This Day In History - February 17


This Day In History - February 17

Monday, February 17, 2020

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Today is the 48 thday of 2020. There are 318 days left in the year.


1990: East Germany announces it will tear down a 180-metre (600-foot) section of the Berlin Wall near the Brandenburg Gate, which will be the first section with no official controls.


1568: Turkey's Sultan Selim II makes peace with Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian II.

1801: US House of Representatives breaks an electoral tie between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr, electing Jefferson president.

1817: A street in Baltimore becomes the first to be lighted with gas from America's first gas company.

1852: Repressive measures are adopted in France, including press censorship in the aftermath of overthrow of the constitutional monarchy.

1897: Britain rejects Austro-Russian proposal for blockade of Piraeus in Greece.

1904: Giacomo Puccini's opera Madame Butterfly is poorly received during its world premiere at La Scala.

1916: British and French forces complete capture of Germany's African colony of Cameroon during World War I.

1944: US forces attack Japanese at Eniwetok Atoll in Pacific in World War II.

1947: The Voice of America begins its radio broadcasts to the Soviet Union.

1964: The US Supreme Court rules in Westberry v Sanders that congressional districts within each state have to be roughly equal in population.

1965: US spacecraft Ranger 8 is launched from Cape Kennedy, Florida, and crashes on the Moon three days later after sending back more than 7,000 pictures.

1972: US President Richard Nixon departs on his historic trip to China.

1992: UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali recommends deployment of 13,000 peacekeepers in Yugoslavia.

1993: In a controversial move, the United Nations suspends most of its relief convoys in Bosnia, criticising all sides in the conflict for not letting convoys through. The convoys are resumed a week later.

1994: Serb guns pull back from positions around Sarajevo, Bosnia, ahead of a NATO deadline.

1995: Peru and Ecuador sign a peace treaty, ending a five-week border war that killed 78.

1996: A magnitude-7 quake strikes eastern Indonesia, killing at least 53; world chess champion Garry Kasparov beats IBM supercomputer “Deep Blue”, winning a six-game match in Philadelphia.

1997: Former copper trader Yasuo Hamanaka pleads guilty in a Tokyo court to fraud and forgery in trying to cover speculation that depressed world copper markets and cost his company US$2.6 billion.

1998: American athletes compete in Iran for the first time since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

1999: Three Kurds are shot and killed trying to enter the Israeli consulate in Berlin to protest what they believe was Israeli involvement in the arrest of Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan by Turkey.

2001: A bomb attack on a bus kills seven Serbs and injures dozens in northern Kosovo.

2002: Maoist rebels kill 137 people in raids on a town and an airport in the north-west of Nepal. The attacks are the worst since November 2001, when the rebels broke a peace agreement and the government declared a state of emergency.

2003: Twenty-one people are crushed to death and some 50 others are injured when a panic-stricken crowd tries to exit a nightclub in Chicago.

2006: Up to 1,800 people are killed when a farming village in eastern Philippines is swallowed whole by a wall of mud and boulders in a landslide.

2008: Kosovo declares independence from Serbia; Serbia immediately denounces the declaration as illegal.

2009: US President Barack Obama signs a massive US$787-billion package to revive the country's economy.

2010: A Haitian judge says he is freeing eight of 10 US Baptists charged with child kidnapping after parents testify they voluntarily handed their children over to the missionaries.

2011: Libyan protesters seeking to oust long-time leader Moammar Gadhafi defy a crackdown and take to the streets in five cities on what activists dub a “day of rage”.

2014: The co-pilot on an Ethiopian Airlines jetliner with 200 people on-board commandeers the plane on its way to Italy from Addis Ababa, threatens to crash it, and lands in Geneva where he asks for political asylum


Thomas Robert Malthus, English economist (1766-1834); A J “Banjo” Paterson, Australian poet who wrote Waltzing Matilda (1864-1941); Andre Maginot, French military expert and architect of Maginot Line (1877-1932); Gene Pitney, US singer (1941-2006); Billie Joe Armstrong, US singer/guitarist (1972-); Joseph Gordon-Levitt, US actor (1981- ); Hal Holbrook, US actor (1925- ); Rene Russo, US actress (1954- ); Paris Hilton, US TV personality (1981- )

— AP

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