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April 17th - History On The Way To Today at UselessKnowledge.com

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On The Way To Today...   April 17th

1194 - The second coronation of King Richard I of England took place upon his return from the Third Crusade.

1421 - The sea broke through the dikes at Dort in the Netherlands, drowning more than 100,000 people.

1492 - Christopher Columbus received a commission from the Spanish monarchy to explore the "western ocean."

1521 - The German Martin Luther was excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church. The Church's action was based on Luther's attacks against the papacy and the sale of indulgences. A practice common at the time, a person's sins were pardoned through the purchase of an indulgence letter.

1555 - The city of Siena surrendered to Philip of Spain after a lengthy famine. He later sold Siena to Cosimo de Medici.

1629 - The Massachusetts Bay Colony imported horses the American colonies today.

1704 - John Campbell, America’s first news vendor, published the first successful American newspaper, the Boston "News-Letter".

1810 - Lewis M. Norton patented pineapple cheese. Ironically, he was from Troy, Pennsylvania, not Hawaii.

1860 - New Yorkers got a new law requiring fire escapes in tenement houses.

1864 - In the Schleswig Holstein-Prussian War, 16,000 Prussians under Prince Frederick Charles stormed the fortress at Dueppel held by 22,000 Danes. More than 5,500 Danes died in the attack.

1895 - The Sino-Japanese War ended with the Treaty of Shimonoseki, whereby China and Japan recognized Korea's independence and China ceded Formosa to Japan.

1916 - The American Academy of Arts and Letters got its charter from Congress.

1917 - A bill in Congress to begin what was called Daylight Savings Time was defeated.

1927 - Mae West was given a 10-day jail sentence and fined $500 for her role in the play that she wrote and performed in, Sex.

1933 - For the first time on radio, backed by the "On the Trail" portion of the "Grand Canyon Suite", Johnny Rovetini, said “Call for Philip Morris”. The now famous phrase was said in perfect B flat pitch to match the accompanying music. This phrase became one of the most famous of advertising history. Other classics from advertising’s golden age: “See the U.S.A. in your Chevrolet,” “Pepsi Cola hits the spot, 12 full ounces and that’s a lot,” “Aren’t you glad you use Dial? Don’t you wish everyone did?”

1935 - For the first time, people gathered around the radio to listen to what would become the ultimate horror show, NBC Radio's "Lights Out", which stayed on radio until 1952.

1941 - Near Stratford, Connecticut, Igor Sikorsky accomplished the first successful helicopter lift-off from water.

1941 - The entire Yugoslav army and government surrendered to the Germans in Belgrade.

1942 - The first issue of Stars and Stripes, a new U.S. Army weekly newspaper, was published in London.

1944 - In Italy, Marshal Pietro Badoglio's Cabinet resigned, and he was invited to form a new government.

1945 - Actor and director Charlie Chaplin was found guilty in a paternity suit filed by actress Joan Berry. The baby, 18-month-old Carol Ann, was determined to be his daughter in a Los Angeles court.

1946 - The last French troops left Syria.

1950 - The wrestling program held at Hollywood Stadium was canceled when 10 wrestlers refused to perform because the event was supposed to be televised on KTLA, Channel 5. The wrestlers said they wouldn’t fight because cameras would cut attendance at matches.

1956 - Two greats started their major-league baseball careers: Luis Aparicio for the Chicago White Sox and Don Drysdale for the Brooklyn (later, Los Angeles) Dodgers. Aparicio would become the American League Rookie of the Year, and Drysdale would winn 209 games before retiring. Both were inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on the same day, August 12, 1984. Drysdale went on to became a broadcaster for the Chicago White Sox and the Dodgers.

1957 - Archbishop Makarios of Cyprus arrived in Athens after a 13-month exile in the Seychelles.

1960 - United States rock star Eddie Cochran died in a car crash while on tour with Gene Vincent in Britain.

