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Today in History: June 17


1775 – Battle of Bunker Hill

Today in 1775, The Battle of Bunker Hill was fought during the Siege of Boston in the early days of the American Revolutionary War.

361 men lost their lives during the battle, which played a significant role in the outcome of the Revolutionary War.

Although British troops eventually captured the hill, it cost them over 1,000 casualties – more than double those suffered by the American forces, whose numbers were made of of inexperienced militiamen.

The British were surprised by the resistance they met, and the events sowed seeds of doubt which led to a more cautious approach throughout the war. Many historians believe this helped the Americans forces to their eventual victory.

1980 – Venus Williams’ birthday

June 17, 1980 marks the birthday of Venus Williams, one of the greatest female tennis players in history.

To date Williams has won 49 singles titles including seven Grand Slams, and four Olympic Gold medals, and has ranked #1 in the world on three different occasions.

The careers of Venus and her younger sister Serena marked a new era of power and athleticism in women’s tennis, and the pair have become icons for a new generation of athletes across all sports.

1994 – O.J Simpson’s car chase grips the nation

On this day in 1994, U.S football star and actor O.J. Simpson was slowly chased by the LAPD as they sought to question him for double murder.

Following the brutal stabbing of his wife Nicole Brown and her friend Ronald Goldman on June 12, Simpson was considered a ‘person of interest’ to the LAPD.

Simpson refused to hand himself in, and instead led the police on an hour-long slow-chase across Los Angeles in a white Ford Bronco driven by his friend Allen “A.C.” Cowlings.

More than 95 million people across the U.S watched the chase as it was broadcast live on all major TV networks, before Simpson gave himself up to authorities.

Simpson was later found not guilty, but in 1997 a civil trial found him liable for both murders.

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