History of 17 April
1916 – The American Academy of Arts and Letters obtained a charter from the U.S. Congress.
1917 – A bill in Congress to establish Daylight Saving Time was defeated. It was passed a couple of months later.
1935 – “Lights Out” debuted on NBC Radio. It ran until 1952.
1941 – Igor Sikorsky accomplished the first successful helicopter lift-off from water near Stratford, CT.
1941 – The office of Price Administration was established in the U.S. to handle rationing.
1946 – The last French troops left Syria.
1947 – Jackie Robinson (Brooklyn Dodgers) performed a bunt for his first major league hit.
1961 – About 1,400 U.S.-supported Cuban exiles invaded Cuba at the Bay of Pigs in an attempt to overthrow Fidel Castro. It was an unsuccessful attack.
1964 – Jerrie Mock became the first woman to fly an airplane solo around the world.
1964 – The Ford Motor Company unveiled its new Mustang model.
1967 – “The Joey Bishop Show” debuted on ABC-TV.
1967 – The U.S. Supreme Court barred Muhammad Ali’s request to be blocked from induction into the U.S. Army.
1969 – In Los Angeles, Sirhan Sirhan was convicted of assassinating U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy.
1969 – Czechoslovak Communist Party chairman Alexander Dubcek was deposed.
1970 – Apollo 13 returned to Earth safely after an onboard accident with an oxygen tank.
1975 – Khmer Rouge forces captured the capital of Cambodia, Phnom Penh. It was the end of the five-year war.
1983 – In Warsaw, police routed 1,000 Solidarity supporters.
1983 – In New York, a transit strike that began on March 7 ended.
1984 – In London, demonstrators outside the Libyan Embassy were fired upon from someone inside. Eleven people were injured and an English Policewoman was killed.
1985 – The U.S. Postal Service unveiled its new 22-cent, “LOVE” stamp.
1985 – In Lebanon, the cabinet resigned as Shiites took W. Beirut.
1987 – In Sri Lanka, Tamil guerrillas killed 122 people in a road ambush.
1989 – In Poland, courts gave Solidarity legal status.
1993 – A federal jury in Los Angeles convicted two former police officers of violating the civil rights of beaten motorist Rodney King. Two other officers were acquitted.
1996 – Erik and Lyle Menendez were sentenced to life in prison without parole for killing their parents.
1999 – In India, the government of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee collapsed after losing a vote of confidence.
2002 – At the National Maritime Museum in London, the exhibit “Skin Deep – A History of Tattooing” opened.
2006 – A Palestinian suicide bomber detonates an explosive device in a Tel Aviv restaurant, killing 11 people and injuring 70.
2013 – An explosion at a fertilizer plant in the city of West, Texas, kills 15 people and injures 160 others.
2014 – NASA’s Kepler space telescope confirms the discovery of the first Earth-size planet in the habitable zone of another star.
2019 – A tourist bus overturned on the Portuguese island of Madeira, killing 29 passengers mostly German tourists.
Celebrating Birthday Today
- 1981 – Jenny Meadows, English runner
- 1981 – Hanna Pakarinen, Finnish singer-songwriter
- 1981 – Ryan Raburn, American baseball player
- 1981 – Chris Thompson, English runner
- 1981 – Zhang Yaokun, Chinese footballer
- 1982 – Brad Boyes, Canadian ice hockey player
- 1982 – Chuck Kobasew, Canadian ice hockey player
- 1983 – Stanislav Chistov, Russian ice hockey player
- 1983 – Roberto Jiménez, Peruvian footballer
- 1983 – Andrea Marcato, Italian rugby player
- 1984 – Pablo Sebastián Álvarez, the Argentinian footballer
- 1984 – Jed Lowrie, American baseball player
- 1984 – Raffaele Palladino, Italian footballer
- 1985 – Rooney Mara, American actress
- 1985 – Luke Mitchell, Australian actor, and model
- 1985 – Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, a French tennis player
- 1986 – Romain Grosjean, French race car driver
- 1988 – Takahiro Moriuchi, Japanese singer-songwriter
- 1989 – Paraskevi Papachristou, Greek triple jumper
- 1989 – Avi Kaplan, singer, and songwriter
- 1990 – Jonathan Brown, Welsh footballer
- 1992 – Lachlan Maranta, Australian rugby league footballer
- 1996 – Lorna Fitzgerald, British actress