History Of 17 February
1801 – The U.S. House of Representatives broke an electoral tie between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr. Jefferson was elected president and Burr became vice president.
1817 – The first gaslit streetlights appeared on the streets of Baltimore, MD.
1865 – Columbia, SC, burned. The Confederates were evacuating and the Union Forces were moving in.
1876 – Julius Wolff was credited with being the first to can sardines.
1878 – In San Francisco, CA, the first large city telephone exchange opened. It had only 18 phones.
1897 – The National Congress of Mothers was organized in Washington, DC, by Alice McLellan Birney and Phoebe Apperson Hearst. It was the forerunner of the National PTA.
1913 – The Armory Show opened at the 69th Regiment Armory in New York City. The full-scale exhibition was of contemporary paintings and was organized by the Association of Painters and Sculptors.
1924 – Swimmer Johnny Weissmuller set a world record in the 100-yard freestyle. He did it with a time of 57-2/5 seconds in Miami, FL.
1933 – “Newsweek” was first published.
1933 – Blondie Boopadoop married Dagwood Bumstead three years after Chic Young’s popular strip first debuted.
1934 – The first high school automobile driver’s education course was introduced in State College, PA.
1944 – During World War II, the Battle of Eniwetok Atoll began. U.S. forces won the battle on February 22, 1944.
1947 – The Voice of America began broadcasting to the Soviet Union.
1964 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that congressional districts within each state had to be approximately equal in population. (Westberry v. Sanders)
1965 – Comedienne Joan Rivers made her first guest appearances on ” The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson” on NBC-TV.
1968 – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame opened in Springfield, MA.
1985 – U.S. Postage stamp prices were raised from 20 cents to 22 cents for first class mail.
1992 – In Milwaukee, serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer was sentenced to life in prison. In November of 1994, he was beaten to death in prison.
1995 – Colin Ferguson was convicted of six counts of murder in the December 1993 Long Island Rail Road shootings. He was later sentenced to a minimum of 200 years in prison.
1996 – World chess champion Garry Kasparov beat the IBM supercomputer “Deep Blue” in Philadelphia, PA.
1997 – Pepperdine University announced that Kenneth Starr was leaving the Whitewater probe to take a full-time job at the school. Starr reversed the announcement four days later.
2005 – U.S. President George W. Bush named John Negroponte as the first national intelligence director.
2006 – A massive mudslide occurs in Southern Leyte, Philippines; the official death toll is set at 1,126.
2008 – Kosovo declares independence from Serbia.
2011 – Arab Spring: Libyan protests against Muammar Gaddafi’s regime begin. In Bahrain, security forces launched a deadly pre-dawn raid on protesters in Pearl Roundabout in Manama, the day is locally known as Bloody Thursday.
2015 – Eighteen people are killed and 78 injured in a stampede at a Mardi Gras parade in Haiti.
2016 – Military vehicles explode outside a Turkish Armed Forces barracks in Ankara, Turkey, killing at least 29 people and injuring 61 others.
Celebrating Birthday Today
- 1981 – Joseph Gordon-Levitt, American actor, director, and producer
- 1981 – Paris Hilton, American model, media personality, actress, singer, DJ, author, and businesswoman
- 1981 – Pontus Segerström, Swedish footballer (d. 2014)
- 1981 – Andrew Stephenson, English politician
- 1982 – Adriano, Brazilian footballer
- 1982 – Brian Bruney, American baseball player
- 1982 – Daniel Merriweather, Australian singer-songwriter
- 1983 – Kevin Rudolf, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer
- 1984 – AB de Villiers, South African cricketer
- 1984 – Jimmy Jacobs, American wrestler
- 1984 – Katie Hill, Australian 3.0 point wheelchair basketball player.
- 1984 – Drew Miller, American ice hockey player
- 1984 – Marcin Gortat, Polish basketball player
- 1985 – Anders Jacobsen, Norwegian ski jumper
- 1988 – Vasyl Lomachenko, Ukrainian boxer
- 1989 – Rebecca Adlington, English swimmer
- 1989 – Jake Marketo, Australian rugby league player
- 1989 – Chord Overstreet, American actor, and singer
- 1989 – Tom Symonds, Australian rugby league player
- 1990 – Marianne St-Gelais, Canadian speed skater
- 1991 – Ed Sheeran, English singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer
- 1991 – Bonnie Wright, English actress, director, and screenwriter
- 1993 – Nicola Leali, Italian footballer
- 1993 – Marc Márquez, Spanish motorcycle racer
- 1994 – Angie Miller, American singer-songwriter and pianist
- 1996 – Sasha Pieterse, South African actress