April 17th

1986
The world's longest war ends without a single shot having been fired. The state of war between the Netherlands and the Isles of Scilly had been extended for a total of 335 years by the lack of a peace treaty. Some historians doubt that war had ever been declared.
Three Hundred and Thirty Five Years' War
1982
Canada adopts its constitution.
Constitution Act, 1982
1978
Mir Akbar Khyber's assassination triggers a communist coup in Afghanistan. The communists introduced a series of reforms, such as equal rights for women and universal education. These achievements were undone soon after by the outbreak of several wars.
Mir Akbar Khyber
1975
Phnom Penh falls to the Khmer Rouge. The regime under “Brother number 1” Pol Pot tortured and killed several million people. Amongst the communists' perceived enemies were intellectuals, anyone with a connection to the former government, and several ethnic minorities.
Khmer Rouge rule of Cambodia
1970
The Apollo 13 astronauts safely splashed down after their near-disastrous flight.
Apollo 13
1969
Sirhan Sirhan was convicted for the murder of Robert F. Kennedy.
Sirhan Sirhan
1964
Geraldine Mock became the first woman to fly solo around the world.
Jerrie Mock
1961
A CIA-sponsored paramilitary group attempts to invade Cuba. The Bay of Pigs invasion was a failed attempt to overthrow the Cuban government. The United States government had ordered the CIA to plan Fidel Castro's overthrow.
Bay of Pigs Invasion
1937
Daffy Duck made his debut in Porky's Duck Hunt.
Porky's Duck Hunt
1895
Treaty of Shimonoseki is signed ending the First Sino-Japanese War (1894-95).
First Sino-Japanese War
1790
Benjamin Franklin, U.S. patriot, diplomat, and a signer of the Declaration of Independence, died in Philadelphia.
John Jay
1521
Martin Luther faces charges for his revolutionary religious writings. The German monk was a leading figure of the Protestant Reformation. As a result of the hearing before the Diet of Worms, he was excommunicated and declared an outlaw.
Martin Luther
1492
Christopher Columbus signs contract with Spain to find the "Indies".
Christopher Columbus
1397
Geoffrey Chaucer tells the "Canterbury Tales" for the first time at the court of English King Richard II.
April 17