Today In History - Thursday, April 17th

1986


The Three Hundred and Thirty Five Years' War between the Netherlands and the Isles of Scilly ends.
1984


Police Constable Yvonne Fletcher is killed by gunfire from the Libyan People's Bureau in London during a small demonstration outside the embassy. Ten others are wounded. The events lead to an 11-day siege of the building.
1982


Patriation of the Canadian constitution in Ottawa by Proclamation of Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada.
1975


The Cambodian Civil War ends. The Khmer Rouge captures the capital Phnom Penh and Cambodian government forces surrender.
1973


German counter-terrorist unit GSG 9 founded.
1971


The People's Republic of Bangladesh forms, under Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at Mujibnagor.
Sierra Leone becomes a republic.
1970


Apollo program: The ill-fated Apollo 13 spacecraft returns to Earth safely.
1969


Sirhan Sirhan is convicted of assassinating Robert F. Kennedy.
Czechoslovakian Communist Party chairman Alexander Dubček is deposed.
1964


The Ford Motor Company unveils the Ford Mustang at the New York World's Fair.
Jerrie Mock becomes the first woman to circumnavigate the world by air.
Shea Stadium opens.
1961


Bay of Pigs Invasion: A group of CIA financed and trained Cuban refugees lands at the Bay of Pigs in Cuba with the aim of ousting Fidel Castro.
1949


At midnight 26 counties officially leave the British Commonwealth. A 21-gun salute on O'Connell Bridge, Dublin, ushers in the Republic of Ireland.
1942


POW French General Henri Giraud escapes from his castle prison in Festung Königstein.
1941


World War II: The Kingdom of Yugoslavia surrenders to Germany.
1924


Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios is formed from a merger of Metro Pictures, Goldwyn Pictures, and the Louis B. Mayer Company.
1907


The Ellis Island immigration center processes 11,747 people, more than any other day.
1905


The Supreme Court of the United States decides ''Lochner v. New York'' which held that the "right to free contract" was implicit in the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution.
1895


The Treaty of Shimonoseki between China and Japan is signed. This marks the end of the First Sino-Japanese War, and the defeated Qing Empire is forced to renounce its claims on Korea and to concede the southern portion of the Fengtien province, Taiwan and the Pescadores Islands to Japan.
1865


Mary Surratt is arrested as a conspirator in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.
1864


American Civil War: Battle of Plymouth begins – Confederate forces attack Plymouth, North Carolina.
1861


American Civil War: Virginia secedes from the United States.
1797


Sir Ralph Abercromby attacks San Juan, Puerto Rico in what would be one of the largest invasions to Spanish territories in America.
1555


After 18 months of siege, Siena surrenders to the Florentine-Imperial army. The Republic of Siena is incorporated into the Grand Duchy of Tuscany.
1524


Giovanni da Verrazzano reaches New York harbor.
1521


Martin Luther speaks to the assembly at the Diet of Worms, refusing to recant his teachings.
1492


Spain and Christopher Columbus sign a contract for him to sail to Asia to get spices.
1397


Geoffrey Chaucer tells the Canterbury Tales for the first time at the court of Richard II. Chaucer scholars have also identified this date (in 1387) as when the book's pilgrimage to Canterbury starts.
69


After the First Battle of Bedriacum, Vitellius becomes Roman Emperor.