On this day… 1/17


  • 1773 Captain James Cook becomes 1st to cross Antarctic Circle (66° 33′ S)
  • 1873 A group of Modoc warriors defeats the United States Army in the First Battle of the Stronghold, a part of the Modoc War
  • 1775 9 old women burnt as witches for causing bad harvests in Kalisk, Poland
  • 1775 Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s play “The Rivals” premieres in London
  • 1779 Captain James Cook‘s last notation in Discovery’s ship’s log
  • 1799 Maltese patriot Dun Mikiel Xerri, along with a number of other patriots, is executed
  • 1871 1st cable car patented, by Andrew Smith Hallidie in the US (begins service in 1873)
  • 1873 A group of Modoc warriors defeats the United States Army in the First Battle of the Stronghold, a part of the Modoc War
  • 1874 Armed Democrats seize Texas government ending Radical Reconstruction
  • 1882 1st Dutch female physician Aletta Jacobs opens her office
  • 1885 Battle of Abu Klea (Battle of Abu Tulayh), Sudan: British Desert Column defeat Mahdist forces: 76 British and 1,100 Mahdists killed
  • 1893 -17°F (-27°C), Millsboro, Delaware (state record)
  • 1893 Queen Liliuokalani is deposed by an American coup, Kingdom of Hawaii becomes a republic
  • 1893 Franco-Russian Alliance is signed
  • 1895 French president Casimir-Perier resigns; Félix Faure installed.
  • 1899 US takes possession of Wake Island in the Pacific
  • 1912 Captain Robert Scott‘s expedition arrives at the South Pole, one month after Roald Amundsen
  • 1916 Rodman Wanamaker organises a lunch to discuss forming a golfers association (later the PGA) at the Taplow Club, Martinique Hotel, New York City
  • 1917 US pays Denmark $25 million for Virgin Islands (or 3/21)
  • 1920 Paul Deschanel elected President of France
  • 1920 First day of prohibition of alcohol comes into effect in the US as a result of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution
  • 1923 Belgian Working people Party protest against occupied Ruhrgebied
  • 1923 Origin of Brown lunation numbers
  • 1928 1st fully automatic photographic film developing machine patented
  • 1929 Popeye makes 1st appearance, in comic strip “Thimble Theater”