September 17th in History

This day in historySeptember 17 is the 260th day of the year (261st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 105 days remaining until the end of the year.




In 456,  Remistus, Roman general (magister militum), is besieged by a Gothic force at Ravenna and later executed in the Palace in Classis, outside the city.

In 1111,  Highest Galician nobility led by Pedro Fróilaz de Traba and the bishop Diego Gelmírez crown Alfonso VII as “King of Galicia“.

In 1176,  The Battle of Myriokephalon is fought between the Byzantine Empire and the Seljuk Turks.

In 1382,  Louis the Great‘s daughter, Mary, is crowned “king” of Hungary.

In 1462,  The Battle of Świecino (also known as the Battle of Żarnowiec) is fought during Thirteen Years’ War.

Pedro Menéndez de Avilés.jpgIn 1574,  Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, Spanish admiral and explorer, founded St. Augustine, Florida (b. 1519) dies. He was a Spanish admiral and explorer from the region of Asturias, Spain, who is remembered for planning the first regular trans-oceanic convoys and for founding St. Augustine, Florida, in 1565. This was the first successful Spanish settlement in La Florida and the most significant city in the region for nearly three centuries. St. Augustine is the oldest continuously-inhabited, European-established settlement in the continental United States. Menéndez subsequently became the first governor of colonial Florida.

In 1577,  The Treaty of Bergerac is signed between Henry III of France and the Huguenots.

In 1630,  The city of Boston, Massachusetts is founded.

In 1631,  Sweden wins a major victory at the Battle of Breitenfeld against the Holy Roman Empire during the Thirty Years’ War.

In 1683,  Antonie van Leeuwenhoek writes a letter to the Royal Society describing “animalcules“: the first known description of protozoa.

In 1716,  Jean Thurel enlists in the Touraine Regiment at the age of 18, the first day of a military career that would span for over 90 years.

In 1761,  The Battle of Kosabroma is fought.

In 1775,  American Revolutionary War: The Invasion of Canada begins with the Siege of Fort St. Jean.

In 1776,  The Presidio of San Francisco is founded in New Spain.

In 1778,  The Treaty of Fort Pitt is signed. It is the first formal treaty between the United States and a Native American tribe (the Lenape or Delaware Indians).

In 1787,  The United States Constitution is signed in Philadelphia.

In 1793,  The Battle of Peyrestortes is fought.

In 1794,  The Battle of Sprimont is fought.

In 1808,  Benjamin Bourne, American judge and politician (b. 1755) dies in Bristol, Rhode Island, and is buried in the Juniper Hill Cemetery there. was an American jurist and politician from Bristol, Rhode Island. He represented Rhode Island in the U.S. House of Representatives and served as a judge in both the federal district and federal appellate courts.

Borurne was born in Bristol and graduated from Harvard College in 1775. He read law to enter the Bar and began practice in Providence. During the Revolutionary War, he served as ensign, then quartermaster of the 2nd Rhode Island Regiment in 1776.

After the war, Bourne began his political life as a member of the Rhode Island general assembly in 1789 and 1790. In 1799, Bourne was appointed to a committee to revise the state’s militia laws. From 1783 to 1784, Bourne collected excise tax for Providence County. Then, between 1785 and 1789, he served as Justice of the Peace in Providence County. Bourne served on the federalist (pro-Constitution) committee which negotiated an end to William West‘s armed anti-federalist (Country Party) protest on July 4, 1788. In 1789, with the Reverend James Manning, Bourne petitioned Congress regarding relief from import duties imposed upon Rhode Island as a foreign nation.

After Rhode Island ratified the Constitution, Bourne was elected as Pro-Administration to the First through Third Congresses and as a Federalist to the Fourth and Fifth Congresses. He resigned before the fifth Congress began, however.

Upon returning to Rhode Island, Bourne received a recess appointment from President George Washington on October 13, 1796, to a seat on the United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island vacated by Henry Marchant. Bourne was formally nominated on December 21, 1796, and was confirmed by the United States Senate, and received his commission, the following day. On February 18, 1801, Bourne was nominated by President John Adams to a new seat on the United States Circuit Court for the First Circuit created by 2 Stat. 89. He was confirmed by the Senate, and received his commission, on February 20, 1801. Bourne’s judicial service ended on July 1, 1802, due to abolition of the Circuit court.

In 1809,  Peace between Sweden and Russia in the Finnish War. The territory to become Finland is ceded to Russia by the Treaty of Fredrikshamn.

In 1813,  The Second Battle of Kulm is fought.

In 1814,  Francis Scott Key finishes his poem “Defence of Fort McHenry”, later to be the lyrics of “The Star-Spangled Banner“.

