On July 17 in …
180 –- Twelve inhabitants of Scillium, a city in the part of North Africa that today is Tunisia, are executed for being Christians. This is the earliest record of Christianity in that part of the world.
1762 –- Catherine the Great, born Sophie Friederike Auguste von Anhalt-Zerbst-Dornburg in Germany, becomes the absolute ruler of Russia upon the murder of her husband, Peter III. She will rule until her death, at the age of 67, in 1796.
1902 -– Willis H. Carrier, a Cornell University engineering graduate, unveils drawings for what will be recognized as the world’s first true air conditioner. It controlled temperature, humidity, air circulation, and cleansed the air.
1917 — Reacting to anti-German sentiment during World War I, England’s King George V issues a Proclamation stating that the male line descendants of the British Royal Family hereafter will bear the surname Windsor. It had been the rather unwieldy “Saxe-Coburg and Gotha,” reflecting the German paternal lineage of the royal rulers.
1955 –- The Disneyland amusement park is dedicated and opened by Walt Disney in Anaheim, CA.