1600 ~ Giordano Bruno, the philosopher was burned alive, for heresy, at Campo de’ Fiori in Rome.

1753 ~ Sweden’s calendar went from February 17th to March 1st the following day, as they moves from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar.

1801 ~ Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr’s electoral tie was resolved when Jefferson was elected President of the United States by the United States House of Representatives, and Burr became Vice President.

1863 ~ The International Committee of the Red Cross was founded by a group of citizens of Geneva, originally known as the International Committee for Relief to the Wounded.

1867 ~ The 1st ship passed through the Suez Canal.

1904 ~ Madama Butterfly opera premièred, at La Scala in Milan.

1913 ~ The Armory Show opened in New York City, featuring works of artists who became some of the most influential painters of the early 20th century.

1933 ~ Newsweek magazine was first published.

1959 ~ Project Vanguard 2, the 1st weather satellite was launched, for measuring the distribution of cloud cover.

1965 ~ Project Ranger 8 probe was launched to photograph the Mare Tranquillitatis region of the Moon, to prepare for the Apollo manned missions. Mare Tranquillitatis aka the Sea of Tranquility became the site chosen for the landing of the Apollo 11.

1972 ~ Volkswagen Beetle cumulative sales exceeded those of the Ford Model T.

1974 ~ Robert K. Preston, a disgruntled U.S. Army private, landed at the White House in a stolen helicopter.

1980 ~ Mount Everest’s 1st winter ascent, by Krzysztof Wielicki and Leszek Cichy.

1996 ~ Garry Kasparov, the chess world champion beat the Deep Blue supercomputer in a chess match, in Philadelphia.

1996 ~ NASA’s Discovery Program began as the NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft lifted off on the 1st mission to orbit and land on an asteroid (433 Eros).

1996 ~ Biak earthquake hit the Papua province of eastern Indonesia, followed by a large tsunami, leaving one-hundred sixty-six people dead or missing and 423 injured.

2006 ~ Philippines massive mudslide in Southern Leyte, killed 1126 people.

2008 ~ Kosovo declared independence from Serbia.

2015 ~ Stampede at a Mardi Gras parade in Haiti, killed 18 people and injured 78.

Today in History for February 17th (Associated Press video)