It is the 17th day of the year, with only 348 days remaining until the new year.
1608 - Emperor Susenyos of Ethiopia surprises an Oromo army at Ebenat, his army reportedly kills 12,000 Oromo at the cost of 400 of his own men.
1773 - Captain James cook and his crew become the first Europeans to sail below the Antarctic Circle.
1781 - At the Battle of Cowpens, Continental troops under Brigadier General Daniel Morgan defeat British forces under Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton in South Carolina.
1811 - In the Battle of Calderon Bridge, a heavily outnumbered Spanish force of 6,000 troops defeats nearly 100,000 Mexican revolutionists during their War of Independence.
1917 - The United States pays Denmark $25 million or the Virgin Islands.
1929 - Popeye the Sailor Man, a cartoon character created by Elzie Segar, first appears in the Thimble Theatre comic ctrip.
1944 - Allied forces launch the first of four battles with the intention of breaking through the Winter Line and seizing Rome, an effort that would ultimately take four months and cost 105,000 Allied casualties.
1945 - The Nazis begin the evacuation of the Auschwitz concentration camp as Soviet forces close in.
1950 - The Great Brinks Robbery occurs, when 11 thieves steal more than $2 million from an armored car Company's offices in Boston, Massachusetts.
1966 - A B-52 bomber collides with a KC-135 Stratotanker over Spain, dropping three 70-kiloton nuclear bombs near the town of Palomares and another one into the sea.
1983 - The tallest department store in the world, Hudson's, flagship store in downtown Detroit, Michigan close due to high cost of operating.
1991 - Operation Desert Storm, begins early in the morning, Iraq fires 8 Scud missiles into Israel in an unsuccessful bid to provoke Israeli retaliation.
1998 - Matt Drudge breaks the story of the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky affair on his website The Drudge Report.
2007 - The Doomsday Clock is set to five minutes to midnight in response to North Korea nuclear testing.