This Day in History – March 17

Today is the 76th day of 2021. There are 289 days left in the year.


1969: Golda Meir becomes prime minister of Israel.



1229: Holy Roman Emperor Fredrick II, at the head of the Sixth Crusade, enters Jerusalem after gaining the city from the Muslims by treaty.

1328: Scotland wins its independence from England.

1526: France’s King Francis I is released from Spanish captivity.

1649: England’s Parliament abolishes House of Lords.

1813: Prussia’s Frederick William III declares war on France.

1848: Revolution under Daniele Manin begins in Venice, Italy.

1860: Second Maori War breaks out in New Zealand.

1861: The Kingdom of Italy is proclaimed by a Parliament assembled in Turin, but Venice and Rome remain outside the power of King Victor Emmanuel.

1921: Poland’s Constitution is established.

1942: General Douglas MacArthur arrives in Australia to become supreme commander of Allied forces in the south-west Pacific theatre during World War II.

1948: Britain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg sign Brussels Treaty for 50-year alliance against armed attack in Europe, and economic, social and military cooperation.

1962: Soviet Union accuses United States of fighting “undeclared war” in Vietnam and demands removal of American military forces there.

1973: Cambodian Air Force officer steals plane and bombs presidential palace in Phnom Penh, missing President Lon Nol, but killing at least 20 people.

1977: Angolan troops invading Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo) take important copper-mining centre of Kolwezi.

1990: Lithuania rejects a Soviet deadline to renounce its independence and calls on the Western powers to support it.

1991: Majority of Soviet voters favour preserving the union, according to referendum.

1992: White voters in referendum overwhelmingly support reforms toward ending apartheid in South Africa.

1993: Hundreds of police in Assiut, Egypt, storm two buildings where bomb-throwing extremists are holed up. At least 11 people are killed.

1994: Serbs and Muslims sign an agreement to ease the stranglehold on Bosnian capital of Sarajevo.

1995: The Azerbaijani army smashes a two-day rebellion by mutinous police in a fierce battle in Northern Baku.

1997: The Italian Coast Guard rescues 900 Albanians from a sinking gunboat off Brindisi, Italy.

1998: Catholics hold the first St Patrick’s Day in the religiously divided city of Belfast.

2001: Explosions at four workers’ dormitories kill 108 in Shijiazhuang, China. The bomber plus three others charged with supplying explosives and detonators are sentenced to death.

2002: A grenade attack at a Protestant church near the US Embassy in the heavily guarded diplomatic enclave in Islamabad, the Pakistani capital, kills five worshippers and wounds 40.

2006: A roadside bomb kills five policemen as they travel in a convoy transporting four bodies believed to be Macedonian workers kidnapped in southern Afghanistan the previous week.

2009: Pope Benedict XVI says condoms are not the answer to the AIDS epidemic in Africa and can make the problem worse, setting off criticism as he begins a week-long trip to the continent where some 22 million people are living with HIV.

2010: A Pakistani court charges five young Americans with planning terrorist attacks in the South Asian country and conspiring to wage war against nations allied with Pakistan. They plead not guilty.

2011: The UN Security Council approves a resolution to impose a no-fly zone over Libya and authorise “all necessary measures” to protect civilians from attacks by Moammar Gadhafi’s forces.

2012: Two suicide bombers detonate cars packed with explosives in near-simultaneous attacks on heavily guarded intelligence and security buildings in the Syrian capital, Damascus, killing at least 27 people.

2013: A freed Palestinian prisoner is given a hero’s welcome in the Gaza Strip after ending his hunger strike in an Israeli jail and agreeing to a plea bargain that will confine him to the Hamas-run territory for the next 10 years.

2014: Russian President Vladimir Putin, ignoring tough sanctions, recognises Crimean Peninsula as an “independent and sovereign country”.

2015: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling Likud Party wins the country’s election after a tight race that had put his lengthy rule in jeopardy.



Madame Roland, French author-revolutionary politician (1754-1793); Edmund Kean, British actor (1787-1833); Kate Greenaway, English illustrator (1846-1901); Rudolf Nureyev, Russian dancer (1938-1993); Bakili Muluzi, former president of Malawi (1943- ); Kurt Russell, US actor (1951- ); Billy Corgan, US musician (1967- )


– AP

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