October 17 in History Events, Birthdays, & News

To know what happened today in history, famous events occurred, famous birthdays, death days, legend quotes, and historical news on October 17.

October 17

Events on October 17

1806 The tyrannical Emperor Jacques I, first ruler of independent Haiti, is assassinated.

1914 German U-boats raid Scapa Flow, the main base of the British Grand Fleet, off the north coast of Scotland in the Orkney Islands.

1956 Britain’s first nuclear power station, Calder Hall, was opened by the Queen.

1985 The House of Lords votes to allow doctors to prescribe contraceptives to girls under the age of 16 without parental consent, ending a campaign by Catholic mother Mrs Victoria Gillick against such action.

1988 Beethoven’s Tenth Symphony is performed for the first time in London – researcher Barry Cooper has pieced together fragments of the manuscript and sketches discovered in Berlin.

Famous Birthdays on October 17

John Wilkes 1727, English journalist and political agitator who campaigned for press freedom and was elected to Parliament four times but not allowed to take his seat until 1774.

Baroness Karen Blixen 1885, Danish author of Out of Africa under the pseudonym of Isak Dinesen.

Rita Hayworth 1918, American actress and dancer who partnered Fred Astaire in You Were Never Lovelier and caused a sensation in Gilda.

Montgomery Clift 1920, American actor usually given introspective roles, whose films include From Here to Eternity and The Misfits.

Evel Knievel 1939. American stuntman who specialized in leaping over rows of cars or buses on a motorcycle or in a car.

Ernie Els 1969, South African golfer known as “the Big Easy” who won the US Open twice and The Open Championship once.

Anil Kumble 1970, Indian cricketer, who took 619 wickets in international Test cricket and was the third-highest wicket taker till 2012.

Quotes from Legendary

Politicians are the same everywhere. They promise to build bridges even when there are no rivers.

- Nikita Krushchev, Soviet statesman, 1960.

Historical News on October 17

Chopin Spree Comes to an End

Chopin spree comes to an end on October 17
Chopin spree comes to an end

1849 Frédéric Chopin, the composer and virtuoso pianist, died of tuberculosis in Paris.

He was 39.

The half-French, half-Polish Chopin was an infant prodigy, at seven writing a march that the Grand Duke Constantine had scored for his military band to play on parade, and a year later making his first public appearance as a soloist.

In 1831 he moved to Paris where he quickly established himself as a fashionable recitalist and teacher able to command high fees.

The nervous strain of performing, however, did not help his already weak constitution.

Chopin was calm at the end, and asked only that his unfinished manuscripts be destroyed and that Mozart’s Requiem be sung at his funeral.

This will be held at the Church of the Madeleine on October 30.

Oil Countries Blackmail West

Italy's Achilles heel on October 17
Italy's Achilles heel

1973 The 10 Arab members of Opec announced an enormous 70 per cent hike in oil prices and a cutback in production in response to America’s support for Israel in the Yom Kippur War.

President Nixon had proposed a $2,200 million aid package to the beleaguered nation.

Western Europe will be particularly hard hit by the decision because it relies on the Arab producers for 80 percent of its oil.

Inflation and petrol rationing are expected.

The Arabs’ policy is likely to drive a wedge between the US, on whom an oil embargo has also been imposed, and Europe, which is fearful of further retaliatory measures for America’s support for Israel.

Italy's Achilles' Heel

1985 The Italian government under Socialist Bettino Craxi fell from power today as a consequence of its inept handling of the Achille Lauro affair.

The cruise ship Achille Lauro, carrying 454 passengers, was hijacked by Palestinian terrorists ten days ago.

They threatened to blow it up if 50 Arab prisoners held in Israeli prisons were not released.

After tortuous negotiations the release of the ship and its passengers, minus one elderly man, Leon Klinghoffer, whom the terrorists had murdered, was secured and the Palestinians promised its safe passage to Tunis.

On the orders of President Reagan, US jet fighters intercepted the terrorists’ plane, forcing it to land in Sicily.

The US were keen to apprehend Mohammed Abbas, the mastermind of this hijack, suspected of many other terrorist attacks, US forces and Italian Carabinieri then clashed over who had the right to arrest the hijackers.

The US bowed to Italian sensitivities, Abbas was arrested and then allowed into neighbouring Yugoslavia by the Italian authorities

Perón Woos Argentina

1945 Tonight Argentina found the saviour it has been searching for.

Juan Domingo Perón addressed a 3,00,000-strong crowd from the balcony of the presidential palace in Buenos Aires, and told them of his desire for a just and strong nation.

In his speech, which was also transmitted to millions more listening on the radio, ex-military man Perón promised that he would lead the people to victory in the forthcoming presidential election.

Two weeks ago Perón’s ambition to become undisputed leader of the Argentinian people received a severe setback when he was ousted from his positions of vice-president and minister of war.

His re-emergence is due largely to his forceful and politically astute wife, Eva Duarte, who helped rally support.

With her by his side and with the backing of the labour unions, 55-year-old Perón looks set to put into practice his plans for reshaping the nation.

1967 French skiier Sylvain Saudan made the steepest descent in alpine history today, from the north-east side of Mont Blanc down the Couloir Gervasutti on gradients of about 60 degrees.

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