Today in History

Today in History

On October 17:

1244 The Sixth Crusade ends when an Egyptian-Khwarezmian force almost annihilates the Frankish army at Gaza.

1529 Henry VIII of England strips Thomas Wolsey of his office for failing to secure an annulment of his marriage.

1346 English forces defeat the Scots under David II during the Battle of Neville’s Cross, Scotland.

1777 British Maj. Gen. John Burgoyne surrenders

5,000 men at Saratoga, N.Y.

1781 British peer and Lieutenant General Charles Cornwallis surrenders at the Siege of Yorktown, marking a decisive victory by a combined force of American Continental Army troops led by General George Washington and French Army troops led by the Comte de Rochambeau.

1815 Napoleon Bonaparte arrives at the island of St. Helena in the South Atlantic, where he has been banished by the Allies.

1863 General Ulysses S. Grant is named overall Union Commander of the West.

1877 Brigadier General Alfred Terry meets with Sitting Bull in Canada to discuss the Indians’ return to the United States.

1913 Zeppelin LII explodes over London, killing 28.

1933 Due to rising anti-Semitism and anti-intellectualism in Hitler’s Germany, Albert Einstein, the Nobel-prize-winning physicist, flees Nazi Germany and moves to the United States.

1941 The U.S. destroyer Kearny is damaged by a German U-boat torpedo off Iceland; 11 Americans are killed.

1972 Peace talks between the Pathet Lao and the Royal Lao government begin in Vietnam.

1994 Dmitry Kholodov, a Russian journalist, is assassinated while investigating corruption in the armed forces; his murder begins a series of killings of journalists in Russia.

2001 Rehavam Ze’evi, Israeli tourism minister and founder of the right-wing Moledet party, is assassinated by a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) Born on October 17

1821 Alexander Gardner, American photographer who documented the Civil War and the West.

1859 Childe Hassam, American impressionist painter and illustrator.

1895 Doris Humphrey, modern dance choreographer.

1903 Nathanael West, novelist and screenwriter (Miss Lonely Hearts, The Day of the Locust).

1915 Arthur Miller, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright (Death of a Salesman, A View from the Bridge).

1918 Rita Hayworth, film actress.

1930 Jimmy Breslin, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist, author and columnist.

1938 Evel Knievel, U.S. daredevil motorcycle stunt man.

1942 Gary Puckett, singer, songwriter; lead singer of Gary Puckett & The Union Gap (“Woman, Woman”; “Young Girl”).

1946 Michael Hossack, drummer for the Doobie Brothers band

1946 Adam Michnik, Polish historian and editor-inchief of Gazeta Wybocza, Poland’s largest newspaper; named Europe’s Man of the Year by La Vie magazine (1989).

1948 Margot Kidder, actress; best known for playing Lois Lane in four Superman movies between 1978 and 1987.

1958 Alan Jackson, country singer with over 60 million records sold worldwide; his many awards include 2 Grammys and 16 Country Music Association awards; “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)”; “Don’t Rock the Jukebox.”

1960 Rob Marshall, theater and film director, choreographer; awards include 4 Emmys and an Academy Award for Best Picture (Chicago, 2002).