On This Day

Historical Events on August 17

  • 682 Leo II begins his reign as Catholic Pope
  • 1180 Yoritomo Minamoto leads uprising against Kiyomori Taira who installed his grandson, Emperor Antoku, to the throne
  • 1544 Imperial/English armies occupy Saint-Dizier France
  • 1563 King Charles IX of France declared an adult at 13
  • 1577 Peace of Bergerac: Political rights for Huguenots

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1579 Francois of Anjou visits English Queen Elizabeth I

Queen of England and Ireland Elizabeth I
Queen of England and Ireland
Elizabeth I
  • 1585 Antwerp surrenders after 8 months siege by Duke of Parma
  • 1590 Governor of Roanoke Island colony, John White, returns from England to find no trace of the colonists he had left there 3 years earlier [or Aug 18, 1591]
  • 1648 -20] Battle at Preston, Lancashire: Henry Ireton beats Scottish

Why The King Became a Party PooperWhy The King Became a Party Pooper

1661 French Superintendent of Finances Nicolas Fouquet throws one of the grandest and opulent parties ever seen in France, appalling King Louis XIV and leading to Fouquet's arrest for embezzlement weeks later

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Nicolas Fouquet, looking unsure of himself, alongside the splendid château that he had built for his own use – much to his King’s displeasure
Nicolas Fouquet, looking unsure of himself, alongside the splendid château that he had built for his own use – much to his King’s displeasure
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  • 1717 France, Russia & Prussia sign agreement
  • 1743 Treaty of Åbo signed in Turku by Sweden and Russian Empire, ending the Russo-Swedish War (1741-1743)
  • 1787 Jews are granted permission in Budapest Hungary to pray in groups
  • 1788 Losantville, Ohio (now Cincinnati) founded
  • 1795 Slave revolt at Knip plantation, Curacao
  • 1796 British beat Batavian navy in Saldanha Bay, South Africa

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1807 Robert Fulton's steamboat Clermont begins first trip up Hudson River

Commercial Steamboat Inventor Robert Fulton
Commercial Steamboat Inventor
Robert Fulton

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1808 Napoleon asks King Louis for Holland brigade towards Spain

French Emperor Napoléon Bonaparte
French Emperor
Napoléon Bonaparte
  • 1819 The Church Missionary Society establishes New Zealand's second mission station at Kerikeri
  • 1827 Dutch King Willem I and Pope Leo XII sign concord

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1834 Charles Darwin reaches the top of Campana in Chile during his voyage on the Beagle

Naturalist Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin
  • 1835 Solymon Merrick of Springfield, Massachusetts patents the first wrench
  • 1836 British parliament accepts registration of births, marriages and deaths
  • 1836 Charles Darwin leaves South America for the last time on HMS Beagle
  • 1846 Commodore Robert F Stockton, US Navy, annexes California
  • 1858 1st bank in Hawaii opens
  • 1859 1st air mail (in a balloon) took off from Lafayette, Indiana
  • 1862 Confederate troops under Kirby Smith enter Kentucky
  • 1863 Federal batteries & ships attacked Fort Sumter in SC
  • 1870 1st ascent of Mt Rainier, Washington, by Hazard Stevens and P. B. Van Trump

Music releaseMusic Premiere

1876 Richard Wagner's opera "Götterdämmerung" premieres in Bayreuth

Composer Richard Wagner
Richard Wagner
  • 1877 American astronomer Asaph Hall discovers Mars' moon Phobos
  • 1879 Ferdinand de Lesseps forms French Panama Canal Company
  • 1883 The first public performance of the Dominican Republic's national anthem, Himno Nacional
  • 1891 1st public bathhouse with showers opens in NYC (People's Bath)
  • 1891 Electric self-starter for automobile patented

  • 1892 Russian and French generals, Obruchev and Boisdeffre sign Double Alliance
  • 1894 Phils get 36 hits, Sam Thompson hits for cycle beating Louisville 29-4
  • 1897 W B Purvis patents electric railway switch (aka points)
  • 1901 The Royal Titles Act adds the words 'and the British Dominions beyond the Seas' to the monarch's style
  • 1903 Joe Pulitzer donates $1 million to Columbia University & begins the Pulitzer Prizes in America
  • 1904 Boston's Jesse Tannehell no-hits Chicago White Sox, 6-0
  • 1904 George H Reid succeeds John Watson as Prime Minister of Australia
  • 1905 Dutch government of Theo de Meester begins
  • 1907 Bishop forbids Christian membership of Dutch Textile Union
  • 1908 Booth Tarkington & Harry Leon Wilson's play "Man from Home" premieres in New York

