On This Day in History: February 17

On February 17, the third President of the United States was elected, marking a historical event. Here is a snapshot of what happened today in history.

1753: Sweden Adopts the Gregorian Calendar

While many countries adopted the Gregorian calendar in the 1580s, Sweden refused. The calendar was created by a Catholic pope, and Sweden was a protestant nation, so followed the examples of many other protestant nations. Thomas Jefferson, President of the United StatesHowever, by the 1750s, it was clear that the Gregorian calendar was needed. On February 17, the people of Sweden went to sleep and woken up on March 1.

1801: Election of Thomas Jefferson

In history today, Thomas Jefferson was elected as the President of the United States. It was the first time power between political parties was peaceful. After a year of campaigning, Jefferson and his opponent Aaron Burr were tied with 73 electoral votes each. John Adams has 65 votes. The House of Representatives refused to allow both Democratic-Republican runners elected together, asit broke the flawed rules of the Constitution. Alexander Hamilton, who hated Burr more than Jefferson, convinced the House to vote for Jefferson. When he won, Burr was confirmed as Vice President. The 12th Amendment in 1804 changed the rules to remove the flaw in the system.

1904: Premiere of Madame Butterfly

On this day in history, Madame Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini premiered in Italy. He had began working on the opera after watching David Belasco’s play based on John Luther Long’s story. Puccini had liked the idea of the central character being a strong female. It took two years to write, due to a forced eight-month break after a car accident. After the initial showing, the opera was a success internationally and moved to New York in 1907.Raphaelle Peale

1979: Invasion of Vietnam by the Chinese

After the invasion of Cambodia by the Vietnamese, the Chinese decided to retaliate. On February 17, 1979 China invaded but it only lasted nine days. The Chinese were forced to withdraw, but there was always the threat of another attack. Vietnam was so worried that it allocated most of its resources to protecting its border from China.

Famous Birthdays on February 17

Painter Raphaelle Peale—1774

Industrialist Thomas J. Watson—1874

Singer Marian Anderson—1902

The Promise novelist Chaim Potok—1929

Basketball player Michael Jordan—1963

Prison Break and Legends of Tomorrow actor Dominic Purcell–1970

Green Day singer and guitarist Billy Joe Armstrong—1972

The Dark Knight Rises actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt–1981

Socialitte Paris Hilton–1981

Olympic gold medallist Rebecca Adlington—1987

Singer Ed Sheeran—1991

Pretty Little Liars actress Sasha Pieterse—1996

Sources:

 

Featured image from Deposit Photos

Birthdays from HistoryNet.com and FamousBirthdays.com

Image of Thomas Jefferson: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Jefferson#/media/File:Official_Presidential_portrait_of_Thomas_Jefferson_(by_Rembrandt_Peale,_1800).jpg

Raphaelle Peale: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raphaelle_Peale#/media/File:Charles_Willson_Peale_001.jpg


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