February 17th

2009
President Barack Obama signed a $757 billion economic stimulus package into law..
2008
Kosovo declares its independence. The region's secession from Serbia followed an armed conflict referred to as the Kosovo War.
2008 Kosovo declaration of independence
2005
President George W. Bush named John Negroponte to be the first national intelligence director.
John Negroponte
2002
The new Transportation Security Administration took over supervision of aviation security from the airline industry and the Federal Aviation Administration.
United States Department of Homeland Security
1996
World chess champion Garry Kasparov beat IBM supercomputer 'Deep Blue,' winning a six-game match in Philadelphia.
Deep Blue versus Garry Kasparov
1995
Colin Ferguson was convicted of six counts of murder in the December 1993 Long Island Rail Road shootings that also wounded 19 people.
1993 Long Island Rail Road shooting
1992
Serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer is jailed for life. Dahmer was convicted of murdering and dismembering at least 17 young men and boys.
Jeffrey Dahmer
1972
President Richard M. Nixon departed on a historic trip to China.
Presidency of Richard Nixon
1969
Golda Meir sworn in as the first female Prime Minister of Israel.
Golda Meir
1947
The Voice of America began broadcasting to the Soviet Union.
Voice of America
1933
Newsweek magazine was first published.
Newsweek
1913
The “Armory Show” opens in New York. The art exhibition featured works by Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, and Vincent van Gogh and marked the advent of artistic modernism in the United States.
Armory Show
1904
“Madama Butterfly” is premiered. Giacomo Puccini's opera, one of the world's most performed works of musical theater, was poorly received in its first performance.
Madama Butterfly
1876
Sardines first canned by Julius Wolff in Eastport, Maine.
1865
Columbia, S.C., burned as the Confederates evacuated and Union forces moved in.
Columbia, South Carolina in the American Civil War
1864
The Confederate submarine Hunley, equipped with an explosive at the end of a protruding spar, rammed and sank the Union's ship Housatonic off the coast of Charleston, S.C.
1863
A precursor of the Red Cross and Red Crescent is founded. The “Committee for Relief to the Wounded” was created by a group of citizens in Geneva, Switzerland.
International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement
1817
Baltimore became the first U.S. city lit by gas.
Gas lighting
1801
The electoral tie between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr was broken by the House of Representatives who elected Jefferson president.
United States presidential election, 1800
1600
Italian philospher, alchemist, and Copernican theory advocate Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake for heresy by the Inquisition.
Galileo Galilei
1568
Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian II agrees to pay tribute to the Ottoman Empire for peace.
Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor