Today in History: October 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.

October 17

1244   The Sixth Crusade ends when an Egyptian-Khwarismian force almost annihilates the Frankish army at Gaza.
1529   Henry VIII of England strips Thomas Wolsey of his office for failing to secure an annulment of his marriage.
1346   English forces defeat the Scots under David II during the Battle of Neville’s Cross, Scotland.
1691   Maine and Plymouth are incorporated in Massachusetts.
1777   British Maj. Gen. John Burgoyne surrenders 5,000 men at Saratoga, N.Y.
1815   Napoleon Bonaparte arrives at the island of St. Helena in the South Atlantic, where he has been banished by the Allies.
1849   Composer and pianist Frederic Chopin dies in Paris of tuberculosis at the age of 39.
1863   General Ulysses S. Grant is named overall Union Commander of the West.
1877   Brigadier General Alfred Terry meets with Sitting Bull in Canada to discuss the Indians’ return to the United States.
1913   Zeppelin LII explodes over London, killing 28.
1933   Due to rising anti-Semitism and anti-intellectualism in Hitler’s Germany, Albert Einstein immigrates to the United States. He makes his new home in Princeton, N.J.
1941   The U.S. destroyer Kearney is damaged by a German U-boat torpedo off Iceland; 11 Americans are killed.
1956   The nuclear power station Calder Hall is opened in Britain. Calder Hall is the first nuclear station to feed an appreciable amount of power into a civilian network.
1972   Peace talks between Pathet Lao and Royal Lao government begin in Vietnam.
1989   The worst earthquake in 82 years strikes San Francisco bay area minutes before the start of a World Series game there. The earthquake registers 6.9 on the Richter scale–67 are killed and damage is estimated at $10 billion.
1994   Dmitry Kholodov, a Russian journalist, assassinated while investigating corruption in the armed forces; his murkier began a series of killings of journalists in Russia.
2001   Rehavam Ze’evi, Israeli tourism minister and founder of the right-wing Moledet party, assassinated by a member of the Popular Front of the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP); he was the first Israeli minister ever assassinated.
2003   Taipei 101 is completed in Taipei, becoming the world’s tallest high-rise.

Born on October 17

1821   Alexander Gardner, American photographer who documented the Civil War and the West.
1859   Childe Hassam, American impressionist painter and illustrator.
1895   Doris Humphrey, modern dance choreographer.
1903   Nathaneal West, novelist and screenwriter (Miss Lonely Hearts, The Day of the Locust).
1915   Arthur Miller, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright (Death of a Salesman, A View from the Bridge).
1918   Rita Hayworth, film actress.
1930   Jimmy Breslin, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist, author and columnist.
1938   Evel Knievel, U.S. daredevil motorcycle stunt man.
1942   Gary Puckett, singer, songwriter; lead singer of Gary Puckett & The Union Gap ("Woman, Woman"; "Young Girl").
1946   Michael Hossack, drummer for the Doobie Brothers band
1946   Adam Michnik, Polish historian and editor-in-chief of Gazeta Wybocza, Poland’s largest newspaper; named Europe’s Man of the Year by La Vie magazine (1989).
1948   Margo Kidder, actress; best known for playing Lois Lane in four Superman movies between 1978 and 1987.
1958   Alan Jackson, country singer with over 60 million records sold worldwide; his many awards include 2 Grammys and 16 Country Music Association awards; "Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning"; "Don’t Rock the Jukebox."
1960   Rob Marshall, theater and film director, choreographer; awards include 4 Emmys and an Academy Award for Best Picture (Chicago, 2002).
1968   Ziggy Marley, Jamaican musician, leader of Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers; oldest son of reggae great Bob Marley.