This Day In History
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
On This Day

1917

Events

January 9, 1917

Battle of Rafa.
 ...
Battle of Rafa. The Battle of Rafa (also known by the British as the Action of Rafah) took place on 9 January 1917 at el Magruntein to the south of Rafa, close to the frontier between the Sultanate of Egypt's Sinai Peninsula and the Ottoman Empire, and in the area to the north and east of Sheikh Zowaiid. This was to be the third and final battle in the Sinai theatre of the Sinai and Palestine Campaign during the First World War. Here, a British Empire attacking force defeated an Ottoman Empire garrison entrenched in a series of strategically strong redoubts.
Rafa, battle, World War I

January 17, 1917

The United States pays...
The United States pays Denmark $25 million for the Virgin Islands. The Virgin Islands of the United States (commonly called the United States Virgin Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands or USVI) are a group of islands in the Caribbean that are an insular area of the United States. The islands are geographically part of the Virgin Islands archipelago and are located in the Leeward Islands of the Lesser Antilles.
Virgin Islands, United States

January 19, 1917

Silvertown explosion.
  ...
Silvertown explosion. The Silvertown explosion occurred in Silvertown in West Ham, Essex (now part of the London Borough of Newham, in Greater London) on Friday, 19 January 1917 at 6.52 pm. The blast occurred at a munitions factory that was manufacturing explosives for Britain's World War I military effort. Approximately 50 tons of trinitrotoluene (TNT) exploded, killing 73 people and injuring over 400, and also causing substantial damage to buildings and property in the local area. This was not the first, last, largest, or the most deadly explosion at a munitions facility in Britain of the war: an explosion at Faversham involving 200 tons of TNT killed 105 in 1916, and the National Shell Filling Factory, Chilwell exploded in 1918, killing 137.
Silvertown explosion, explosion, London

October 13, 1917

The "Miracle of the...
The "Miracle of the Sun" is witnessed by an estimated 70,000 people in the Cova da Iria in Fátima, Portugal. The people had gathered because three young shepherd children had predicted that at high noon the Blessed Virgin Mary would appear in a field in an area of Fatima called Cova da Iria. According to many witnesses, after a period of rain, the dark clouds broke and the sun appeared as an opaque, spinning disc in the sky. It was said to be significantly duller than normal, and to cast multicolored lights across the landscape, the shadows on the landscape, the people, and the surrounding clouds. The sun was then reported to have careened towards the earth in a zigzag pattern, frightening those who thought it a sign of the end of the world. Witnesses reported that their previously wet clothes became "suddenly and completely dry, as well as the wet and muddy ground that had been previously soaked because of the rain that had been falling".
Fatima, Portugal, sun

October 31, 1917

Battle of Beersheba –...
Battle of Beersheba – "last successful cavalry charge in history". The Battle of Beersheba took place on 31 October 1917, as part of the Sinai and Palestine campaign during World War I. Notable was the charge of the Australian 4th Light Horse Brigade, which covered some 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) to overrun and capture the last remaining Ottoman trenches, and secure the surviving wells at Birüssebi.
Beersheba, World War I, battle

November 7, 1917

Storm the Winter Palace
Storm the Winter Palace
The Gregorian calendar date of the October Revolution, which gets its name from the Julian calendar date of 25 October. On this date in 1917, the Bolsheviks storm the Winter Palace. The October Revolution, also known as the Great October Socialist Revolution, Red October, the October Uprising or the Bolshevik Revolution, was a political revolution and a part of the Russian Revolution of 1917. It took place with an armed insurrection in Petrograd traditionally dated to 25 October 1917 Old Style Julian Calendar (O.S.), which corresponds with 7 November 1917 New Style (N.S.). Gregorian Calendar.
October Revolution, Winter Palace

November 20, 1917

Mark IV tank
Mark IV tank
Battle of Cambrai begins. The Battle of Cambrai (20 November – 7 December 1917) was a British campaign of the First World War. Cambrai, in the Nord département (Nord-Pas-de-Calais), was a key supply point for the German Siegfried Stellung (part of the Hindenburg Line) and the nearby Bourlon Ridge would be an excellent gain from which to threaten the rear of the German line to the north. The operation was to include an experimental artillery action. Major General Henry Hugh Tudor, commander of the 9th Infantry Division, suggested trying out new artillery-infantry techniques on his sector of the front.
Cambrai, World War I, battle

November 22, 1917

The National Hockey League(NHL)...
The National Hockey League(NHL) was organized in Montreal , Canada, during World War I after the suspension of operations of its predecessor organization, the National Hockey Association (NHA), which had been founded in 1909. It started with four teams and, through a series of expansions, contractions, and relocations, the league is now composed of 30 active franchises.
NHL, hockey, Montreal, Canada

December 3, 1917

After nearly 20 years...
After nearly 20 years of planning and construction, including two collapses causing 89 deaths, the Quebec Bridge opens to traffic. The Quebec Bridge (Pont de Québec in French) crosses the lower Saint Lawrence River to the west of Quebec City, and Lévis, Quebec, Canada. The Quebec Bridge is a riveted steel truss structure and is 987 m (3,239 ft) long, 29 m (94 ft) wide, and 104 m (340 ft) high. Cantilever arms 177 m (580 ft) long support a 195 m (640 ft) central structure, for a total span of 549 m (1800 ft), still the longest cantilever bridge span in the world (it was the all-categories longest span in the world until the Ambassador Bridge was completed in 1929). It is the easternmost (farthest downstream) complete crossing of the Saint Lawrence.
Quebec Bridge, bridge





Births

April 25, 1917
Ella Fitzgerald

Ella Jane Fitzgerald, also known as the "First Lady of Song," "Queen of Jazz," and "Lady Ella," was an American jazz and song vocalist. With a vocal range spanning three octaves (D♭3 to D♭6), she was noted for her purity of tone, impeccable diction, phrasing and intonation, and a "horn-like" improvisational ability, particularly in her scat singing.
May 29, 1917
John F Kennedy

John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963.
November 19, 1917
Indira Gandhi

Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi was an Indian politician and the leader of the Indian National Congress. She was the third Prime Minister of the Republic of India for three consecutive terms from 1966 to 1977 and for a fourth term from 1980 until her death in 1984, a total of fifteen years. Gandhi was the second female to hold the office of prime minister (after Sirimavo Bandaranaike of Sri Lanka) and she remained as the world's second longest serving female Prime Minister as of 2011.

Deaths

October 15, 1917
Mata Hari

Mata Hari was the stage name of Margaretha Geertruida "Grietje" Zelle, a Dutch exotic dancer, courtesan, and accused spy, although possibly innocent, who was executed by firing squad in France for espionage for Germany during World War I.
November 17, 1917
Auguste Rodin

François-Auguste-René Rodin was a French sculptor. Although Rodin is generally considered the progenitor of modern sculpture, he did not set out to rebel against the past. He was schooled traditionally, took a craftsman-like approach to his work, and desired academic recognition, although he was never accepted into Paris's foremost school of art.
December 20, 1917
Eric Campbell

Alfred Eric Campbell, known as Eric Campbell, was an English actor who for many years was wrongly believed to be Scottish. He was a key member of Charlie Chaplin's film ensemble, invariably playing an intimidating bully, and appeared in 11 of his films before he was killed in a car crash at 38 years old. He is the subject of a documentary by filmmaker Kevin Macdonald.
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