The Star-Spangled Banner

O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light, What so proudly we hail’d at the twilight’s last gleaming, Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight O’er the ramparts we watch’d were so gallantly streaming? And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air, Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there, O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes, What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep, As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses? Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam, In full glory reflected now shines in the stream, ’Tis the star-spangled banner – O long may it wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore, That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion A home and a Country should leave us no more? Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution. No refuge could save the hireling and slave From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave, And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O thus be it ever when freemen shall stand Between their lov’d home and the war’s desolation! Blest with vict’ry and peace may the heav’n rescued land Praise the power that hath made and preserv’d us a nation! Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just, And this be our motto – “In God is our trust,” And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

In 1849,  American abolitionist Harriet Tubman escapes from slavery.

Dred Scott photograph (circa 1857).jpgIn 1858,  Dred Scott, American slave (b. 1795) dies from tuberculosis in September 1858. He was an enslaved African American man in the United States who unsuccessfully sued for his freedom and that of his wife and their two daughters in the Dred Scott v. Sandford case of 1857, popularly known as the “Dred Scott Decision.” Scott claimed that he and his wife should be granted their freedom because they had lived in Illinois and the Wisconsin Territory for four years, where slavery was illegal. The United States Supreme Court decided 7–2 against Scott, finding that neither he nor any other person of African ancestry could claim citizenship in the United States, and therefore Scott could not bring suit in federal court under diversity of citizenship rules. Moreover, Scott’s temporary residence outside Missouri did not bring about his emancipation under the Missouri Compromise, which the court ruled unconstitutional as it would “improperly deprive Scott’s owner of his legal property.”

While Chief Justice Roger B. Taney had hoped to settle issues related to slavery and Congressional authority by this decision, it aroused public outrage, deepened sectional tensions between the northern and southern U.S. states, and hastened the eventual explosion of their differences into the American Civil War. President Abraham Lincoln‘s Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, and the post-Civil War Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Fifteenth amendments nullified the decision.

In 1859,  Joshua A. Norton declares himself “Norton I, Emperor of the United States.”

In 1861,  Battle of Pavón is fought.

In 1862,  American Civil War: George B. McClellan halts the northward drive of Robert E. Lee‘s Confederate Army in the single-day Battle of Antietam, the bloodiest day in American military history.

In 1862,  American Civil War: The Allegheny Arsenal explosion results in the single largest civilian disaster during the war.

In 1894,  Battle of the Yalu River, the largest naval engagement of the First Sino-Japanese War.

In 1900,  Philippine–American War: Filipinos under Juan Cailles defeat Americans under Colonel Benjamin F. Cheatham at Mabitac.

In 1901,  The Battle of Blood River Poort is fought.

In 1901,  The Battle of Elands River is fought.

In 1908,  The Wright Flyer flown by Orville Wright, with Lieutenant Thomas Selfridge as passenger, crashes, killing Selfridge. He becomes the first airplane fatality.

In 1914,  Andrew Fisher becomes Prime Minister of Australia for the third time.

In 1914,  World War I: The Race to the Sea begins.

Manfred von Richthofen.jpg

Richthofen wears the Pour le Mérite, the “Blue Max”, Prussia’s highest military order, in this official portrait, c. 1917.

In 1916,  World War I: Manfred von Richthofen (“The Red Baron”), a flying ace of the German Luftstreitkräfte, wins his first aerial combat near Cambrai, France.

In 1924,  The Border Protection Corps is established in the Second Polish Republic for the defence of the eastern border against armed Soviet raids and local bandits.

In 1924,  The Church of Central Africa Presbyterian is formed.

In 1928,  The Okeechobee hurricane strikes southeastern Florida, killing more than 2,500 people. It is the third deadliest natural disaster in United States history, behind the Galveston hurricane of 1900 and the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.

In 1930,  The Ararat rebellion is suppressed.

In 1932,  A speech by Laureano Gómez leads to the escalation of the Leticia Incident.

In 1939,  World War II: The Soviet Union joins Nazi Germany‘s invasion of Poland during the Polish Defensive War of 1939.

In 1939,  World War II: German submarine U-29 sinks the British aircraft carrier HMS Courageous.

In 1939,  Taisto Mäki becomes the first man to run the 10,000 metres in under 30 minutes, in a time of 29:52.6.

In 1940,  World War II: Following the German defeat in the Battle of Britain, Hitler postpones Operation Sea Lion indefinitely.

In 1941,  World War II: A decree of the Soviet State Committee of Defense, restoring Vsevobuch in the face of the Great Patriotic War, is issued.

In 1941,  World War II: Soviet forces enter Tehran marking the end of the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran.

In 1943,  World War II: The Russian city of Bryansk is liberated from Germans.

In 1944,  World War II: Allied Airborne troops parachute into the Netherlands as the “Market” half of Operation Market Garden.

In 1944,  World War II: Soviet troops launch the Tallinn Offensive against Germany and pro independence Estonian units.

