Today In History 7/17

Published 4:00 am Monday, July 17, 2023


6 inhabitants of Carthage, North Africa executed for being Christians. Earliest record of Christianity in this part of the world.


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Siege of Constantinople begins during the fourth Crusade; Roman Catholic Crusaders aboard a Venetian fleet attack the city.


French forces routed the English in the Battle of Castillon, the concluding battle of the Hundred Years’ War.


Turkish forces began the Siege of Vienna against the Habsburg Holy Roman emperor Leopold I.


George Frideric Handel’s “Water Music” premieres repeatedly on a barge cruising the River Thames in London.


Catherine II becomes Tsarina of Russia following the murder of Peter III.


Abraham Lincoln’s wartime Congress passed the second Confiscation Act, a precursor to the Emancipation Proclamation.


American mechanical engineer Willis Carrier completed drawings for what would became the first modern air conditioner.


The Carpathia, the ocean liner that rescued the survivors of the Titanic in 1912, was sunk by a German U-boat during World War I.


Former Russian tsar Nicholas II and his family were executed by Bolsheviks.


A well-planned uprising by Nationalist rebels against the Republican government of Spain began this day in 1936, sparking a bloody civil war that lasted until 1939, when the Nationalists and Francisco Franco assumed power.


German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel was seriously injured when his car was forced off the road by British fighter-bombers.


Joseph Stalin, Winston Churchill, and Harry S. Truman met at the Potsdam Conference, the last Allied summit conference of World War II.


President Harry S. Truman records his first impressions of Stalin in his diary.


Disneyland, an amusement park featuring attractions based on the creations of Walt Disney and the Disney Company, opened in Anaheim, California.


“North by Northwest” directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint premieres in Los Angeles.


As part of a mission aimed at developing space rescue capability, the U.S. spacecraft Apollo 18 and the Soviet spacecraft Soyuz 19 rendezvous and dock in space.


21st modern Olympic games opens in Montreal: 25 African teams (later rising to 33 nations) boycott the games due to New Zealand playing rugby in apartheid South Africa.


TWA flight 800 crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Long Island, killing all 230 people on board; a U.S. government inquiry determined that a mixture of fuel and air had ignited accidentally within a fuel tank, though others believe the jetliner was shot down by a missile.


The United Nations completed the statute establishing the International Criminal Court, which began sittings four years later.


Malaysia Airlines flight 17 crashed in separatist-held territory in Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board; a Dutch investigation later determined that the aircraft was shot down by a Russian-made surface-to-air missile.


American civil rights leader and politician John Lewis—who helped lead the march that was halted by police violence on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, in 1965, a landmark event in the history of the civil rights movement—died at age 80.