On This Day

What Happened in August 1917

Historical Events

  • Aug 1 Frank Little, IWW organizer, lynched in Butte, Montana
  • Aug 4 Pravda calls for the killing of all capitalists, priests and officers
  • Aug 5 British troops attack canal of Ypres in Boesinghe, Belgium
  • Aug 5 The entire US National Guard is taken into national service, subject to presidential rather than state control
  • Aug 6 World War I: Battle of Mărăşeşti between the Romanian and German armies begins
  • Aug 9 Canadian Parliament passes the Compulsory Military Act which is opposed by many French Canadians from Québec
  • Aug 13 Milt Stock (2), Fred Luderus (2) and Possum Whitted of the Philadelphia Phillies steal 5 bases in an inning in 3-0 win against Boston at Braves Field
  • Aug 13 A revolt in Catalonia, the province in northeast Spain that has long seen itself as independent
  • Aug 14 China declares war on Germany & Austria

Historic Event

Aug 15 Poets Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon first met at Craiglockhart War Hospital, Edinburgh, go on to have an profound influence on each other's work (actual date 15-19 Aug)

  • Aug 17 Italy declares war on Turkey
  • Aug 18 Dutch Naval Air Force forms (MLD)
  • Aug 18 A Great Fire in Thessaloniki, Greece destroys 32% of the city leaving 70,000 individuals homeless.

Historic Event

Aug 18 The Queen's Hospital opens to provide pioneering plastic surgery for WWI soldiers, led by Harold Gillies in Sidcup, England

  • Aug 19 Sunday benefit baseball game at NYC's Polo Grounds results in John McGraw & Christy Mathewson's arrest for violating Blue laws
  • Aug 22 Pittsburgh Pirates play 4th straight extra inning game; left fielder Carson Bigbee sets MLB record of 11 at-bats in 22 inning, 6-5 loss to Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field
  • Aug 23 Race riot in Houston Texas (2 blacks & 11 whites killed)
  • Aug 25 US National Championship Men's Tennis, Forest Hills, NY: Robert Lindley Murray beats Nathaniel W. Niles 5-7, 8-6, 6-3, 6-3 for first of 2 straight US singles titles
  • Aug 27 Indians set club record by stealing eight bases in a game
  • Aug 28 Ten suffragists arrested as they picket the White House

Election of Interest

Aug 31 In China, Sun Yat-sen and his supporters' 'rump' parliament establishes a military government and elects Sun Yat-sen as commander-in-Chief


Famous Birthdays

  • Aug 1 Benjamin Roberts, British industrial relations expert (London School of Economics), born in Leeds, England (d. 2011)
  • Aug 6 Robert Mitchum, American actor (Out of the Past, Winds of War, North & South), born in Bridgeport, Connecticut (d. 1997)
  • Aug 11 Dik Browne, cartoonist (Hi & Lois, Hagar the Horrible)
  • Aug 12 Douglas Gunsekera, banker
  • Aug 12 Marjorie Reynolds [Goodspeed], American actress and dancer (Holiday Inn, Life of Riley), born in Buhl, Idaho (d. 1997)
  • Aug 13 Sid Gordon, American baseball player, born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 1975)

Jack Lynch

Aug 15 Jack Lynch, Irish politician and Taoiseach (1966-73 and 1977-79), born in Shandon, Cork, Ireland (d. 1999)

  • Aug 15 Oscar Romero, El Salvador Roman catholic priest who was murdered, born in Ciudad Barrios, El Salvador (d. 1980)
  • Aug 16 Roque Cordero, Panamanian composer (Sonata Breve), born in Panama City (d. 2008)
  • Aug 17 Safa Khulusi, Iraqi writer and historian, born in Baghdad (d. 1995)
  • Aug 18 Casper Weinberger, US Secretary of Defense (1981-87)
  • Aug 22 John Lee Hooker, American blues guitarist ("Boogie Chillen"' "Boom Boom"), born in Clarksdale, Mississippi (d. 2001)
  • Aug 23 Tex Williams, American country-western singer, born in Ramsey, Illinois (d. 1985)
  • Aug 24 Dennis James, wrestling announcer/TV host (PDQ), born in Jersey City, New Jersey
  • Aug 25 Mel Ferrer, American actor (Longest Day, Eaten Alive, 5th Floor), born in Elberon, New Jersey (d. 2008)
  • Aug 26 Jan Clayton, American actress (Ellen Miller-Lassie), born in Tularosa, New Mexico
  • Aug 26 William French Smith, American lawyer and US Attorney General (1981-85), born in Wilton, New Hampshire (d. 1990)
  • Aug 27 Peanuts Lowrey, American baseball player, born in Culver City, California (d. 1986)

Jack Kirby

Aug 28 Jack Kirby, American cartoonist (X-Men; Spider-Man; Hulk; Captain America), born in NYC, New York (d. 1994)

  • Aug 29 John King, Baron King of Wartnaby, British businessman and CEO of British Airways after its privatization, born in Brentford, Middlesex, England (d. 2005)
  • Aug 29 Isabel Sanford, American actress (Louise-Jeffersons/All in the Family), born in NYC, New York (d. 2004)
  • Aug 30 Denis Healey, English politician (Labour Chancellor of the Exchequer), born in London, (d. 2015)
  • Aug 30 William "Pop" Gates, American Basketball Hall of Fame guard and coach (Harlem Globetrotters "Legends" Ring 1995), born in Decatur, Alabama (d. 1999)

Famous Deaths

  • Aug 1 Frank Little, American labor organizer (lynched) (b. 1879)
  • Aug 3 Ferdinand Georg Frobenius, German mathematician (Frobenius–Stickelberger formulae), dies at 67
  • Aug 7 Squadron Commander E.H. Dunning, first pilot to land his aircraft on a moving ship. (b. 1891)
  • Aug 15 Thomas J. Higgins, Union Army soldier during the American Civil War, recipient of America's highest military decoration (Medal of Honor), dies at 86
  • Aug 20 JFW Adolf Ritter von Baeyer, German chemist (Nobel 1905), dies
  • Aug 30 Uritsky, leader of Petrogradse Czech, dies