The People History

Important Events From This day in History July 17th

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1917 - Royal Family Name Changed
1917 : The King of England King George announced the new name of the royal house and family is to be the House of Windsor after he decided to drop his German family name "Saxe-Coburg and Gotha."

1928 - Bootlegger Outsmarts Agents
1928 : Prohibition agents still cannot catch the well known bootlegger who plies his trade on the Ohio River and is well known and protected by locals who warn of agents in the area. He makes his moonshine up in the mountains and travels slowly down the river quenching the thirst of locals along the way. When he runs out he goes back to the mountains to start the process again.

1941 - Joe DiMaggio Hitting Streak Ends
1941 : Joe DiMaggio hitting streak of 56 consecutive games ended as 67,468 people watched DiMaggio at bat in the Cleveland stadium.

1944 - US Ammunition Ships Explode
1944 : 300 people were killed when two ammunition ships were destroyed with massive explosions that almost flattened the town of Port Chicago, the cause was thought to be accidental.

1945 - Germany Potsdam Conference
1945 : Following the defeat of Nazi Germany U.S. President Harry S. Truman, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin attend the Potsdam conference which will decide many of the major issues that need to be decided after the war including: Administration of a defeated Germany, Polish Borders, Occupation of Austria, Soviet Union's role in Eastern Europe, War reparations, and the continuing war in the Pacific. Unlike earlier meetings where trust was limited but they worked together at this conference each country was more concerned with its own long-term interests than that of its partners and the Soviet Union achieved it's main objective that each country currently occupied by soviet forces would stay under soviet control, effectively splitting Europe into east and west.

1954 - U.S.A. "Operation Wetback"
1954 : Operation Wetback" is launched by the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) to remove about four million illegal immigrants from the southwestern United States, with a focus on Mexican nationals. The operation began in California and Arizona sweeping northward through agricultural areas with a goal of 1,000 apprehensions a day.

1955 - U.S.A. Disneyland
1955 : Disneyland in Anaheim, California opens to invited guests only. More than 30,000 guests showed up to participate in one of the largest theme parks in the world at the time.

1974 - Bomb Exploded In The Tower Of London
1974 : A terrorist bomb planted in the Tower of London has left one person dead and 41 injured. No organization has claimed responsibility but the IRA is suspected.

1975 - Space Cold War Co-operation
1975 : Even in a time of cold war hostilities the United States and the Soviet Union realized that if ether had a problem in space the only help would come from the other side and both decided to work together on a mission aimed at developing space rescue capability, the U.S. spacecraft Apollo 18 and the Soviet spacecraft Soyuz 19 rendezvous and dock in space successfully.

1976 - Olympics African countries Withdrawal
1976 : The 21st Olympic Games in Montreal opening ceremony is marred by the withdrawal of 25 African countries over New Zealand's All Black Rugby Union team touring South Africa who were banned from Olympic Competition. Other countries joined the boycott over the next few days including Egypt and eventually 33 countries did not compete.

1979 - Sandinista National Liberation Front Overthrow Government
1979 : The Sandinista National Liberation Front Led by Daniel and Humberto Ortega have overthrown the regime in the central American republic of Nicaragua and taken the capital, Managua. The earlier right wing regime led by President Anastasio Somoza Debayle whose family has been in control for over 40 years has fled to the United States (The US has been providing support and training for the regime and Army). Following the change The United States through Covert Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operations supported the rebel Contras over the next 10 years in an attempt to destabilize the left wing government and in 1990 the center-right National Opposition Union defeated the Sandinistas, ending their decade-long spell in power.

1981 - Hyatt Regency Hotel Bridge Collapse Kansas City
1981 : Two sky bridges collapsed onto the lobby floor at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri killing at least 111 and injuring more than 140.

1996 - TWA Boeing 747 Plane Crash
1996 : Shortly after takeoff from New York's Kennedy International Airport, a TWA Boeing 747 jetliner (Flight 800) bound for Paris explodes over the Atlantic, killing all 230 people aboard.

1997 - U.S.A. Woolworth's
1997 : F.W. Woolworth's, the original five-and-dime store that started in 1879, announced today that its last 400 stores would close.

2000 - UK Tesco's Bows To Public Pressure
2000 : Tesco the largest supermarket chain in the UK has bowed to public pressure and will now return to scales with pounds and ounces and metric weights. In 2009 retailers will no longer be allowed to use dual prices and scales for loose goods and will only be able to weigh in Metric.

2003 - Venice Threatened By Global Warming
2003 : As Cities and countries around the world face up to increasing water levels. The city most at risk has been battling the rising sea for over 1,000 years and many believe will be the first city to succumb to global warming. Parts of Venice that only flooded on exceptional tides 7 times per year 100 years ago now flood 200 times per year.

2006 - Indonesia Earthquake and Tsunami
2006 : A tsunami caused by an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.7 killed over 100 people on this day at West Java seaside resort of Pangandaran. Over 2,000 people were forced to evacuate the area that was hit by the tsunami.

2007 - Brazil Plane Crash
2007 : A TAM Airlines Airbus 320 Flight 3054 has overshot the runway at Congonhas-São Paulo International Airport, São Paulo, Brazil as it landed in wet weather and burst into flames killing all 187 people on board and twelve people on the ground. This is the worst air disaster in Brazilian history.

2008 - Rwanda Immunity to Former Presidents
2008 : The Rwandan parliament voted to give immunity from prosecution to former presidents of the country. The change to the country’s constitution is mainly thought to be a protection for the former President Kagame, who presided over the country during the genocide that killed over 800,000 people.

2009 - United States Walter Cronkite
2009 : Walter Cronkite, a former news anchor in the United States passed away at the age of 92 on this day. Cronkite anchored the nightly news on CBS for nineteen years and was a well-respected journalist and was considered to be “the most trusted man in America” according to polls.

2011 - Venezuelan President Chavez Returns to Cuba
2011 : The president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, returned to Cuba to face further cancer treatment. Fifty-six year old Chavez had undergone surgery to remove a tumor previously and would now be starting chemotherapy. Chavez delegated few powers to his cabinet in his absence despite calls from the opposition for him to let his vice president run the country while he was going through treatment.

2012 - Boy Scouts of America to Keep Gay Ban
2012 : After a secretive two year review on the subject the Boys Scouts of America have decided that they would not change their policy on excluding gay scouts and scout leaders. A panel of eleven people chosen for their diverse views voted unanimously to keep the policy unchanged and a spokesperson for the organization stated that it was the best policy for the group. Many critics of the decision, including board members of the organization, say that they would support a change and that gay members should be allowed to join.

2013 - Same-Sex Marriage Legal in England and Wales
2013 : A bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in England and Wales received official Royal assent and it would become law. The law allowed religious organizations to opt-in to performing same-sex marriages with the exception of the Church of England and Church in Wales being banned from performing ceremonies.

Born This Day In History 17th July

Celebrating Birthdays Today
Tim Brooke-Taylor
Born: July 17th, 1940, Buxton, England
Known For : Schooled at Winchester College, Tim went on to Pembroke College, Cambridge where he was president of the Footlights in 1963. It was there that he met Bill Oddie, Graham Chapman, and John Cleese. Initially he was a radio presenter and writer, and started television work with John Cleese, Alan Rickman, Rowan Atkinson, Michael Palin, Marty Feldman and Graham Chapman. He is best known for part in The Goodies (with Bill Oddie and Graham Garden). He had a minor role in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.