February 17, 2014 / 17 Adar I 5774
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- 1229 – The Sixth Crusade: Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor signs a ten-year truce with al-Kamil, regaining Jerusalem, Nazareth, andBethlehem with neither military engagements nor support from the papacy.
- 1478 – George, Duke of Clarence, convicted of treason against his older brother Edward IV of England, is executed in private at the Tower of London.
- 1637 – Eighty Years' War: Off the coast of Cornwall, England, a Spanish fleet intercepts an important Anglo-Dutch merchant convoy of 44 vessels escorted by 6 warships, destroying or capturing 20 of them.
- 1861 – With Italian unification almost complete, Victor Emmanuel II of Piedmont, Savoy and Sardinia assumes the title of King of Italy.
- 1873 – Bulgarian revolutionary leader Vasil Levski is executed by hanging in Sofia by the Ottoman authorities.
- 1885 – The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain is published in the United States.
- 1911 – The first official flight with air mail takes place from Allahabad, United Provinces, British India (now India), when Henri Pequet, a 23-year-old pilot, delivers 6,500 letters to Naini, about 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) away.
- 1930 – While studying photographs taken in January, Clyde Tombaugh discovers Pluto.
- 1930 – Elm Farm Ollie becomes the first cow to fly in a fixed-wing aircraft and also the first cow to be milked in an aircraft.
- 1938 – During the Nanking Massacre the Nanking Safety Zone International Committee is renamed "Nanking International Rescue Committee" and the safety zone in place for refugees falls apart.
- 1954 – The first Church of Scientology is established in Los Angeles, California.
- 1957 – Kenyan rebel leader Dedan Kimathi is executed by the British colonial government.
- 1970 – The Chicago Seven are found not guilty of conspiring to incite riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention.
- 1979 – Snow falls in the Sahara Desert in southern Algeria for the only time in recorded history.
- 1983 – Thirteen people die and one is seriously injured in the Wah Mee massacre in Seattle, Washington. It is said to be the largest robbery-motivated mass-murder in U.S. history.
- 1991 – The IRA explodes bombs in the early morning at Paddington station and Victoria station in London.
- 2001 – FBI agent Robert Hanssen is arrested for spying for the Soviet Union. He is ultimately convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.
- 2007 – Terrorist bombs explode on the Samjhauta Express in Panipat, Haryana, India, killing 68 people.
- 1372 – Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, Muslim scholar of jurisprudence (d. 1448)
- 1838 – Ernst Mach, Austrian physicist (d. 1916)
- 1858 – Wilhelm Schmidt, German pioneer of superheated steam for use in locomotives (d. 1924)
- 1898 – Enzo Ferrari, Italian race car driver and businessman, founded Ferrari (d. 1988)
- 1919 – Jack Palance, American actor (d. 2006)
- 1933 – Yoko Ono, Japanese-American singer-songwriter (Plastic Ono Band)
- 1943 – Graeme Garden, Scottish comedian, actor, and author
- 1948 – Keith Knudsen, American singer-songwriter and drummer (The Doobie Brothers and Southern Pacific) (d. 2005)
- 1950 – Cybill Shepherd, American actress and singer
- 1952 – Randy Crawford, American singer
- 1952 – Juice Newton, American singer-songwriter and guitarist
- 1960 – Greta Scacchi, Italian-Australian actress
- 1968 – Molly Ringwald, American actress, singer, and dancer
- 1993 – Unbridled's Song, American race horse (d. 2013)
- 1995 – Samantha Crawford, American tennis player
- 814 – Angilbert, Frankish monk and diplomat (b. 760)
- 901 – Thābit ibn Qurra, Iraqi physician, astronomer, and mathematician (b. 826)
- 1546 – Martin Luther, German monk and priest, leader of the Protestant Reformation (b. 1483)
- 1564 – Michelangelo, Italian sculptor and painter (b. 1475)
- 1743 – Anna Maria Luisa de' Medici, French daughter of Cosimo III de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany (b. 1667)
- 1851 – Carl Gustav Jacob Jacobi, German mathematician (b. 1804)
- 1967 – J. Robert Oppenheimer, American physicist (b. 1904)