- 1590 The Governor of Roanoke Island colony, John White, returns from England to find everyone in the colony has disappeared.
- 1903 Joe Pulitzer donates $1 million to Columbia University & begins the Pulitzer Prizes in America
- 1945 Sukarno and Mohammad Hatta declare Indonesia (Dutch East Indies) independent from the Netherlands
- 1945 Korea is divided into North and South Korea along the 38th parallel
- 1947 The Radcliffe Line, the border between Union of India and Dominion of Pakistan is revealed
- 1998 Monica Lewinsky scandal: US President Bill Clinton admits in taped testimony he had an "improper physical relationship" with the intern and on the same day admits before the nation he "misled people" about the relationship
Projection in Paris of the very first animated cartoon, Fantasmagorie realized by Émile Cohl
On August 17, 1908