On this day - February 17

2010-02-17 07:30

Today is Thursday, February 17, the 48th day of 2010. There are 317 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

1568 - Turkey's Sultan Selim II makes peace with Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian II.

1801 - US House of Representatives breaks an electoral tie between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr, electing Jefferson president.

1817 - A Street in Baltimore becomes the first to be lighted with gas from America's first gas company.

1852 - Repressive measures are adopted in France, including press censorship in the aftermath of overthrow of the constitutional monarchy.

1897 - Britain rejects Austro-Russian proposal for blockade of Piraeus in Greece.

1904 - Giacomo Puccini's opera Madame Butterfly is poorly received during its world premiere at La Scala.

1916 - British and French forces complete capture of Germany's African colony of Cameroon during World War I.

1944 - US forces attack Japanese at Eniwetok Atoll in Pacific in World War II.

1947 - The Voice of America begins its radio broadcasts to the Soviet Union.

1964 - The US Supreme Court rules in Westberry v Sanders that congressional districts within each state have to be roughly equal in population.

1965 - US spacecraft Ranger 8 is launched from Cape Kennedy, Florida, and crashes on the Moon three days later after sending back more than 7 000 pictures.

1972 - US President Richard Nixon departs on his historic trip to China.

1990 - East Germany announces it will tear down a 180m section of the Berlin Wall near Brandenburg Gate, which will be first section with no official controls.

1991 - Amid the Gulf War, Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz arrives in Moscow for talks with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

1992 - UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali recommends deployment of 13 000 peacekeepers in Yugoslavia.

1993 - In a controversial move, the United Nations suspends most of its relief convoys in Bosnia, criticising all sides in the conflict for not letting convoys through. The convoys are resumed a week later.

1994 - Serb guns pull back from positions around Sarajevo, Bosnia, ahead of a Nato deadline.

1995 - Peru and Ecuador sign a peace treaty, ending a five-week border war that killed 78.

1996 - A magnitude-7 quake strikes eastern Indonesia, killing at least 53; world chess champion Garry Kasparov beats IBM supercomputer "Deep Blue", winning a six-game match in Philadelphia.

1997 - Former copper trader Yasuo Hamanaka pleads guilty in a Tokyo court to fraud and forgery in trying to cover speculation that depressed world copper markets and lost his company $2.6bn.

1998 - American athletes compete in Iran for the first time since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

1999 - Three Kurds are shot and killed trying to enter the Israeli consulate in Berlin to protest what they believe was Israeli involvement in the arrest of Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan by Turkey.

2000 - A judge upholds the conviction of a man who cursed in front of children after falling out of a canoe, ruling that Michigan's 102-year-old anti-swearing law is constitutional.

2001 - A bomb attack on a bus kills seven Serbs and injures dozens in northern Kosovo.

2002 - Maoist rebels kill 137 people in raids on a town and an airport in the northwest of Nepal. The attacks are the worst since November 2001, when the rebels broke a peace agreement and the government declared a state of emergency.

2003 - Twenty-one people are crushed to death and some 50 others are injured when a panic-stricken crowd tries to exit a nightclub in Chicago.

2005 - A court rules the previous year's privatisation of Ukraine's largest steel mill illegal, the first showdown between some of the nation's biggest businessmen and the new government.

2006 - Up to 1 800 people are killed when a farming village in eastern Philippines is swallowed whole by a wall of mud and boulders in a landslide that sweeps down with terrifying speed from a mountainside.

2007 - Tens of thousands of people march through the northeastern Italian city of Vicenza under heavy police guard to protest a planned US military base expansion.

2008 - Kosovo declares independence from Serbia; Serbia immediately denounces the declaration as illegal.

2009 - US President Barack Obama signs a massive $787bn package to revive the country's economy.

Today's Birthdays:
Thomas Robert Malthus, English economist (1766-1834); AJ "Banjo" Paterson, Australian poet who wrote "Waltzing Matilda" (1864-1941); Andre Maginot, French military expert and architect of Maginot Line (1877-1932); Gene Pitney, US singer (1941--); Billie Joe Armstrong, US singer/guitarist (1972--); Joseph Gordon-Levitt, US actor (1981--); Hal Holbrook, US actor (1925--); Rene Russo, US actress (1954--); Paris Hilton, US TV personality (1981--).

Thought For Today:
The passion for setting people right is in itself an afflictive disease - Marianne Moore, American poet (1887-1972).