Today in History, August 17

Today is Wednesday, August 17, the 229th day of 2022. There are 136 days left in the year.

Highlight of today’s story:

On August 17, 1982, the first commercially produced compact discs, a recording of ABBA’s “The Visitors”, were pressed at a Philips factory near Hannover, West Germany.

To this date :

In 1807, Robert Fulton’s North River Steamboat began traveling up the Hudson River on its successful round trip between New York and Albany.

In 1863, Federal batteries and ships began shelling Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor during the Civil War, but the Confederates held out despite several days of shelling.

In 1915, a mob in Cobb County, Georgia lynched 31-year-old Jewish businessman Leo Frank, whose death sentence for the murder of 13-year-old Mary Phagan had been commuted to life imprisonment . (Frank, who claimed his innocence, was pardoned by the state of Georgia in 1986.)

In 1945, George Orwell’s novel “Animal Farm”, an allegorical satire of Soviet communism, was first published in London by Martin Secker & Warburg.

In 1978, the first successful transatlantic balloon flight ended when Maxie Anderson, Ben Abruzzo and Larry Newman landed their Double Eagle II outside Paris.

In 1987, Rudolf Hess, the last member of Adolf Hitler’s inner circle, died in Spandau prison at the age of 93, an apparent suicide.

In 1988, Pakistani President Mohammad Zia ul-Haq and US Ambassador Arnold Raphel (RAY’-fehl) were killed in a mysterious plane crash.

In 1998, President Bill Clinton testified before a grand jury via White House closed-circuit television regarding his relationship with Monica Lewinsky; he then gave a televised speech in which he denied committing perjury previously, admitted that his relationship with Lewinsky was “bad”, and criticized Kenneth Starr’s investigation.

In 1999, more than 17,000 people were killed when a magnitude 7.4 earthquake struck Turkey.

In 2004, at the Athens Games, Romania won its second consecutive Olympic gold medal in women’s gymnastics; the United States won silver while Russia won bronze.

In 2011, Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Beijing to meet his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping.

In 2020, Texas joined New York, New Jersey and California as states with at least 10,000 confirmed coronavirus deaths; about 80% of deaths in Texas have been reported since June 1, after the state embarked on one of the fastest reopenings in the country.

Ten years ago: A Moscow judge sentenced three punk rock-style activists, members of the group Pussy Riot, to two years in prison for hooliganism for briefly taking over a cathedral in a raucous prayer for deliverance Russian President Vladimir Putin; the court’s decision sparked protests around the world. (One of the three defendants was later released on probation; the other two were released months before their two-year sentence in December 2013.)

Five years ago: A van slammed into pedestrians along a crowded promenade in the Spanish city of Barcelona, ​​killing 13 people and injuring 120. (A 14th victim later died from his injuries.) A another man was stabbed to death in a carjacking that night as the van driver fled and a woman died early the next day in a vehicle and knife attack in a coastal town neighbor. (Six suspects in the attack were shot dead by police, two others died when a bomb-making workshop exploded.)

A year ago: In order to reassure world powers and fearful Afghans, the Taliban insisted that they would respect women’s rights, forgive those who fight them and ensure that Afghanistan does not become a haven for terrorists. Heavy rains from Tropical Storm Grace forced a temporary halt to rescue and recovery efforts following the devastating weekend earthquake in Haiti. The Jacksonville Jaguars waived Tim Tebow, ending the NFL career of the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner who moved from quarterback to tight end in hopes of making a comeback; he had also spent five years playing baseball in the New York Mets organization without ever qualifying for the big leagues.

Today’s birthdays: Former Chinese President Jiang Zemin (jahng zuh-MEEN’) turns 96. Former MLB All-Star Boog Powell is 81 years old. Actor Robert DeNiro is 79 years old. Director Martha Coolidge is 76 years old. Rock musician Gary Talley (The Box Tops) is 75. Actor-writer-producer Julian Fellowes is 73 years old. Actor Robert Joy is 71 years old. The International Tennis Hall of Fame Guillermo Vilas is 70 years old. Rock singer Kevin Rowland (Dexy’s Midnight Runners) is 69. Rock musician Colin Molding (XTC) is 67. Country singer-songwriter Kevin Welch is 67 years old. Olympic gold medalist figure skater Robin Cousins ​​is 65. Singer Belinda Carlisle is 64 years old. Author Jonathan Franzen is 63 years old. 60. Singer Maria McKee is 58 years old. Rock musician Steve Gorman (The Black Crowes) is 57 years old. Rock musician Jill Cunniff (kuh-NIHF’) is 56 years old. Actor David Conrad is 55 years old. Singer Donnie Wahlberg is 53 years old. College Basketball Hall of Famer and retired NBA All-Star Christian Laettner is 53. Rapper Posdnuos (PAHS’-deh-noos) is 53 years old. International Tennis Hall of Famer Jim Courier is 52. Retired MLB star Jorge Posada is 51. TV personality Giuliana Rancic is 48 years old. Actor Bryton James is 36 years old. Actor Brady Corbet (kohr-BAY’) is 34 years old. Actor Austin Butler is 31 years old. Actor Taissa Farmiga is 28 years old. Olympic bronze medalist figure skater Gracie Gold is 27 years old.

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