1961 - An attempt to invade Cuba by United States-backed Cuban exiles failed at the Bay of Pigs. The three-day battle left 100 killed and more than 1,000 captured.

1964 - The CBS Television Network paid $1,800,000 to have the rights broadcast the 1964-65 National Football League Championship games.

1967 - Comedian Joey Bishop attempted to steal the throne of late night king, Johnny Carson. "The Joey Bishop Show" debuted on ABC-TV tonight. Bishop, with Regis Philbin (announcer) and Johnny Mann (music) still couldn’t best Carson, but the show ran December 26, 1969.

1969 - Alexander Dubcek resigned as Czechoslovak Communist party leader and was replaced by Gustav Husak.

1969 - Sirhan B. Sirhan was found guilty of the first-degree murder of Robert F. Kennedy, shot while campaigning in California in June 1968.

1970 - The Beatles' breakup was official when Paul McCartney’s solo LP, "McCartney" was released today. On the album, Paul played all the instruments.

1970 - The United States spacecraft Apollo 13 splashed down after a near-disastrous trip to the moon.

1971 - "Joy to the World" by Three Dog Night hit the top of the pop music charts for a six week stay.

1972 - "Betcha by Golly, Wow" by The Stylistics from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was awarded a gold record. The Stylistics also had million sellers with "You are Everything", "I’m Stone in Love with You", "Break Up to Make Up" and "You Make Me Feel Brand New".

1973 - Pink Floyd's album, Dark Side of the Moon, was given the Gold Disc Award.

1975 - Khmer Rouge guerrillas seized Phnom Penh and began a reign of terror in which more than one million people died.

1977 - Women voted in Liechtenstein for the first time.

1981 - Polish farmers won the legal right to form a trade union.

1984 - British policewoman Yvonne Fletcher was shot dead when a gunman opened fire from inside the Libyan embassy in London.

1985 - Lebanese Prime Minister Rashid Karami resigned in protest over Druze militia attacks in West Beirut. He stayed on in a caretaker capacity.

1985 - The United States Postal Service unveiled the new 22-cent, "LOVE" stamp. To hype the stame, the USPS used the set of ABC-TV’s "The Love Boat" as a background. The stamp would become one of the most popular ever offered.

1985 - Fans of the television soap opera "Days of Our Lives" lined up in Hollywood, California, trying to get tickets for the wedding of the soap's hot couple Bo and Hope. This was the first soap wedding fans could attend.

1986 - British journalist John McCarthy was kidnapped in Beirut. He was released in August 1991, by the Islamic Jihad.

1986 - Britons Philip Padfield, John Leigh Douglas and American Peter Kilburn were found shot dead. The pro-Libyan Revolutionary Cells said it killed them in retaliation for the United States bombing of Libya.

1989 - Cyndi Lauper's single, Time After Time, was certified gold.

1989 - REO Speedwagon's single, Keep On Loving You, was certified platinum.

1989 - The Polish trade union Solidarity was legalized after a seven-year ban.

1996 - Police gunned down 19 landless peasants in one of Brazil's bloodiest massacres.

1996 - United States President Bill Clinton and Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto signed a joint declaration on security cooperation that pledges to maintain United States military force levels in both Japan and elsewhere in Asia.

1998 - After battling breast cancer since 1995, Linda McCartney died at her family's ranch outside of Tucson, Arizona. Her husband, Paul McCartney, said that the success of their long marriage was because they "adored each other." Linda, formerly a magazine photographer, had been a champion for animal rights, and was a vegetarian long before it was fashionable. She and Paul supported many animal rights issues, and she launched a successful line of vegetarian frozen entrees. Later, after the Beatles broke up, Paul organized his band Wings, and Linda joined as a member. They had three children together, and Linda had a child from a previous marriage. Her husband and children were at her side when she died. Believing she had overcome the cancer through chemotherapy and diet, it was discovered to have spread to her liver. Linda was 56 years old at the time of her death.

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