The Brighter Side of History - February 17

1621 Miles Standish appointed first commander of Plymouth colony More ...
1691 Thomas Neale granted British patent for American postal service More ...
1776 First volume of Gibbon's "Decline & Fall of the Roman Empire" published
1791 Messier catalogs M83 (spiral galaxy in Hydra)
1801 House breaks electoral college tie, chooses Jefferson President over Burr More ...
1817 First US city lit by gas (Baltimore)
1818 Baron Karl von Drais de Sauerbrun patents "draisine" (early bicycle) More ...
1827 Chester Stone patented a washing machine
1836 HMS Beagle/Charles Darwin leaves Tasmania
1864 Confederate sub "HL Hunley" sinks Union ship "Housatonic" More ...
1867 First ship passes through Suez Canal More ...
1870 Mississippi becomes 9th state readmitted to US after Civil War
1876 Sardines first canned (Julius Wolff-Eastport, ME)
1878 First telephone exchange in SF opens with 18 phones
1883 A Ashwell patents free-toilet in London
1897 National Congress of Parents & Teachers (PTA) organizes (Washington, DC) More ...
1904 Giacomo Puccini’s opera "Madama Butterfly" premieres at La Scala More ...
1906 Theodore Roosevelt's daughter Alice marries in the White House More ...
1911 First amphibian flight to & from a ship, by Glenn Curtiss, San Diego More ...
1911 The First Electric Self Start was installed in a Cadillac By GM
1913 First minimum wage law in US takes effect (Oregon)
1924 Johnny Weissmuller sets 100-yard freestyle record (52.4 seconds)
1931 First telecast of a sporting event in Japan (baseball)
1933 Blondie Boopadoop marries Dagwood Bumstead More ...
1933 First issue of "Newsweek" magazine published
1933 US Senate accept Blaine Act: ending prohibition
1934 First high school auto driving course offered (State College, PA) More ...
1936 State record low temperature of -58° in McIntosh, SD
1938 First public experimental demonstration of Baird color TV (London)
1943 New York Yankee Joe DiMaggio, enlists into the US army More ...
1947 Voice of America begins broadcasting to USSR
1953 Baseball star/pilot Ted Williams uninjured as plane shot down in Korea More ...
1954 Doris Day’s single, "Secret Love", became the #1 tune in the U.S. More ...
1957 Suez Canal reopens
1958 Comic strip "BC" first appears More ...
1958 "Sugartime" by McGuire Sisters topped the charts More ...
1959 First weather satellite launched, Vanguard 2, 21.6 lbs More ...
1962 Beach Boys introduced a new musical style with their hit "Surfin" More ...
1962 Gene Chandler hit #1 with "Duke of Earl" More ...
1962 Wilt Chamberlain of NBA Philadelphia Warriors scores 67 points vs St Louis
1964 US Supreme court rules - 1 man 1 vote (Westberry vs Sanders)
1965 US Ranger 8 launched, will transmit 7,137 lunar pictures
1966 French satellite Diapason D-1A launch into Earth orbit
1967 Beatles release "Penny Lane" & "Strawberry Fields" More ...
1967 Kosmos 140 (Soyuz Test) launches into Earth orbit
1968 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Springfield MA, opens
1968 "Love Is Blue" by Paul Mauriat topped the charts More ...
1972 President Richard Nixon departed on his historic trip to China More ...
1972 The 15,007,034th Volkswagen Beetle rolled out of the Volkswagen factory in Wolfsburg, Germany
1973 "Crocodile Rock" by Elton John topped the charts More ...
1979 "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?" by Rod Stewart topped the charts More ...
1985 First class postage rises from 20 cents to 22 cents
1989 6-week study of Arctic atmosphere shows no ozone "hole" More ...
1990 "Opposites Attract" by Paula Abdul & the Wild Pair topped the charts More ...
1995 Federal judge allows lawsuit claiming US tobacco makers knew nicotine was addictive & manipulated its levels
1996 World chess champion Garry Kasparov beat IBM supercomputer "Deep Blue," More ...
2007 Bismarck reclaims snow angel record More ...
2014 Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon premieres on NBC
2014 US Secretary of State John Kerry claims climate change requires urgent action