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17th February in history

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364 – Roman Emperor Jovian dies after a reign of eight months. He is found dead in his tent at Tyana (Asia Minor) en route back to Constantinople in suspicious circumstances.
1600 – The philosopher Giordano Bruno is burned alive, for heresy, at Campo de’ Fiori in Rome.

1753 – In Sweden February 17 is followed by March 1 as the country moves from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar.

1817 – The first gaslit streetlights appeared on the streets of Baltimore, MD.

1863 – A group of citizens of Geneva founded an International Committee for Relief to the Wounded, which later became known as the International Committee of the Red Cross.

1871 – The victorious Prussian Army parades through Paris, France, after the end of the Siege of Paris during the Franco-Prussian War..

1876 – Julius Wolff was credited with being the first to can sardines.

1878 – In San Francisco, CA, the first large city telephone exchange opened. It had only 18 phones.

1913 – The Armory Show opens in New York City, displaying works of artists who are to become some of the most influential painters of the early 20th century.

1944 – World War II: Operation Hailstone begins. U.S. naval air, surface, and submarine attack against Truk Lagoon, Japan’s main base in the central Pacific, in support of the Eniwetok invasion.

1947 – The Voice of America began broadcasting to the Soviet Union.

1949 – Chaim Weizmann begins his term as the first President of Israel.

1959 – Project Vanguard: Vanguard 2 – The first weather satellite is launched to measure cloud-cover distribution.

1979 – The Sino-Vietnamese War begins.

1980 – First winter ascent of Mount Everest by Krzysztof Wielicki and Leszek Cichy.

1996 – NASA’s Discovery Program begins as the NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft lifts off on the first mission ever to orbit and land on an asteroid, 433 Eros.

2008 – Kosovo declares independence as the Republic of Kosovo.

2015 – 18 people are killed and 78 injured in a stampede at a Mardi Gras parade in Haiti.

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