Famous birthdays, deaths and events of January 17
1463 - Friedrich III, Elector of Saxony (d. 1525) 1484 - George Spalatin, German reformer (d. 1545) 1560 - Gaspard Bauhin, Swiss botanist (d. 1624) 1600 - Pedro Calderon de la Barca, Spanish playwright (d. 1681) 1612 - Thomas Fairfax, 3rd Lord Fairfax of Cameron 1666 - Antonio Maria Valsalva, Italian anatomist (d. 1723) 1706 - Benjamin Franklin American statesman, (d. 1790) 1712 - John Stanley, English composer (d. 1786) 1719 - William Vernon, American merchant (d. 1806) 1734 - François-Joseph Gossec, Belgian composer (d. 1829) 1814 - 'Mrs Henry Wood', English novelist (d. 1887) 1820 - Anne Brontë, British author (d. 1849) 1828 - Eduard Remenyi, Hungarian violinist (d. 1898) 1831 - Archduchess Elisabeth Franziska of Austria, (d. 1903) 1832 - Henry Martyn Baird, American educationalist (d. 1906) 1834 - August Weismann, German biologist (d. 1914) 1850 - Aleksandr Taneyev, Russian composer (d. 1918) 1851 - A. B. Frost, American illustrator (d. 1928) 1853 - Alva Belmont, American socialite (d. 1933) 1857 - Wilhelm Kienzl, Austrian composer (d. 1941) 1858 - Tomás Carrasquilla, Colombian writer (d. 1940) 1863 - Constantin Stanislavski, Russian theatre practitioner (d. 1938) 1871 - David Earl Beatty British admiral, (d. 1936) 1871 - Nicolae Iorga, Romanian writer (d. 1940) 1877 - May Gibbs, Australian children's author (d. 1969) 1880 - Mack Sennett, Canadian film director (d. 1960) 1882 - Noah Beery, Sr. 1883 - Sir Compton Mackenzie, Scottish novelist (d. 1972) 1886 - Ronald Firbank, British novelist (d. 1926) 1899 - Al Capone, American gangster (d. 1947) 1899 - Nevil Shute, English author (d. 1960) 1903 - Jyoti Prasad Agarwala, Assamese poet 1905 - Guillermo Stábile, Argentine footballer (d. 1966) 1905 - Ray Cunningham, American baseball player (d. 2005) 1907 - Henk Badings, Dutch composer (d. 1987) 1914 - William Stafford, American poet and essayist (d. 1993) 1914 - Irving Brecher, American Screenwriter 1917 - Ramón Cardemil, Chilean huaso (d. 2007) 1922 - Betty White, American actress 1923 - Carol Raye, Australian actress 1925 - Robert Cormier, American author (d. 2000) 1925 - Abdul Kardar, Pakistani cricketer 1925 - Edgar Ray Killen, American convict 1925 - Patricia Owens, Canadian actress (d. 2000) 1926 - Moira Shearer, Scottish actress (d. 2006) 1927 - Dr Tom Dooley, American humanitarian (d. 1961) 1927 - Norman Kaye, Australian actor and musician (d. 2007) 1927 - Eartha Kitt, American actress and singer 1928 - Jean Barraqué, French composer (d. 1973) 1928 - Vidal Sassoon, English cosmetologist 1929 - Jacques Plante, Canadian ice hockey player (d. 1986) 1930 - Eddie LeBaron, American football player 1931 - James Earl Jones, American actor 1932 - Sheree North, American actress (d. 2005) 1933 - Dalida, French singer (d. 1987) 1933 - Shari Lewis, American ventriloquist (d. 1998) 1939 - Maury Povich, American talk show host 1940 - Kipchoge Keino, Kenyan runner 1941 - Dame Gillian Weir, New Zealand organist 1942 - Muhammad Ali, American boxer 1942 - Ulf Hoelscher, German violinist 1942 - Nancy Parsons, American actress (d. 2001) 1943 - Geoffrey Deuel, American actor 1943 - Chris Montez, American singer 1944 - Françoise Hardy, French singer 1945 - Javed Akhtar, Indian lyricist 1946 - Michèle Deslauriers, Quebec actress 1948 - Jim Ladd, American freeform (radio format) Disc Jockey 1948 - Anne Queffélec, French pianist 1949 - Mick Taylor, British musician (The Rolling Stones) 1949 - Andy Kaufman, American comedian (d. 1984) 1950 - Luis López Nieves, Latin American writer 1952 - Darrell Porter, American baseball player (d. 2002) 1952 - Larry Fortensky, seventh husband of Elizabeth Taylor 1952 - Ryuichi Sakamoto, Japanese musician 1954 - Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. 1955 - Steve Earle, American musician 1956 - Paul Young, English musician 1957 - Keith Chegwin, English television presenter 1957 - Steve Harvey, American actor 1957 - Ann Nocenti, American comic book writer 1957 - Michel Vaarten, Belgian cyclist 1959 - Susanna Hoffs, American musician 1959 - Momoe Yamaguchi, Japanese singer and actress 1960 - John Crawford, American musician 1960 - Chili Davis, Jamaican-born American baseball player 1960 - Chatchai Plengpanich, Thai actor 1961 - Brian Helgeland, American writer and film director 1961 - Maia Chiburdanidze, Russian women's Chess grandmaster 1962 - Jim Carrey, Canadian actor and comedian 1963 - Kai Hansen, German singer and guitarist (Gamma Ray) 1964 - Andy Rourke, English bass guitarist (The Smiths) 1965 - Sylvain Turgeon, Canadian ice hockey player 1965 - Nikos Nioplias, Greek footballer 1966 - Stephin Merritt, American singer and songwriter (The Magnetic Fields 1966 - Joshua Malina, American actor 1966 - Shabba Ranks, Jamaican singer 1967 - Richard Hawley, English singer 1967 - Song Kang-ho, South Korean actor 1968 - Craig Strong, American actor & voice actor 1968 - Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer, Dutch writer 1968 - Svetlana Masterkova, Russian athlete 1969 - Lukas Moodysson, Swedish film writer and director 1969 - Naveen Andrews, British actor 1969 - Tijs Verwest, (DJ Tiësto) Dutch DJ 1970 - Jeremy Roenick, American ice hockey player 1970 - Genndy Tartakovsky, Russian-born animator 1970 - James Wattana, Thai snooker player 1971 - Kid Rock, American singer 1971 - Richard Burns, English rally driver (d. 2005) 1971 - Leonardo Ciampa, Italian-American musician 1971 - Youki Kudoh, Japanese actress 1971 - Sylvie Testud, French actress 1971 - Ann Wolfe, female boxer 1972 - Ken Hirai, Japanese singer and songwriter 1972 - Benno Fürmann, German actor 1973 - Cuauhtémoc Blanco, Mexican footballer 1973 - Liz Ellis, Australian netball captain 1973 - Aaron Ward, Canadian ice hockey player 1974 - Yang Chen, Chinese footballer 1974 - Derrick Mason, American football player 1974 - Vesko Kountchev, Bulgarian musician 1975 - Tom Jenkinson, English musician (Squarepusher) 1975 - Freddy Rodriguez, Puerto Rican-American actor 1975 - Rami Yacoub, Swedish songwriter/producer 1977 - Kevin Fertig, American professional wrestler 1977 - Leigh Whannell, Australian screenwriter/actor 1980 - Zooey Deschanel, American actress 1980 - Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Ukrainian ballroom dancer 1980 - Kimberly Spicer, American model 1980 - Gareth McLearnon, Northern Irish flautist 1981 - Warren Feeney, Northern Irish footballer 1981 - Scott Mechlowicz, American actor 1981 - Ray J, American