On This Day … 17 June

Events

  • 1397 – The Kalmar Union is formed under the rule of Margaret I of Denmark.
  • 1462 – Vlad III the Impaler attempts to assassinate Mehmed II (The Night Attack at Târgovişte), forcing him to retreat from Wallachia.
  • 1497 – Battle of Deptford Bridge: Forces under King Henry VII defeat troops led by Michael An Gof.
  • 1565 – Matsunaga Hisahide assassinates the 13th Ashikaga shōgun, Ashikaga Yoshiteru.
  • 1579 – Sir Francis Drake claims a land he calls Nova Albion (modern California) for England.
  • 1596 – The Dutch explorer Willem Barentsz discovers the Arctic archipelago of Spitsbergen.
  • 1631 – Mumtaz Mahal dies during childbirth. Her husband, Mughal emperor Shah Jahan I, will spend the next 17 years building her mausoleum, the Taj Mahal.
  • 1665 – Battle of Montes Claros: Portugal definitively secured independence from Spain in the last battle of the Portuguese Restoration War.
  • 1673 – French explorers Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet reach the Mississippi River and become the first Europeans to make a detailed account of its course.
  • 1767 – Samuel Wallis, a British sea captain, sights Tahiti and is considered the first European to reach the island.
  • 1773 – Cúcuta, Colombia, is founded by Juana Rangel de Cuéllar.
  • 1775 – American Revolutionary War: Colonists inflict heavy casualties on British forces while losing the Battle of Bunker Hill.
  • 1789 – In France, the Third Estate declares itself the National Assembly.
  • 1794 – Foundation of Anglo-Corsican Kingdom.
  • 1795 – The burghers of Swellendam expel the Dutch East India Company magistrate and declare a republic.
  • 1843 – The Wairau Affray, the first serious clash of arms between Māori and British settlers in the New Zealand Wars, takes place.
  • 1861 – American Civil War: Battle of Vienna, Virginia.
  • 1863 – American Civil War: Battle of Aldie in the Gettysburg Campaign.
  • 1876 – American Indian Wars: Battle of the Rosebud: 1,500 Sioux and Cheyenne led by Crazy Horse beat back General George Crook’s forces at Rosebud Creek in Montana Territory.
  • 1877 – American Indian Wars: Battle of White Bird Canyon: The Nez Perce defeat the U.S. Cavalry at White Bird Canyon in the Idaho Territory.
  • 1885 – The Statue of Liberty arrives in New York Harbor.
  • 1898 – The United States Navy Hospital Corps is established.
  • 1900 – Boxer Rebellion: Western Allied and Japanese forces capture the Taku Forts in Tianjin, China.
  • 1922 – Portuguese naval aviators Gago Coutinho and Sacadura Cabral complete the first aerial crossing of the South Atlantic.
  • 1932 – Bonus Army: Around a thousand World War I veterans amass at the United States Capitol as the U.S. Senate considers a bill that would give them certain benefits.
  • 1939 – Last public guillotining in France: Eugen Weidmann, a convicted murderer, is executed in Versailles outside the Saint-Pierre prison.
  • 1940 – World War II: RMS Lancastria is attacked and sunk by the Luftwaffe near Saint-Nazaire, France. At least 3,000 are killed in Britain’s worst maritime disaster.
  • 1940 – World War II: The British Army’s 11th Hussars assault and take Fort Capuzzo in Libya, Africa from Italian forces.
  • 1940 – The three Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania fall under the occupation of the Soviet Union.
    • Occupation of the Latvian Republic Day (Latvia).
  • 1944 – Iceland declares independence from Denmark and becomes a republic.
    • Icelandic National Day, celebrates the independence of Iceland from Kingdom of Denmark in 1944.
  • 1953 – Cold War: East Germany Workers Uprising: In East Germany, the Soviet Union orders a division of troops into East Berlin to quell a rebellion.
    • Remembrance to East German uprising of 1953, public holiday in West Germany between 1954 and 1990 (today German Unity Day) is the public holiday day).
  • 1967 – Nuclear weapons testing: China announces a successful test of its first thermonuclear weapon.

People (Births)

  • 1704 – John Kay, English engineer, invented the Flying shuttle (d. 1780).
  • 1718 – George Howard, English field marshal and politician, Governor of Minorca (d. 1796).
  • 1833 – Manuel González Flores, Mexican general and president (d. 1893).
  • 1861 – Omar Bundy, American general (d. 1940).
  • 1876 – William Carr, American rower (d. 1942).
  • 1888 – Heinz Guderian, German general (d. 1954).
  • 1898 – Harry Patch, English soldier and firefighter (d. 2009).
  • 1900 – Evelyn Irons, Scottish journalist and war correspondent (d. 2000).
  • 1919 – John Moffat, Scottish lieutenant and pilot (d. 2016).
  • 1920 – Peter Le Cheminant, English air marshal and politician, Lieutenant Governor of Guernsey (d. 2018).
  • 1932 – Derek Ibbotson, English runner (d. 2017).
  • 1932 – John Murtha, American colonel and politician (d. 2010).
  • 1933 – Harry Browne, American soldier and politician (d. 2006).
  • 1945 – Tommy Franks, American general.
  • 1945 – Eddy Merckx, Belgian cyclist and sportscaster.
  • 1964 – Michael Gross, German swimmer.
  • 1965 – Dara O’Kearney, Irish runner and poker player.
  • 1966 – Diane Modahl, English runner.
  • 1969 – Paul Tergat, Kenyan runner.
  • 1976 – Sven Nys, Belgian cyclist.
  • 1984 – Michael Mathieu, Bahamian sprinter.
  • 1985 – Özge Akın, Turkish sprinter.
  • 1986 – Helen Glover, English rower.
  • 1988 – Stephanie Rice, Australian swimmer.

People (Deaths)

  • 811 – Sakanoue no Tamuramaro, Japanese shōgun (b. 758).
  • 1565 – Ashikaga Yoshiteru, Japanese shōgun (b. 1536).
  • 1734 – Claude Louis Hector de Villars, French general and politician, French Secretary of State for War (b. 1653).
  • 1771 – Daskalogiannis, Greek rebel leader (b. 1722).
  • 1775 – John Pitcairn, Scottish-English soldier (b. 1722).
  • 1813 – Charles Middleton, 1st Baron Barham, Scottish-English admiral and politician (b. 1726).
  • 1821 – Martín Miguel de Güemes, Argentinian general and politician (b. 1785).
  • 1839 – Lord William Bentinck, English general and politician, 14th Governor-General of India (b. 1774).
  • 1889 – Lozen, Chiracaua Apache warrior woman (b. ~1840).
  • 1898 – Edward Burne-Jones, English soldier and painter (b. 1833).
  • 1904 – Nikolay Bobrikov, Russian soldier and politician, Governor-General of Finland (b. 1839).
  • 1914 – Julien Félix, French military officer and aviator (b. 1869).
  • 1981 – Richard O’Connor, Indian-English general (b. 1889).
  • 2002 – Willie Davenport, American sprinter and hurdler (b. 1943).
  • 2009 – Darrell Powers, American sergeant (b. 1923).
  • 2015 – Ron Clarke, Australian runner and politician, Mayor of the Gold Coast (b. 1937).
  • 2015 – Roberto M. Levingston, Argentinian general and politician, 36th President of Argentina (b. 1920).
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