On This Day for 17th March

Historical Events

  • 432 Saint Patrick, aged about 16 is captured by Irish pirates from his home in Great Britain and taken as a slave to Ireland (traditional date)
  • 1521 Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan reaches the Philippines
  • 1861 Italy is unified into a single kingdom under Victor Emmanuel II following the campaigns led by Giuseppe Garibaldi
  • 1901 At a show in Paris 71 Vincent van Gogh paintings cause a sensation, 11 years after his death
  • 1939 Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945): The Battle of Nanchang between the Kuomintang and the Japanese breaks out.
  • 1942 Bełżec Concentration Camp opens with the transport of 30,000 Lublin Polish Jews

Did You Know?

Rubber band patented by Stephen Perry of London

On March 17th, 1845

Famous Weddings

  • 1905 Eleanor Roosevelt (20) marries Franklin D. Roosevelt (23) later 32nd US President in New York, & given away by her uncle, 26th President Theodore Roosevelt
  • 1944 Actor Charlton Heston weds Lydia Clarke
  • 1955 Erotic writer Anaïs Nin marries actor Rupert Pole at Quartzsite, Arizona, while still married to her first husband
  • 1961 Actor Christopher Lee (38) weds actress Gitte Lee (25)
  • 1966 The Who drummer Keith Moon (19) weds model Kim Kerrigan (18) at Brent Registry Office

Famous Divorces

  • 2008 Musician Paul McCartney (65) divorces former model and anti-landmines campaigner Heather Mills (40) on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour