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17th February

1600 Italian philospher Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake for heresy.

1781 * Renť LaŽnnec, French army doctor and inventor of the stethoscope.

1864 A submarine successfully attacked a warship, for the first time.

1904 Puccini's opera Madam Butterfly was first shown in Milan.

1923 The inner tomb of Tutankhamen opened at Luxor by Lord Carnarvon.

1929 * Patricia Routledge, English stage and television actress.

1934 * Alan Bates, English actor who starred in the film The Go-Between (1971).

1934 * Barry Humphries, Australian actor and creator of Dame Edna Everidge and Les Patterson.

1958 CND the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament was formed in Britain.

1959 Turkish Prime Minister Adnan Menderes survived an air crash near London that killed 12 people.

1965 Gambia, the first African nation conquered by the British, became the smallest and 37th sovereign state in Africa.

1972 The British parliament voted to join the EEC.

1972 Volkswagen broke the record of the model T. Ford with 15,007,034 models of the Beetle.

1979 China sent hundreds of troops into Vietnam after weeks of tension and a military build-up along the border.

1992 Serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer was jailed for life in the US for murdering and dismembering 15 young men and boys.

xxxx * = Date of birth

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