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1908 Bank of Italy (now Bank of America) opens new HQ at Clay & Montgomery, San Francisco

Banker and Entrepreneur Amadeo Giannini
Banker and Entrepreneur
Amadeo Giannini
  • 1908 Projection in Paris of the very first animated cartoon, Fantasmagorie realized by Émile Cohl
  • 1914 French troops under gen de Castelnau occupy Chateau Salins
  • 1915 German troops over run Kovno, Lithuania
  • 1915 Hurricane strikes Galveston, Texas killing 275
  • 1915 Mob lynches Jewish businessman Leo Frank in Cobb County, Georgia, after death sentence for murder of 13-year-old girl commuted to life
  • 1916 Bulgarian offensive in Macedonia
  • 1917 Italy declares war on Turkey
  • 1918 British troops attack Baku, Azerbaijan
  • 1918 Samuel Riddle buys Man o'War for $5,000
  • 1918 Turkish troops overthrow Caukasus
  • 1918 Bolshevik revolutionary leader Moisei Uritsky is assassinated
  • 1920 NY Yankees cancel game with Cleveland Indians in memory of Ray Chapman who died on the same day
  • 1924 French-German trade agreement signed
  • 1926 Greek-Serbian, Croatian and Slavs peace treaty signed

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1933 MLB player Lou Gehrig plays record 1,308th consecutive game

Baseball Player Lou Gehrig
Baseball Player
Lou Gehrig
  • 1933 Soviet Union test GIRD-R1 rocket ("Object 09")
  • 1936 An unemployed worker, Neils B. Ruud, in Madison, Wisconsin, receives the first unemployment benefit check paid under a State law, for $15
  • 1938 1st aircraft owned by US Forest Service in service (Oakland)
  • 1938 Henry Armstrong wins his 3rd concurrent boxing championship

Film PremierThe Wizard of Oz

1939 "The Wizard of Oz" opens at Loews Capitol Theatre in NY

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Publicity still of the Wizard of Oz, showing the Tin Man, Scarecrow, Dorothy and Cowardly Lion
Publicity still of the Wizard of Oz, showing the Tin Man, Scarecrow, Dorothy and Cowardly Lion
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AgreementAgreement of Interest

1940 FDR & Canadian PM William M King agree to joint defense commission

32nd US President Franklin D. Roosevelt
32nd US President
Franklin D. Roosevelt

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1940 Adolf Hitler orders a total blockade of Great Britain

Dictator of Nazi Germany Adolf Hitler
Dictator of Nazi Germany
Adolf Hitler
  • 1941 German raider attacks Dutch SS Kota Nopan
  • 1942 Task Force 17 leaves Pearl Harbor under Admiral George Murray on USS Hornet
  • 1942 Transport #20 departs with French Jews to nazi-Germany
  • 1942 US 8th Air Force bombers stage first independent raid on Europe, attack Rouen, France
  • 1943 498 British bombers attack Peenemunde (development base for the V weapons)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1943 Gen Patton enters Messina, completing conquest of Sicily by Allies

US WWII General George S. Patton
US WWII General
George S. Patton
  • 1943 US 8th Air Force loses 60 B-17s during attack on Schweinfurt and Regensburg
  • 1944 4th Canadian Armoured division occupiers Trun, Normandy
  • 1944 Canadian 2nd division conquers Falaise, Normandy
  • 1944 German field marshal Walter Model replaces Günther von Kluge in Normandy
  • 1944 Soviet troops arrive at Austria-Prussia border
  • 1944 US 12 Army Corps occupies Orleans
  • 1944 US 320th regiment infantry occupies Châteaudun
  • 1944 Yanks Johnny Lindell ties record with 4 consecutive doubles in a game

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1945 Sukarno and Mohammad Hatta declare Indonesia (Dutch East Indies) independent from the Netherlands

1st President of Indonesia Sukarno
1st President of Indonesia
  • 1945 Korea is divided into North and South Korea along the 38th parallel

Music releaseMusic Premiere

1946 Arthur Honegger's 3rd Symphony "Liturgique" premieres

Composer Arthur Honegger
Arthur Honegger

Book releaseHistoric Publication

1946 George Orwell publishes "Animal Farm" in the United Kingdom

  • 1947 The Radcliffe Line, the border between Union of India and Dominion of Pakistan is revealed
  • 1948 Alger Hiss denies ever being a Communist agent
  • 1948 Phillies commit 8 errors in a baseball game for the 2nd time
  • 1948 Tom Henrich hits his then record tying 4th grand slam of season

