This Day in History— July 17

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Print this page Email A Friend!

Today is the 198th day of 2019. There are 167 days left in the year.


2016: All 298 passengers and crew aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 were killed when the Boeing 777 was shot down over rebel-held eastern Ukraine; both Ukraine's Government and pro-Russian separatists have denied responsibility for downing the aircraft.


1453: The French defeat the English at the battle of Castillon, ending the Hundred Years' War, with Calais the only English possession on the continent.

1586: Sir Francis Walsingham, diplomat and principal secretary to England's Queen Elizabeth, exposes Babington Plot, a letter from Mary, Queen of Scots, to Anthony Babington planning Queen Elizabeth's murder. As a result, Mary is executed a year later.

1762: Peter III, Czar of Russia, is assassinated a week after he abdicates the throne. His wife, Catherine II, who suspected Peter was going to divorce her, conspires to overthrow him and becomes Empress of Russia.

1821: Spain cedes Florida to the United States.

1917: During World War I, the British royal family adopted the name “Windsor”, replacing the German Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.

1918: Communists kill last Russian czar, Nicholas II, and his family, following the October Revolution in the Siberian city of Yekaterinburg.

1935: The entertainment trade publication Variety runs its legendary headline, “Sticks Nix Hick Pix” (which might be translated as, “Rural audiences reject rural-themed movies”).

1936: The Spanish Civil War begins, as right-wing army generals launched a coup attempt against the Second Spanish Republic.

1944: During World War II, 320 men, two-thirds of them African-Americans, were killed when a pair of ammunition ships exploded at the Port Chicago Naval Magazine in California.

1945: US President Harry S Truman, British Prime Minister Clement Atlee, and Soviet leader Josef Stalin meet at Potsdam, Germany, to settle the post-World War II future of Europe, in a conference that lasts until August 2.

1965: The Righteous Brothers single Unchained Melody by Alex North and Hy Zaret was released on the Phillies label.

1967: After seven dates, Jimi Hendrix quit as the opening act for The Monkees, following a concert at Forest Hills Stadium in New York. (Although greatly admired by The Monkees, Hendrix had received a less-than- enthusiastic reception from their fans.) Jazz composer-musician John Coltrane died in Long Island, New York, at age 40.

1968: The Baath Party, including Saddam Hussein, overthrows the Iraqi Government.

1975: An Apollo spaceship docks with a Soyuz spacecraft in orbit in the first superpower link-up of its kind.

1981: Some 114 people were killed when a pair of suspended walkways above the lobby of the Kansas City Hyatt Regency Hotel collapsed during a tea dance.

1991: Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and US President George H W Bush announce a treaty to make historic cuts in nuclear weapons.

1994: Brazil makes World Cup soccer history with a fourth title.

1996: TWA Flight 800, a Europe-bound Boeing 747, exploded and crashed off Long Island, New York, shortly after leaving John F Kennedy International Airport, killing all 230 people aboard.

1997: The crew of the hobbled mir pulls the wrong plug and shuts down most of the space station's already disabled power system, leaving the shuttle in the dark and out of touch with Earth for hours.

1998: Czar Nicholas II of Russia and his family are given a state funeral and re-buried in a St Petersburg cathedral, 80 years to the day after they were murdered by Bolsheviks. Scientists located the remains in 1976 but kept it secret until the collapse of the Soviet Union.

2001: Rescuers find more bodies in the wreckage of a 600-ton (546-metric ton) crane that collapsed at a Shanghai shipyard in China, raising the death toll to 36.

2005: A tsunami crashes into beach resorts and fishing villages on Java island, killing more than 300 people and leaving more than 160 missing, after bulletins failed to reach the Indonesian region because no warning system was in place.

2007: Israeli Cabinet ministers approve a list of 256 Palestinian prisoners slated to be released in a gesture to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

2009: Suicide attackers set off bombs in Jakarta in two luxury hotels frequented by Westerners, killing at least eight people and wounding more than 50, and breaking a four-year lull in terrorist attacks in Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim country.

2011: An intensifying voicemail hacking and police bribery scandal cuts closer than ever to Rupert Murdoch and Scotland Yard, with the arrest of the media magnate's former British newspaper chief and the resignation of London's police commissioner.

2012: Israel plunges toward a political crisis after the largest party in the coalition quits, leaving Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in charge of a hard-line government opposed to most Mideast peace moves.

2013: Children at a school in India's eastern state of Bihar fall violently ill after eating their free school lunch of rice, lentils, soybeans and potatoes that was tainted with insecticide; 22 die and dozens are hospitalised.

2016: Eric Garner, an unarmed black man accused of selling loose, untaxed cigarettes, dies shortly after being wrestled to the ground by New York City police officers; a video of the takedown showed Garner repeatedly saying, “I can't breathe.” Microsoft announced the biggest layoffs in its 39-year history, outlining plans to cut 18,000 jobs. Legendary Broadway performer Elaine Stritch, 89, died in Birmingham, Michigan.

2017: The latest Republican effort to repeal and replace “Obamacare” is dealt a fatal blow in the Senate when two more Republican senators announced their opposition to the measure. A white former Texas police officer, Roy Oliver, is indicted on a murder charge in the April shooting death of 15-year-old Jordan Edwards, who was in a car with four other black teens.


Actress-singer Diahann Carroll (1935- ); Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall (1947- ); Actor David Hasselhoff (1952- ); German Chancellor Angela Merkel (1954- ); Singer Regina Belle (1963- ); Actor Mike Vogel (1979- ); Actor Tom Cullen (1985- ); Actor Brando Eaton (1986- )


Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon