Historical Events on March 17

Battle of Munda

45 BC In his last victory, Julius Caesar defeats the Pompeian forces of Titus Labienus and Pompey the Younger in the Battle of Munda

Emperor Commodus

180 Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius dies leaving his son Commodus aged 18 as sole emperor

Snakes Alive! It's St Patrick's Day

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)

  • 455 Roman senator Petronius Maximus proclaimed Emperor
  • 1190 Crusades complete massacre of Jews of York England

Duchy of Cornwall

1337 Edward the Black Prince is made Duke of Cornwall, the first Duchy made in England

  • 1452 Battle of Los Alporchones: forces of Kingdoms of Castile and Murcia defeat Emirate of Granada near Lorca, part of the Spanish Reconquista

Magellan Reaches the Philippines

1521 Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan reaches the Philippines

Event of Interest

1526 French King Francis I freed from Spain

  • 1537 French troops invade Flanders
  • 1580 Prince William I of Orange welcomed in Amsterdam
  • 1722 William IV Prince of Orange appointed mayor of Drente
  • 1756 St. Patrick's Day is first celebrated in NYC at the Crown & Thistle Tavern
  • 1757 Prince Mas Saïd of Mataram surrenders to Mangkubumi in Java
  • 1762 1st St Patrick's Day parade in NYC
  • 1775 Transylvania Land Company, headed by Richard Henderson, buys most of Kentucky through treaty signed with Cherokee chiefs at Sycamore Shoals on the Watauga River (later declared illegal)
  • 1776 British forces evacuate Boston to Nova Scotia during Revolutionary War
  • 1800 British warship HMS Queen Charlotte catches fire off the Tuscan Archipelago; 700 die
  • 1804 Friedrich Schiller's play "Wilhelm Tell" premieres
  • 1824 Britain & Netherlands sign a trade agreement

Joseph Grimaldi Bows Out

1829 Final performance by famous clown Joseph Grimaldi at a benefit performance at Sadler's Wells, London

  • 1833 Phoenix Society forms (NY)
  • 1842 Treaty of 1842: Wyandotte (Huron) Indian nation cedes 114,000 acres of land in Ohio and Michigan to US, in exchange for 148,000 acres west of the Mississippi
  • 1845 Bristol man Henry Jones patents self-raising flour
  • 1845 Rubber band patented by Stephen Perry of London
  • 1854 1st park land purchased by a US city, Worcester, Massachusetts

Japanese Embassy to the US

1860 Six years after the forcible ending of Japan's isolationist policy by US Navy Commodore Matthew C. Perry, the Japanese Embassy arrives in San Francisco to sign a Treaty of Friendship

Unification of Italy

1861 Italy is unified into a single kingdom under Victor Emmanuel II following the campaigns led by Giuseppe Garibaldi

  • 1863 Battle of Kelly's Ford, Virginia with 211 causalities
  • 1868 Postage stamp canceling machine patent issued
  • 1870 Mass legislature authorizes incorporation of Wellesley Female Seminary
  • 1871 National Association of Professional Base-Ball players organized
  • 1876 British high jump champion Marshall Jones Brooks clears 1.83m at Oxford, England for unofficial world record; thought to be first leap over 6'
  • 1876 General Crook destroy Cheyennes & Oglala-Sioux Indian camps
  • 1877 Australia's English born all-rounder Billy Midwinter completes Test cricket's first 5-wicket haul, 5-78 in the first ever Test match v England in Melbourne
  • 1884 John Joseph Montgomery makes 1st glider flight at Otay, California
  • 1886 Carrollton Massacre (Mississippi) 20 African Americans killed
  • 1891 British Steamer "Utopia" sinks off Gibraltar killing 574
  • 1893 Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup (Stanley Cup): Montreal Hockey Club claim inaugural trophy after finishing top of final Amateur Hockey Association of Canada standings with a 7–1–0 record
  • 1894 US & China sign treaty preventing Chinese laborers from entering US

Boxing Title Fight

1897 British boxer Bob Fitzsimmons KOs American champion 'Gentleman' Jim Corbett in the 14th round to win World Heavyweight title in Carson City, Nevada

1st Modern Submarine

1898 John Philip Holland achieves successful test run for the first modern submarine off Staten Island, submerging for 1 hour 40 minutes

  • 1899 Windsor luxury hotel in NYC catches fire, 92 die

Music History

1900 American modern dancer Isadora Duncan gives her first Europen performance in London, England [1]

  • 1900 In South Africa, British troops relieve Mafeking, besieged by the Boers since 13 October, 1899

Van Gogh Paintings Shown

1901 At a show in Paris, 71 Vincent van Gogh's paintings cause a sensation, 11 years after his death

  • 1901 Free thinking-Democratic Union forms in Netherlands

Quantum Theory of Light

1905 Albert Einstein finishes his scientific paper detailing his Quantum Theory of Light, one of the foundations of modern physics

  • 1906 Stanley Cup, Dey's Arena, Ottawa, ON: ECAHA playoff: Montreal Wanderers lose, 9-3 to Ottawa HC but win challenge series, 12-10 on aggregate
  • 1906 The Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity is founded at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio

Boxing Title Fight

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

  • 1912 Camp Fire Girls organization announced by Mrs Luther Halsey Gulick
  • 1913 Uruguayan Air Force is founded
  • 1917 1st exclusively women's bowling tournament begins in St Louis

Murder of Interest

1917 Albert Anastasia is convicted of murdering longshoreman George Turino

  • 1917 Delta Phi Epsilon is founded at New York University Law School
  • 1918 US Ladies' Figure Skating championship won by Rosemary Beresford

Figure Skating History

1918 US Men's Figure Skating championship won by Nathaniel Niles

  • 1919 Dutch steel workers strike for 8 hr day & minimum wages
  • 1921 Dr Marie Stopes opens Britain's 1st birth control clinic in London
  • 1921 Sailors revolt in Kronstadt (thousands die)
  • 1921 The Second Republic of Poland adopts the March Constitution

Soviet History

1921 Vladimir Lenin proclaims New Economic Politics

Theater Premiere

1924 Eugene O'Neill's play "Welded" premieres in NYC

  • 1924 Netherlands & USSR begin talks over USSR recognition
  • 1924 Sweden & USSR exchange diplomats
  • 1926 Dutch Calvinists oust Rev J G Geelkerken over Genesis 3

Music Premiere

1926 Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart's musical "The Girl Friend", starring Sammy White and Eva Puck, opens at the Vanderbilt Theatre, NYC; runs for 301 performances

  • 1926 Spain & Brazil prevent Germany joining League of Nations
  • 1927 US government doesn't sign League of Nations disarmament treaty
  • 1929 General Motors acquires German auto manufacturer Adam Opel
  • 1929 Spanish dictator Primo de Rivera closes university of Madrid
  • 1930 Construction begins of the Empire State Building, the world's 1st skyscraper of 100+ stories, on 5th Avenue in New York City

German History

1932 German police raid Adolf Hitler's Nazi headquarters

NHL Record

1932 Montreal Canadiens center Howie Morenz registers his 334th career point with an assist in a 10-4 win v NY Americans; passes Cy Denneny as NHL leader for career points

Rome Protocols

1934 Dollfuss, Mussolini & Gombos sign Donau Pact (protocols of Rome)

  • 1934 England beats Scotland, 6-3 at Twickenham, London to win the Home Nations Rugby Championship and Triple Crown
  • 1935 KSO-AM in Des Moines Iowa call sign is given to KWCR
  • 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

