September 17

1176 – The Battle of Myriokephalon is the last attempt by the Byzantine Empire to recover central Anatolia from the Seljuk Turks.

1630 – The city of Boston, Massachusetts is founded.

1683 – Antonie van Leeuwenhoek writes a letter to the Royal Society describing “animalcules” – bacteria.

1775 – U.S. forces invade Canada during the revolution by besieging Fort St. Jean, Quebec

1776 – The Presidio of San Francisco is founded in New Spain, modern day California

1778 – The first formal treaty between the U.S. and an American Indian tribe, the Lenape, is signed at Fort Pitt.

1787 – At the Federal Convention in Philadelphia, the delegates sign the United States Constitution and prepare to transmit it to the states for ratification.

1849 – Harriet Tubman escapes from slavery in Maryland.

1862 – Across Antietam Creek near Sharpsburg, Maryland, General Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia and General McClellan’s Army of the Potomac
engage in the bloodiest single day of combat in American military history with over 22,700 total casualties, effectively ending Lee’s Maryland Campaign.

1868 – Tracking a raiding party of Sioux and Cheyenne warriors from Kansas into Colorado, U.S. mounted scouts, encamped on Beecher island in the Arikaree River, south of present day Wray, Colorado, foil an ambush but are still surrounded, suffering heavy casualties until relieved.

1900 – In the Philippine–American War, Filipinos under Juan Cailles defeat Americans under Colonel Benjamin F. Cheatham Jr. at Mabitac.

1908 – The first airplane fatality occurs when the Wright Flyer, flown by Orville Wright crashes, killing Lt. Thomas Selfridge aboard as a passenger.

1916 – Baron Manfred von Richthofen wins his first aerial combat near Cambrai, France during World War I.

During World War II
1939 –  The Soviet invasion of Poland begins.
German submarine U-29 sinks the British aircraft carrier HMS Courageous.
1940 – Due to setbacks in the Battle of Britain, Hitler postpones Operation Sea Lion, the invasion of Britain.
1944 – Allied airborne troops parachute into the Netherlands as the “Market” half of Operation Market Garden begins.

1976 – The Space Shuttle Enterprise is unveiled by NASA.

1978 – The Camp David Accords are signed by Israel and Egypt.

2001 – The New York Stock Exchange reopens for trading after the September 11 attacks

Births*
1739 – John Rutledge
1819 – Marthinus Wessel Pretorius
1859 – Henry ‘Billy the Kid’ McCarty
1907 – Warren E. Burger
1918 – Chaim Herzog
1923 – Hank Williams
1926 – Hovie Lister
1928 – Roddy McDowall
1929 – Stirling Moss
1930 – Edgar Mitchell, Thomas P. Stafford
1931 – Anne Bancroft
1933 – Chuck Grassley
1939 – David Souter
1948 – John Ritter
1962 – BeBe Winans

Deaths†
1179 – Hildegard of Bingen
1858 – Dred Scott
1862 – MG Joseph K. Mansfield, MG Israel B. Richardson, BG Isaac P. Rodman USA. BG Lawrence O. Branch, BG William E. Starke CSA
1868 – Woquini Roman Nose, Lt. Fredrick H. Beecher, J.H. Mooers, George W. Culver, William Wilson
1972 – Akim Tamiroff
1984 – Richard Basehart
1996 – Spiro Agnew
1997 – Red Skelton
2014 – Sekiwaki Wakachichibu Komei
2019 – Cokie Roberts