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180 Jul 17
Christenen Cittinus Donatus Natzalus Secunda Speratus Vestia was sentenced to death in Carthage.
Links: Carthage     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1048 Jul 17
Damasus II, born as Poppo, became Pope. He was the second of the German pontiffs nominated by Emperor Henry III.
Links: , Vatican     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1203 Jul 17
Venetians conquered Constantinople and emperor Alexius III fled.
Links: Byzantium, Romans     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1603 Jul 17
Sir Walter Raleigh (1552-1618) was arrested. He was prosecuted by Sir Edward Coke. James I suspended his death sentence and had him incarcerated in the Tower of London for 13 years during which time he wrote his "History of the World."
Links: Britain, Explorer     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1781 Jul 17
Yuma Indians in southern California attacked two missions killing all the men but two and enslaving the women and children. They were upset after a Spanish officer let a large horse herd loose to graze in Yuma fields.
Links: USA, California, AmerIndian     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1790 Jul 17
Economist Adam Smith (b.1723), Scottish moral philosopher and a pioneer of political economy, died. In 2001 Emma Rothschild authored "Economic Sentiments: Adam Smith, Condorcet, and the Enlightenment." In 2002 Peter J. Dougherty authored "Who’s Afraid of Adam Smith." In 2010 Nicholas Phillipson authored “Adam Smith: An Enlightened Life.”
Links: Scotland, Economics, Biography     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1799 Jul 17
Ottoman forces, supported by the British, captured Aboukir, Egypt from the French.
Links: Turkey, Britain, France, Egypt     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1845 Jul 17
Earl Grey (b.1764), former British prime minister (1830-1834), died. A member of the Whig Party, he backed significant reform of the British government and was among the primary architects of the Reform Act of 1832. In addition to his political achievements, Earl Grey famously gives his name to an aromatic blend of tea.
Links: Britain, Tea     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1876 Jul 17
At Warbonnet Creek, Nebraska, Buffalo Bill Cody took the scalp of Cheyenne Chief Yellow Hair (Yellow Hand) following a duel.
Links: USA, Nebraska, AmerIndian     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1894 Jul 17
Georges Lemaitre, Belgian astronomer, was born.
Links: Belgium     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1898 Jul 17
U.S. troops under General William R. Shafter took Santiago de Cuba during the Spanish-American War. Spain surrendered to the United States at Santiago, Cuba.
Links: Cuba     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1903 Jul 17
James Abbott McNeil Whistler (b.1834), American-born expatriate painter famous for painting his mother (1872), died.
Links: Artist, Britain, USA     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1909 Jul 17
Glenn Curtiss entered and won the Scientific American trophy for a 2nd year by flying a total of 25 km. in 12 circuits on Long Island. His Golden Flier was sponsored by the Aeronautic Society of New York.
Links: USA, New York, Aviation     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1918 Jul 17
Russian Tsar, Nicholas II, was executed at Ekaterinburg by the Bolsheviks under orders from Lenin. His wife, son, 4 daughters, and 4 servants were also executed. The family mass grave was discovered by a former KGB agent in 1979 in the Urals and only 9 bodies were found. The bodies were dug up in 1991. A 1997 documentary film by Victoria Lewis, "Mystery of the Last Tsar," told the story. The Czar, his wife, three children and four servants were executed by a 12-man firing squad in the Ipatiev House in Yekaterinburg. A reburial of the family was scheduled in St. Petersburg for Jul 17, 1998.
Links: Russia, USSR, Murder     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1918 Jul 17
Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna (b.1864) was murdered at a mine the village of Siniachikha. The Cheka beat Grand Duke Sergei Mikhailovich Romanov, Princes Ioann Konstantinovich, Konstantin Konstantinovich, Igor Konstantinovich, Vladimir Pavlovich Paley, Feodor Remez (Grand Duke Sergei's secretary), and Varvara Yakovleva, a sister from the Grand Duchess's convent, before throwing their victims into a pit, Elizabeth being the first. Hand grenades were then hurled down the shaft, but only one victim, Feodor Remez, died as a result of the grenades. Finally a large quantity of brushwood was shoved into the opening and set alight.
