July 17th

Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is shot down over Eastern Ukraine by a Buk surface-to-air missile launched from pro-Russian separatist-controlled territory, killing all 283 passengers and 15 crew on board.
Former CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite died at age 92.
Bashar Assad succeeded his late father, Hafez Assad, becoming Syria's 16th head of state.
The Rome Statute establishing the International Criminal Court (ICC) is adopted. The ICC is the first international judicial body that has the power to try individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.
TWA Flight 800, a Boeing 747 bound for Paris, exploded and crashed off Long Island, N.Y., shortly after leaving John F. Kennedy International Airport. All 230 people aboard were killed.
The Stealth Bomber makes its debut. The Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit made its first public flight from Palmdale, California.
Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit
A pair of walkways above the lobby of the Kansas City Hyatt Regency Hotel collapsed during a dance, killing 114 people.
Hyatt Regency walkway collapse
Indonesia annexes East Timor and declares it its 27th province. This was the culmination of a 8-month long Indonesian invasion and occupation of the Southeast Asian country that began just after East Timor declared its independence from Portugal in November, 1975.
East Timor (province)
The American Apollo and Soviet Soyuz spacecraft linked up for the first time.
Apollo–Soyuz Test Project
Jazz saxophonist and composer John Coltrane died at age 40.
John Coltrane
Baseball Hall of Famer Ty Cobb died at age 74.
Ty Cobb
Disneyland opens its doors for the first time. The popular theme park (“The Happiest Place on Earth”) was opened by Walt Disney in Anaheim, California.
Southern Democrats opposed to the party's position on civil rights met in Birmingham, Ala., to endorse South Carolina Gov. Strom Thurmond for president.
The Potsdam Conference begins. The heads of the US, the UK, and USSR met in Potsdam to discuss the terms of the German and Japanese surrenders, and to make post-war plans.
Potsdam Conference
Spanish generals Francisco Franco and Emilio Mola lead a right-wing uprising, starting the Spanish Civil War.
Spanish Civil War
Russia's Czar Nicholas II, his wife and their five children were executed by the Bolsheviks.
Execution of the Romanov family
The British royal family changed its name from the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to Windsor amid anti-German senitment during World War I.
Spanish troops in Santiago, Cuba, surrendered to U.S. forces during the Spanish-American War.
Siege of Santiago
Spain ceded Florida to the United States.
Adams–Onís Treaty
Catherine II becomes tsarina of Russia upon the murder of Peter III.
Catherine the Great
Siege of Constantinople begins during the fourth Crusade, Crusaders aboad a Venetian fleet attack the city.
Cretan War (1645–1669)
6 inhabitants of Scillium in North Africa are executed for being Christians. Earliest record of Christianity in that part of the world.
July 17