On This Day

17th April

1397 – Geoffrey Chaucer recited the Canterbury Tales for the first time at the court of Richard II. (And it's been torturing British schoolchildren ever since.)

1521 – Martin Luther spoke to the assembly at the Diet of Worms, refusing to recant his teachings.

1961 – A group of CIA financed and trained Cuban refugees landed at the Bay of Pigs in Cuba with the aim of ousting Fidel Castro.

1984 - WPC (Woman Police Constable) Yvonne Fletcher was shot and killed outside the Libyan embassy in central London.

1986 - British journalist John McCarthy was kidnapped, by the militant group Islamic Jihad, in Beirut. He spent more than five years in captivity.

1986 - Three bodies of murdered hostages, were found on the streets of Beirut. They were Leigh Douglas, Philip Padfield from the UK and an American, Peter Kilburn.

1986 – The 335 Years' War (1651–1986) between the Netherlands and the Isles of Scilly officially ended. It was both one of the world's longest wars and the war with the fewest casualties.

1999 - Dozens of people were hurt in a bomb blast in Brixton, south London.

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