Today in History: April 17 | HistoryNet

Today in History: April 17

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0858

Benedict III ends his reign as Catholic Pope.

1492

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

1524

Present-day New York Harbor is discovered by Giovanni da Verrazzano.

1535

Antonio Mendoza is appointed first viceroy of New Spain.

1758

Frances Williams, the first African-American to graduate from a college in the western hemisphere, publishes a collection of Latin poems.

1808

Bayonne Decree by Napoleon Bonaparte of France orders seizure of U.S. ships.

1824

Russia abandons all North American claims south of 54' 40'.

1861

Virginia becomes the eighth state to secede from the Union.

1864

General Ulysses Grant bans the trading of prisoners.

1865

Mary Surratt is arrested as a conspirator in the Lincoln assassination.

1875

The game "snooker" is invented by Sir Neville Chamberlain.

1895

China and Japan sign peace treaty of Shimonoseki.

1929

Baseball player Babe Ruth and Claire Hodgson, a former member of the Ziegfeld Follies, get married.

1946

The last French troops leave Syria.

1947

Jackie Robinson bunts for his first major league hit.

1961

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

1964

Jerrie Mock becomes first woman to fly solo around the world.

1969

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

1970

Apollo 13--originally scheduled to land on the moon--lands back safely on Earth after an accident.

1975

Khmer Rouge forces capture the capital of Cambodia, Phnom Penh.

1983

In Warsaw, police rout 1,000 Solidarity supporters.