July 17

Published in On this Day listing

  • 1935 George William Russell, poet, editor, artist and mystic, known as ‘AE’, died.
  • 1936 The Spanish Civil War began with an attemptedcoup d’état by General Franco’s colonial army of Africa.
  • 1918 The Russian imperial family—Tsar Nicholas II, his wife Alexandra and their five children—were assassinated by their Bolshevik guards in a cellar in the city of Yekaterinburg on the edge of the Urals.

    The RMS Carpathia, famous for rescuing over 700 survivors from the Titanic (1912), was torpedoed and sunk by a German submarine off the Irish coast as she sailed from Liverpool, bound for Boston. Her 57 passengers were rescued but five crewmen were killed.

  • 1917 With anti-German sentiment reaching fever pitch in Britain, George V issued a proclamation changing the royal surname from Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to the more patriotic-sounding ‘Windsor’.
  • 1798 Henry Joy McCracken hanged in Belfast.

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