Originally created 04/17/99

This day in the Millennium: April 17


1995: A riot at Broad River Correctional Institution in Columbia ended when five inmates released three hostages and surrendered to authorities after an 11-hour standoff. Five guards suffered stab wounds during the riot.


1492: A contract was signed by Christopher Columbus and a representative of Spain's King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, giving Columbus a commission to seek a westward ocean passage to Asia.

1524: Giovanni da Verrazano reached present-day New York harbor.

1790: American statesman Benjamin Franklin died in Philadelphia at age 84.

1861: The Virginia State Convention voted to secede from the Union.

1941: Yugoslavia surrendered to Germany in World War II.

1961: About 1,500 CIA-trained Cuban exiles launched the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in a failed attempt to overthrow the government of Fidel Castro.

1964: Ford Motor Company unveiled its new "Mustang" model.

1964: Jerrie Mock of Columbus, Ohio, became the first woman to complete a solo airplane flight around the world.

1969: A jury in Los Angeles convicted Sirhan Sirhan of assassinating Sen. Robert F. Kennedy.

1969: Czechoslovak Communist Party chairman Alexander Dubcek was deposed.

1970: The astronauts of Apollo 13 splashed down safely in the Pacific, four days after a ruptured oxygen tank crippled their spacecraft.

1975: Phnom Penh fell to Communist insurgents, ending Cambodia's five-year war.

1993: A federal jury in Los Angeles convicted two former police officers of violating the civil rights of beaten motorist Rodney King; two other officers were acquitted.

1989: The House Ethics Committee released its report accusing Speaker Jim Wright of violating House rules on the acceptance of gifts and outside income, charges denied by the Texas Democrat.

1994: Bosnian Serb tanks entered the Muslim enclave of Gorazde; the UN Security Council issued a nonbinding statement that condemned the Serbs' escalating military activities, but made no threat of force to back its condemnation.

1998: A Thai military team collected evidence from the body of Pol Pot, former chief of Cambodia's Khmer Rouge guerrillas, to confirm that one of the century's worst tyrants was truly dead.


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