What Happened On This Day – June 17
1972 The arrest of five White House operatives sets off the Watergate scandal
The men were caught attempting to wiretap the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office complex. The scandal ultimately led to U.S. President Richard Nixon's resignation.
1944 Iceland becomes a republic
The Nordic island country had previously been included in the Norwegian and Danish monarchies. The republic's first President was Sveinn Björnsson.
1940 The three Baltic states fall under Soviet occupation
While the world's attention was focused on the recent German invasion of Paris, the Soviet Union annexed Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.
1928 Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to fly across the Atlantic
Wilmer Stultz piloted the Fokker F.VII aircraft, Earhart kept the flight log. They arrived at Burry Port in Wales, the United Kingdom, 20 hours and 40 minutes later.
1885 The Statue of Liberty arrives in New York
Hundreds of thousands of spectators welcomed the emblematic statue, which was a gift to the United States from the people of France and has become one of the country's most recognized symbols.
Births On This Day – June 17
1980 Venus Williams
American tennis player
1945 Ken Livingstone
1945 Eddy Merckx
1898 M. C. Escher
1882 Igor Stravinsky
Deaths On This Day – June 17
2012 Rodney King
American victim of police brutality
1996 Curt Swan
1981 Richard O'Connor
British army general
1898 Edward Burne-Jones
1025 Bolesław I Chrobry