Today is also the birthday of:
-- Naveen Andrews (who turns 37 today)
-- Joshua Malina (who turns 40 today)
-- James Earl Jones (who turns 75 today)
-- Betty White (who turns 84 today)
-- Some claim today as the birthday of Joshua A. Norton, first and only emperor of the United States
-- Al Capone (who would be 107)
-- Benjamin Franklin (who would be 300 today)
Among the events that occurred on this day:
-- 1950: The Great Brinks Robbery - 11 thieves steal more than $2 million from an armored car in Boston, MA.
-- 1966: A B-52 bomber collides with a KC-135 jet tanker over Spain, dropping three 70-kiloton hydrogen bombs near the town of Palomares and another one into the sea.
-- 1977: Gary Gilmore put to death.
-- 1985: British Telecom announces the retirement of Britain's famous red telephone boxes.
-- 1991: Operation Desert Storm begins early in the morning. Iraq fires 8 Scud missiles into Israel in an unsuccessful bid to provoke Israeli retaliation.
-- 2006: California executes Clarence Ray Allen, the oldest man on the state's Death Row.
-- 2006: NASA launches New Horizon mission to Pluto. Today is also the anniversary of the 1997 death of Clyde Tombaugh, the astronomer who discovered Pluto.
Natural disasters seem to occur on this date:
-- 1994: A magnitude 6.7 earthquake occurs in Northridge, California
-- 1995: A magnitude 7.3 earthquake near Kobe, Japan
-- 2002: Mount Nyiragongo erupts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, displacing an estimated 400,000 people.
(source for much of this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/January_17)