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17 Feb
1405
Turkmen Mongol conqueror Timur Lenk, also known as Tamerlane, died while on an expedition against China. He had already established an empire extending from India to the…Turkmen Mongol conqueror Timur Lenk, also known as Tamerlane, died while on an expedition against China. He had already established an empire extending from India to the Mediterranean. He was buried in Samarkand, his capital city, where his mausoleum, the Gur-e Amir, remains one of the region’s great architectural monuments. The name Tamerlane, a European corruption of Timur Lang (Timur the Lame) was given to him because his left side was partially disabled
614 years ago
17 Feb
1600
Italian philosopher Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake in Rome, having been found guilty of heresy by the InquisitionItalian philosopher Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake in Rome, having been found guilty of heresy by the Inquisition
419 years ago
17 Feb
1624
British traders in the Dutch East Indies were tortured and killed by the Dutch in the Massacre of AmboynaBritish traders in the Dutch East Indies were tortured and killed by the Dutch in the Massacre of Amboyna
395 years ago
17 Feb
1653
Composer Arcangelo Corelli was born in Fusignano, ItalyComposer Arcangelo Corelli was born in Fusignano, Italy
366 years ago
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17 Feb
1673
French actor and playwright Moliere died after collapsing on stage on the third night of his play Le Malade Imaginaire (The Imaginary Invalid). Moliere was the stage name of…French actor and playwright Moliere died after collapsing on stage on the third night of his play Le Malade Imaginaire (The Imaginary Invalid). Moliere was the stage name of Jean-Baptiste Poquelin
346 years ago
17 Feb
1740
Horace-Benedict de Saussure, Swiss physicist and geologist, was born. He coined the word “geology” and the mineral saussurite is named after himHorace-Benedict de Saussure, Swiss physicist and geologist, was born. He coined the word “geology” and the mineral saussurite is named after him
279 years ago
17 Feb
1781
Physician Rene Laennec, inventor of the stethoscope, was born in Quimper, FrancePhysician Rene Laennec, inventor of the stethoscope, was born in Quimper, France
238 years ago
17 Feb
1801
The U.S. House of Representatives broke an electoral tie between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr, electing Jefferson president. Burr became vice presidentThe U.S. House of Representatives broke an electoral tie between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr, electing Jefferson president. Burr became vice president
218 years ago
17 Feb
1817
A street in Baltimore became the first to be illuminated with gas from America’s first gas companyA street in Baltimore became the first to be illuminated with gas from America’s first gas company
202 years ago
17 Feb
1818
Baron Karl von Drais de Sauerbrun patented the “draisine”, the forerunner of the bicycleBaron Karl von Drais de Sauerbrun patented the “draisine”, the forerunner of the bicycle
201 years ago
17 Feb
1856
Heinrich Heine, German poet, essayist and revolutionary, diedHeinrich Heine, German poet, essayist and revolutionary, died
163 years ago
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17 Feb
1864
The Confederate hand-propelled submarine Hunley, armed with a ram torpedo, sank the Union warship Houstanic in Charleston harbour, South Carolina. It was considered the first…The Confederate hand-propelled submarine Hunley, armed with a ram torpedo, sank the Union warship Houstanic in Charleston harbour, South Carolina. It was considered the first successful attack by a submarine
155 years ago
17 Feb
1869
Dmitri Mendeleev, by writing the chief properties of chemical elements on cards and arranging them in various ways, formulated the Periodic TableDmitri Mendeleev, by writing the chief properties of chemical elements on cards and arranging them in various ways, formulated the Periodic Table
150 years ago
17 Feb
1880
Tsar Alexander II of Russia survived an assassination attempt when a bomb exploded in the imperial dining room at the Winter Palace in St. PetersburgTsar Alexander II of Russia survived an assassination attempt when a bomb exploded in the imperial dining room at the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg
139 years ago
17 Feb
1883
The Vacant-Engaged toilet-door sign was patented in England by a Mr Ashwell of Herne Hill, South LondonThe Vacant-Engaged toilet-door sign was patented in England by a Mr Ashwell of Herne Hill, South London
136 years ago
17 Feb
1890
Christopher Lathan Sholes, U.S. inventor of the typeweriter, diedChristopher Lathan Sholes, U.S. inventor of the typeweriter, died
129 years ago
17 Feb
1904
Giacomo Puccini’s opera Madame Butterfly was first performed at La Scala, Milan, ItalyGiacomo Puccini’s opera Madame Butterfly was first performed at La Scala, Milan, Italy
115 years ago
17 Feb
1909
Geronimo, last Apache chief to surrender, died in custodyGeronimo, last Apache chief to surrender, died in custody
110 years ago
17 Feb
1916
The British government appealed to the public not to use motor cars and motor cycles for pleasureThe British government appealed to the public not to use motor cars and motor cycles for pleasure
103 years ago
17 Feb
1919
Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Canadian Liberal prime minister from 1896-1911, died. He was the first French-Canadian to be prime minister of CanadaSir Wilfrid Laurier, Canadian Liberal prime minister from 1896-1911, died. He was the first French-Canadian to be prime minister of Canada
100 years ago
17 Feb
1920
Leslie Parkhurst, nicknamed “Red”, set a new motorcycle world speed record of 103.39mph over 1km, riding a Harley-Davidson at Daytona Beach, FloridaLeslie Parkhurst, nicknamed “Red”, set a new motorcycle world speed record of 103.39mph over 1km, riding a Harley-Davidson at Daytona Beach, Florida
99 years ago
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17 Feb
1923
Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon opened the innermost chamber of the tomb of Tutankhamun in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings, revealing the sarcophagus to be intact. The tomb had been…Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon opened the innermost chamber of the tomb of Tutankhamun in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings, revealing the sarcophagus to be intact. The tomb had been sealed since 1337 BC
96 years ago
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17 Feb
1926
A British doctor warned that many modern young women were turning to drink and drugs in a “desperate bid to cope with their hectic lives”. Dr Russell also warned that the trend…A British doctor warned that many modern young women were turning to drink and drugs in a “desperate bid to cope with their hectic lives”. Dr Russell also warned that the trend for women to attempt to acquire a figure like a "weak and weedy man" could increase the risk of consumption
93 years ago
17 Feb
1934
Albert I, King of the Belgians since 1909, died in a climbing accident. He led the Belgian Army during World War OneAlbert I, King of the Belgians since 1909, died in a climbing accident. He led the Belgian Army during World War One
85 years ago
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