  • 1950 Indonesia gains independence from Netherlands
  • 1950 Pee Wee Reese (Dodgers) & Sam Calderone (Giants) hit inside park HRs
  • 1951 18th NFL Chicago All-Star Game: Cleveland 33, All-Stars 0 (92,180)
  • 1951 Hurricane winds drive 6 ships ashore, Kingston, Jamaica
  • 1952 "Fallout" 1st used (NY Times)
  • 1953 Addiction: First meeting of Narcotics Anonymous in Southern California.
  • 1955 Hurricane Diane, following hurricane Connie floods Connecticut River killing 190 & doing $1.8 billion damage
  • 1956 Federal Constitutional Court bans the Communist Party of Germany (KPD) in West Germany
  • 1956 One of the largest demonstrations in South Africa's history, 20,000 women marched to Pretoria's Union Buildings to present petition against carrying of passes by women to the Prime Minister

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1957 Baseball player Richie Ashburn fouls and hits fan Alice Roth twice in the same game at bat playing for the Philadelphia Phillies, 1st hit breaks her nose, 2nd one hits her while she is on the stretcher

Baseball Player Richie Ashburn
Baseball Player
Richie Ashburn
  • 1958 World's 1st Moon probe, US's Thor-Able, explodes at T +77 sec
  • 1959 7.1 quake strikes Yellowstone National Park
  • 1959 USSR & Iraq signs contract for building Iraqi nuclear reactor
  • 1960 Francis Gary Powers U-2 spy trial opens in Moscow
  • 1960 Gabon gains independence from France (National Day)
  • 1960 Indonesia drops diplomatic relations with Netherlands
  • 1961 Kennedy administration establishes Alliance for Progress
  • 1962 East German border guards shot and kill Peter Fechter, 18, attempting to cross Berlin Wall into western sector
  • 1963 Jim Hickman becomes 1st NY Met to hit for cycle
  • 1963 Oriole's Dick Hall retires his 28th consecutive player in relief
  • 1964 Boycott scores his 1st Test Cricket century, 113 v Aust at the Oval
  • 1966 NASA satellite Pioneer 7 launched into solar orbit

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1966 Willie Mays takes 2nd place on all-time HR list

MLB Legend Willie Mays
MLB Legend
Willie Mays
  • 1968 Dick Beyers (Dr X) beats Verne Gagne, to become NWA champ
  • 1969 Hurricane Camille strikes US coastline and kills 259 people (mainly in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana)

Sport awardPGA Championship

1969 PGA Championship Men's Golf, NCR CC: Ray Floyd wins first of his 4 major titles by 1 stroke from South African Gary Player

Golfer and Four-Time Major Championship Winner Ray Floyd
Golfer and Four-Time Major Championship Winner
Ray Floyd
Golfer Gary Player
Gary Player
  • 1969 NY Jets beat NY Giants, 37-14 in their first meeting (pre-season)
  • 1970 Venera 7 (US), 1st softlanding on Venus, launched

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1972 Phillies Steve Carlton wins his 15th straight game

Baseball Pitcher Steve Carlton
Baseball Pitcher
Steve Carlton
  • 1973 Lee Trevino's 1st hole-in-one

  • 1973 Willie Mays hits 660th & last HR (off Don Gullett of Cincinnati)
  • 1976 An earthquake & tsunami in the Philippines kills up to 8,000
  • 1976 Big win for WI at The Oval Michael Holding 14-149 for match
  • 1977 Russian nuclear sub "Artika" is 1st to North Pole
  • 1977 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • 1977 Thomas Wessinghage, Harald Hudak, Michael Lederer and Karl Fleschen walk world record 4x1500m (14:38.8)
  • 1978 1st successful crossing of the Atlantic by balloon (3 Americans)
  • 1979 2 Russian passenger planes collide above Ukraine, 173 killed

Film release premierFilm Premier

1979 Monty Python's "Life of Brian" directed by Terry Jones, starring Graham Chapman & John Cleese premieres

Actor, Comedian John Cleese
Actor, Comedian
John Cleese
Comedian and Actor Michael Palin
Comedian and Actor
Michael Palin
  • 1980 "Blackstone" closes at Majestic Theater NYC after 104 performances

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1980 George Brett goes 4-for-4, raising his batting average to .401

