This Day in History - August 17

Friday, August 17, 2018

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Today is the 229th day of 2018. There are 136 days left in the year.


1969: Hurricane Camille hits the US Gulf Coast, killing 248 people.


1510: Pedro Navarro, having taken Algiers and Tripoli for Spain, is killed in ambush in North Africa.

1577: Peace of Bergerac ends Sixth War of Religion in France, whereby Huguenots secure important concessions for exercising their religion.

1626: Flemish forces under Count Tilly defeat Denmark's King Christian IV at Lutter, east Germany, leading to the sack of Jutland and Denmark's exit from the Thirty Years' War.

1743: Sweden cedes southern Finland to Russia in the Peace of Abo.

1759: British fleet under Admiral Boscawen defeats French off Cape St. Vincent in West Indies.

1863: Federal ships bombard secessionist-held Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina, harbor during America's Civil War.

1896: Gold is discovered in Klondike territory, Canada, attracting 100,000 adventurers in a two-year rush.

1920: Romania joins Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia in alliance that becomes Triple Entente, where each country pledges not to conclude peace separately.

1945: Sukarno proclaims Indonesian independence, but it is refused by the Dutch.

1954: Two-thousand religious pilgrims drown in a flash flood at the Muslim shrine of the Imam Zadeh Davud in Farahzad, Iran.

1962: East German border guards shoot and kill an 18-year-old who attempted to cross over the Berlin Wall into the western sector.

1964: Congolese Premier Moise Tshombe appeals to five African nations to help put down rebellion in the Congo.

1972: Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Dayan offers an interim peace agreement with Egypt based on a truce line dividing the Sinai Peninsula.

1976: Tidal wave on Philippine island of Mindanao leaves estimated 8,000 people dead or missing.

1985: A car packed with dynamite explodes outside crowded supermarket in Lebanon's Christian east Beirut, killing at least 50 people and wounding 80.

1988: Pakistan's President Zia ul-Haq and US Ambassador Arnold Raphel are killed when their Pakistani military plane explodes.

1992: Mortar shells blast a crowded refugee hotel in Sarajevo, Bosnia, setting it ablaze. At least two people die.

1994: Food distribution to 350,000 Rwandan refugees in camps in Congo is suspended because of riots and thefts by machete-wielding gangs.

1998: US President Bill Clinton admits to an affair with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

1999: A powerful magnitude 7.4 earthquake hits western Turkey, killing at least 17,200 people and injuring more than 20,000. Officials estimate that the numbers are higher; many families buried relatives without notifying authorities.

2003: Reuters cameraman Mazen Dana, 41, is shot dead, apparently by US soldiers while filming outside Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Dana was videotaping outside the prison after a mortar attack, in which six prisoners were killed and about 60 others were wounded.

2005: Russian navy ships and long-range bombers head to a Chinese peninsula jutting into the Yellow Sea for the first-ever joint military exercises between the two countries.

2006: Afghan President Hamid Karzai condemns a US air strike that Afghan officials say killed 10 border policemen.

2009: The Libyan convicted of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing, Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, is expected to drop his appeal, a step that could lead to his rapid release and puts Scotland's left-of-center government into a rare international spotlight.

2012: Three activists from the feminist punk rock protest group Pussy Riot who briefly took over a cathedral in Moscow for a raucous prayer for deliverance from Russian President Vladimir Putin are sentenced to two years in prison for hooliganism.

2013: Egyptian security forces storm a Cairo mosque after a heavy exchange of gunfire with armed men shooting down from a minaret, rounding up hundreds of supporters of the country's ousted president who had sought refuge there overnight after clashes killed 173 people.

2014: Kurdish forces wrest back part of Iraq's largest dam from Islamic State militants who had captured it less than two weeks ago.


Pierre de Fermat, French mathematician (1601-1665); Jan III Sobieski, king of Poland (1629-1696); William Carey, English pioneer missionary (1761-1834); Marcus Garvey, Jamaican black leader (1887-1940); Mae West, US actress (1892-1980); Maureen O'Hara, Irish-born actress (1920-2015 ); V(idiadhar) S(urajprasad) Naipaul, Trinidadian writer (1932-2018 ); Robert De Niro, US actor (1943- ); Sean Penn, US actor (1960- )

— AP

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