On this day: Florence Griffith Joyner sets world record

Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 17 July

On this day in 1988, US sprinter Florence Griffith Joyner set a new world record of 10.49 seconds for the womens 100 metres. Picture: Getty

1453: The Hundred Years’ War ended after the defeat of the English at Castillon.

1585: Secret service agents discovered Anthony Babington’s plot to murder Elizabeth I.

Sign up to our Opinion newsletter

Sign up to our Opinion newsletter

1603: Sir Walter Raleigh was arrested by the forces of King James VI and charged with assisting Spain in attempting

to put Arabella Stuart on the throne.

1652: The Great Fire of Glasgow destroyed almost a third of the city.

1695: The Bank of Scotland was established.

1762: Catherine II became Tsar of Russia following the murder of Peter III.

1774: Captain James Cook arrived at the New Hebrides (Vanatua).

1790: The first sewing machine was patented by cabinet-maker Thomas Smith in London which had most of the technical features of machines patented later by Elias Howe and Isaac Singer.

1832: Scottish Reform Bill became law.

1841: The first issue of the magazine Punch was published.

1893: Arthur Shrewsbury of England became the first cricketer to score 1,000 runs in Test cricket in an Ashes match against Australia at Lord’s.

1895: The east coast express train from London to Aberdeen set a record time of 10 hours 21 minutes for the 540 miles.

1917: The Royal Family changed its name from the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to the House of Windsor during the First World War.

1936: Spanish Civil War started as General Francisco Franco led army forces in revolt against Spain’s government.

1943: RAF bombed German rocket base at Peenemunde.

1944: The largest convoy of the Second World War embarked from Halifax, Nova Scotia under Royal Canadian Navy protection.

1945: The Potsdam Conference involving Allied leaders Harry S Truman, Josef Stalin and Winston Churchill began.

1948: The Israeli army captured Nazareth.

1955: Walt Disney’s Disneyland was opened in California.

1958: King Hussein declared himself head of the Jordan/Iraq federation.

1964: Donald Campbell attained a world speed record of more than 403mph.

1968: The Beatles’ animated movie, Yellow Submarine, premiered in London.

1973: Afghanistan was proclaimed republic after palace coup which ended 40-year rule of King Mohammed Zahir Shah.

1975: Apollo 18 and Soyuz 19 made the first US/USSR link-up in space.

1979: Sebastian Coe set a new world record of 3 minutes 49 seconds for running the mile in Oslo.

1988: Florence Griffith Joyner set a new world record of 10.49 seconds for the women’s 100 metres.

1994: Brazil defeated Italy in a penalty shoot-out to win their fourth World Cup.

1995: 150,000 people watched a fireworks display at Leith Docks, Edinburgh, to celebrate the Cutty Sark Tall Ships Race.

1995: Forbes magazine declared Bill Gates to be the world’s richest man with a fortune of $12.9 billion.

1998: The remains of Tsar Nicholas II and his family were buried in St Petersburg.

2005: Tiger Woods won the Open Championship at St Andrews.


Angela Merkel, German chancellor, 60; Donald Sutherland, actor, 79; Alun Armstrong, actor, 68; Tim Brooke-Taylor OBE, comic actor, 74; Darren Day, actor and singer, 46; Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, 67; Diahann Carroll, actress, 79; Gino D’Acampo, TV presenter and chef, 38; Chico Freeman, jazz saxophonist, 65; Ray Galton OBE, scriptwriter (Hancock’s Half Hour), 84; David Hasselhoff, actor, 62; Konnie Huq, television presenter, 39; Lord Patten, MP 1979-92, governor of Hong Kong 1992-7, 69; Peter Sissons, television news presenter, 72; Wayne Sleep OBE, dancer, actor and choreographer, 66;


Births: 1674 Isaac Watts, hymn-writer and churchman; 1889 Erle Stanley Gardner, author who created Perry Mason; 1899 James Cagney, actor; 1940 Joe Baker, footballer.

Deaths: 924 King Edward the Elder of England; 1537 Janet Douglas, Lady Glamis; 1645 Robert Carr, first Earl of Somerset; 1762: Peter III, Tsar of Russia; 1790 Adam Smith, Kirkcaldy-born economist; 1793 Charlotte Corday, murderer of Jean-Paul Marat (guillotined); 1845 Nicholas II, last Tsar of Russia (executed); 1953 Maude Adams, actress; 1959 Billie Holiday, jazz singer; 1967 John Coltrane, jazz musician and composer; 1995 Juan Fangio, racing driver; 2005 Geraldine Fitzgerald, actress; 2005 Sir Edward Heath MBE, British prime minister 1970-1974; 2009 Walter Cronkite, US broadcaster.