On This Day … 17 September

Events

  • 1111 – Highest Galician nobility led by Pedro Fróilaz de Traba and the bishop Diego Gelmírez crown Alfonso VII as “King of Galicia”.
  • 1176 – The Battle of Myriokephalon is the last attempt by the Byzantine Empire to recover central Anatolia from the Seljuk Turks.
  • 1462 – Thirteen Years’ War: A Polish army under Piotr Dunin decisively defeats the Teutonic Order at the Battle of Świecino.
  • 1577 – The Treaty of Bergerac is signed between King Henry III of France and the Huguenots.
  • 1620 – Polish–Ottoman War: The Ottoman Empire defeats the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth during the Battle of Cecora.
  • 1630 – The city of Boston, Massachusetts is founded.
  • 1631 – Sweden wins a major victory at the Battle of Breitenfeld against the Holy Roman Empire during the Thirty Years’ War.
  • 1658 – The Battle of Vilanova is fought between Portugal and Spain during the Portuguese Restoration War.
  • 1683 – Antonie van Leeuwenhoek writes a letter to the Royal Society describing “animalcules”.
  • 1775 – American Revolutionary War: The Invasion of Canada begins with the Siege of Fort St. Jean.
  • 1776 – The Presidio of San Francisco is founded in New Spain.
  • 1778 – The Treaty of Fort Pitt is signed. It is the first formal treaty between the United States and a Native American tribe.
  • 1787 – The United States Constitution is signed in Philadelphia.
  • 1793 – War of the Pyrenees: France defeats a Spanish force at the Battle of Peyrestortes.
  • 1794 – Flanders Campaign: France completes its conquest of the Austrian Netherlands at the Battle of Sprimont.
  • 1809 – Peace between Sweden and Russia in the Finnish War; the territory that will become Finland is ceded to Russia by the Treaty of Fredrikshamn.
  • 1859 – Joshua A. Norton declares himself “Norton I, Emperor of the United States.”
  • 1861 – Argentine Civil Wars: The State of Buenos Aires defeats the Argentine Confederation at the Battle of Pavón.
  • 1862 – American Civil War: George B. McClellan halts the northward drive of Robert E. Lee’s Confederate Army in the single-day Battle of Antietam, the bloodiest day in American military history.
  • 1862 – American Civil War: The Allegheny Arsenal explosion results in the single largest civilian disaster during the war.
  • 1894 – Battle of the Yalu River, the largest naval engagement of the First Sino-Japanese War.
  • 1900 – Philippine–American War: Filipinos under Juan Cailles defeat Americans under Colonel Benjamin F. Cheatham Jr. at Mabitac.
  • 1901 – Second Boer War: A Boer column defeats a British force at the Battle of Blood River Poort.
  • 1901 – Second Boer War: Boers capture a squadron of the 17th Lancers at the Battle of Elands River.
  • 1908 – The Wright Flyer flown by Orville Wright, with Lieutenant Thomas Selfridge as passenger, crashes, killing Selfridge, who becomes the first airplane fatality.
  • 1914 – World War I: The Race to the Sea begins.
  • 1916 – World War I: Manfred von Richthofen (“The Red Baron”), a flying ace of the German Luftstreitkräfte, wins his first aerial combat near Cambrai, France.
  • 1924 – The Border Protection Corps is established in the Second Polish Republic for the defence of the eastern border against armed Soviet raids and local bandits.
  • 1930 – The Kurdish Ararat rebellion is suppressed by the Turks.
  • 1932 – A speech by Laureano Gómez leads to the escalation of the Leticia Incident.
  • 1939 – World War II: The Soviet invasion of Poland begins.
  • 1939 – World War II: German submarine U-29 sinks the British aircraft carrier HMS Courageous.
  • 1940 – World War II: Due to setbacks in the Battle of Britain and approaching autumn weather, Hitler postpones Operation Sea Lion.
  • 1941 – World War II: A decree of the Soviet State Committee of Defense restores compulsory military training.
  • 1941 – World War II: Soviet forces enter Tehran during the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran.
  • 1944 – World War II: Allied airborne troops parachute into the Netherlands as the “Market” half of Operation Market Garden.
  • 1944 – World War II: Soviet troops launch the Tallinn Offensive against Germany and pro-independence Estonian units.
  • 1944 – World War II: German forces are attacked by the Allies in the Battle of San Marino.
  • 1948 – The Nizam of Hyderabad surrenders his sovereignty over the Hyderabad State and joins the Indian Union.
  • 1965 – The Battle of Chawinda is fought between Pakistan and India.
  • 1978 – The Camp David Accords are signed by Israel and Egypt.
  • 1980 – After weeks of strikes at the Lenin Shipyard in Gdańsk, Poland, the nationwide independent trade union Solidarity is established.
  • 2018 – A Russian reconnaissance aircraft carrying 15 people on board is brought down by a Syrian surface-to-air missile over the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Operation Market Garden Anniversary is still remembered with parachuting and dedications on this day (Netherlands).