Links: Russia, USSR, Murder     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1935 Jul 17
Donald Sutherland, actor (M*A*S*H, Body Snatchers), was born in Saint John, New Brunswick.
Links: Canada, Filmstar     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1936 Jul 17
Gen. Francisco Franco was flown from the Canary Islands, where he served as military governor, to Spanish Morocco where he led a rebellion against the elected Popular Front. This began the Spanish civil war. The first word of the rebellion was reported by Lester Ziffren (1906-2007) of the United Press. The rebel Nationalist movement under Francisco Franco gained support from the fascist regimes in Italy and Germany in opposition.
Links: Spain, Morocco, Canary Islands     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1939 Jul 17
Spencer Davis, vocalist (Spencer Davis Group-Gimme Some Lovin), was born in Wales.
Links: Wales     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1940 Jul 17
General Laidoner, the last Commander-in-Chief of the Estonian Armed Forces, was deported with his wife to banishment in Penza. He died in Vladimir Prison in 1953.
Links: Estonia     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1941 Jul 17
Brigadier-General Brehon Somervell gathered a small group of officer’s from the army’s construction division and told them they were to build a single headquarters to house the entire war department, then scattered over sites, in Virginia.
Links: USA, Virginia     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1941 Jul 17
The longest hitting streak in baseball history ended when the Cleveland Indians pitchers Al Smith and Jim Bagby Jr. held NY Yankee Joe DiMaggio, the Yankee Clipper, hitless for the first time in 57 games. His hitting streak ended with 56 games.
Links: USA, Ohio, NYC, Baseball     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1946 Jul 17
Chinese communists opened a drive against the Nationalist army on the Yangtze River.
Links: China     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1946 Jul 17
Royalist Yugoslav Serb General Draza Mihailovich (b.1893) was executed by firing squad in Belgrade. He had led Serbian guerrilla fighters known as Chetniks. He was executed after a brief trial after being convicted of high treason and war crimes by the authorities of the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia. Mihailovic’s fighters had rescued some 500 US Army airmen shot down over the Balkans. In 2010 proceedings to exonerate Mihailovic were launched at the request of his followers and relatives who claimed the trial against him had been staged and politically motivated. On May 14, 2015, Mihailović was rehabilitated after ruling by the Supreme Court of Cassation, the highest appellate court in Serbia.
Links: USA, Serbia, Yugoslavia     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1953 Jul 17
Pres. Eisenhower proclaimed Captive Nations Week following US Senate resolution on July 6 and US House resolution on July 8. It aimed at raising public awareness of the oppression of nations under the control of Communist and other non-democratic governments. It became public law in 1959.
Links: Russia, USA, USSR, EisenhowerD     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1954 Jul 17
Gen. Joseph Swing, appointed by Pres. Eisenhower to head the INS, began "Operation Wetback." Because political resistance was lower in California and Arizona, the roundup of aliens began there. Some 750 agents swept northward through agricultural areas with a goal of 1,000 apprehensions a day. By the end of July, over 50,000 aliens were caught in the two states. Another 488,000, fearing arrest, had fled the country.
Links: USA, California, Mexico, Arizona, EisenhowerD     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1955 Jul 17
Walt Disney’s $17-million Disneyland opened to the public in Anaheim, Calif. The site had been a 160-acre orange ranch just off the Santa Ana Freeway. Entry tickets for kids was 50 cents and $1 for adults.
Links: USA, California     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1957 Jul 17
Leona Gage (1939-2010) of Maryland won the Miss USA title as part of the Miss Universe Pageant in Long Beach, Ca. Officials soon stripped her of the title after learning that she was a mother of two and had lied about her age.
Links: USA, California, Maryland, Pageant     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1959 Jul 17
Billie Holiday (b.1915), jazz and blues singer, died in NYC at age 44. In 1956 William Dufty (d.2002) authored the biography "Lady Sings the Blues." In 2000 Robert O’Meally authored "Lady Day: The Many Faces of Billie Holiday."
Links: USA, NYC, Jazz     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1959 Jul 17
The US Congress approved a joint resolution establishing Captive Nations Week to be observed on the 3rd week of July. Pres. Eisenhower signed Public Law 86-90 establishing the week, aimed at raising public awareness of the oppression of nations under the control of Communist and other non-democratic governments, began in 1953.