R&B singer 1982 - Dwyane Wade, American basketball player 1982 - Amanda Wilkinson, Canadian singer 1982 - Alex Varkatzas, American Singer (Atreyu) 1983 - Alvaro Arbeloa, Spanish Footballer 1983 - Johannes Herber, German basketball player 1983 - Andrea Lowell, American Model 1983 - Rick Kelly, Australian racing driver 1983 - Julie Budet, French Electronic-Pop Musician 1985 - Simone Simons, Dutch singer (Epica) 1985 - Riyu Kosaka, Japanese singer BeForU 1985 - Kang-In, South Korean singer/dancer/actor/MC/DJ(Super Junior)
1598 - Fyodor I Tsar of Russia, (b. 1557) 1705 - John Ray, English naturalist (b. 1627) 1738 - Jean-François Dandrieu, French composer (b. 1682) 1751 - Tomaso Albinoni, Italian composer (b. 1671) 1826 - Juan Crisóstomo Arriaga, Spanish composer (b. 1806) 1869 - Aleksandr Dargomyzhsky, Russian composer (b. 1813) 1874 - Chang and Eng Bunker, Siamese twins (b. 1811) 1908 - Ferdinand IV Grand Duke of Tuscany, (b. 1835) 1911 - Sir Francis Galton, English polymath 1931 - Grand Duke Peter Nikolaevich of Russia, son of Grand Duke Nicholas Nikolaevich (b. 1864) 1932 - Albert Jacka, VC 1936 - Mateiu Caragiale, Romanian author (b. 1885) 1952 - Walter Briggs, Sr. 1964 - T.H. White, English author (b. 1906) 1967 - Evelyn Nesbit, American actress (b. 1884) 1970 - Simon Kovar, Russian-American bassoonist (b. 1890) 1970 - Billy Stewart, American singer (b. 1937) 1972 - Betty Smith, American writer and singer (b. 1896) 1981 - Loukas Panourgias, Greek footballer (b. 1899) 1983 - Doodles Weaver, American actor (b. 1911) 1987 - Hugo Fregonese, Argentine film director (b. 1908) 1994 - Helen Stephens, American runner (b. 1918) 1994 - Yevgeny Ivanov, Soviet spy involved in the Profumo affair (b. 1926) 1996 - Amber Hagerman, American namesake of the Amber Alert system (b. 1986) 1996 - Mostafa Sid Ahmed, Sudanese singer (b. 1953) 1998 - Junior Kimbrough, American bluesman (b. 1930) 1999 - Robert Eads, American transsexual (b. 1945) 2000 - Philip Jones, British trumpeter (b. 1928) 2001 - Gregory Corso, American poet (b. 1930) 2002 - Camilo Jose Cela, Spanish writer 2002 - Queenie Leonard, American actress (b. 1905) 2003 - Richard Crenna, American actor (b. 1926) 2003 - Balint Vazsonyi, Hingarian pianist (b. 1936) 2004 - Harry Brecheen, American baseball player (b. 1914) 2004 - Czeslaw Niemen, Polish musician (b. 1939) 2004 - Ray Stark, American stage and film producer (b. 1915) 2004 - Noble Willingham, American actor (b. 1931) 2005 - Virginia Mayo, American actress (b. 1920) 2005 - Albert Schatz, American microbiologist (b. 1920) 2006 - Pierre Grondin, French Canadian cardiac surgeon (b. 1925) 2007 - Art Buchwald, American humorist (b. 1925) 2008 - Bobby Fischer, American chess player (b. 1943) 2008 - Ernie Holmes, American football player (b. 1948) 2008 - Allan Melvin, American actor (b. 1923) 2009 - Edmund Leopold de Rothschild, 93, British financier and horticulturist. 2009 - Mike Parkinson, 60, New Zealand rugby union player. 2009 - Marjorie Parker Smith, 92, American figure skater. 2009 - Susanna Foster, 84, American actress and singer (Phantom of the Opera). 2009 - Tomislav Crnković, 79, Croatian footballer. 2009 - Raju Ananthaswamy, 40, Indian actor, music director and singer, kidney failure.
