Today is Tuesday, July 17, the 198th day of 2018. There are 167 days left in the year.
On July 17, 1944, during World War II, 320 men, two-thirds of them African-Americans, were killed when a pair of ammunition ships exploded at the Port Chicago Naval Magazine in California.
In 1821, Spain ceded Florida to the United States.
In 1918, Russia's Czar Nicholas II and his family were executed by the Bolsheviks.
In 1936, the Spanish Civil War began as right-wing army generals launched a coup attempt against the Second Spanish Republic.
In 1938, aviator Douglas Corrigan took off from New York, saying he was headed for California; he ended up in Ireland, supposedly by accident, earning the nickname "Wrong Way Corrigan."
In 1954, the two-day inaugural Newport Jazz Festival, billed as "The First American Jazz Festival," opened in Rhode Island; among the performers the first night was Billie Holiday, who died in New York on this date in 1959 at age 44.
In 1955, Disneyland had its opening day in Anaheim, California.
In 1967, jazz composer-musician John Coltrane died in Long Island, New York, at age 40.
In 1975, an Apollo spaceship docked with a Soyuz spacecraft in orbit in the first superpower link-up of its kind.
In 1981, 114 people were killed when a pair of suspended walkways above the lobby of the Kansas City Hyatt Regency Hotel collapsed during a tea dance.
In 1996, TWA Flight 800, a Europe-bound Boeing 747, exploded and crashed off Long Island, New York, shortly after departing John F. Kennedy International Airport, killing all 230 people on board.
In 1997, Woolworth Corp. announced it was closing its 400 remaining five-and-dime stores across the country, ending 117 years in business.
In 2014, all 298 passengers and crew aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 were killed when the Boeing 777 was shot down over rebel-held eastern Ukraine.