On This Day

What Happened on March 17

Important 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
  • 1905 Albert Einstein finishes his scientific paper detailing his Quantum Theory of Light, one of the foundations of modern physics
  • 1939 Battle of Nanchang between the Kuomintang and the Japanese breaks out (Sino-Japanese War 1937-1945)
  • 1942 Bełżec Concentration Camp opens with the transport of 30,000 Lublin Polish Jews
  • More Historical Events

Mar 17 in Film & TV

Mar 17 in Sport

  • 1897 British boxer Bob Fitzsimmons KOs American champion 'Gentleman' Jim Corbett in the 14th round to win World Heavyweight title in Carson City, Nevada
  • 1908 Canadian champion Tommy Burns KOs Irish challenger Jem Roche in 1:28s of the 1st round at the Theatre Royal, Dublin; then quickest world heavyweight boxing title fight

Did You Know?

John Philip Holland achieves successful test run for the first modern submarine off Staten Island, submerging for 1 hour 40 minutes

On March 17, 1898

Would You Believe?

Rubber band patented by Stephen Perry of London

On March 17, 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 American actor Charlton Heston (20) weds American actress and photographer Lydia Clarke (20)
  • 1955 Erotic writer Anaïs Nin marries actor Rupert Pole at Quartzsite, Arizona, while still married to her first husband

Famous Divorces


More Weddings & Divorces