Today in History
Today is the 198th day of 2017. There are 167 days left in the year.
On July 17, 1967, after seven dates, Jimi Hendrix quit as the opening act for the Monkees following a concert in New York. Jazz composer-musician John Coltrane died in Long Island, New York, at age 40.
On this date:
In 1717, George Frideric Handel’s “Water Music” was first performed by an orchestra during a boating party on the River Thames, with the musicians on one barge, and King George I listening from another.
In 1821, Spain ceded Florida to the United States.
In 1917, during World War I, Britian’s King George V issued a proclamation decreeing that the royal family adopt the name “Windsor” while relinquishing “the Use of All German Titles and Dignities.” Comedian and actress Phyllis Diller was born in Lima, Ohio.
In 1918, Russia’s Czar Nicholas II and his family were executed by the Bolsheviks.
In 1936, the Spanish Civil War began.
In 1944, during World War II, 320 men, two-thirds of them African-Americans, were killed when a pair of ammunition ships exploded at the Port Chicago Naval Magazine in Calif.
In 1955, Disneyland had its opening day in Anaheim, California.
In 1975, an Apollo spaceship docked with a Soyuz spacecraft in orbit in the first superpower link-up of its kind.
In 1981, 114 people were killed when a pair of suspended walkways above the lobby of the Kansas City Hyatt Regency Hotel collapsed during a tea dance.
In 1996, TWA Flight 800, a Europe-bound Boeing 747, exploded and crashed off Long Island, New York, shortly after departing John F. Kennedy International Airport, killing all 230 people on board.
In 1997, Woolworth Corp. announced it was closing its 400 remaining five-and-dime stores across the country, ending 117 years in business.
In 2014, all 298 passengers and crew aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 were killed when the Boeing 777 was shot down over rebel-held eastern Ukraine.
Ten years ago: VA Secretary Jim Nicholson abruptly resigned in the wake of charges of shoddy health care for veterans injured in the Iraq war. A Brazilian passenger jet crashed in Sao Paulo, Brazil, killing all 187 aboard and 12 on the ground. Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick was indicted by a federal grand jury in Richmond, Virginia, on charges related to competitive dogfighting. (Vick later admitted bankrolling the dogfighting operation and helping to kill six to eight dogs.)
One year ago: Three Baton Rouge law enforcement officers investigating a report of a man with an assault rifle were killed, less than two weeks after a black man was shot and killed by police in the city in a confrontation that sparked nightly protests that reverberated nationwide.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Donald Sutherland is 85. Actress-singer Diahann Carroll is 82. Rock musician Spencer Davis is 78. Sportscaster Verne Lundquist is 77. Comedian Tim Brooke-Taylor is 77. Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, is 70. Rock musician Terry “Geezer” Butler is 68. Actress Lucie Arnaz is 66. Actor David Hasselhoff is 65. Rock musician Fran Smith Jr. (The Hooters) is 65. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is 63. Actress Nancy Giles is 57. Singer Regina Belle is 54. Rock musician Kim Shattuck is 54. Country singer Craig Morgan is 53. Rock musician Lou Barlow is 51. Actor Andre Royo is 49. Actress Bitty Schram is 49. Actor Jason Clarke is 48. Country singer Luke Bryan is 41.
Thought for Today: “Sometimes it’s worse to win a fight than to lose.” — Billie Holiday, American jazz singer (born 1915, died this date in 1959).