On This Day … 17 May

Events

  • 1395 – Battle of Rovine: The Wallachians defeat an invading Ottoman army.
  • 1809 – Emperor Napoleon I orders the annexation of the Papal States to the French Empire.
  • 1814 – Occupation of Monaco changes from French to Austrian.
  • 1900 – Second Boer War: British troops relieve Mafeking.
  • 1902 – Greek archaeologist Valerios Stais discovers the Antikythera mechanism, an ancient mechanical analog computer.
  • 1940 – World War II: Germany occupies Brussels, Belgium.
  • 1943 – World War II: Dambuster Raids commence by No. 617 Squadron RAF.
  • 1967 – Six-Day War: President Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt demands dismantling of the peace-keeping UN Emergency Force in Egypt.
  • 1974 – The Troubles: Thirty-three civilians are killed and 300 injured when the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) detonates four car bombs in Dublin and Monaghan, Republic of Ireland.
  • 1980 – General Chun Doo-hwan of South Korea seizes control of the government and declares martial law in order to suppress student demonstrations.
  • 1980 – On the eve of presidential elections, Maoist guerrilla group Shining Path attacks a polling location in Chuschi (a town in Ayacucho), starting the Internal conflict in Peru.
  • 1983 – Lebanon, Israel, and the United States sign an agreement on Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon.
  • 1987 – Iran–Iraq War: An Iraqi Dassault Mirage F1 fighter jet fires two missiles into the US Navy warship USS Stark, killing 37 and injuring 21 of her crew.
  • 1992 – Three days of popular protests against the government of Prime Minister of Thailand Suchinda Kraprayoon begin in Bangkok, leading to a military crackdown that results in 52 officially confirmed deaths, hundreds of injuries, many disappearances, and more than 3,500 arrests.
  • 1995 – Shawn Nelson steals an M60 tank from the California Army National Guard Armoury in San Diego and proceeds to go on a rampage.
  • 1997 – Troops of Laurent Kabila march into Kinshasa. Zaire is officially renamed Democratic Republic of the Congo.
  • 2006 – The aircraft carrier USS Oriskany is sunk in the Gulf of Mexico as an artificial reef.
  • 2007 – Trains from North and South Korea cross the 38th Parallel in a test-run agreed by both governments. This is the first time that trains have crossed the Demilitarised Zone since 1953.
  • Navy Day (Argentina).

People (Births)

  • 1743 – Seth Warner, American colonel (d. 1784).
  • 1768 – Henry Paget, 1st Marquess of Anglesey, English general and politician, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (d. 1854).
  • 1891 – Napoleon Zervas, Greek general and politician (d. 1957).
  • 1895 – Saul Adler, Belarusian-English captain and parasitologist (d. 1966).
  • 1923 – Michael Beetham, English commander and pilot (d. 2015).
  • 1926 – David Ogilvy, 13th Earl of Airlie, English-Scottish soldier and politician.
  • 1932 – Rodric Braithwaite, English soldier and diplomat, British Ambassador to Russia.
  • 1966 – Qusay Hussein, Iraqi soldier and politician (d. 2003).

People (Deaths)

  • 896 – Liu Jianfeng, Chinese warlord.
  • 924 – Li Maozhen, Chinese warlord and king (b. 856).
  • 1807 – John Gunby, American general (b. 1745).
  • 1822 – Armand-Emmanuel de Vignerot du Plessis, Duc de Richelieu, French general and politician, 2nd Prime Minister of France (b. 1766).
  • 1868 – Kondō Isami, Japanese commander (b. 1834).
  • 1875 – John C. Breckinridge, American lawyer and politician, 14th Vice President of the United States, Confederate States general (b. 1821).
  • 1927 – Harold Geiger, American pilot and lieutenant (b. 1884).
  • 1977 – Charles E. Rosendahl, American admiral and pilot (b. 1892).
  • 2007 – Lloyd Alexander, American soldier and author (b. 1924).
  • 2013 – Jorge Rafael Videla, Argentine general and politician, 42nd President of Argentina (b. 1925).
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