Wikipedia defines history as the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. It came from the Greek word ‘historia’ – which means ‘inquiry, knowledge acquired by investigation’.

Today In HistoryThis website utilizes entries from Wikipedia to extract historical events from 3761 BC up to the present. There are 105,062 records in the database that include events, births and deaths of popular individuals. The present day Gregorian calendar was adopted to show dates of interest.

Let us begin with what happened today in history. You may also enter a specific day using the form on the right sidebar.

What happened on August 17? There are more than 273 events that were made this day in history. Here are the important historical events, facts, and some myths about this day.

Interesting Facts & Myths About August 17

August 17 is the 229th day of the year 2019. There are 136 days remaining until the end of this year. The day of the week is Saturday. This day falls under the 33rd week of the year 2019.

On this day in Potter, Nebraska 69156 sunrise will occur at 11:05 AM and sunset will occur at 12:49 AM (local time).

The zodiac sign of a person born on this day is Leo. The modern birthstone for this month is Peridot while the mystical birthstone is Diamond.

According to the Chinese calendar, there are 161 days remaining before the start of the next Chinese New Year (January 25, 2020).

Birthday curiousity Is your birthday coming up in two days? Are you not curious to find out who is sharing your special day? Discover all the August 19 famous birthdays. There are fun facts about that day that you must know. (Sponsored link)

Historical Events For August 17

  • 986
    A Byzantine army is destroyed in the pass of Trajan’s Gate by the Bulgarians under the Comitopuli Samuel and Aron. The Byzantine emperor Basil II narrowly escaped.
  • 1807
    Robert Fulton’s North River Steamboat leaves New York City for Albany, New York on the Hudson River, inaugurating the first commercial steamboat service in the world.
  • 1862
    American Civil War: Major General J.E.B. Stuart is assigned command of all the cavalry of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia.
  • 1862
    Indian Wars: The Dakota War of 1862 begins in Minnesota as Lakota warriors attack white settlements along the Minnesota River.
  • 1863
    American Civil War: In Charleston, South Carolina, Union batteries and ships bombard Confederate-held Fort Sumter.
  • 1864
    American Civil War: Battle of Gainesville – Confederate forces defeat Union troops near Gainesville, Florida.
  • 1883
    The first public performance of the Dominican Republic’s national anthem, Himno Nacional.
  • 1907
    Pike Place Market, a popular tourist destination and registered historic district in Seattle, opened.
  • 1908
    Fantasmagorie, the first animated cartoon, created by Émile Cohl, is shown in Paris.
  • 1914
    World War I: Battle of Stalluponen – The German army of General Hermann von François defeats the Russian force commanded by Pavel Rennenkampf near modern-day Nesterov, Russia.
  • 1915
    A Category 4 hurricane hits Galveston, Texas with winds at 135 mph.
  • 1915
    Jewish American Leo Frank is lynched for the alleged murder of a 13-year-old girl in Marietta, Georgia, United States.
  • 1918
    Bolshevik revolutionary leader Moisei Uritsky is assassinated.
  • 1942
    World War II: U.S. Marines raid the Japanese-held Pacific island of Makin (Butaritari).
  • 1943
    World War II: First Québec Conference of Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and William Lyon Mackenzie King begins.
