April 17 (UPI) — On this date in history:
In 1421, the sea broke the dikes at Dort, Holland, drowning an estimated 100,000 people.
In 1521, the Roman Catholic Church excommunicated Martin Luther after he refused to admit to charges of heresy.
In 1524, Italian navigator Giovanni Verrazano discovered New York Harbor.
In 1790, U.S. statesman, printer, scientist and writer Benjamin Franklin died in Philadelphia at age 84.
In 1912, the sister ship of the doomed RMS Titanic, the Olympic, radioed in that survivors of the ocean liner sinking were rescued and safely on board the RMS Carpathia.
In 1961, a force of anti-Castro rebels began the Bay of Pigs Invasion in an attempt to overthrow Cuba’s new communist government.
In 1964, Jerrie Mock of Columbus, Ohio, became the first woman to complete a solo flight around the world.
In 1969, a jury found Sirhan B. Sirhan guilty of first-degree murder for the assassination of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy.
In 1970, with the world anxiously watching on television, Apollo 13, a U.S. lunar spacecraft that sustained a severe malfunction on its journey to the moon, safely returned to Earth.
In 1989, the Polish labor union Solidarity was granted legal status after nearly a decade of struggle and suppression — clearing the way for the downfall of the country’s Communist Party.
In 1993, a federal jury convicted two Los Angeles police officers and acquitted two others of violating the civil rights of Rodney King during his 1991 arrest and beating.
In 2003, billionaire philanthropist John Paul Getty Jr. died in London at the age of 70.
In 2004, the Israeli army confirmed it had killed Abdel Aziz Rantisi, Hamas co-founder and its leader in Gaza, in a missile strike. Two others also died with Rantisi, who had opposed any compromise with Israel.
In 2012, U.S. investor Warren Buffett, one of the world’s wealthiest people, said he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer.
In 2013, an explosion at a West, Texas, fertilizer plant killed 15 people, injured dozens and caused massive property damage in the community.
In 2014, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Colombian author of magical realism novels One Hundred Years of Solitude and Love in the Time of Cholera, died. He was 87.