People (Births)

  • 1730 – Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, Prussian-American general (d. 1794).
  • 1773 – Jonathan Alder, American captain and farmer (d. 1849).
  • 1783 – Nadezhda Durova, Russian soldier (d. 1866).
  • 1819 – Marthinus Wessel Pretorius, South African general and politician, 1st President of the South African Republic (d. 1901).
  • 1820 – Earl Van Dorn, Confederate general (d. 1863).
  • 1853 – Frederick Corbett, British officer and Victoria Cross recipient (d. 1912).
  • 1864 – James Tancred, English admiral (d. 1943).
  • 1881 – Alfred Carpenter, English admiral, Victoria Cross recipient (d. 1955).
  • 1886 – Anton Irv, Estonian captain (d. 1919).
  • 1929 – David Craig, Baron Craig of Radley, Northern Irish air marshal and politician.
  • 1930 – Edgar Mitchell, American captain, pilot, and astronaut (d. 2016).
  • 1930 – Thomas P. Stafford, American general, pilot, and astronaut.
  • 1932 – Samuel Ogbemudia, Nigerian army officer and politician (d. 2017).
  • 1953 – Altaf Hussain, Pakistani-English soldier and politician.

People (Deaths)

  • 456 – Remistus, Roman general.
  • 1563 – Henry Manners, 2nd Earl of Rutland, English soldier (b. 1526).
  • 1574 – Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, Spanish admiral and explorer, founded St. Augustine, Florida (b. 1519).
  • 1679 – John of Austria the Younger, Spanish general and politician, Governor of the Habsburg Netherlands (b. 1629).
  • 1817 – Jacques Bernard d’Anselme, French general (b. 1740).
  • 1868 – Roman Nose, Native American warrior (b. circa 1823).
  • 1894 – Deng Shichang, Chinese captain (b. 1849).
  • 1908 – Thomas Selfridge, American lieutenant and pilot (b. 1882).
  • 1943 – Friedrich Zickwolff, German general (b. 1893).
  • 1948 – Folke Bernadotte, Swedish soldier and diplomat (b. 1895).
  • 1953 – Hans Feige, German general (Wehrmacht) (b. 1880).
  • 1971 – Carlos Lamarca, Brazilian captain (b. 1937).
  • 1980 – Anastasio Somoza Debayle, Nicaraguan commander and politician, 73rd President of Nicaragua (b. 1925).
  • 1996 – Spiro Agnew, American soldier and politician, 39th Vice President of the United States (b. 1918).
  • 2012 – Lou Kenton, English soldier and potter (b. 1908).
  • 2012 – Russell E. Train, American soldier and civil servant (b. 1920).
  • 2013 – Michael J. Noonan, Irish farmer and politician, 25th Irish Minister of Defence (b. 1935).
  • 2014 – Charles Read, Australian air marshal (b. 1918).
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