In 1989, at 5:04pm local time in California, a 6.9-7.1 magnitude earthquake struck an area nearly 10 miles northeast of Santa Cruz on the Loma Prieta segment of the San Andreas Fault. The epicenter was in The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park. Named for the Loma Prieta Peak in the Santa Cruz Mountains, the effects and damage covered Santa Cruz County, Monterey County, the San Francisco Peninsula, the ‘Frisco Bay and across the bay in Oakland. There were 3,700+ injuries and 63-67 deaths (depending upon what article you read) and $5-$6 billion dollars in damage. The earthquake disrupted Game 3 of the 1989 World Series.
Other October 17 history:
1814…..The London Beer Flood kills eight people. (Yes, this actually happened.)
1931…..Al Capone goes to prison for tax evasion. (Addendum: There seems to be confusion on the specific date of his conviction. Time Magazine, The NYTimes and the History Channel say the 17th. The FBI says the 18th. Pick one…)
1979…..President Jimmy Carter signs into law the Department of Education Organization Act, creating the U.S. Department of Education and renaming the Department of Health, Education & Welfare to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. (Because the government wasn’t big enough, already…)
2018…..Canada just legalized cannabis for recreational use…today!