Today in History

Welcome to the weekend edition of Today in History. I’m so glad you’re enjoying the post. Have an awesome weekend.

1974

“Benji” opens in theaters

On October 17, 1974, Benji, a film about a stray dog who helps rescue several kidnapped children, opens in theaters; it will go on to become a family classic. Written and directed by Joe Camp, Benji starred a mutt named Higgins, who had been rescued as a puppy from a California …read more

1906

A shoemaker leads German soldiers in a robbery

Wilhelm Voigt, a 57-year-old German shoemaker, impersonates an army officer and leads an entire squad of soldiers to help him steal 4,000 marks. Voigt, who had a long criminal record, humiliated the German army by exploiting their blind obedience to authority and getting them to …read more

1835

The first resolution formally creating the Texas Rangers is approved

On October 17, 1835, Texans approve a resolution to create the Texas Rangers, a corps of armed and mounted lawmen designed to “range and guard the frontier between the Brazos and Trinity Rivers.” In the midst of their revolt against Mexico, Texan leaders felt they needed a …read more

1989

Oakland-San Francisco World Series game postponed because of earthquake

On October 17, 1989, a magnitude 6.9 earthquake rocks northern California during Game 3 of the World Series between the San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics at  Candlestick Park, forcing postponement of the matchup. The series resumes 10 days after the earthquake, which …read more

1931

On October 17, 1931, gangster Al Capone is sentenced to 11 years in prison for tax evasion and fined $80,000, signaling the downfall of one of the most notorious criminals of the 1920s and 1930s.

Alphonse Gabriel Capone was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1899 to Italian immigrants. He was expelled from school at 14, joined a gang and earned his nickname “Scarface” after being sliced across the cheek during a fight. By 1920, Capone had moved to Chicago, where he was soon helping to run crime boss Johnny Torrio’s illegal enterprises, which included alcohol-smuggling, gambling and prostitution. Torrio retired in 1925 after an attempt on his life and Capone, known for his cunning and brutality, was put in charge of the organization.

Enjoy!

Melinda

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