Military History

1942 General Doug MacArthur arrives in Australia to become supreme commander

  • 1943 Aldemarin (Ned) & Fort Cedar Lake (US) torpedoed & sinks
  • 1943 F. Hugh Herbert's "Kiss & Tell" premieres in NYC
  • 1943 Physician Willem J. Kolff performs the world's first 'hemodialysis' using his artificial kidney machine, however the treatment is unsuccessful and the patient dies, in the Netherlands
  • 1944 Mount Vesuvius in Italy erupts after months of volcanic unrest, destroying several towns near the volcano
  • 1945 Allied ships bomb North-Sumatra

Event of Interest

1947 Arnold J. Toynbee appears on the front cover of Time magazine

Event of Interest

1950 Belgian government of Gaston Eyskens resigns due to constitutional crisis

  • 1950 Element 98 (Californium) announced
  • 1951 Government of Drees takes power
  • 1951 Test cricket debut of great English fast bowler Brian Statham, England v NZ at Christchurch; goes on to play 70 Tests, 252 wickets @ 24.84

Baseball History

1953 Bill Veeck says he will sell his 80% of St Louis Browns for $2,475M

  • 1953 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1953 WBAY TV channel 2 in Green Bay, WI (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • 1953 WWLP TV channel 22 in Springfield, MA (NBC) begins broadcasting

Radio History

1955 After Maurice Richard is suspended for the remainder of the season, riots break out in Montreal. 37 people are injured and over 100 are arrested. The following morning, Richard goes on the radio to ask citizens to stop vandalizing the city.

Emmy Awards

1956 8th Emmy Awards: "The Ed Sullivan Show", "The Phil Silvers Show". Phil Silvers & Lucille Ball win

  • 1957 Dutch ban on Sunday driving lifted

Plane Crash

1957 Presidential plane crashes on Mt. Manunggal in Cebu, Philippines killing 25 including Filipino President Ramon Magsaysay

  • 1958 US Navy launches Vanguard 1 into orbit (2nd US), measures Earth shape
  • 1959 Australia & USSR restore diplomatic relations

Film Release

1960 One of the first French New Wave films, "Breathless", directed by Jean-Luc Godard, starring Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg is released in France

Event of Interest

1960 US President Eisenhower forms anti-Castro-exile army under the CIA

  • 1960 WSLA (now WAKA) TV channel 8 in Selma, AL (CBS) begins broadcasting

Event of Interest

1961 Jaguar head William Lyons debuts the first E-Type model at the Geneva International Motor Show, creating a sensation

  • 1961 NY DA arrests professional gamblers who implicate Seton Hall players
  • 1961 South Africa leaves British Commonwealth


1963 Elizabeth Ann Seton of NY beatified (canonized in 1975)

  • 1963 Eruptions of Mount Agung on Bali, kills 1,900 Balinese
  • 1965 Beatles announce their second film is titled "8 Arms to Hold You" ; later changed to "Help!"
  • 1966 South Africa's government bans Defense & Aid Fund
  • 1966 US submarine locates missing hydrogen bomb on the Mediterranean sea floor
  • 1967 British harpist Shiela Bromberg plays with string section for the Sgt. Pepper track "She's Leaving Home", becomes the first female to perform on a Beatles recording
  • 1968 2-tiered gold price negotiated in Washington, D.C. by US & 6 European nations

Television Debut

1968 Bee Gees make their US TV debut on "The Ed Sullivan Show" performing "To Love Somebody" and "Words"

Israeli History

1969 Golda Meir becomes Israel's 4th Prime Minister, the first and only female to hold the office

  • 1970 Peter O'Malley becomes CEO of LA Dodgers
  • 1970 US casts their 1st UN Security Council veto (Support England)
  • 1971 Government of Trygve Bratteli takes office in Norway

Back off Boogaloo

1972 Ringo Starr releases single "Back off Boogaloo" in the UK

British History

1973 Queen Elizabeth II opens new London Bridge

Iran Nationalizes its Oil

1973 Shah of Iran Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and a consortium of Western firms led by British Petroleum agree to the formal nationalization of Iran's oil industry in return for an assured 20-year supply of Iranian oil

