July 17, 1945. From July 17 to August 2, 1945, the leaders of the Allied Nations met in Potsdam, Germany, to discuss the fate of their defeated enemies. The war outside Europe was not yet over, but Harry S. Truman, Joseph Stalin,Winston Churchill and Clement Atlee, who would replace Churchill as prime minister after the British election of 1945, met for the Three Powers Conference of Berlin (formal title of the Potsdam Conference). There they planned the reconstruction of the European Theatre of War and the denazification, demilitarization, democratization, decentralization and disassemblement of Nazi Germany. As a result of the conference, Italy lost its colonies and Japan received an ultimatum stating that the country had to surrender without condition by July 29 or be destroyed, a warning that was to be ignored by Prime Minister Kantaro Suzuki on July 29.
Also on July 17: Charles VII of France is crowned King of France in Reims Cathedral (1429); Catherine II becomes tsar of Russia after the murder of Peter III of Russia (1762); Emperor Nicholas II of Russia and his immediate family are murdered by Bolshevik Chekists (1918); An armed forces rebellion against the recently-elected leftist Popular Front government of Spain starts the Spanish Civil War (1936); The South Korean constitution is proclaimed (1948); Disneyland is opened by Walt Disney in Anaheim, California (1955); The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court is adopted, establishing a permanent international court to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression.
Born on July 17: Isaac Watts (1674), Pierre Louis Maupertuis (1698), Georges Lemaître (1894), Frank Olson and Barbara O’Neil (1910), Christiane Rochefort (1917), Mary Osborne (1921), John Cooper (1923), Spencer Davis(1939), Bob Taylor (1941), Angela Merkel (1954), Julie Bishop (1956).