Friday, August 17, 2007

Today in History....August 17

On this day in …

* 1807, Robert Fulton's North River Steamboat (popularly, if erroneously, known to this day as the Clermont) began heading up the Hudson River on its successful round-trip between New York and Albany

* 1863, federal batteries and ships began bombarding Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor during the Civil War, but the Confederates managed to hold on despite several days of pounding

* 1896, a prospecting party discovered gold in Canada, a finding that touched off the Klondike gold rush

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

* 1942, during World War II, U.S. Eighth Air Force bombers attacked Rouen, France

* 1943, the Allied conquest of Sicily was completed as U.S. and British forces entered Messina

* 1969, 256 people were killed as Hurricane Camille slammed into the Gulf Coast

* 1978, the first successful trans-Atlantic balloon flight ended as Maxie Anderson, Ben Abruzzo and Larry Newman landed their Double Eagle Two outside Paris

* 1987, Rudolf Hess, ym"sh, the last member of the inner circle of Adolf Hitler, ym"sh, died at Spandau Prison at age 93, an apparent suicide

* 1996, the Reform Party announced Ross Perot had won its nomination to be its first-ever presidential candidate

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