- 180 6 inhabitants of Carthage, North Africa executed for being Christians. Earliest record of Christianity in this part of the world.
- 1203 Siege of Constantinople begins during the fourth Crusade, Crusaders aboad a Venetian fleet attack the city
- 1762 Catherine II becomes tsarina of Russia following the murder of Peter III
- 1918 The Romanov royal family and several of their retainers are executed by a Bolshevik firing squad in the basement of Ipatiev House, in Yekaterinburg, Siberia
- 1936 Spanish generals Francisco Franco and Emilio Mola lead a right-wing uprising, starting the Spanish Civil War
- 1945 Potsdam Conference (Truman, Stalin, Churchill) holds 1st meeting
- 2014 Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is shot down over Eastern Ukraine by a Buk surface-to-air missile launched from pro-Russian separatist-controlled territory, killing all 283 passengers and 15 crew on board
- 1976 21st modern Olympic games opens in Montreal: 25 African teams (later rising to 33 nations) boycott the games due to New Zealand playing rugby in apartheid South Africa
"L'Argus" accidentally discovers raft holding survivors from wrecked French frigate "Méduse." After 13 days at sea only 15 of 151 remain, the rest having been cannibalised, murdered, or committed suicide. This event was made famous by Théodore Gericault’s painting "The Raft of the Medusa"
On July 17, 1816
"Variety" publishes famous headline "Sticks Nix Hick Pix"
On July 17, 1935
- 1942 Actress Lana Turner marries actor Stephen Crane (annulled)
- 1943 One of the world's greatest contraltos Marian Anderson (46) weds architect Orpheus H. Fisher in Bethel, Connecticut
- 1954 Master of quick wit and widely considered one of the best comedians of the modern era Groucho Marx (63) weds actress Eden Hartford (24)
- 1988 NHL ice hockey star player Wayne Gretzky (27) weds actress Janet Jones (27) at St. Joseph's Basilica in Edmonton, Canada
- 1990 PLO-leader Jasser Arrafat marries Soha Tawil in Tunis