February 17 in Pop Culture History
1621 – Myles Standish was appointed as first commander of the English Plymouth Colony in North America.
1859 – Dmitri Mendeleev began creating what we now call The Periodic Table.
1904 – Giacomo Puccini’s opera Madame Butterfly premiered at the La Scala theatre in Milan, Italy. It was one of the first world-wide pop culture event ‘hits’.
1933 – The magazine Newsweek was published for the first time. In October 2012, it was announced that Newsweek would cease print publication with the December 31, 2012.
1933 – Blondie Boopadoop married Dagwood Bumstead in Chic Young’s popular comic strip, Blondie.
1953 – Bwana Devil, an early 3D movie, was released in theaters.
1958 – Pope Pius XII designated St. Clare of Assisi the patron saint of television.
1959 – Vanguard 2 – The first weather satellite was launched to measure cloud-cover distribution.
1965 – Joan Rivers made her first guest appearances on The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson.
1968 – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame opened in Springfield, MA
1972 – With the 15,007,034th Volkswagen Beetle coming off the assembly line, the VW Beetle broke the world car production record held for more than four decades by the Ford Motor Company’s Model T, which was in production from 1908 and 1927.
1979 – A Prairie Home Companion premiered on Minnesota Public Radio.
1995 – Colin Fergson was convicted of the 1993 Long Island Rail Road shootings and received a 200+ year sentence to jail
1996 – In the final game of a six-game match, world chess champion Garry Kasparov defeated Deep Blue, IBM’s chess-playing computer, and won the match, 4-2. But in 1997, Deep Blue defeated Kasparov in a rematch.
2001 – # 1 Hit February 17, 2001 – February 23, 2001: Outkast – Ms. Jackson
2009 – 368 US Television stations permanently shut off their analog transmission signals, becoming digital.