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

March 17 in Film & TV

March 17 in Music

March 17 in Sport

  • 1897 British boxer Bob Fitzsimmons KOs American champion Jim Corbett in the 14th round to win world heavyweight title in Carson City, Nevada
  • 1908 Tommy Burns KOs Jem Roche in 88 seconds in the 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 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

Famous Divorces

More Weddings & Divorces