This Day in History — October 17


This Day in History — October 17

Thursday, October 17, 2019

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Today is the 290th day of 2019. There are 75 days left in the year.


2005: China celebrates the successful landing of the country's second manned space flight as a boost to its status as a space power.


1777: American rebels capture 5,000 British soldiers at the Second Battle of Saratoga, turning the fortunes of the American War of Independence.

1918: Republic of Yugoslavia is formally established.

1933: Albert Einstein arrives in the United States as a refugee from Nazi Germany.

1945: Colonel Juan Peron stages coup in Buenos Aires and becomes absolute dictator of Argentina.

1957: French author Albert Camus is awarded the Nobel Prize in literature.

1961: Authorities crack down on Algerians demonstrating for independence in Paris. Historians estimate at least 200 were killed.

1966: Central Peru is shaken by an earthquake, which kills 92 people.

1973: Arab oil-producing nations announce they will begin cutting back on oil exports to Western nations and Japan; the result is a total embargo lasting until March 1974.

1977: West German commandos storm a hijacked Lufthansa jetliner in Mogadishu, Somalia, freeing all 86 hostages.

1979: Mother Teresa wins Nobel Peace Prize for her work with the destitute in Calcutta, India, over three decades.

1990: The leader of the Navajo Nation, the largest Indian tribe in the United States, is convicted in Navajo Tribal Court in Arizona of bribery, conspiracy and violating the tribe's ethics laws.

1993: Indian officials try to talk Muslim separatists occupying Kashmir's holiest shrine into surrendering, but the rebels refuse, threatening to blow up the mosque if soldiers enter.

1996: Boris Yeltsin fires security chief Alexander Lebed one day after the former general is accused of building his own army in an attempt to seize power.

1997: Former Rwandan Prime Minister Jean Kambanda is charged by the UN International Criminal Tribunal with genocide and crimes against humanity in the 1994 slaughter of a half-million Rwandans; the remains of revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara are laid to rest in his adopted Cuba, 30 years after his execution in Bolivia.

1998: A pipeline explodes in Nigeria when villagers try to siphon off oil. At least 700 die.

1999: The head of Pakistan's new military regime General Pervez Musharraf announces a reduction of troops on the Indian border, the establishment of a military-technocrat ruling council and an eventual return to civilian rule.

2004: Jordan's military prosecutor indicts 13 alleged Muslim militants, including Abu-Musab al-Zarqawi — one of the most wanted insurgents in Iraq — for an al-Qaeda linked plot to attack targets in Jordan with chemical and conventional weapons.

2006: A British-educated civil servant, Lateefa al-Geood, becomes the first-ever female to serve as an elected member of Bahrain's parliament.

2007: Myanmar's military junta acknowledges that it detained nearly 3,000 people during a crackdown on recent pro-democracy protests, with hundreds still remaining in custody.

2008: The US Government declares that the beluga whales of Alaska's Cook Inlet are endangered and require additional protection to survive.

2009: Members of the Maldives' Cabinet don scuba gear and use hand signals at an underwater meeting staged to highlight the threat of global warming to the lowest-lying nation on earth.

2010: Chancellor Angela Merkel's declaration that Germany's attempts to build a multicultural society had “utterly failed” is feeding a growing debate over how to deal with the millions of foreigners who call the country home.

2011: The UN Population Fund reports that a momentous milestone will pass as of October 31 when there will be 7 billion people sharing Earth's land and resources.


Mikhail Naimy, Lebanese poet-philosopher (1889-1988); Arthur Miller, US playwright (1915-2005); Rita Hayworth, US actress (1918-1987); Eminem, US rapper (1972- )

— AP

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