Links: Russia, USA, USSR, EisenhowerD     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1961 Jul 17
Ty Cobb (74), baseball great (Detroit Tigers), died of cancer in Atherton, Ca. He was the first man elected into Baseball’s Hall of Fame.
Links: USA, Baseball, Michigan     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1962 Jul 17
Air Force pilot Robert White (1924-2010) flew the rocket-powered X-15 to an altitude of 314,750 feet (59.6 miles).
Links: USA, NASA, Air Force     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1966 Jul 17
Ho Chi Minh ordered a partial mobilization of North Vietnam to defend against American airstrikes.
Links: Vietnam     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1967 Jul 17
John Coltrane (b.1926), jazz composer-musician died in Huntington, N.Y. He gained attention through recordings as part of Miles Davis’ quintet in the 50s. By 1960, following critical acclaim, Coltrane was leading his own quartet that eventually dissolved in 1965. He worked with various musicians for the next two years until succumbing to liver cancer in 1967. Coltrane’s style, developed over the years from influences ranging from Miles Davis’ forms of modal improvisation to Eastern musical theory, has influenced and been imitated by numerous jazz musicians since. His album’s included "Kulu Se Mama" written by Juno Lewis (d.2002). In 2002 Ashley Kahn authored "A Love Supreme: The Story of John Coltrane’s Signature Album.” In 2007 Ben Ratliff authored “Coltrane: The Story of Sound.”
Links: USA, New York, Jazz, Biography     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1968 Jul 17
Beatle's animated film "Yellow Submarine" premiered in London. The US premiere was on November 13.
Links: Britain, Cartoons, Film, Beatles     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1968 Jul 17
The Arab Socialist Baath Party staged a bloodless coup in Iraq and gained control as the Revolution Command Council. Abdul Rahman Arif, brother of Abdul Salam Arif (d.1966), was ousted in the Baathist coup and exiled to Istanbul. Ahmed Hasan-al-Bakr became president of Iraq after the July 17 coup. This became a national holiday until it was abolished in 2003. Saddam Hussein soon became recognized as the strongman of the regime.
Links: Iraq     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1969 Jul 17
An FBI memo titled "New Left and Extremist Movements" revealed Gov. Reagan’s plans for the destruction of disruptive elements on California college campuses through "psychological warfare" and other methods.
Links: USA, California, FBI, ReaganR     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1973 Jul 17
Zahir Shah (1914-2007) was on vacation in Europe, when his government was overthrown in a military coup headed by his relative Daoud Khan and PDPA (Afghan Communist Party). Zahir Shah fled to Italy where he lived until his return in 2002. Daoud Khan abolished the monarchy and declared himself President of the Republic of Afghanistan.
Links: Afghan     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1974 Jul 17
Jay Hanna "Dizzy" Dean (b.1910), pitcher (St Louis Cards), died in Nevada.
Links: USA, Baseball     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1975 Jul 17
A US Apollo spaceship docked with a Soyuz spacecraft in orbit in the first superpower linkup of its kind. Soviet cosmonauts Valery Kubasov (1935-2014) and lt. Col. Alexei A. Leonov spent 44 hours with Brig. Gen. Thomas P. Stafford, Deke Slayton and Vance D. Brand.
Links: Russia, USA, USSR, NASA, Space     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1976 Jul 17
The XX1 Olympiad, opened in Montreal. Closing ceremonies for the summer Olympics were held August 1. 26 African nations boycotted the games after the IOC failed to bann New Zealand after its rugby team toured South Africa. Taiwan withdrew after it was denied the right to compete as the Republic of China. In 1998 it was revealed that 143 members of the East German team had taken performance-enhancing drugs.
Links: Canada, Germany, Taiwan, South Africa, Olympics, New Zealand, Drugs     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1978 Jul 17
In San Marino a Communist-Socialist coalition became Western Europe’s only communist led government.
Links: San Marino     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1979 Jul 17
Nicaraguan President Anastasio Somoza Debayle resigned and fled to Miami in exile.
