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Today in history: July 17

Today in history: July 17
17 Jul
2:11

Take a step back in time through the pages of The Sentinel. Also, get celebrity birthdays.

Today in history

In 1953: With two new water pumps installed and ready to go, Zeeland residents looked today toward relief from the tight water situation that had imposed a “no sprinkling” restriction on them for more than a month now. The pumps were placed in two of the four Riley Street wells north of the city Tuesday and Wednesday after city officials had awaited their arrival for more than 10 days. Installation of the pumps completed the construction job for the pipeline earlier this week.

On this day

In 1821, Spain ceded Florida to the United States.

In 1918, Russia’s Czar Nicholas II and his family were executed by the Bolsheviks.

In 1936, the Spanish Civil War began as right-wing army generals launched a coup attempt against the Second Spanish Republic.

In 1938, aviator Douglas Corrigan took off from New York, saying he was headed for California; he ended up in Ireland, supposedly by accident, earning the nickname “Wrong Way Corrigan.”

In 1944, during World War II, 320 men, two-thirds of them African-Americans, were killed when a pair of ammunition ships exploded at the Port Chicago Naval Magazine in California.

In 1954, the two-day inaugural Newport Jazz Festival, billed as “The First American Jazz Festival,” opened in Rhode Island; among the performers the first night was Billie Holiday, who died in New York on this date in 1959 at age 44.

In 1955, Disneyland had its opening day in Anaheim, California.

In 1967, jazz composer-musician John Coltrane died in Long Island, New York, at age 40.

In 1975, an Apollo spaceship docked with a Soyuz spacecraft in orbit in the first superpower link-up of its kind.

In 1981, 114 people were killed when a pair of suspended walkways above the lobby of the Kansas City Hyatt Regency Hotel collapsed during a tea dance.

In 1996, TWA Flight 800, a Europe-bound Boeing 747, exploded and crashed off Long Island, New York, shortly after departing John F. Kennedy International Airport, killing all 230 people on board.

In 1997, Woolworth Corp. announced it was closing its 400 remaining five-and-dime stores across the country, ending 117 years in business.

In 2008, the FDA lifted its salmonella warning on tomatoes amid signs the record outbreak, while not over, might finally be slowing. President George W. Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki held a secure video conference during which they agreed to set a “general time horizon” for bringing more U.S. troops home from the Iraq war.

In 2013, in a heated House Judiciary Committee hearing on domestic spying, members of Congress said they’d never intended to allow the National Security Agency to build a database of every phone call in America, while top Obama administration officials countered that the once-secret program was legal and necessary to keep America safe.

In 2014, all 298 passengers and crew aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 were killed when the Boeing 777 was shot down over rebel-held eastern Ukraine.

Celebrity birthdays

David Hasselhoff is 66.

Donald Sutherland is 83.

Angela Merkel is 64.

Luke Bryan is 42.

Tom Cullen is 33.

Billie Lourd is 26.

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