1524 - Beginning of Giovanni da Verrazzano's voyage to find a passage to China. 1562 - France recognizes the Huguenots under the Edict of Saint-Germain. 1595 - Henry IV of France declares war on Spain. 1605 - First publication of Don Quixote. 1648 - England's Long Parliament passes the Vote of No Addresses, breaking off negotiations with King Charles I and thereby setting the scene for the second phase of the English Civil War. 1773 - Captain James Cook and his crew become the first Europeans to sail below the Antarctic Circle. 1781 - American Revolutionary War: Battle of Cowpens 1799 - Maltese patriot Dun Mikiel Xerri, along with a number of other patriots, was executed. 1852 - The United Kingdom recognizes the independence of the Boer colonies of the Transvaal. 1873 - A group of Modoc warriors defeat the United States Army in the First Battle of the Stronghold, a part of the Modoc War. 1885 - A British force defeats a large Dervish army at the Battle of Abu Klea in the Sudan. 1893 - The Citizen's Committee of Public Safety, led by Lorrin A. Thurston overthrows the government of Queen Liliuokalani of the Kingdom of Hawaii. 1899 - The United States takes possession of Wake Island in the Pacific Ocean. 1904 - Anton Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard receives its premiere performance at the Moscow Art Theatre. 1912 - Sir Robert Falcon Scott (Scott of the Antarctic) reaches the South Pole, one month after Roald Amundsen. 1913 - Raymond Poincaré is elected President of France. 1917 - The United States pays Denmark $25 million for the Virgin Islands. 1929 - Popeye the Sailor Man, a cartoon character created by Elzie Crisler Segar, first appears in the Thimble Theatre comic strip. 1941 - Kuomintang forces under orders from Chiang Kai-Shek open fire at communist forces, resuming the Chinese Civil War after World War II. 1945 - Soviet forces capture the almost completely destroyed Polish city of Warsaw. 1945 - The Nazis begin the evacuation of the Auschwitz concentration camp as Soviet forces close in. 1945 - Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg disappears in Hungary while in Soviet custody. 1946 - The UN Security Council holds its first session. 1949 - The Goldbergs, the first sitcom on American television, first airs. 1950 - The Great Brinks Robbery 1961 - President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivers a televised farewell address to the nation three days before leaving office, in which he warns against the accumulation of power by the "military-industrial complex". 1966 - A B-52 bomber collides with a KC-135 Stratotanker over Spain, dropping four 70-kiloton hydrogen bombs near the town of Palomares and another one into the sea in the Palomares hydrogen bombs incident. 1973 - Ferdinand Marcos becomes "President for Life" of the Philippines. 1977 - Convicted murderer Gary Gilmore is executed by a firing squad in Utah, ending a ten-year moratorium on Capital punishment in the United States. 1982 - "Cold Sunday" in the United States would see temperatures fall to their lowest levels in over 100 years in numerous cities. 1985 - British Telecom announces the retirement of the United Kingdom's red telephone boxes. 1989 - Stockton massacre: Patrick Purdy opens fire with an assault rifle at the Cleveland Elementary School playground, killing five children and wounding 29 others and one teacher before taking his own life. 1991 - Gulf War: Operation Desert Storm begins early in the morning. Iraq fires 8 Scud missiles into Israel in an unsuccessful bid to provoke Israeli retaliation. 1991 - Harald V becomes King of Norway on the death of his father, Olav V. 1994 - 1994 Northridge Earthquake: A magnitude 6.7 earthquake hits Northridge, California. 1995 - The Great Hanshin earthquake: A magnitude 7.3 earthquake hits near Kobe, Japan, causing extensive property damage and killing 6,434 people. 1996 - The Czech Republic applies for membership of the European Union. 1997 - A Delta 2 carrying a GPS2R satellite explodes 13 seconds after launch, dropping 250 tons of burning rocket remains around the launch pad. 1998 - Paula Jones accuses President Bill Clinton of sexual harassment. 2001 - President Bill Clinton posthumously raises Meriwether Lewis' rank from Lieutenant to Captain. 2002 - Mount Nyiragongo erupts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, displacing an estimated 400,000 people. 2007 - The Doomsday Clock is set to five minutes to midnight in response to North Korea nuclear testing. 2009 - Israel declares a unilateral cease-fire against Hamas militants and puts an end to attacks after 22 days of violence in Gaza.