  • 1943
    World War II: The Royal Air Force begins Operation Hydra, the first air raid of the Operation Crossbow strategic bombing campaign against Germany’s V-weapon programme.
  • 1943
    World War II: The U.S. Eighth Air Force suffers the loss of 60 bombers on the Schweinfurt–Regensburg mission.
  • 1943
    World War II: The U.S. Seventh Army under General George S. Patton arrives in Messina, Italy, followed several hours later by the British 8th Army under Field Marshal Bernard L. Montgomery, thus completing the Allied conquest of Sicily.
  • 1945
    Sukarno and Mohammad Hatta proclaim the independence of Indonesia, igniting the Indonesian National Revolution against the Dutch Empire.
  • 1947
    The Radcliffe Line, the border between Union of India and Dominion of Pakistan is revealed.
  • 1950
    Hill 303 massacre: American POWs were massacred by North Korean Army.
  • 1953
    Addiction: First meeting of Narcotics Anonymous in Southern California.
  • 1959
    Kind of Blue by Miles Davis, the much acclaimed and highly influential best selling jazz recording of all time, is released.
  • 1959
    Quake Lake is formed by the magnitude 7.5 1959 Yellowstone earthquake near Hebgen Lake in Montana.
  • 1960
    Decolonization: Gabon gains independence from France.
  • 1962
    East German border guards kill 18-year-old Peter Fechter as he attempts to cross the Berlin Wall into West Berlin becoming one of the first victims of the wall.
  • 1969
    Category 5 Hurricane Camille hits the Mississippi coast, killing 248 people and causing $1.5 billion in damage.
  • 1970
    Venera Program: Venera 7 launched. It will later become the first spacecraft to successfully transmit data from the surface of another planet (Venus).
  • 1978
    Double Eagle II becomes first balloon to cross the Atlantic Ocean when it lands in Miserey near Paris, 137 hours after leaving Presque Isle, Maine.
  • 1979
    Two Soviet Aeroflot jetliners collide in mid-air over Ukraine, killing 156.
  • 1980
    Azaria Chamberlain disappears, probably taken by a dingo, leading to what was then the most publicised trial in Australian history.
  • 1982
    The first Compact Discs (CDs) are released to the public in Germany.
  • 1988
    Pakistani President Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq and U.S. Ambassador Arnold Raphel are killed in a plane crash.
  • 1998
    Monica Lewinsky scandal: US President Bill Clinton admits in taped testimony that he had an “improper physical relationship” with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. On the same day he admits before the nation that he “misled people” about the relationship.
  • 1999
    A 7.4-magnitude earthquake strikes İzmit, Turkey, killing more than 17,000 and injuring 44,000.
  • 2004
    The National Assembly of Serbia unanimously adopts new state symbols for Serbia: Boze Pravde becomes the new anthem and the coat of arms is adopted for the whole country.
  • 2005
    Over 500 bombs are set off by terrorists at 300 locations in 63 out of the 64 districts of Bangladesh
  • 2005
    The first forced evacuation of settlers, as part of the Israel unilateral disengagement plan, starts.
  • 2008
    American swimmer Michael Phelps becomes the first person to win eight gold medals in one Olympic Games.
  • 2009
    An accident at the Sayano–Shushenskaya Dam in Khakassia, Russia, kills 75 and shuts down the hydroelectric power station, leading to widespread power failure in the local area.

