February 17 1600
Italian philosopher Giordano Bruno burned at the stake at Campo di Fiore in Rome, likely because ecclesiastical authorities were alarmed at his rambling and somewhat insane ideas, coupled with rejection of accepted authority. Exactly what the charges against him were are lost to history, but likely involve theological heresies rather than astronomical.
February 17 1974
Forty-nine people trampled to death at a soccer stampede in Cairo, after crowds tear down entry barriers to the Zamalek vs Dukla game.
February 17 1989
The cinematic masterpiece “Bill And Ted’s Excellent Adventure” starring Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter opened in theaters.
February 17 1993
An overcrowded ferry carrying up to 1,500 people sank off Haiti. Only 285 people were known to have survived.
February 17 1994
The decomposing corpse of Zviad Gamsakhurdia, first president of the Republic of Georgia, is exhumed from a temporary grave in Djikhaskari. His wife refuses an autopsy, but western journalists note a bullet wound in the side of Zviad’s head. Officially listed as suicide, the wife also claims he was murdered. Another government minister oddly states the death was by cancer with the head shot administered post-mortem.