This Day in History – June 17
Today is the 168th day of 2021. There are 197 days left in the year.
1999: Nelson Mandela bids farewell to the country he led into democracy and hands over power of South Africa to its second freely elected president, Thabo Mbeki.
1397: Erik of Pomerania is crowned king of Norway, Denmark and Sweden in Kalmar, Sweden, marking the beginning of the Kalmar Union that unites the three countries until 1523.
1567: Mary Queen of Scots is imprisoned by Scottish rebels in Lochleven Castle in Scotland.
1885: The Statue of Liberty arrives in New York harbour aboard the French ship Isere.
1928: Amelia Earhart embarks on a transatlantic flight from Newfoundland to Wales with pilots Wilmer Stultz and Louis Gordon, becoming the first woman to make the trip as a passenger.
1940: France asks Germany for terms of surrender in World War II.
1953: Workers begin a strike against increased production quotas in East Germany. It later spreads through the country and is put down by Soviet troops.
1972: Five men hired by the Republican Party are arrested while breaking in at the Democratic Party headquarters in the Watergate building in Washington, DC. The scandal ultimately leads to the resignation of President Richard Nixon.
1991: South Africa’s Parliament abolishes the last major apartheid law.
1992: Thomas Kemtner and Heinrich Struebig, the last two Western hostages held in Lebanon, return to Germany after three years in captivity.
1994: After leading police on a slow-speed chase on Southern California freeways, O J Simpson is arrested and charged with murder in the slayings of his ex-wife, Nicole, and her friend, Ronald Goldman. (Simpson was later acquitted in a criminal trial, but held liable in a civil trial.)
1995: Bosnian government forces battle to secure ground gained against Serbs near Sarajevo and crack the 38-month siege of the city.
1996: After pushing their dispute to the brink of a trade war, the United States and China reach a deal to stamp out rampant Chinese copyright piracy.
1997: Fighting erupts in Phnom Penh between police and bodyguards loyal to Cambodia’s feuding prime ministers Norodom Ranariddh and Hun Sen. At least one person is killed.
2001: The 15-member European Union announces it will open its doors to new members from formerly communist Eastern Europe by 2004.
2003: The British House of Commons Select Committee on Foreign Affairs holds its first public hearing on the government’s use of intelligence leading up to a US-led invasion of Iraq in March.
2004: Car bombers target Iraq’s security services, killing at least 41 people and wounding at least 142, as Deputy Defence Secretary Paul Wolfowitz says Iraqi security forces are not yet ready to operate without US military support.
2008: Mexico adopts US-style public trials and a presumption of innocence under reforms signed by President Felipe Calderon. They replace closed-door proceedings in which judges rely on written evidence. The new law is meant to make courts more accountable and efficient.
2011: The United Nations endorses the rights of gay, lesbian and transgender people for the first time ever, passing a resolution hailed as historic by the US and other backers, and decried by some African and Muslim countries.
2015: Nine people are shot to death in a historic African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina; a suspect, Dylann Roof, is arrested the following morning.
Singer Barry Manilow (1943- ); actor-comedian Will Forte (1970- ); Latin pop singer Paulina Rubio (1971- ); tennis player Venus Williams (1980- ); actor-rapper Herculeez of Herculeez and Big Tyme (1983- ); actor Manish Dayal (The Resident) (1983- ); country singer Mickey Guyton (1983- ); rapper Kendrick Lamar (1987- )