormans.
* 1819 – The United States House of Representatives passes the Missouri Compromise for the first time.
* 1838 – Weenen massacre: Hundreds of Voortrekkers along the Blaukraans River, Natal are killed by Zulus.
* 1854 – The United Kingdom recognizes the independence of the Orange Free State.
* 1864 – American Civil War: The H. L. Hunley becomes the first submarine to engage and sink a warship, the USS Housatonic.
* 1865 – American Civil War: Columbia, South Carolina, is burned as Confederate forces flee from advancing Union forces.
* 1871 – The victorious Prussian Army parades though Paris, France after the end of the Siege of Paris during the Franco-Prussian War.
* 1904 – Madama Butterfly receives its première at La Scala in Milan.
* 1913 – The Armory Show opens in New York City, displaying works of artists who are to become some of the most influential painters of the early 20th century.
* 1924 – In Miami, Florida, Johnny Weissmuller sets a new world record in the 100 meters freestyle swimming competition with a time of 57.4 seconds.
* 1933 – Newsweek magazine is published for the first time.
* 1933 – The Blaine Act ends Prohibition in the United States.
* 1944 – World War II: The Battle of Eniwetok Atoll begins. The battle ends in an American victory on February 22.
* 1944 – World War II: Operation Hailstone begins. U.S. naval air, surface, and submarine attack against Truk (Chuuk), Japan's main base in the central Pacific, in support of the Eniwetok invasion.
* 1959 – Project Vanguard: Vanguard 2 – The first weather satellite is launched to measure cloud-cover distribution.
* 1964 – In Wesberry v. Sanders the Supreme Court of the United States rules that congressional districts have to be approximately equal in population.
* 1964 – Gabonese president Leon M'ba is toppled by a coup and his rival, Jean-Hilaire Aubame, is installed in his place.
* 1965 – Project Ranger: The Ranger 8 probe launches on its mission to photograph the Mare Tranquillitatis region of the Moon in preparation for the manned Apollo missions. Mare Tranquillitatis or the "Sea of Tranquility" would become the site chosen for the Apollo 11 lunar landing.
* 1968 – In Springfield, Massachusetts, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame opens.
* 1972 – Sales of the Volkswagen Beetle exceed those of the Ford Model-T.
* 1974 – Robert K. Preston, a disgruntled U.S. Army private, buzzes the White House in a stolen helicopter.
* 1978 – The Troubles: The Provisional IRA detonates an incendiary bomb at the La Mon restaurant, near Belfast, killing 12 and seriously injuring 30.
* 1979 – The Sino-Vietnamese War begins.
* 1995 – The Cenepa War between Peru and Ecuador ends on a cease-fire brokered by the UN.
* 1996 – In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, world champion Garry Kasparov beats the Deep Blue supercomputer in a chess match.
* 1996 – NASA's Discovery Program begins as the NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft lifts off on the first mission ever to orbit and land on an asteroid, 433 Eros.
* 1998 – Nagorno-Karabakh War: Armenian troops kill 70–90 Azerbaijani civilians in the village of Qaradağlı.
* 2003 – The London Congestion Charge scheme begins.
* 2006 – A massive mudslide occurs in Southern Leyte, Philippines; the official death toll is set at 1,126.
* 2008 – Kosovo declares independence.
* 2011 – Libyan protests begin. In Bahrain, security forces launched a deadly Pre-dawn raid on protesters in Pearl Roundabout in Manama, the day is locally known as Bloody Thursday.

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