In 1944,  World War II: German forces are attacked by the Allies in the Battle of San Marino.

In 1948,  The Lehi (also known as the Stern gang) assassinates Count Folke Bernadotte, who was appointed by the United Nations to mediate between the Arab nations and Israel.

In 1948,  The Nizam of Hyderabad surrenders his sovereignty over the Hyderabad State and joins the Indian Union.

In 1949,  The Canadian steamship SS Noronic burns in Toronto Harbour with the loss of over 118 lives.

In 1957,  Malaysia joins the United Nations.

In 1961,  The world’s first retractable-dome stadium, the Civic Arena, opens in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

In 1965,  The Battle of Chawinda is fought between Pakistan and India.

In 1974,  Bangladesh, Grenada and Guinea-Bissau join the United Nations.

In 1976,  The first Space Shuttle, Enterprise, is unveiled by NASA.

In 1978,  The Camp David Accords are signed by Israel and Egypt.

In 1980,  After weeks of strikes at the Lenin Shipyard in Gdańsk, Poland, the nationwide independent trade union Solidarity is established.

In 1980,  Former Nicaraguan President Anastasio Somoza Debayle is killed in Asunción, Paraguay.

In 1983,  Vanessa Williams becomes the first black Miss America.

In 1987,  Pope John Paul II embraces an AIDS-infected boy while visiting San Francisco.

In 1991,  Estonia, North Korea, South Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, the Marshall Islands and Micronesia join the United Nations.

In 1991,  The first version of the Linux kernel (0.01) is released to the Internet.

In 1992,  An Iranian Kurdish leader and his two joiners are assassinated by political militants in Berlin, Germany.

Skelton in 1960In 1997,  Red Skelton, American actor, singer, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1913) dies at the Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, California, at the age of 84, after what was described as “a long, undisclosed illness”. He was an American entertainer. He was best known for his national radio and television acts between 1937 and 1971, and as host of the television program The Red Skelton Show. Skelton, who has stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his work in radio and television, also appeared in vaudeville, films, nightclubs, and casinos, all while he pursued an entirely separate career as an artist.

Skelton began developing his comedic and pantomime skills from the age of 10, when he became part of a traveling medicine show. He then spent time on a showboat, worked the burlesque circuit, then entered into vaudeville in 1934. The Doughnut Dunkers, a pantomime sketch of how different people ate doughnuts written by Skelton and his wife launched a career for him in vaudeville, in radio and in films. Skelton’s radio career began in 1937 with a guest appearance on The Fleischmann’s Yeast Hour which led to his becoming the host of Avalon Time in 1938. He became the host of The Raleigh Cigarette Program in 1941 where many of his comedy characters were created and had a regularly scheduled radio program until 1957. Skelton made his film debut in 1938 alongside Ginger Rogers and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. in Alfred Santell‘s Having Wonderful Time, and he went on to appear in numerous musical and comedy films throughout the 1940s and early 1950s, with starring roles in Ship Ahoy (1941), I Dood It (1943), Ziegfeld Follies (1946) and The Clown (1953).

In 2001,  The New York Stock Exchange reopens for trading after the September 11 attacks, the longest closure since the Great Depression.

In 2006,  Fourpeaked Mountain in Alaska erupts, marking the first eruption for the long-dormant volcano in at least 10,000 years.

In 2006, An audio tape of a private speech by Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány is leaked to the public, in which he confessed that his Hungarian Socialist Party had lied to win the 2006 election, sparking widespread protests across the country.

In 2011,  Occupy Wall Street movement begins in Zuccotti Park, New York City.

The player character parachuting in a mountainous valley. Light particles, reflections and shadow effects are clearly visible.In 2013, More than a thousand people developed Grand Theft Auto V, an action-adventure video game. Rockstar Games released the game on 17 September 2013 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, on 18 November 2014 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and on 14 April 2015 for Microsoft Windows, as the fifteenth entry in the Grand Theft Auto series. Development began soon after Grand Theft Auto IV‘s release and was led by Rockstar North‘s core 360-person team, who considered the game a spiritual successor to many of their previous projects like Red Dead Redemption and Max Payne 3. Its release date, though subject to several delays, was widely anticipated. Much of the development time was spent creating the game’s open world, modelled on Southern California and Los Angeles. For the first time in the series, players control three protagonists throughout the single-player mode; the team found that these changes altered the gameplay and narrative devices. The game features an original score, composed over several years by a team of five music producers. Its re-release added a first-person view option along with the traditional third-person view.

In 2016,  Two bombs explode in Seaside Park, New Jersey, and Manhattan, New York. 31 people are injured in the Manhattan bombing.

In 2018,  A Russian reconnaissance aircraft carrying 15 people on board is brought down by a Syrian surface-to-air missile over the Mediterranean Sea.


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