MLB Third Baseman George Brett
MLB Third Baseman
George Brett
  • 1980 Azaria Chamberlain disappears, likely taken by a dingo, leading to what was then the most publicised trial in Australian history
  • 1982 LA Dodgers beat Chicago Cubs, 6-5, in 21 innings (game completed 8/18)
  • 1982 South Bend, Ind jury acquits self-avowed racist Joseph Paul Franklin
  • 1982 First Compact Discs (CDs) released to the public in Germany
  • 1983 -19] Hurricane Alicia, kills 17 in Texas

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1984 Pete Rose returns to Cincinnati Reds as player-manager (gets 2 hits)

MLB Player and Manager Pete Rose
MLB Player and Manager
Pete Rose
  • 1985 1,400 meatpackers walk off the job at a Geo A Hormel & Co plant

Electoral defeatElection of Interest

1985 Rajiv Gandhi announces Punjab state elections in India

Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi
Indian Prime Minister
Rajiv Gandhi
  • 1985 Sara Trollinger forms House of Hope in Orlando
  • 1986 Bronze pig statue unveiled at Pike Place Market, Seattle
  • 1986 Rioting at DMC concert, 40 injured
  • 1986 Red Sox trade shortstop Rey Quinones & pitcher Mike Trujillo to Mariners for shortstop Spike Owen & outfielder Dave Henderson
  • 1987 Bunt single gives Paul Molitor longest hit streak of 1980s at 32 games
  • 1987 Dow Jones Industrial Avg closes above 2,700 for 1st time (2,700.57)
  • 1987 Mohammad Ali elected to "Ring" magazine's Boxing Hall of Fame
  • 1988 Butch Reynolds runs world record 400m (43.29)
  • 1988 LIRR says Penn station will get air conditioning in 1991
  • 1988 NYC 1st case of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (9 year old Bronx boy)
  • 1988 US Republicans nominate George H. W. Bush for President

  • 1988 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1988 Pakistani President Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq and U.S. Ambassador Arnold Raphel are killed in a plane crash.
  • 1989 32nd Walker Cup: Britain-Ireland, 12½-11½

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1989 Orioles shortstop Cal Ripken moves into 3rd place (1,208th cons game)

MLB Legend Cal Ripken Jr
MLB Legend
Cal Ripken Jr

Film release premierFilm Premier

1990 "Exorcist 3" film written and directed by William Peter Blatty, premieres

Writer & Filmmaker William Peter Blatty
Writer & Filmmaker
William Peter Blatty
  • 1990 Carlton Fisk hits White Sox record 187th HR

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1990 Phyllis Polander sues Mike Tyson for sexual harassment

Heavyweight Boxing Champion Mike Tyson
Heavyweight Boxing Champion
Mike Tyson
  • 1991 Royals Warren Cromartie's 1st major league HR since 1983
  • 1991 ArenaBowl V, Joe Louis Arena, Detroit: Tampa Bay Storm beats Detroit Drive 48-42, Stevie Thomas MVP
  • 1992 Hurricane Andrew forms south-east of Barbados in the Caribbean
  • 1992 Kevin Gross of Dodgers tosses only 9-inning no-hitter of season, a 2-0
  • 1994 King Letsie II of Lesotho dismisses premier Ntsu Mokhehle
  • 1994 NY Central park reservoir officially named after Jackie Kennedy Onasis
  • 1995 China performs nuclear test at Lop Nor, PRC
  • 1996 Soyuz TM-24, launched into orbit
  • 1997 PGA Championship Men's Golf, Winged Foot GC: Davis Love III wins his only major title by 5 strokes from Justin Leonard

'I Did Not Have Sexual Relations With That Woman''I Did Not Have Sexual Relations With That Woman'

1998 Monica Lewinsky scandal: US President Bill Clinton admits in taped testimony he had an "improper physical relationship" with the intern and on the same day admits before the nation he "misled people" about the relationship

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Touching birthday greetings from Bill to Monica
Touching birthday greetings from Bill to Monica
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  • 1999 A 7.4-magnitude earthquake strikes İzmit, Turkey, killing more than 17,000 and injuring 44,000.
  • 2003 PGA Championship Men's Golf, Oak Hill CC: Shaun Micheel wins his lone major title by 2 strokes from Chad Campbell
  • 2004 MD5 collision found by Chinese researchers.
  • 2004 The National Assembly of Serbia unanimously adopts new state symbols for Serbia: Boze Pravde becomes the new anthem and the coat of arms is adopted for the whole country.
  • 2004 Yana Klochkova of the Ukraine wins the 200m individual medley in 2:11.14 at the Athens Olympics to wrap up the 200/400m medley double
  • 2005 The first forced evacuation of settlers, as part of the Israel unilateral disengagement plan, starts.
  • 2008 China wins its 33rd gold medal of the Beijing Olympics by beating Singapore in the table tennis women's team event; most successful Olympiad ever for China; wins all 10 singles and all 5 doubles matches