  • 1973 St. Patrick's Day marchers carry 14 coffins commemorating Bloody Sunday
  • 1975 Valeri Muratov skates world record 1000m (1:16.92)
  • 1976 4 Catholic civilians (including 2 children) are killed and twelve wounded when the Ulster Volunteer Force explode a car bomb at Hillcrest Bar, Dungannon
  • 1976 Boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter is retried in the US after being convicted of murder in 1967 (sentence is upheld but overturned 1985)
  • 1976 Malikov skates world record 1000m (1:15.76)
  • 1976 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1977 Australia wins cricket Centenary Test by 45 runs, same result as 1877
  • 1978 Amoco Cadiz tanker spills 1.6 mil gallons of oil off French coast
  • 1978 Reds don green uniforms for St Patricks Day
  • 1979 Ice Dance Championship at Vienna won by N Linichuk & G Karponosov USSR
  • 1979 Ice Pairs Championship at Vienna won by Tai Babilonia & R Gardner USA
  • 1979 Men's Figure Skating Champ in Vienna won by Vladimir Kovalev (USSR)
  • 1979 The Penmanshiel Tunnel in Berwickshire, Scotland, collapses during engineering works, killing two workers
  • 1979 Wales beats England, 27-3 at the National Stadium, Cardiff for its 2nd consecutive Five Nations Rugby Championship and record 21st outright title; record 4th straight Triple Crown
  • 1979 Worlds Ladies' Figure Skating Champ in Vienna won by Linda Fratianne
  • 1981 FC Lisse, Dutch soccer team forms
  • 1982 4 Dutch TV crew members shot dead in El Salvador

NBA History

1983 70th hat trick in Islander history-Mike Bossy

  • 1984 Scotland beats France, 21-12 at Murrayfield to win the Five Nations Rugby Championship outright and Triple Crown for first time since 1938; Grand Slam first time since 1925

Sports History

1985 Matti Nykanen of Finland set a world ski jump record of 623'

  • 1986 Haemers gang robs gold transport in Belgium of 35 million BF
  • 1987 IBM releases PC-DOS version 3.3

Cricket History

1987 Sunil Gavaskar ends his Test career with an innings of 96 v Pak

  • 1988 "Les Miserables" opens at Det Norske Teatret, Oslo
  • 1988 Iran says Iraq uses poison gas
  • 1988 Then highest scoring NCAA basketball game to date; Loyola-Marymont 119, Wyoming 115
  • 1989 "Chu Chem" opens at Ritz Theater NYC for 44 performances
  • 1989 Dorothy Cudahy is 1st female grand marshal of St. Patrick Day Parade
  • 1990 PBA National Championship Won by Jim Pencak
  • 1990 Scotland beats England, 13-7 at Murrayfield, Edinburgh for it's 14th outright Five Nations Rugby Championship, 3rd Grand Slam title and 10th Triple Crown

BAFTA Awards

1991 44th British Film and Television Awards (BAFTAs): "Goodfellas" Best Film, Martin Scorsese Best Director

  • 1991 9 of 15 Soviet reps officially approve new union treaty
  • 1991 Irish Lesbians & Gays march in St. Patrick's Day parade
  • 1991 John Robin Baitz' "Substance of Fire" premieres in NYC
  • 1991 New Jersey raises turnpike tolls 70%
  • 1992 "Death & the Maiden" opens at Brooks Atkinson NYC for 159 performances

People's Choice Awards

1992 18th People's Choice Awards: Kevin Costner & Julia Roberts win (Dramatic Motion Picture) and Bill Cosby & Candice Bergen win (TV)

  • 1992 Islamic Jihad car bombing of Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina kills 29 [1]
  • 1992 Russian manned space craft TM-14, launches into orbit

Important Vote

1992 South African President F. W. de Klerk wins a white only referendum

  • 1992 South African referendum of white voters on an end to apartheid, over two-thirds vote for an end to the system

