January 17, 1773 (248 years ago)
•Captain James Cook and his crew become the first Europeans to sail below the Antarctic Circle.

January 17, 1917 (104 years ago)
•The United States pays Denmark $25 million for the Virgin Islands.

January 17, 1929 (92 years ago)
•Popeye the Sailor Man, a cartoon character created by Elzie Crisler Segar, first appears in the Thimble Theatre comic strip.

January 17, 1966 (55 years ago)
•A B-52 bomber collides with a KC-135 Stratotanker over Spain, dropping three 70-kiloton nuclear bombs near the town of Palomares and another one into the sea in the Palomares incident.

January 17, 1973 (48 years ago)
•Ferdinand Marcos becomes "President for Life" of the Philippines.

January 17, 1977 (44 years ago)
•Convicted murderer Gary Gilmore is executed by a firing squad in Utah, ending a ten-year moratorium on Capital punishment in the United States.

January 17, 1985 (36 years ago)
•British Telecom announces the retirement of the United Kingdom's red telephone boxes.