Lanterns: This Day in History - April 17

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This Day in History - April 17

April 17

858 – Benedict III ends his reign as Catholic Pope

1397 – Geoffrey Chaucer tells the “Canterbury Tales” for the first time at the court of English King Richard II

1492 – Christopher Columbus signs a contract with Spain to find a western route to the Indies

1521 – German monk Martin Luther faces charges before the Diet of Worms for his revolutionary religious writings-in which he will be declared an outlaw and excommunicated

1524 – New York Harbor is discovered by Giovanni de Verrazzano

1535 – Antonio Mendoza is appointed first viceroy of New Spain

1622 – Poet Henry Vaughan is born

1676 – Frederick I, King of Sweden, is born

1680 – Saint Kateri Tekakwitha dies

1734 – Thai king Taksin is born

1741 – Signer of the Declaration of Independence, Samuel Chase, is born

1758 – Frances Williams publishes a collection of Latin poems

1783 – British Captain James Colbert launches a surprise attack on the Arkansas post of Fort Carlos known as the “Colbert Raid”

1790 – Scientist, writer, printer and statesman Benjamin Franklin dies

1808 – Bayonne Decree by Napoleon Bonaparte of France orders the seizure of US ships

1815 – The Tambora volcano in Indonesia erupts killing nearly 100,000 people both directly and indirectly. It is the largest eruption ever recorded

1820 – Sportsman who developed baseball, Alexander Cartwright is born

1824 – Russia abandons all North American claim south of 54’ 40’

1861 – Virginia becomes the eighth state to secede from the Union

1864 – General Ulysses Grant bans the trading of prisoners

1864 – Confederate forces attack Plymouth, North Carolina

1865 – Mary Surratt is arrested as a conspirator in the Lincoln assassination

1866 – British physiologist Ernest Henry Starling is born

1875 – The game “snooker” is invented by Sir Neville Chamberlain

1882 – Sheriff Pat Garrett’s inauthentic biography An American Life of Billy the Kid, arrives at the Library of Congress

1885 – Danish writer Isak Dinesen, aka Karen Blixen, is born

1895 – China and Japan sign the peace treaty of Shimonoseki

1897 – Novelist and playwright Thornton Wilder is born

1917 – The Second Battle of Gaza takes place-the British trying to capture Gaza from the Ottoman army

1923 – American broadcast journalist Harry Reasoner is born

1928 – Writer Cynthia Ozick is born

1929 – Baseball great Babe Ruth and Claire Hodgson, a member of the Ziegfeld Follies, get married

1936 – A horsehair and a foot-long piece of cord leads to the discovery that John Fiorenza murdered and raped Nancy Titterton, a novelist and wife of NBC executive Lewis Titterton-a crime he would later be executed for

1937 – Daffy Duck makes his debut in Porky’s Duck Hunt

1941 – Yugoslavia surrenders to the Germans

1942 – French General Henri Giraud, who was captured in 1940, escapes from a castle prison at Konigstein by lowering himself down the castle wall and jumping aboard a moving train that was travelling to the French border

1945 – US Lieutenant Colonel Boris Pash commandeers over a half ton of uranium at Strassfut, Germany, in an effort to prevent the Russians from developing an A-bomb

1946 – The last French troops leave Syria

1947 – Jackie Robinson bunts for his first major league hit

1960 – Rocker Eddie Cochran dies in a car accident

1961 – Some 1,400 Cuban exiles attack the Bay of Pigs in an attempt to overthrow Fidel Castro

1964 – Jerrie Mock becomes the first woman to fly solo around the world

1964 – American singer, songwriter and producer Maynard James Keenan is born

1964 – The Ford Mustang debuts at the World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows, New York

1966 – Actor, singer and producer Vikram is born

1969 – Sirhan Sirhan is convicted of assassinating Senator Robert F. Kennedy

1969 – Alexander Dubcek, the communist leader and architect of Czechoslovakia’s Prague Spring, is forced to resign as first secretary by Soviet forces occupying his country

1970 – Apollo 13, originally scheduled to land on the moon, lands safely back on Earth after an accident

1972 – Sri Lankan cricket player Muttiah Muralitharan is born

1972 – The first major antiwar protest is held at the University of Maryland

1974 – Singer and actress Victoria Beckham is born

1975 – Khmer Rouge forces capture the capital of Cambodia, Phnom Penh

1976 – Mike Schmidt of the Philadelphia Phillies hits four consecutive home runs against the Chicago Cubs, becoming one of four players in history to accomplish this

1978 – Mir Akbar Khyber’s assassination triggers a communist coup in Afghanistan

1982 – Canada adopts its constitution

1983 – In Warsaw, police rout 1,000 Solidarity supporters

1986 – The world’s longest war between the Netherlands and the Isles of Sicily, ends without a single shot fired

1988 – Sculptor Louise Nevelson dies

2014 – Malaysian politician Karpal Singh dies

2014 – Nobel Prize-winning author Gabriel Garcia Marquez dies

Written by Crystal McCann

Crystal is the Chief Operating Officer of Lanterns Media Network and the owner of Madisons Media. She lives in Texas with her husband and dogs and is the proud mother of two adult children.

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