January 17, 1950 (Tuesday)
- Great Brinks Robbery: Eleven thieves stole more than two million dollars from the headquarters of the Brinks Armored Car Company at 165 Prince Street in Boston, Massachusetts. A group of men, wearing Halloween masks, used keys to walk through five locked doors, walked into the counting room, tied up the employees at gunpoint, filled 14 bags with money and disappeared. The haul from the job, which took a year and a half to plan and 17 minutes to carry out, was $1,218,211.29 in cash and another $1,557,183.83 in checks, money orders and securities. The gang would be indicted in 1956, only five days before the statute of limitations on the robbery would have expired.
- 1950 USS Missouri grounding incident: The famous battleship USS Missouri got stuck at the entrance to Maryland's Chesapeake Bay after running aground on the shoals, and was stuck for two weeks. The ship would finally be freed on February 1, after a salvage effort that cost $225,000.
- Favored to win by nine points, and ranked by the AP as the #3 college basketball team in the U.S., Long Island University lost to North Carolina State, 55-52, in a game at New York City's Madison Square Garden; an investigation the following year would reveal that LIU players Eddie Gard and Dick Feurtado had been paid $2,000 by gambler Salvatore Sollazo to engage in "point shaving" in order to ensure that LIU lost the game. On January 2, Kentucky had narrowly defeated Arkansas, in a game where three players would admit later to accepting $1,000 bribes in return for keeping the winning margin low.
- Born: Luis López Nieves, Puerto Rican novelist
- Died: Seiichi Hatano, 72, Japanese religious philosopher
The impression has been made that in May 1949 Mao supported the idea of an immediate strike against the South. Observations of additional council which Kim Il Sung sought from the Soviet leader on 12 September 1949 and 17 January 1950 indicate that is not completely right.
It turned out what Mao Zedong had said was that in the near future an advance into the South would be inadvisable. He clarified this by stating that the situation was not advantageous for that goal at this time, as the Chinese Communists were still tied down by their struggle with the forces of Chiang Kai-shek, and thus could not provide decisive aid to the North Koreans. He advised them to wait until that moment in time when the Kuomintang army was destroyed and China was in the power of the Chinese Communist Party.