Today in History: January 17 | HistoryNet MENU

Today in History: January 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.


January 17

1601 The Treaty of Lyon ends a short war between France and Savoy.
1746 Charles Edward Stuart, the young pretender, defeats the government forces at the Battle of Falkirk in Scotland.
1773 Captain James Cook becomes the first person to cross the Antarctic Circle.
1819 Simon Bolivar, the “liberator”, proclaims Columbia a republic.
1893 Queen Liliuokalani, the Hawaiian monarch, is overthrown by a group of American sugar planters led by Sanford Ballard Dole.
1852 At the Sand River Convention, the British recognize the independence of the Transvaal Board.
1912 Robert Scott reaches the South Pole only a month after Roald Amundsen.
1939 The Reich issues an order forbidding Jews to practice as dentists, veterinarians and chemists.
1945 The Red Army occupies Warsaw.
1963 Soviet leader Khrushchev visits the Berlin Wall.
1985 A jury in New Jersey rules that terminally ill patients have the right to starve themselves.
Born on January 17
1504 Pius V, Pope from 1566-1572.
1706 Benjamin Franklin, statesman, diplomat, scientist and inventor: helped draft the Declaration of Independence and wrote Poor Richard’s Almanac.
1860 Anton Chekhov, Russian playwright and short story writer famous for The Seagull and Three Sisters.
1863 David Lloyd George, British Prime Minister during World War I.
1899 Al Capone, U.S. mobster known as “Scarface Al” who ran the criminal underworld in most of Chicago and the surrounding area.
1922 Betty White, actress; created memorable characters in TV sitcoms from the 1950s into the 21st century (Life with Elizabeth, Mary Tyler Moore, The Golden Girls, Hot in Cleveland) and was a popular guest on TV game shows. At age 88 and a half she became the oldest person ever to host Saturday Night Live (2010).
1942 Muhammad Ali [Cassius Clay], U.S. boxer, “The Greatest”; the only three-time heavyweight champion..
1964 Michelle Robinson Obama, wife of U.S. President Barack Obama.