Today in History - October 17
Great meteor shower in Europe
Battle of Kossova
Al Capone jailed for tax evasion
-- Compiled by James Finlayson-Bald
F.B.I. photo of Alfonse ("Al") Capone, 1930.
On this date:
1101A great meteor shower hit Europe and the end of the world was confidently predicted by the usual loonies.
1346The Scottish Army led by David II had pushed their way into England and reached the picturesque thorpe of Nevilles Cross, where, to their dismay, they ran into Henry de Parcy, Ralph Neville and the Northern levies. David and many of his nobles were captured and 9000 of his men died.
1448Beginning of the two-day battle of Kossova between Hungarians and Wallachians under John Hunyadi and the Turkish Army led by Murad II The Hungarians left their entrenchments to attack the Turks and the battle was going along nicely when the Wallachians suddenly went over to the Turks and the Hungarians were trapped in a pincer and eventually were forced to retire with a loss of 17,000 killed or wounded. The Turks lost 40,000 but were still intent on taking Constantinople.
1683The Charter of Liberties and Privileges was framed. This document became the basis of the law in New York.
1777Horatio Gates secured the surrender of General Burgoyne and the British Army at Saratoga. It was the turning point in the Amercan War of Independence and persuaded the perfidious French to back the American rebels.
1797The Treaty of Campo Formio ended Napoleon's Italian campaign.
1854The Anglo-French force which had invested Sevastapol a month previously was not having much effect. On this date the batteries opened fire and from this date until September 8, 1855, the town was more or less continuously bombarded. At the height of the shelling soldiers were dying at the rate of 3000 a day on the Russian side, with the Anglo-French losing as many from disease.
1917Western Australia was connected by rail to the other states.
1918The Lucia, said to be unsinkable, became the last vessel to be sunk by submarine in World War I.
1921Ludwig III, abdicated King of Bavaria, died in London. The Wittelsbachs were victims of the changng times and Germany's growing power.
1931Mr Alphonse Capone, a leading light in Chicago's liquor industry, was sentenced to 11 years in prison for tax evasion, while one of his colleagues set his sights on the highest political office in the country.
-- Nathaneal West, novelist (1903-1940)
-- Sumner Locke Elliott, novelist (1917-91).
Thought for today:
We have no more right to consume happiness without producing it than to consume wealth without producing it. George Bernard Shaw.
The above article was written by James Finlayson-Bald.
Edited and illustrations added by David Paul Wagner.