What Happened On This Day – April 17
1986 The world's longest war ends without a single shot having been fired
The state of war between the Netherlands and the Isles of Scilly had been extended for a total of 335 years by the lack of a peace treaty. Some historians doubt that war had ever been declared.
1978 Mir Akbar Khyber's assassination triggers a communist coup in Afghanistan
The Communists introduced a series of reforms, such as equal rights for women and universal education. These achievements were undone soon after by the outbreak of several wars.
1975 Phnom Penh falls to the Khmer Rouge
The regime under “Brother number 1” Pol Pot tortured and killed several million people. Amongst the communists' perceived enemies were intellectuals, anyone with a connection to the former government, and several ethnic minorities.
1961 A CIA-sponsored paramilitary group attempts to invade Cuba
The Bay of Pigs invasion was a failed attempt to overthrow the Cuban government. The United States government had ordered the CIA to plan Fidel Castro's overthrow.
1521 Martin Luther faces charges for his revolutionary religious writings
The German monk was a leading figure of the Protestant Reformation. As a result of the hearing before the Diet of Worms, he was excommunicated and declared an outlaw.
Births On This Day – April 17
1974 Victoria Beckham
English singer, actress
1972 Muttiah Muralitharan
Sri Lankan cricketer
Indian actor, singer, producer
1964 Maynard James Keenan
American singer-songwriter, producer
Deaths On This Day – April 17
2014 Gabriel García Márquez
Colombian author, journalist, Nobel Prize laureate
2014 Karpal Singh
1988 Louise Nevelson
1790 Benjamin Franklin
American politician, scientist, publisher, 6th President of Pennsylvania
1680 Kateri Tekakwitha