Today in History – September 17

1683 – Dutch scientist Antonie van Leeuwenhoek was the first to report the existence of bacteria.

1775 – American Revolutionary War: The Invasion of Canada began with the Siege of Fort St. Jean.

1776 – The Presidio of San Francisco was founded in New Spain.

1778 – The Treaty of Fort Pitt was signed. It was the first formal treaty between the United States and a Native American tribe.

1787 – The United States Constitution was signed in Philadelphia.

1789 – William Herschel discovered Mimas, satellite of Saturn.

1849 – American abolitionist Harriet Tubman escaped from slavery.

1859 – Joshua A. Norton declared himself “Norton I, Emperor of the United States.”

1859 – James Donnelly was sentenced to hang for murdering Patrick Farrell, but a petition for clemency reduced his sentence to 7 years in Kingston Penitentiary.

1862 – American Civil War: George B. McClellan halted the northward drive of Robert E. Lee’s Confederate Army in the single-day Battle of Antietam, the bloodiest day in American military history.

1862 – American Civil War: The Allegheny Arsenal explosion resulted in the single largest civilian disaster during the war.

1872 – Phillip W Pratt patented his sprinkler system for extinguishing fires.

1908 – The Wright Flyer flown by Orville Wright, with Lieutenant Thomas Selfridge as passenger, crashed, killing Selfridge, who became the first airplane fatality.

1916 – World War I: Manfred von Richthofen (“The Red Baron”), a flying ace of the German Luftstreitkräfte, won his first aerial combat near Cambrai, France.

1928 – The Okeechobee hurricane struck southeastern Florida and killed more than 2,500 people.

1954 – “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding was published by Faber and Faber in London.

1957 – Two male attorneys “stand in” as actress Sophia Loren & producer Carlo Ponti wed by proxy in Juarez, Mexico.

1961 – The world’s first retractable roof stadium, the Civic Arena, opened in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

1961 – “Car 54, Where are You?” premiered on TV.

1964 – “Bewitched” premiered on ABC.

1964 – The Beatles were paid a then record $150,000 for a concert (Kansas).

1964 – The Supremes released “Baby Love”.

1965 – CBS premiere of WWII sitcom “Hogan’s Heroes”.

1966 – “Mission Impossible” premiered on CBS.

1967 – New Orleans Saints played their first NFL game. They lost to the LA Rams 27-13.

1972 – TV comedy “M*A*S*H”, adapted from the movie, starring Alan Alda, Loretta Swit, Wayne Rogers, and McLean Stevenson debuted on CBS.

1976 – The Space Shuttle Enterprise was unveiled by NASA.

1976 – Ringo Starr released “Ringo’s Rotogravure” album.

1982 – “Bad to the Bone” single by George Thorogood and the Destroyers was first released.

1983 – Vanessa Williams became the first black Miss America.

1991 – The first version of the Linux kernel (0.01) was released to the Internet.

2001 – The New York Stock Exchange reopened for trading after the September 11 attacks, the longest closure since the Great Depression.

2006 – Fourpeaked Mountain in Alaska erupted, the first eruption for the volcano in at least 10,000 years.

2010 – The 54 year run of the soap opera “As the World Turns” ended.

2013 – Grand Theft Auto V earned more than half a billion dollars on its first day of release.

2016 – Two bombs exploded in Seaside Park, New Jersey, and Manhattan. Thirty-one people were injured in the Manhattan bombing.

2018 – A Russian reconnaissance aircraft carrying 15 people on board was shot down by a Syrian surface-to-air missile over the Mediterranean Sea.

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