TodayInHistory

Today is Friday, July 17, the 199th day of 2020. There are 167 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History

On July 17, 1944, during World War II, 320 men, two-thirds of them African-Americans, were killed when a pair of ammunition ships exploded at the Port Chicago Naval Magazine in California.

On this date

In 1717, George Frideric Handel’s “Water Music” was first performed by an orchestra during a boating party on the River Thames, with the musicians on one barge, and King George I listening from another.

In 1918, Russia’s Czar Nicholas II and his family were executed by the Bolsheviks.

In 1945, following Nazi Germany’s surrender, President Harry S. Truman, Soviet leader Josef Stalin and British Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill began meeting at Potsdam in the final Allied summit of World War II.

In 1975, an Apollo spaceship docked with a Soyuz spacecraft in orbit in the first superpower link-up of its kind.

In 1981, 114 people were killed when a pair of suspended walkways above the lobby of the Kansas City Hyatt Regency Hotel collapsed during a tea dance.

In 1996, TWA Flight 800, a Europe-bound Boeing 747, exploded and crashed off Long Island, New York, shortly after departing John F. Kennedy International Airport, killing all 230 people on board.

In 1997, Woolworth Corp. announced it was closing its 400 remaining five-and-dime stores across the country, ending 117 years in business.

In 2009, former CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite died in New York at 92.

Ten years ago

Federal authorities in Puerto Rico arrested alleged drug kingpin Jose Figueroa Agosto after a decade-long chase through the Caribbean.

Five years ago

More than 1,000 people attended an interfaith service in Chattanooga, Tennessee, to mourn four Marines who had been shot to death at a reserve facility by a Kuwaiti-born gunman.

One year ago

Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was sentenced to life behind bars in a U.S. prison. Prosecutors in Massachusetts dropped a case accusing actor Kevin Spacey of groping a young man at a resort island bar in 2016; the accuser had refused to testify about a missing cellphone that defense lawyers said would support Spacey’s claims of innocence.

Today’s Birthdays

Actor Donald Sutherland, 85.

Sportscaster Verne Lundquist, 80.

Actress Lucie Arnaz, 69.

Actor David Hasselhoff, 68.

Country singer Craig Morgan, 56.

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