Daily Star

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

February 17

- ■ by JAMES MOORE

❑ 1 year ago…Spy jailed

David Ballantyne Smith, 58, a Scottish-born former security guard at the UK’s embassy in Berlin, is handed a 13-year sentence for spying for Russia.

❑ 6 years ago… Skeleton champ

Britain’s Lizzy Yarnold, 35, left, takes her second gold in the skeleton, at the Winter Olympics in South Korea. She is the only Team GB member to get a top gong at the Games.

❑ 16 years ago…New country

Kosovo, in the Balkans, declares its independen­ce from Serbia as the Republic of Kosovo, now recognized by scores of other countries.

❑ 21 years ago… Driving fee starts

London’s congestion charge is introduced for the first time in order to reduce the number of cars travelling into the capital.

❑ 22 years ago…Joan weds

Actress Dame Joan Collins, 90, famous for her role in TV soap opera Dynasty, marries her fifth husband, Percy Gibson, who then aged 37 was 31 years her junior.

❑ 32 years ago…

Serial killer gets life

US serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, right, dubbed the Milwaukee

Cannibal, is jailed for life after murdering and dismemberi­ng 15 young men and boys over 13 years.

❑ 45 years ago… China invades

Chinese forces invade and occupy parts of Vietnam after the latter invaded Cambodia to overthrow Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge.

❑ 88 years ago…Comic first

The Phantom, the world’s first costumed superhero, makes his debut in a cartoon strip by Lee Falk in the US.

❑ 90 years ago…

Dame Edna is “born”

Aussie comic Barry Humphries, who would go on to find fame with characters such as Dame Edna Everage, is born in Melbourne.

❑ 115 years ago… Geronimo dies

The Apache warrior, left, famed for his defence of native American tribal lands, dies aged 79, as a prisoner of war.

❑ 120 years ago… Top opera debuts

The now-famous opera Madama Butterfly, by Italian composer Giacomo Puccini, opens at La Scala in Milan.

❑ 135 years ago…

RSPB founded

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds is founded as The Plumage League by Emily Williamson in Manchester, originally to campaign against the use of bird skin and feathers in clothes.

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