Sport awardGolf Tournament

2008 Canadian Open Women's Golf, Ottawa Hunt GC: Australian Katherine Hull wins by 1 from Se Ri Pak

LPGA Golfer Se Ri Pak
LPGA Golfer
Se Ri Pak
  • 2008 Four years after winning Olympic silver in the rowing quad sculls in Athens, Briton Rebecca Romero becomes only 2nd woman to earn medals in 2 different sports at the summer Games when she wins the pursuit track cycling gold in Beijing
  • 2008 Jamaica dominates the 100m at the Beijing Olympics with Shelly-Ann Fraser taking the gold medal in 10.78; her teammates Sherone Simpson & Kerron Stewart dead-heat for silver in 10.98
  • 2008 Gulnara Samitova-Galkina of Russia wins the 3,000m steeplechase gold medal at the Beijing Olympics in world record 8:58.81

Sports record brokenWorld Record

2008 US team Michael Phelps, Aaron Peirsol, Brendan Hansen & Jason Lezak wins 4 x 100m medley relay at the Beijing Olympics in world record 3:29.34; Phelps' 8th gold medal of Games breaks Mark Spitz's 1972 record (7)

  • 2008 German swimmer Britta Steffen beats American Dara Torres by 0.01 in the 50m to wrap up the 50/100m double at the Beijing Olympics

  • 2008 Australian women's 4 x 100m medley relay team of Emily Seebohm, Leisel Jones, Jessicah Schipper & Libby Trickett upset the United States to win the gold medal in world record 3:52.69 at the Beijing Olympics

OlympicsOlympic Gold

2008 Rafael Nadal of Spain beats Chile's Fernando González 6-3, 7-6, 6-3 to win the men's tennis singles at the Beijing Olympics; Spain's first ever Olympic gold medal in tennis

Tennis Champion Rafael Nadal
Tennis Champion
Rafael Nadal
  • 2008 The Tradition Senior Men's Golf, Crosswater Club: Fred Funk wins first of 3 Champions Tour majors by 3 strokes from Mike Goodes
  • 2012 Three members of Russian punk band Pussy Riot are jailed for two years
  • 2012 Gay pride events are banned for a century in Moscow
  • 2013 15 civilians are killed by a Syrian warplane attack in Aleppo
  • 2013 18 people are killed in conflict between Boko Harem and Nigerian military

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2013 14th Athletics World Championships: Usain Bolt wins 200m

Olympic Sprinter Usain Bolt
Olympic Sprinter
Usain Bolt
  • 2014 LPGA Championship Women's Golf, Monroe GC: Defending champion Inbee Park of South Korea beats runner-up Brittany Lincicome on 1st hole of a sudden-death playoff for her 5th major title
  • 2015 Bomb blast in Bangkok at Erawan Shrine kills at least 19, injures over 100
  • 2015 2012 Olympic 1500m champion from Turkey Asli Cakir Alptekin is stripped of her gold medal for doping by the IAAF
  • 2015 World's first flower could be underwater plant Montsechia Vidalii claim US botanists (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences)
  • 2015 Discovery of 7,000 year old mass grave in Schöneck-Kilianstädten, Central Germany, published in PNAS Journal. 26 bodies bear evidence of violent conflict
  • 2016 Flood waters recede in Louisiana leaving 13 dead and damaging 4,000 homes
  • 2016 American sweep in 100m women's hurdles at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics with Brianna Rollins taking gold ahead of Nia Ali & Kristi Castlin; 1st time US has swept medals in an Olympic women's track & field event
  • 2016 Jamaican sprinter Elaine Thompson wins 200m gold medal in 21.78; wraps up 100/200m Rio de Janeiro Olympics double
  • 2016 Kenyan runner Conseslus Kipruto records an Olympic record 8:03.28 to win the men's 3,000m steeplechase gold medal at the Rio de Janeiro Games
  • 2016 German pair Laura Ludwig & Kira Walkenhorst upsets Brazilian hometown favourites Ágatha Bednarczuk & Bárbara Seixas 21–18, 21–14 to win the Olympic women's beach volleyball gold in Rio de Janeiro
  • 2017 Terror attack on Las Ramblas in Barcelona, Spain as van rams into crowds killing 16, injuring 120