1415 - On this day in history, Jewish autonomy in Palestine ended, as Raban Gamliel left office.
1483 - Tomás de Torquemada was appointed Inquisitor General of Spain. The Inquisition persecuted and killed thousands of Jews, gypsies, and every other stranger it met along the way.
1691 - New royal charter for Massachusetts began, now including Maine, Plymouth.
1777 - A turning point in the American Revolution: British General John Burgoyne surrendered at Saratoga NY. Burgoyne's surrender followed battles with American General Horatio Gates near Saratoga. With the British losing men and defenses during both engagements, Burgoyne retreated with a weakened army to Saratoga, where he surrendered to General Gates.
1787 - Boston blacks petitioned legislature for equal school facilities.
1808 - Today in history, the political rights of Jews were suspended in The Duchy of Warsaw (Poland).
1815 - On this day in history, Napoleon arrived in St Helena for the beginning of his exile.
1871 - President Grant suspended writ of habeas corpus and sent federal troops to South Carolina to stop attacks by the Ku Klux Klan against newly emancipated black citizens.
1931 - Today in history, gangster Al Capone was convicted of tax evasion and sentenced to 11 years in prison.
1933 - Albert Einstein arrived in US, a refugee from Nazi Germany.
1940 - German occupiers issued identity cards to the citizens of Germany.
1957 - On this day in history, French author Albert Camus was awarded Nobel Prize in Literature
1979 - Mother Teresa of India was awarded The Nobel Peace Prize; and President Jimmy Carter signed legislation creating The Department of Education.
1986 - The US Senate approved immigration bill prohibiting hiring of illegal aliens & offered amnesty to illegals who had entered prior to 1982.
2006 - Today in history, The United States population reached 300 million.
2007 - The Dalai Lama received the United States Congressional Gold Medal.
MUSIC HISTORY - Today in History, October 17th
1831- Today in history, Felix Mendelssohn's 1st Piano concert in G premiered.
1972 - Chuck Berry's "My Ding-a-ling," hit #1 on the charts.
SCIENCE, INVENTIONS, PATENTS - Today in History, October 17th
1855 - Today in history, Bessemer steelmaking process was patented.
1888 - Thomas Edison filed a patent for the Optical Phonograph (the first movie).
1907 - Guglielmo Marconi's company began the first commercial transatlantic wireless service between Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, Canada and Clifden, Ireland.
SPORTS - Today in History, October 17th
1885 - Baseball set all players' salaries at $1,000-$2,000 for 1885 season
1920 - Chicago Bears (as Decatur Staleys) played the first NFL game, which they won 7-0
1987 - The first indoor World Series game (Minnesota Metrodome) was played.
1992 - The first World Series with non-US team was played and Toronto lost 3-1 to Atlanta Braves.
2012 - Lance Armstrong lost a host of endorsements in the wake of his doping scandal.
CULTURE, LIFESTYLE - Today in History, October 17th
1965 - "On A Clear Day You Can See Forever" opened in NYC for 280 performances.
1967 - Controversial rock opera "Hair" premiered on Broadway with a mixture of anti-Vietnam sentiments in tow.
1979 - "Beatlemania" closed at Winter Garden Theater NYC after 920 performances.
1990- "Les Miserables" opened at Imperial Theatre, NY & His Majesty's Theatre, Perth.
2003 - The pinnacle was fitted on the roof of Taipei 101, a 101-floor skyscraper in Taipei, allowing it to surpass the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur by 50 meters (165 feet) and become the World's tallest skyscraper.
FAMOUS BIRTHDAYS - October 17th
1900- Jean Arthur, New York, American actress (Shane, Mr Smith Goes to Washington).
1915 - Arthur Miller, NYC, playwright (Death of a Salesman, Crucible).
1918 - Rita Hayworth, NY, [Marguerita C Casino], actress (Gilda, Pal Joey).
1920 - Montgomery Clift, Omaha, NE, actor (From Here to Eternity)