October 17, 1777
BURGOYNE SURRENDERS ARMY AT SARATOGA
Saratoga, New York (JFK+50) General John Burgoyne was forced to surrender his entire British army to the Continental army under General Horatio Gates today here at Saratoga, New York.
Four days ago, Burgoyne found his army surrounded by 20,000 American troops.
Unable to hold out any longer or escape the trap, General Burgoyne agreed to surrender terms today.
This is the 1st surrender of a British force in the Revolutionary War.*
*Historians agree that the Battle of Saratoga is the turning point of the American Revolutionary War. Shortly afterwards, the French signed a treaty of alliance with the United States & provided military aid to the patriot cause.
Battle of Saratoga
Commemorative Stamp (1927)
October 17, 1955
KENNEDY FOR GOVERNMENT AID IN MEDICAL RESEARCH
New York City (JFK+50) Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts spoke today at Yeshiva University here in New York City.
The Senator called for increased government aid in financing medical research.
JFK said the shortage of physicians in the United States is a problem that should be addressed by government.
“Of course, we must spend a significant part of our national wealth in the development of weapons, but we must also broaden our counterattack on the diseases that attack all mankind.”
New York City
Photo by Jim Henderson (2010)
October 17, 1961
ALGERIAN MARCHERS MASSACRED IN PARIS
Paris, France (JFK+50) More than 200 demonstrators from Algeria, marching in support of peace talks to end their nation’s war of independence with France, were killed today by Paris Police.
The massacre followed the explosion of bombs in the city by Algerian terrorists resulting in casualties, including police.
The attack was made on 30,000 protesters who were breaking curfew & assembling near the Seine River.
the Algerian Massacre
Photo by Claude Shoshany (2007)
October 17, 1966
LBJ LEAVES FOR 17 DAY TRIP TO THE PACIFIC
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) President Lyndon B. Johnson left the Nation’s Capital today on a 17 day tour of 7 Asian & Pacific nations.
The tour will end with a conference in Manila.*
*LBJ visited New Zealand & Australia. In Melbourne, he was heckled by anti-Vietnam War demonstrators.
October 17, 1986
REAGAN SIGNS BILL PROVIDING AID TO CONTRAS
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) President Ronald Reagan signed into law today a bill providing for $100 million in military & humanitarian aid to the Contras of Nicaragua.
The President has maintained that the Sandinista government of Nicaragua is a satellite nation of the Soviet Union & that, as such, it is instigating communist revolutions in other Central American countries.*
*It was later learned that the Reagan Administration had been illegally supporting the Contras since 1981. Congress launched an investigation into the “Iran-Contra Affair”.
John Tower, President Reagan
& Edmund Muskie
The Tower Commission Report (1987)
Ronald Reagan Library Photo*
*The Tower Commission found Reagan negligent in staying informed about what his National Security advisers were doing in regard to the Iran-Contra Affair.