Who Were Born On August 17?

  • 1473
    Richard, Duke of York
  • 1578
    Francesco Albani, Italian painter (d. 1660)
  • 1601
    Pierre de Fermat, French mathematician (d. 1665)
  • 1629
    King John III of Poland (d. 1696)
  • 1686
    Nicola Porpora, Italian composer (d. 1768)
  • 1753
    Josef Dobrovský, Czech linguist (d. 1828)
  • 1768
    Louis Charles Antoine Desaix, French general (d. 1800)
  • 1786
    Davy Crockett, American frontiersman and soldier (d. 1836)
  • 1786
    Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, mother of Queen Victoria (d. 1861)
  • 1794
    Prince Alexander of Hohenlohe-Waldenburg-Schillingsfürst, German priest (d. 1849)
  • 1828
    Jules Bernard Luys, French neurologist (d. 1897)
  • 1840
    Wilfrid Scawen Blunt, English poet and writer (d. 1922)
  • 1844
    Emperor Menelek II of Ethiopia (d. 1913)
  • 1863
    Gene Stratton-Porter, American author and naturalist (d. 1924)
  • 1866
    Julia Marlowe, English actress (d. 1950)
  • 1866
    Mir Mahboob Ali Khan, 6th Nizam of Hyderabad (d. 1911)
  • 1873
    John A. Sampson, American gynecologist (d. 1946)
  • 1878
    Reggie Duff, Australian cricketer (d. 1911)
  • 1880
    Percy Sherwell, South African cricketer (d. 1948)
  • 1887
    Charles I of Austria (d. 1922)
  • 1887
    Marcus Garvey, Jamaican-born Black rights activist (d. 1940)
  • 1888
    Monty Woolley, American actor (d. 1963)
  • 1890
    Harry Hopkins, 8th United States Secretary of Commerce (d. 1946)
  • 1890
    Stefan Bastyr, Polish aviator (d. 1920)
  • 1893
    Mae West, American actress (d. 1980)
  • 1895
    Aris Maliagros, Greek actor (d. 1984)
  • 1896
    Leslie Groves, American military engineer (d. 1970)
  • 1904
    Leopold Nowak, Austrian musicologist (d. 1991)
  • 1904
    Mary Cain, American newspaper editor and politician (d. 1984)
  • 1909
    Larry Clinton, American trumpeter and bandleader (d. 1985)
  • 1911
    Martin Sandberger, German military officer (d. 2010)
  • 1911
    Mikhail Botvinnik, Russian chess player (d. 1995)
  • 1913
    Óscar Alfredo Gálvez, Argentine racing driver (d. 1989)
  • 1913
    Rudy York, American baseball player (d. 1970)
  • 1913
    W. Mark Felt, American Watergate informant (d. 2008)
  • 1914
    Franklin Delano Roosevelt Jr., son of Franklin Delano Roosevelt (d. 1988)
  • 1919
    Georgia Gibbs, American singer (d. 2006)
  • 1920
    Maureen O'Hara, Irish actress
  • 1921
    Geoffrey Rudolph Elton, British historian (d. 1994)
  • 1922
    Roy Tattersall, England cricketer (d. 2011)
  • 1926
    George Melly, British singer (d. 2007)
  • 1926
    Jean Poiret, French actor, director and screenwriter (d. 1992)
  • 1926
    Jiang Zemin, Chinese politician
  • 1926
    Valerie Eliot, surviving widow and second wife of the Nobel prize-winning poet, T. S. Eliot.
  • 1929
    Francis Gary Powers, American U-2 pilot (d. 1977)
  • 1929
    Jimmy Donley, American singer (d. 1963)
  • 1930
    Glenn Corbett, American actor (d. 1993)
  • 1930
    Ted Hughes, English poet (d. 1998)
  • 1932
    V. S. Naipaul, West Indian writer, Nobel Laureate
  • 1933
    Eugene F. Kranz, American NASA executive
  • 1933
    Mark Dinning, American singer (d. 1986)
  • 1935
    Oleg Tabakov, Russian actor
  • 1936
    Floyd Red Crow Westerman, Native American musician and actor (d. 2007)
  • 1937
    Ronnie Butler, singer
  • 1937
    Spiros Focás, Greek actor
  • 1938
    Abu Bakar Bashir, Indonesian Muslim cleric
  • 1938
    Theodoros Pangalos, Greek politician
  • 1939
    Anthony Valentine, British actor
  • 1939
    Luther Allison, American musician (d. 1997)
  • 1940
    Eduardo Mignogna, Argentinian film director (d. 2006)
  • 1941
    Boog Powell, American baseball player
  • 1941
    Jean Pierre Lefebvre, French Canadian film director
  • 1943
    Dave “Snaker” Ray, American musician (d. 2002)
  • 1943
    John Humphrys Welsh broadcaster and journalist
  • 1943
    Robert De Niro, American actor
  • 1944
    Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle Corporation, billionaire
  • 1946
    Martha Coolidge, American film director
  • 1946
    Patrick Manning, 4th and 6th Prime Minister of Trinidad & Tobago
  • 1947
    Gary Talley, American musician (Box Tops)
  • 1947
    Sylvia Nasar, German-born American economist and author
  • 1948
    Rod MacDonald, American musician
  • 1949
    Norm Coleman, American politician
  • 1949
    Sib Hashian, American musician (Boston)
  • 1951
    Alan Minter, British boxer
  • 1951
    Robert Joy, Canadian actor
  • 1951
    Wesley Eure, American actor
