What Happened On This Day – October 17
1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake Rocks California
Santa Cruz County was the most affected by the 6.9 magnitude earthquake. About 60 people died as a result of falling buildings and landslides. It was the first major earthquake on the San Andreas fault since the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
1973 OPEC Declares Oil Embargo
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries or OPEC led by Arab countries declared an oil embargo on any country that supported Israel during the Yom Kippur War, which was fought between Israel and a coalition of Arab states. The embargo led to a massive oil shortage and had long-lasting economic effects in the United States and Europe. The embargo was lifted in March 1974.
1956 Bobby Fischer Wins the Game of the Century
The chess match between 13-year old Fischer and Donald Byrne took place at the Marshall Chess Club in New York City.
1861 Cullin-la-Ringo Massacre
In what is thought to be the largest massacre of white settlers by Australian aborigines, the killings occurred after a group of settlers from Victoria led by politician Horatio Wills, set up a camp at Cullin-la-Ringo, which is located in present-day Central Queensland. 19 people were killed during the massacre.
1814 London Beer Flood
Vats of beer at the Meux and Company Brewery burst, flooding city streets with 610,000 liters of beer. The almost 15 feet tall wave of porter killed 8 people, some of whom were gathered for a funeral.
Births On This Day – October 17
1979 Kimi Räikkönen
Finnish race car driver
American rapper, producer, actor
1938 Evel Knievel
American motorcycle stuntman
1912 Pope John Paul I
1817 Syed Ahmad Khan
Indian educator, politician
Deaths On This Day – October 17
Emperor of China
1965 Bart King
1937 J. Bruce Ismay
1868 Laura Secord
Canadian war heroine
1849 Frédéric Chopin
Polish pianist, composer