January 17 events in history

395 Emperor Theodosius I dies in Milan, the Roman Empire is re-divided into an eastern and a western half. The Eastern Roman Empire is centered in Constantinople under Arcadius, son of Theodosius, and the Western Roman Empire in Mediolanum under Honorius, his brother (aged 10)
1287 King Alfonso III of Aragon invades Minorca
1377 Pope Gregory XI moves the Papacy back to Rome from Avignon
1524 Giovanni da Verrazzano sets sail westward from Madeira to find a sea route to the Pacific Ocean
1562 France recognizes the Huguenots by the Edict of Saint-Germain
1595 Henry IV of France declares war on Spain
1608 Emperor Susenyos surprises an Oromo army at Ebenat; his army reportedly kills 12,000 Oromo at the cost of 400 of his men
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 – Continental troops under Brigadier General Daniel Morgan defeat British forces under Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton at the battle in South Carolina
1799 Maltese patriot Dun Mikiel Xerri, along with a number of other patriots, is executed
1811 Mexican War of Independence: In the Battle of Calderón Bridge, a heavily outnumbered Spanish force of 6,000 troops defeats nearly 100,000 Mexican revolutionaries
1852 The United Kingdom recognizes the independence of the Boer colonies of the Transvaal
1873 A group of Modoc warriors defeats the United States Army in the First Battle of the Stronghold, 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
1903 El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico becomes part of the United States National Forest System as the Luquillo Forest Reserve
1904 Anton Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard receives its premiere performance at the Moscow Art Theatre
1912 Captain Robert Falcon Scott 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
1918 Finnish Civil War: The first serious battles take place between the Red Guards and the White Guard
1929 Popeye the Sailor Man, a cartoon character created by Elzie Segar, first appears in the Thimble Theatre comic strip
1929 Inayatullah Khan, king of the Emirate of Afghanistan abdicates the throne after only three days
1941 Franco-Thai War: French forces inflict a decisive defeat over the Royal Thai Navy
1943 World War II: Greek submarine Papanikolis captures the 200-ton sailing vessel Agios Stefanos and mans her with part of her crew
1944 World War II: Allied forces launch the first of four assaults on Monte Cassino with the intention of breaking through the Winter Line and seizing Rome, an effort that would ultimately take four months and cost 105,000 Allied casualties
1945 The Nazis begin the evacuation of the Auschwitz concentration camp as Soviet forces close in
1945 World War II: Soviet forces capture the almost completely destroyed Polish city of Warsaw
1945 Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg is taken into Soviet custody while in Hungary; he is never publicly seen again
1946 The UN Security Council holds its first session
1949 The Goldbergs, the first sitcom on American television, airs for the first time
1950 The Great Brink's Robbery – 11 thieves steal more than $2 million from an armored car company's offices in Boston
1961 U.S. 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" as well as the dangers of massive spending, especially deficit spending
1961 Former Congolese Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba is murdered in circumstances suggesting the support and complicity of the governments of Belgium and the United States
1966 Palomares incident: A B-52 bomber collides with a KC-135 Stratotanker over Spain, killing seven airmen, and dropping three 70-kiloton nuclear bombs near the town of Palomares and another one into the sea
1969 Marinella releases Stalia – Stalia
1969 Black Panther Party members Bunchy Carter and John Huggins are killed during a meeting in Campbell Hall on the campus of UCLA
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
1981 President of the Philippines Ferdinand Marcos lifts martial law eight years and five months after declaring it
1982 "Cold Sunday": in numerous cities in the United States temperatures fall to their lowest levels in over 100 years
1983 The tallest department store in the world, Hudson's flagship store in downtown Detroit, closes due to high cost of operating
1991 Harald V becomes King of Norway on the death of his father, Olav V
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
1992 During a visit to South Korea, Japanese Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa apologizes for forcing Korean women into sexual slavery during World War II
1994 1994 Northridge earthquake: A magnitude 6.7 earthquake hits Northridge, California
1995 The Great Hanshin earthquake: A magnitude 7.3 earthquake occurs 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