  • 1952
    Dr. Mario Theissen, German F1 team principal of BMW Sauber
  • 1952
    Guillermo Vilas, Argentinian tennis player
  • 1952
    Nelson Piquet, Brazilian race car driver
  • 1953
    Judith Regan, American book publisher
  • 1953
    Kevin Rowland, English musician (Dexys Midnight Runners)
  • 1953
    Michael Malthouse, Premiership winning Australian football coach
  • 1954
    Eric Johnson, American guitarist
  • 1955
    Colin Moulding, English bass player, singer and songwriter (XTC)
  • 1955
    Richard Hilton, American heir
  • 1956
    Álvaro Pino, Spanish cyclist
  • 1956
    Gail Berman, American film executive
  • 1957
    Laurence Overmire, American poet and actor
  • 1957
    Robin Cousins, British figure skater
  • 1958
    Belinda Carlisle, American singer
  • 1958
    Fred Goodwin, British banker
  • 1958
    Kirk Stevens, Canadian snooker player
  • 1959
    Chika Sakamoto, Japanese voice actress and singer
  • 1959
    David Koresh, American cult leader (d. 1993)
  • 1959
    Eric Schlosser, American author
  • 1959
    Jonathan Franzen, American author
  • 1960
    Sean Penn, American actor and director
  • 1960
    Stephan Eicher, Swiss singer
  • 1962
    Buddy Landel, American professional wrestler
  • 1962
    Gilby Clarke, American musician (Guns N' Roses)
  • 1962
    John Marshall Jones, American actor
  • 1963
    Jon Gruden, American football coach
  • 1963
    S. Shankar, Indian film director
  • 1964
    Colin James, Canadian musician
  • 1964
    Maria McKee, American singer
  • 1966
    Don Sweeney, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1966
    Maysa Leak, American jazz singer
  • 1966
    Rodney Mullen, American skateboarder
  • 1967
    David Conrad, American actor
  • 1967
    Kevin Max, American singer (dc talk)
  • 1967
    Spencer Rice, Canadian Actor
  • 1968
    Ed McCaffrey, American football player
  • 1968
    Helen McCrory, English actress
  • 1969
    Christian Laettner, American basketball player
  • 1969
    Donnie Wahlberg, American actor and singer (New Kids On The Block)
  • 1969
    Kelvin Mercer, American rapper (De La Soul)
  • 1970
    Øyvind Leonhardsen, Norwegian footballer
  • 1970
    Jim Courier, American tennis player
  • 1970
    Rupert Degas, English actor and voice artist
  • 1971
    Jorge Posada, Puerto Rican baseball player
  • 1971
    Shaun Rehn, Australian Rules footballer
  • 1971
    Uhm Jung-hwa, South Korean singer and actress
  • 1972
    Habibul Bashar, Bangladeshi cricketer
  • 1972
    Ken Ryker, American pornographic actor
  • 1974
    Nicola Kraus, American novelist
  • 1974
    Tony Hajjar, Lebanese musician (At the Drive-In, Sparta)
  • 1975
    Giuliana DePandi, Italian-born American television personality
  • 1976
    Geertjan Lassche, Dutch reporter
  • 1976
    Scott Halberstadt, American actor
  • 1977
    Matthew Oakley, English footballer
  • 1977
    Nathan Deakes, Australian race walker
  • 1977
    Tarja Turunen, Finnish singer
  • 1977
    Thierry Henry, French footballer
  • 1977
    William Gallas, French footballer
  • 1978
    Karena Lam, Hong Kong actress
  • 1978
    Vibeke Stene, Norwegian singer (Tristania)
  • 1979
    Antwaan Randle El, American football player
  • 1979
    Marcus Patric, British actor
  • 1980
    Jan Kromkamp, Dutch footballer
  • 1980
    Keith Dabengwa, Zimbabwean cricketer
  • 1980
    Lene Marlin, Norwegian singer
  • 1981
    Kristin Holt, American television personality
  • 1982
    Cheerleader Melissa, American professional wrestler
  • 1982
    Mark Salling, American actor
  • 1982
    Phil Jagielka, English footballer
  • 1983
    Dustin Pedroia, American baseball player
  • 1984
    Dee Brown, American basketball player
  • 1984
    Garrett Wolfe, American football player
  • 1985
    Yū Aoi, Japanese actress
  • 1986
    Bryton McClure, American actor & singer
  • 1986
    Rudy Gay, American basketball player
  • 1986
    Tyrus Thomas, American basketball player
  • 1987
    Matthew Shultz, American musician, Cage the Elephant
  • 1988
    Brady Corbet, American actor
  • 1988
    Erika Toda, Japanese actress
  • 1988
    Nichole Cordova, Performer (Girlicious)
  • 1989
    Elena Hight, American snowboarder
  • 1989
    Frederick Lau, German actor
  • 1989
    Lil B, American rapper
  • 1990
    Colin Bates, American actor
  • 1990
    Rachel Hurd-Wood, British actress
  • 1991
    Austin Butler, American actor
  • 1991
    Qory Sandioriva, Indonesian beauty queen, Puteri Indonesia 2009
  • 1996
    Ella Cruz, Filipina actress

