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5 Fun Facts About January 17 In New York History

---Learn Every Day: NY Today In History Facts Texted Each Day - Text: history ny To: 618-270-4005---

1. In 1706, Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston, Massachusetts. Although not a New York native, he made significant contributions to New York history with his printing press, which he set up in New York City in 1723.

2. In 1776, Thomas Paine published the first edition of his influential pamphlet, "Common Sense," in Philadelphia. The pamphlet argued for American independence from Great Britain and played a pivotal role in the American Revolution. Paine spent much of his life in New York and was found buried in the city's Greenwich Village.

3. In 1819, the first woman to earn a medical degree in the United States, Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, was born in Bristol, England. Blackwell eventually settled in New York City and opened the New York Infirmary for Women and Children in 1857 with her sister, Dr. Emily Blackwell.

4. In 1939, legendary baseball player and New York Yankee, Lou Gehrig, was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Gehrig played his entire career for the Yankees and is best known for his consecutive games played streak, which stood at 2,130 until Cal Ripken Jr. broke it in 1995.

5. In 1977, convicted murderer Gary Gilmore became the first person to be executed in the United States since the reinstatement of the death penalty in 1976. Gilmore, who had been sentenced to death for murdering a gas station attendant and a motel manager in Utah, was executed by firing squad in Utah. The execution sparked widespread debate about the use of the death penalty in the United States.
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