Today in History: February 17 | HistoryNet MENU

Today in History: February 17

What Happened This Day In History.

A chronological timetable of historical events that occurred on this day in history. Historical facts of the day in the areas of military, politics, science, music, sports, arts, entertainment and more. Discover what happened today in history.


February 17

1454   At a grand feast, Philip the Good of Burgundy takes the “Vow of the Pheasant,” by which he swears to fight the Turks.
1598   Boris Godunov, a boyar of Tarar origin, is elected czar to succeed to his brother-in-law Fydor.
1720   Spain signs the Treaty of the Hague with the Quadruple Alliance ending a war that was begun in 1718.
1801   The House of Representatives breaks an electoral college tie and chooses Thomas Jefferson over Aaron Burr.
1864   The Confederate submarine Hunley sinks the USS Housatonic in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina.
1865   The South Carolina capital city, Columbia, is destroyed by fire as Major General William Tecumseh Sherman marches through.
1909   Apache chief Geronimo dies of pneumonia at age 80, while still in captivity at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
1919   Germany signs an armistice giving up territory in Poland.
1925   The first issue of Harold Ross’ magazine, The New Yorker, hits the stands, selling for 15 cents a copy.
1933   The League of Nations censures Japan in a worldwide broadcast.
1935   Thirty-one prisoners escape an Oklahoma prison after murdering a guard.
1938   The first color television is demonstrated at the Dominion Theatre in London.
1944   U.S forces land on Eniewetok Atoll in the South Pacific.
1945   Gen. MacArthur’s troops land on Corregidor in the Philippines.
1951   Packard introduces its “250” Chassis Convertible.
1955   Britain announces its ability to make hydrogen bombs.
1959   The United States launches its first weather station in space, Vanguard II.
1960   Martin Luther King Jr. is arrested in the Alabama bus boycott.
1963   Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev visits the Berlin Wall.
1969   Russia and Peru sign their first trade accord.
1973   President Richard Nixon names Patrick Gray director of the FBI.
1975   Art by Cezanne, Gauguin, Renoir, and van Gogh, valued at $5 million, is stolen from the Municipal Museum in Milan.
1979   China begins a “pedagogical” war against Vietnam. It will last until March.
1985   Murray Haydon becomes the third person to receive an artificial heart.
Born on February 17
1774   Raphaelle Peale, U.S. painter
1864   A(ndrew) B(arton) “Banjo” Paterson, Australian poet and journalist.
1874   Thomas J. Watson Sr., U.S. industrialist.
1902   Marian Anderson, American singer.
1908   Walter Lanier “Red” Barber, baseball announcer for the Cincinnati Reds, the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Yankees.
1929   Chaim Potok, novelist (The Chosen, The Promise).
1963   Michael Jordan, basketball player for the Chicago Bulls.