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On this day in history - April 17

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.

Illustration of stork, signifying birth

Births On This Day,
April 17

  • 1974 Victoria Beckham

    English singer, actress

  • 1972 Muttiah Muralitharan

    Sri Lankan cricketer

  • 1966 Vikram

    Indian actor, singer, producer

  • 1964 Maynard James Keenan

    American singer-songwriter, producer

  • 1734 Taksin

    Thai king

Illustration of tombstone, signifying death

Deaths On This Day,
April 17

  • 2014 Gabriel García Márquez

    Colombian author, journalist, Nobel Prize laureate

  • 2014 Karpal Singh

    Malaysian politician

  • 1988 Louise Nevelson

    American sculptor

  • 1790 Benjamin Franklin

    American politician, scientist, publisher, 6th President of Pennsylvania

  • 1680 Kateri Tekakwitha

    American saint