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17th August in History

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309/310 – Pope Eusebius is banished by the Emperor Maxentius to Sicily, where he dies, perhaps from a hunger strike.
986 – Byzantine–Bulgarian wars: Battle of the Gates of Trajan: The Bulgarians under the Comitopuli Samuel and Aron defeat the Byzantine forces at the Gates of Trajan, with Byzantine Emperor Basil II barely escaping.
1186 – Georgenberg Pact: Ottokar IV, Duke of Styria and Leopold V, Duke of Austria sign a heritage agreement in which Ottokar gives his duchy to Leopold and to his son Frederick under the stipulation that Austria and Styria would henceforth remain undivided.
1386 – Karl Topia, the ruler of Princedom of Albania forges an alliance with the Republic of Venice, committing to participate in all wars of the Republic and receiving coastal protection against the Ottomans in return.
1424 – Hundred Years’ War: Battle of Verneuil: An English force under John, Duke of Bedford defeats a larger French army under Jean II, Duke of Alençon, John Stewart, and Earl Archibald of Douglas.
1498 – Cesare Borgia, son of Pope Alexander VI, becomes the first person in history to resign the cardinalate. On the same day, King Louis XII of France names him Duke of Valentinois.
1549 – Battle of Sampford Courtenay: The Prayer Book Rebellion is quashed in England.
1560 – The Roman Catholic Church is overthrown and Protestantism is established as the national religion in Scotland.
1585 – Eighty Years’ War: Siege of Antwerp: Antwerp is captured by Spanish forces under Alexander Farnese, Duke of Parma, who orders Protestants to leave the city and as a result over half of the 100,000 inhabitants flee to the northern provinces.
1585 – A first group of colonists sent by Sir Walter Raleigh under the charge of Ralph Lane lands in the New World to create Roanoke Colony on Roanoke Island, off the coast of present-day North Carolina.
1717 – Austro-Turkish War of 1716–18: The month-long Siege of Belgrade ends with Prince Eugene of Savoy’s Austrian troops capturing the city from the Ottoman Empire.
1862 – American Indian Wars: The Dakota War of 1862 begins in Minnesota as Lakota warriors attack white settlements along the Minnesota River.
1862 – American Civil War: Major General J. E. B. Stuart is assigned command of all the cavalry of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia.
1863 – American Civil War: In Charleston, South Carolina, Union batteries and ships bombard Confederate-held Fort Sumter.
1864 – American Civil War: Battle of Gainesville: Confederate forces defeat Union troops near Gainesville, Florida.
1866 – The Grand Duchy of Baden announces her withdrawal from the German Confederation and signs a treaty of peace and alliance with Prussia.
1914 – World War I: Battle of Stallupönen: The German army of General Hermann von François defeats the Russian force commanded by Paul von Rennenkampf near modern-day Nesterov, Russia.
1918 – Bolshevik revolutionary leader Moisei Uritsky is assassinated.
1941 – World War II: Soviet Army left Nikolaev and Krivoi Rog.
1942 – World War II: U.S. Marines raid the Japanese-held Pacific island of Makin (Butaritari).
1943 – World War II: The U.S. Eighth Air Force suffers the loss of 60 bombers on the Schweinfurt–Regensburg mission.
1943 – World War II: The U.S. Seventh Army under General George S. Patton arrives in Messina, Italy, followed several hours later by the British 8th Army under Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, thus completing the Allied conquest of Sicily.
1943 – World War II: First Québec Conference of Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and William Lyon Mackenzie King begins.
1943 – World War II: The Royal Air Force begins Operation Hydra, the first air raid of the Operation Crossbow strategic bombing campaign against Germany’s V-weapon program.
1945 – Sukarno and Mohammad Hatta proclaim the independence of Indonesia, igniting the Indonesian National Revolution against the Dutch Empire.
1947 – The Radcliffe Line, the border between Dominion of India and Dominion of Pakistan is revealed.
1950 – Hill 303 massacre: American POWs are shot to death by the North Korean Army.
1958 – Pioneer 0, America’s first attempt at lunar orbit, is launched using the first Thor-Able rocket and fails. Notable as one of the first attempted launches beyond Earth orbit by any country.
1960 – Decolonization: Gabon gains independence from France.
1962 – East German border guards kill Peter Fechter, 18, as he attempts to cross the Berlin Wall into West Berlin becoming one of the first victims of the wall.
1970 – Venera program: Venera 7 launched. It will later become the first spacecraft to successfully transmit data from the surface of another planet (Venus).
1977 – The Soviet icebreaker Arktika becomes the first surface ship to reach the North Pole.
1978 – Double Eagle II becomes first balloon to cross the Atlantic Ocean when it lands in Miserey, France near Paris, 137 hours after leaving Presque Isle, Maine.
1988 – President of Pakistan Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq and U.S. Ambassador Arnold Raphel are killed in a plane crash.
2004 – The National Assembly of Serbia unanimously adopts new state symbols for Serbia: Bože pravde becomes the new anthem and the coat of arms is adopted for the whole country.
2005 – The first forced evacuation of settlers, as part of Israel’s unilateral disengagement plan, starts.
2005 – Over 500 bombs are set off by terrorists at 300 locations in 63 out of the 64 districts of Bangladesh
2015 – A bomb explodes near the Erawan Shrine in Bangkok, Thailand, killing at least 19 people and injuring 123 others.

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