Who Died On August 17?

  • 1153
    Eustace IV of Boulogne, son of Stephen of England (b. 1130)
  • 1304
    Emperor Go-Fukakusa of Japan (b. 1243)
  • 1510
    Edmund Dudley, English statesman (b. 1462)
  • 1657
    Robert Blake, British admiral (b. 1599)
  • 1673
    Regnier de Graaf, Dutch physician and anatomist (b. 1641)
  • 1676
    Hans Jakob Christoph von Grimmelshausen, German novelist (b. 1621)
  • 1720
    Anne Lefèvre, French scholar (b. 1654)
  • 1723
    Joseph Bingham, English scholar (b. 1668)
  • 1768
    Vasily Kirillovich Trediakovsky, Russian poet (b. 1703)
  • 1785
    Jonathan Trumbull, Governor of Connecticut (b. 1710)
  • 1786
    King Frederick II of Prussia (b. 1712)
  • 1834
    Husein Gradaščević, Bosnian rebel leader (b. 1802)
  • 1838
    Lorenzo Da Ponte, Italian librettist (b. 1749)
  • 1850
    José de San Martín, Argentine general (b. 1778)
  • 1861
    Alcée Louis la Branche, American Politician (b. 1806)
  • 1870
    Pedro Figueredo, Cuban poet, musician, and freedom fighter of the 19th century (b. 1818)
  • 1875
    Wilhelm Bleek, German linguist (b. 1827)
  • 1880
    Ole Bull, Norwegian violinist (b. 1810)
  • 1896
    Bridget Driscoll, British automobile fatality
  • 1897
    Sir William Jervois, British colonial administrator, Governor-General of New Zealand (b. 1821)
  • 1901
    Edmond Audran, French composer (b. 1842)
  • 1903
    Hans Gude, Norwegian landscape painter (b. 1825)
  • 1909
    Madan Lal Dhingra, Indian Revolutionary (b. 1883)
  • 1918
    Moisei Uritsky, Russian revolutionary (b. 1873)
  • 1920
    Ray Chapman, American baseball player (b. 1891)
  • 1924
    Tom Kendall, Australian cricketer (b. 1851)
  • 1925
    Ioan Slavici, Transylvanian writer (b. 1848)
  • 1935
    Charlotte Perkins Gilman, American feminist and writer (b. 1860)
  • 1940
    Billy Fiske, American aviator (b. 1911)
  • 1945
    Reidar Haaland, Norwegian Nazi collaborator (b. 1919)
  • 1949
    Gregorio Perfecto, Filipino jurist and politician (b. 1891)
  • 1954
    Billy Murray, American recording artist (b. 1877)
  • 1962
    Peter Fechter, East German defector (b. 1944)
  • 1964
    Happy Felsch, American baseball player best known for his involvement in the Black Sox Scandal
  • 1969
    Otto Stern, German physicist, Nobel laureate (b. 1888)
  • 1970
    Rattana Pestonji, Thai filmmaker (b. 1908)
  • 1971
    Maedayama Eigorō, Japanese sumo wrestler, the 39th Yokozuna (b. 1914)
  • 1971
    Wilhelm List, German field marshal (b. 1880)
  • 1973
    Conrad Aiken, American author (b. 1889)
  • 1973
    Jean Barraqué, French composer (b. 1928)
  • 1973
    Paul Williams, American singer (The Temptations) (b. 1939)
  • 1976
    William Redfield, American actor (b. 1927)
  • 1979
    John C. Allen, American roller coaster designer (b. 1907)
  • 1979
    Vivian Vance, American actress (b. 1909)
  • 1983
    Ira Gershwin, American lyricist (b. 1896)
  • 1987
    Gary Chester, Italian studio drummer (b. 1924)
  • 1987
    Rudolf Hess, Nazi deputy (b. 1894)
  • 1987
    Shaike Ophir, Israeli actor (b. 1929)
  • 1988
    Franklin Delano Roosevelt Jr., son of Franklin Delano Roosevelt (b. 1914)
  • 1988
    Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, Pakistani politician, Former Martial Law Administrator and President of Pakistan (b. 1924)
  • 1988
    Victoria Shaw, Australian-born American actress (b. 1935)
  • 1990
    Pearl Bailey, American singer and actress (b. 1918)
  • 1992
    Al Parker, American adult film actor (b. 1952)
  • 1993
    Feng Kang, Chinese mathematician (b. 1920)
  • 1994
    Jack Sharkey, American boxer (b. 1902)
  • 1994
    Luigi Chinetti, Italian-American race car driver and team owner (b. 1901)
  • 1995
    Howard Koch, American screenwriter (b. 1902)
  • 1995
    Ted Whitten, Australian rules footballer (b. 1933)
  • 1998
    Raquel Rastenni, Danish singer (b. 1915)
  • 1998
    Tadeusz Slusarski, Polish track and field athlete (b. 1950)
  • 1998
    Wladyslaw Komar, Polish track and field athlete (b. 1940)
  • 2004
    Gérard Souzay, French baritone (b. 1918)
  • 2004
    Thea Astley, Australian writer (b. 1925)
  • 2005
    John Bahcall, American astrophysicist (b. 1934)
  • 2006
    Shamsur Rahman, Bangladeshi poet, columnist and journalist (b. 1929)
  • 2007
    Bill Deedes, British journalist and politician (b. 1913)
  • 2007
    Eddie Griffin, American basketball player (b. 1982)
  • 2008
    Franco Sensi, Italian businessman and football team owner (b. 1926)
  • 2010
    Francesco Cossiga, Italian politician and eighth President of the Italian Republic (b. 1928)

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