17th October
It was on this day...
1989 San Francisco Earthquake

It was a 7.1 on the Richter Scale. It lasted for 15 seconds. 63 died. 3000 injured. 100,000 buildings were damaged.

The two-tier Bay Bridge and Nimitz freeway partially collapsed.

The event was captured on live television because it happened during the third game of the baseball World Series (San Francisco Giants vs Oakland Athletics) at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. The stadium swayed from side-to-side, and the crowd ran on to the pitch.

It was the worst earthquake since the great San Francisco earthquake in 1906.

Tremors from the quake were reported 400 miles away in Los Angeles and 200 miles away in Reno, Nevada.

It was on this day...
1973 OPEC Introduces Oil Embargo

It was in retaliation for the US and western government support of Israel in the Yom Kippur War which had broken out earlier in the month.

The Arab dominated Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said oil exports would be reduced by 5% every month until Israel left the territory that they had gained in the Arab-Israeli war of 1967. Israel refused to be intimidated.

In December, a full embargo of oil to the US and other nations was introduced. It caused an energy crisis the likes the world had never seen before. The price of a barrel of oil quadrupled. Long queues of people trying to get fuel from the pumps made headlines on news programs.

OPEC were attempting to use political leverage against Israeli dominance in the Middle East after early signs that Israel was easily pushing back the attack of fellow Arab, but non-OPEC, nations, Egypt and Syria.

The immediate crisis ended in March 1974, after Henry Kissinger, US Secretary of State, negotiated a military de-escalation between Israel and Syria. The price of oil did not drop, however. In the early 1980's oil was 10 times what it had been at the outbreak of the Yom Kippur War.

By the mid 1980's, OPEC's influence over the oil price was in decline as Western governments increased the use of nuclear, coal, and natural gas, and developed non-OPEC oil fields.

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Other News

1931 Al Capone (Scarface) is in jail on this day on charges brought by the IRS.

1973 Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford star in 'The Way We Were' which opened on this day.

Other days this month can be found on these links:

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