Links: Nicaragua, USA, Florida     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1980 Jul 17
Ronald Reagan formally accepted the Republican nomination for president.
Links: USA, Michigan, ReaganR     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1980 Jul 17
Zenko Suzuki (1911-2004) was appointed prime minister of Japan. He resigned after 2 years.
Links: Japan     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1980 Jul 17
In Bolivia a bloody coup installed a reactionary (and cocaine-tainted) dictatorship led by general Luis Garcia Meza. Former president (1956-1960) Hernan Siles Zuazo (1914-1996), who had won the most votes in elections flew to exile. He returned in 1982, when the military's experiment had ran its course and the Bolivian economy was on the verge of collapse. He served a 2nd term from 1982-1985.
Links: Bolivia     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1981 Jul 17
In Missouri 114 people were killed when a pair of walkways above the lobby of the Kansas City Hyatt Regency Hotel collapsed during a tea dance.
Links: USA, Kansas, Missouri     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1986 Jul 17
White House chief of staff Donald Regan drew criticism for suggesting in an interview that American women would not be prepared to “give up all their jewelry” if the U.S. were to impose economic sanctions against South Africa.
Links: USA, South Africa     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1986 Jul 17
The world got its first look at the remains of the Titanic as videotapes of the British luxury liner, which sank in 1912, were released by researchers from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
Links: USA, Massachusetts, Ship     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1987 Jul 17
10 teen-agers were killed when raging floodwaters from the Guadalupe River near Comfort, Texas, swept away a church bus and van holding 43 people.
Links: USA, Tragedy, Texas     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1987 Jul 17
The 1937 Walt Disney movie, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs", was re-released in the US.
Links: USA, Film     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1988 Jul 17
Michael Dukakis arrived in Atlanta to claim the Democratic nomination for president, saying, "We're working hard to make sure we have a good convention, a strong and united party."
Links: GeorgiaUS, USA     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1989 Jul 17
The controversial B-2 Stealth bomber underwent its first test flight at Edwards Air Force Base in California, two days after a technical problem forced a postponement.
Links: USA, California, Aviation     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1989 Jul 17
Isidore Feinstein Stone (b.1907), author (I.F. Stone's Weekly), died in Boston. In 2006 Myra MacPherson authored “All Governments Lie,” a biography of Stone. In 2009 D.D. Guttenplan authored “American Radical: The Life and Times of I.F. Stone.”
Links: USA, Massachusetts, Writer, Biography     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1990 Jul 17
The seven nations negotiating German unification reached agreement in Paris on Poland’s permanent border, clearing the way for the merger of East and West Germany.
Links: France, Germany, Poland     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1991 Jul 17
The US Senate voted 53-to-45 to give itself a $23,200 pay raise while at the same time banning outside speaking fees.
Links: USA, Labor, Money     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1991 Jul 17
Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev made a personal appeal for Western aid at the conclusion of the Group of Seven economic summit in London.
Links: Russia, Britain, USSR, G7     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1992 Jul 17
A historic accord for deep cuts in tanks and other non-nuclear arms in Europe went into effect, nearly two years after it was signed by NATO and the Warsaw Pact.
Links: NATO, Nuclear     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1992 Jul 17
Slovakia's government decreed its independence from Czechoslovakia. The independence did not become official until January 1, 1993.
Links: Slovakia, Czechoslovakia     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1992 Jul 17
Donna Ferguson (18) and Todd Rudiger (29) were murdered in Portland, Ore. In 1998 Sebastian Shaw was indicted for the murders. He pleaded guilty in 2000 and was sen-tenced to two life terms. Later, his DNA would be conclusive evidence that he also killed one Jay Rickbeil in July 1991. He would receive a third sentence of life in prison. Shaw, born in Vietnam in 1967 as Chau Quong, had been airlifted from the roof of the US Embassy on the day Saigon fell.
Links: USA, Vietnam, Murder, Oregon     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1993 Jul 17
President Clinton, with several Cabinet members in tow, traveled to Arnold, Mo., where he heard the governors of eight flood-stricken states appeal for more financial assistance; however, he held out little hope the government could offer a total bailout.
Links: USA, Missouri, ClintonB, Flood     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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