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On June 17th...

Independence Day (Iceland)

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1397 The Union of Kalmar was established between Denmark, Sweden, and Norway.

Francis Drake1579 Francis Drake landed on the coast of California.

Marquette-Joliet Expedition1673 Father Jacques Marquette and fur trader Louis Joliet reached the junction of the Wisconsin and Mississippi rivers.

1682 King Charles XII of Sweden was born.

1703 John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, was born.

Battle of Bunker Hill1775 The Battle of Bunker Hill was fought.

1818 Composer Charles Gounod was born.

1824 The Bureau of Indian Affairs was established.

John C. Fremont1856 John C. Fremont was nominated as the Republican Party's first candidate for President.

Edmund Ruffin1865 Edmund Ruffin, agriculturalist and secessionist, died.

1866 Politician Lewis Cass died.

1877 Actor Charles Coburn was born.

1882 Composer Igor Stravinsky was born.

Statue of Liberty1885 The Statue of Liberty arrived in New York Harbor.

1887 Educator Mark Hopkins died.

1898 The United States Navy Hospital Corps was established.
1898 Artist M.C. Escher was born.

1900 Nazi official Martin Bormann was born.

1902 The Reclamation Act was passed by Congress.

1904 Actor Ralph Bellamy was born.

1907 Designer Charles Eames was born.

1910 Country singer Red Foley was born.

1914 Novelist John Hersey was born.

King George V1917 King George V of Great Britain announced that the royal family would from that time on be known as the House of Windsor.

1919 The "Barney Google" comic strip debuted.

Amelia Earhart1928 Amelia Earhart became the first female passenger on a transatlantic flight.

1932 Actor Peter Lupus was born.

1933 An FBI agent, four policemen, and one gangster were killed by a mob in Kansas City, Missouri.

1939 Convicted murderer Eugen Weidmann became the last person to be publicly guillotined in France.

1940 France asked Germany for terms of surrender.
1940 Football player Bobby Bell was born.

1943 Politician Newt Gingrich was born.
1943 Singer Barry Manilow was born.

Republic of Iceland1944 The Republic of Iceland was established.

1945 Radio personality Art Bell was born.

1947 Pan Am Aiways was chartered as the first worldwide passenger airline.

1950 The world's first kidney transplant was performed in Chicago.

1951 Comedian Joe Piscopo was born.

1953 The Boston Red Sox scored a record 17 runs in a single inning.

1954 The Senate Army-McCarthy Hearings began.
1954 Actor Mark Linn-Baker was born.

1957 The Tuskegee Boycott began.

1961 Soviet ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev defected to the West while his troupe was in Paris.

1963 The U.S. Supreme Court ruled against Bible reading and prayer in public schools.

1967 China exploded its first hydrogen bomb.

Edwin Land1970 Edwin Land patented the Polaroid camera.

Watergate1972 Five men were arrested while breaking into Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate hotel and office complex.

1976 Indonesia annexed Portuguese East Timor.

1980 Tennis player Venus Williams was born.

President Ronald Reagan1982 President Ronald Reagan delivered his "evil empire" speech before the United Nations General Assembly.

1986 Singer Kate Smith died.

1987 The Dusky Seaside Sparrow became extinct.

1991 President Zachary Taylor's body was exhumed to find out how he died.
1991 South Africa repealed its last apartheid laws.

2008 Dancer Cyd Charisse died.

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This page was last updated on February 22, 2018.