Washington initially protested enlistment of slaves in the Continental Army, but later he relented when the British emancipated and used theirs. On January 16, 1776, Congress allowed free blacks to serve in the militia. By the end of the war one-tenth of Washington's army were blacks.
Lewis Latimer, employed at the time by Edison, developed an improved method of heat-treating carbon filaments which reduced breakage and allowed them to be molded into novel shapes, such as the characteristic "M" shape of Maxim filaments. On 17 January 1882, Latimer received a patent for the "Process of Manufacturing Carbons", an improved method for the production of light bulb filaments, which was purchased by the United States Electric Light Company. Latimer patented other improvements such as a better way of attaching filaments to their wire supports.
On January 17, 1920, the Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution took effect and Prohibition lasted until the amendment was repealed in 1933. The amendment prohibited the manufacture, sale, and transportation of alcoholic beverages. Demand for alcohol naturally continued, the resulting black market for alcoholic beverages providing criminals with an additional source of income.
Thai military successes were limited to the Cambodian border area, and in January 1941 Vichy France's modern naval forces soundly defeated the inferior Thai naval forces in the Battle of Ko Chang. The war ended in May, with the French agreeing to minor territorial revisions which restored formerly Thai areas to Thailand.
On the night of 17 January 1945, the Germans fled the city, and the students reclaimed the ruined seminary. Wojtyła and another seminarian volunteered for the task of clearing away piles of frozen excrement from the toilets. Wojtyła also helped a 14-year-old Jewish refugee girl named Edith Zierer, who had escaped from a Nazi labour camp in Częstochowa.
January 17, 1966: the 1966 Palomares B-52 crash occurred when a B-52G bomber of the USAF collided with a KC-135 tanker during mid-air refuelling off the coast of Spain. The KC-135 was completely destroyed when its fuel load ignited, killing all four crew members. The B-52G broke apart, killing three of the seven crew members aboard. Of the four Mk28 type hydrogen bombs the B-52G carried, three were found on land near Almería, Spain. The non-nuclear explosives in two of the weapons detonated upon impact with the ground, resulting in the contamination of a 2-square-kilometer (490-acre) (0.78 square mile) area by radioactive plutonium. The fourth, which fell into the Mediterranean Sea, was recovered intact after a 2½-month-long search.
On January 17, 2002, right-wing paramilitaries entered the village of Chengue, and divided up the villagers into two groups. They then went from person to person in one of the groups, smashing each person's head with sledgehammers and rocks, killing 24 people, as the Colombian military sat by and watched. Two other bodies were later discovered dumped in a shallow grave. As the paramilitaries left, they set fire to the village.
The partially submerged plane was moored to a pier near the World Financial Center in Lower Manhattan, roughly 4 miles (6 km) downstream from the ditching location. The left engine, detached by the ditching, was recovered from the riverbed. On January 17 the aircraft was barged to New Jersey. The initial National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) evaluation that the plane had lost thrust after a bird strike was confirmed by analysis of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders. Two days earlier the plane had experienced a less severe compressor stall, but the affected engine was restarted. A faulty temperature sensor was replaced, and inspection verified the engine had not been damaged in that incident.
On 17 January 2014, the Ministry of Defence announced that Harry had completed his attachment to 3 Regiment Army Air Corps, and would take up a staff officer role, SO3 (Defence Engagement), in HQ London District. His responsibilities would include helping to co-ordinate significant projects and commemorative events involving the Army in London. He was based at Horse Guards in central London.
On 17 January, a research group from the Imperial College London in the United Kingdom published a report that there had been 1,723 cases (95% confidence interval, 427–4,471) with the onset of symptoms by 12 January. This was based on the pattern of the initial spread to Thailand and Japan. They also concluded that "self-sustaining human-to-human transmission should not be ruled out", which has since been confirmed. As further cases came to light, they later recalculated that there may be 4,000 symptomatic cases of 2019-nCoV in Wuhan City by 18 January (uncertainty range of 1,000 to 9,700). A Hong Kong University group has reached a similar conclusion as the earlier study, with additional detail on transport within China.
On January 17, 2020, Mathers released another surprise album Music To Be Murdered By, following his Kamikaze, which features guest appearances by: Young M.A., Royce Da 5'9", Q-Tip, Denaun, White Gold, Ed Sheeran, Juice WRLD, Skylar Grey, Anderson Paak, Don Toliver, Kxng Crooked, Joell Ortiz and Black Thought.