People's Choice Awards

1993 19th People's Choice Awards: Kevin Costner & Demi Moore win (Dramatic Motion Picture) and Tim Allen & Candice Bergen win (TV)

  • 1993 86 killed by bomb attack in Calcutta
  • 1994 "Little More Magic" opens at Belasco Theater NYC for 30 performances
  • 1994 Iran transport aircraft crashes in Azerbaijan (32 killed)
  • 1994 It is announced there is no smoking in Cleveland Indians new ballpark
  • 1995 British pound hits 2.4545 to Dutch guilder (record)

Gerry Adams at the White House

1995 Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams visits the White House in Washington, D.C.

  • 1995 US approves 1st chicken pox vaccine, Varivax by Merck & Co
  • 1996 "Bus Stop" closes at Circle in Sq Theater NYC after 29 performances
  • 1996 "Getting Away With Murder" opens at Broadhurst NYC for 17 performances

Cricket World Cup

1996 Cricket World Cup, Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore, Pakistan: Aravinda de Silva scores 107 no and takes 3/42 as Sri Lanka beats Australia by 7 wickets; Sanath Jayasuriya, Player of Series

  • 1997 CNN begin Spanish broadcasts
  • 2000 The 800+ deaths of members of the Ugandan cult Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God is considered to be a mass murder and suicide orchestrated by leaders of the cult
  • 2001 OPEC decides to cut output by 4% or 1 million barrels per day, effective April 1


2002 WrestleMania XVIII, Skydome, Toronto, ON (68,237): Triple H beats Chris Jericho for the undisputed WWF Heavyweight title

  • 2003 British Cabinet Minister Robin Cook, resigns over government plans for the war with Iraq.
  • 2004 Unrest in Kosovo results in more than 22 killed, 200 wounded, and the destruction of 35 Serb Orthodox shrines in Kosovo and two mosques in Belgrade and Nis.
  • 2008 New York State Governor Eliot Spitzer resigns after a scandal involving a high-end prostitute. David Paterson becomes acting New York State governor.
  • 2008 The popular online game for children, Fantage, is launched
  • 2012 Bolton Wanderer footballer Fabrice Muamba collapses and is rushed to hospital during a live football match against Tottenham Hotspur
  • 2012 MESSENGER spacecraft begins its extended mission
  • 2012 Wales beats France, 16-9 at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff to wrap up the Grand Slam and win the Six Nations Rugby Championship; Welsh fullback Leigh Halfpenny kicks 3 penalties and a conversion
  • 2013 10 people are killed by a car bombing in Basra, Iraq
  • 2013 54th SEC Men's Basketball Tournament: Ole Miss beats Florida, 66-63
  • 2013 60th ACC Men's Basketball Tournament: Miami beats North Carolina, 87-77

Event of Interest

2013 Pope Francis delivers his first Angelus prayer and blessing

  • 2013 Toyo Ito wins the 2013 Pritzker Architecture Prize

Music Single

2014 Sia releases her single "Chandelier" with a music video featuring Maddie Ziegler

  • 2014 The Republic of Crimea is declared
  • 2016 Archaeologists announce the discovery of an 2,500 year old iron age warrior king burial ground, with 75 graves in Pocklington, Northern England

Operation Car Wash

2016 Brazilian federal judge blocks swearing-in of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva as Chief of Staff to President Dilma Rousseff, as part of "Car Wash" controversy

Beauty and the Beast

2017 Live-action remake "Beauty and the Beast" directed by Bill Condon and starring Emma Watson opens

  • 2018 Africa's only female head of state, Mauritian President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim confirms she is resigning amid an expenses scandal
  • 2018 China's National People's Congress appoints Wang Qishan as vice-president
  • 2018 Ireland beats England, 24-15 at Twickenham to wrap up Six Nations Rugby Championship; 3rd Grand Slam & 11th Triple Crown

Meeting of Interest

2019 Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro arrives in the US for face-to-face meetings with Donald Trump