This Day in History – 22 Elul/September 17

Today is a Yom Tov cited in Megillas Taanis, commemorating the defeat of Yevanim by Jews. The Jews had given the Greeks a three-day grace period in which they would be allowed to retreat, which they did not do. This ultimately led to their defeat.

In 5187/1427, Rabbeinu Yaakov Segal Molen, the Maharil, zt”l

In 5663/1903, theJews of Homel, Russia, were massacred. Hy”d.

In 5699/1939, German forces occupied the Polish cities of Cracow, Radom, Lodz, Tarnow, and Premisyl.

In 5701/1941, 9,000 Jews of Slonim, Russia, were murdered by the Nazis. Hy”d.



4887/1127, Rabbeinu Baruch of Kortova, zt”l, a talmid of the Rif.

5610/1850, Harav Binyamin Zev Shehnblom of Lvov, zt”l.

5663/1903, Harav Mordechai Dov of Hornisteipel, zt”l, mechaber of Ha’emek She’eilah.

5666/1906, Harav Yissachar Dov Ber Leifer of Satmar, zt”l.

5678/1918, Harav Avraham Moshe of Rospshe, zt”l.

5705/1945, Harav Baruch Bentzion Twerski, zt”l, the Chernobyler-Loyever Rebbe.


September 17

In 1787, the Constitution of the United States was completed and signed by a majority of delegates attending the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia.

In 1862, more than 3,600 men were killed in the Civil War Battle of Antietam (an-TEE’-tum) in Maryland.

In 1937, the likeness of President Abraham Lincoln’s head was dedicated at Mount Rushmore.

In 1944, during World War II, Allied paratroopers launched Operation Market Garden, landing behind German lines in the Netherlands. (After initial success, the Allies were beaten back by the Germans.)

In 1971, citing health reasons, Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black, 85, retired. (Black, who was succeeded by Lewis F. Powell Jr., died eight days after making his announcement.)

In 1978, after meeting at Camp David, Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat signed a framework for a peace treaty.

In 2011, a demonstration calling itself Occupy Wall Street began in New York, prompting similar protests around the U.S. and the world.