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17th June: Find Out What Happened On This Day In History

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17th June is the 168th day of the year (169th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. 197 days remain until the end of the year. Today also marks the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought. Find out some important events that occurred on this day in history.


Historical events

653 — St Martin I ends his reign as Catholic Pope.

1397 — Union of Kalmar established between Denmark, Sweden and Norway.

1462 — Wallachian Prince vlad III the Impaler attempts to assassinate Mehmed II (The Night Attack) forcing him to retreat from Wallachia.

1579 — Anti-English uprising in Ireland.

1579 — Sir Francis Drake lands on coast of California at Drakes Bay, names it “New Albion”.

1609 — Netherlands, England and France sign 12 year Covenant.

1631 — Mumtaz Mahal dies during childbirth. Her husband, Mughal emperor Shah Jahan I, then spends more than 20 years building her tomb, the Taj Mahal.

1773 — Cúcuta, Colombia is founded by Juana Rangel de Cuéllar.

1788 — After a lengthy stay in Europe, future US President John Adams and his wife Abigail Adams return to Boston.

1837 — Charles Goodyear obtains his 1st rubber patent.

1839 — King of Hawaii Kamehameha III issues Edict of toleration which gives Roman Catholics freedom to worship in the Hawaiian Islands. The Hawaii Catholic Church and the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace is later established.

1863 — Travelers Insurance Co of Hartford chartered (1st accident insurer).

1882 — Tornado kills 130 in Iowa.

1894 — 1st US poliomyelitis epidemic breaks out in Rutland, Vermont.


17th June in the 20th Century

1901 — The College Board introduces its first standardized test, the forerunner to the SAT.

1928 — Aviator Amelia Earhart leaves Newfoundland to become 1st woman (passenger) to fly Atlantic (as a passenger in a plane piloted by Wilmer Stultz).

1938 — Japan declares war on China.

1939 — Last public guillotining in France. Eugen Weidmann, a convicted murderer, is guillotined in Versailles outside the prison Saint-Pierre.

1944 — Iceland declares independence from Denmark.

1947 — Pan Am Airways chartered as 1st worldwide passenger airline.

1950 — 1st kidney transplant (Chicago).

1954 — Heavyweight Boxing Champion Rocky Marciano beats Ezzard Charles by unanimous points decision in his 3rd world heavyweight boxing title defence at Yankee Stadium, NYC.

1958 — “Things Fall Apart” by Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe published by Heinemann – considered most widely read book in African literature.


More dates

1963 — Supreme Court rules against Bible reading/prayer in public schools.

1967 — China becomes world’s 4th thermonuclear (H-bomb) power.

1970 — Edwin Land patents the Polaroid camera.

1973 — Country Singer Dolly Parton records her song “I Will Always Love You” (later huge hit for Whitney Houston) for RCA in Nashville.

1985 — 18th Space Shuttle Mission (51-G)-Discovery 5 launched.

1988 — Givens’ Family reports Heavyweight Boxing Champion Mike Tyson beats his wife Robin Givens.

1988 — Women sentenced to 90 years. This marks the first product tampering murder case.

1988 — Microsoft releases MS-DOS 4.0.

1991 — South Africa abolishes last of its apartheid laws.

1994 — NFL Running Back and Convicted Criminal O.J. Simpson doesn’t turn himself in on murder charges, LA cops chase his Ford Bronco for 1½ hours, eventually gives up (seen live on TV).

1996 — The Fifteenth Amendment to the Irish Constitution, which removes the prohibition on divorce, is signed into law following a vote the previous year.


17th June in the 21st Century

2008 — First day of legal same-s*x marriage in California.

2017 — Bill Cosby trial for aggravated indecent assault declared a mistrial after jurors couldn’t reach a verdict.

2018 — “The Incredibles 2” sets a box office record for an animated release, earning $180 million its opening weekend

2018 — World electric speed record broken by Jaguar Vector V20E in battery-powered boat at 88.61 mph (142.60 kph) Coniston Water, English Lake District

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