Most Interesting Things

This Day In History: 0000-04-17


  • 1982
Canada Act proclaimed The Canada Act, also known as the Constitution Act, took effect on this day in 1982, establishing certain individual rights, preserving parliamentary supremacy, and making Canada a wholly independent, fully sovereign state.
  • 2018
  American first lady Barbara Bush—wife of George H.W. Bush, 41st president of the United States, and mother of George W. Bush, 43rd president of the United States—died at age 92.
  • 2014
  Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez—winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature and widely considered one of the greatest writers of the 20th century—died in Mexico City.
  • 2003
  Anneli Jäätteenmäki was sworn in as prime minister of Finland, which thereby became the second country (after New Zealand) to install a woman as head of both state and government.
  • 1975
  Cambodia’s ruling Lon Nol government collapsed, and the communist forces of the Khmer Rouge, led by Pol Pot, entered Phnom Penh and forcibly dispersed its citizenry into rural areas.
  • 1970
  The Apollo 13 command module—carrying James A. Lovell, Jr., Fred W. Haise, Jr., and John L. Swigert, Jr.—entered Earth’s atmosphere and splashed down, ending one of the most tense chapters in space history; four days earlier an oxygen tank had exploded, threatening the lives of the three astronauts.
  • 1961
  Cuban leader Fidel Castro’s forces repelled the Bay of Pigs invasion, which was led by recent Cuban exiles and financed by the U.S. government during the Cold War.
  • 1951
American baseball player Mickey Mantle made his MLB debut, as an outfielder for the New York Yankees.
  • 1895
  The Treaty of Shimonoseki concluded the first Sino-Japanese War, which ended in China’s defeat.
  • 1790
  American printer, publisher, author, inventor, scientist, and diplomat Benjamin Franklin, who was one of the foremost of the Founding Fathers, died.From Plymouth, Massachusetts, to Washington, D.C.,
  • 1521
  Martin Luther appeared before the Diet of Worms to defend his ideas on church reform.
  • 1194
  Richard I (the Lionheart) was crowned king of England for the second time, after earlier surrendering his kingdom to the Holy Roman emperor Henry VI.