After the Vietnam WarVietnam developed close ties with the Soviet Union than China, so tensions heightened. China suddenly started an unexpected offensive on the county in response to its invasion of Cambodia a year earlier. The conflict lasted roughly a month, with the Chinese troops withdrawing in March 1979.

Other notable events on February 17th:

In 2008Kosovo declares its independence from Serbia, even though a number of states did not recognize the new republic.

In 1904, Italian composer Giacomo Puccini‘s Madame Butterfly premieres at La Scala in Milan, soon to become one of the most famous operas.

In 1801, Thomas Jefferson is elected president, after the US House of Representatives breaks the tie in the electoral college.