On This Day

Birthdays in History on September 17

  • 879 Charles III "The Simple", King of France (893-923) (d. 929)
  • 1192 Minamoto no Sanetomo, Japanese 3rd shōgun of the Kamakura shogunate (d. 1219)
  • 1271 Wenceslaus II, King of Bohemia & Poland (1278-1305), born in Prague, Bohemia (d. 1305)
  • 1550 Pope Paul V [Camillo Borghese], 233rd pope (1605-21) and persecutor of Galileo, born in Rome (d. 1621)
  • 1580 Charlotte Brabantia, countess of Nassau and daughter of Willem of Orange, born in Antwerp (d. 1631)
  • 1619 John Lambert, English general-major and parliamentary leader, born in Kirkby Malham, England (d. 1684)
  • 1630 Ranuccio II Farnese, Duke of Parma, born in Parma (d. 1694)
  • 1639 Hans Herr, Swiss Mennonite bishop, born in Zürich, Switzerland (d. 1725)
  • 1643 Gilbert Burnet, Scottish philosopher and Bishop of Salisbury, born in Edinburgh, Scotland (d. 1715)
  • 1677 Stephen Hales, English physiologist, chemist and inventor (first person to measure blood pressure), born in Bekesbourne, Kent, England (d. 1761)
  • 1687 Durastante Natalucci, Italian historian (specialized in history of Trevi, in Umbria), born in Picicche di Trevi, Italy (d. 1772)
  • 1688 Maria Luisa of Savoy, Queen consort of Spain to Philip V (1701-14), born in Royal Palace of Turin, Savoy (d. 1714)
  • 1714 Gottlieb Rabener, German author (Vom Misbrauch of the Satire), born in Wachau, Germany (d. 1771)

Person of interestFriedrich Wilhelm von Steuben

1730 Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, Prussian-American military officer (major general of the Continental Army), born in Magdeburg (d. 1794)

Major General of the Continental Army Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben
Major General of the Continental Army
Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben
  • 1739 John Rutledge, American 2nd Chief Justice of the United States, born in Charleston, South Carolina, British America (d. 1800)
  • 1743 Marie Jean Antoine Nicolas de Caritat, Marquis of Condorcet, French enlightenment philosopher and mathematician, born in Ribemont, Picardy, France (d. 1794)

Person of interestMarquis de Condorcet

1743 Marquis de Condorcet, French enlightenment philosopher (Condorcet Method), born in Ribemont, France (d. 1794)

Enlightenment Philosopher Marquis de Condorcet
Enlightenment Philosopher
Marquis de Condorcet
  • 1764 John Goodricke, English deaf astronomer (first to notice that some variable stars were periodic), born in Groningen, Netherlands (d. 1786)
  • 1771 Johann August Apel, German jurist and writer, born in Leipzig, Germany (d. 1816)
  • 1774 Giuseppe Caspar Mezzofanti, Italian cardinal, linguist and hyperpolyglot (understood 70 languages), born in Bologna, Italy (d. 1849)
  • 1783 Samuel Prout, British water color painter, born in Plymouth, England (d. 1852)
  • 1798 Antonio Benedetto Antonucci, Italian cardinal and diplomat, born in Subiaco, Italy (d. 1879)
  • 1800 Franklin Buchanan, American first superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, born in Baltimore, Maryland (d. 1874)
  • 1801 Edward William Lane, British lexicographer and translator (One Thousand & One Nights), born in Hereford, England (d. 1876)
  • 1819 Leon Foucault, French physicist (pendulum proved Earth rotates), born in Paris (d. 1968)
  • 1819 Marthinus Wessels Pretorius, 1st president of the Republic South Africa, born in Graaff Reinet, Cape Colony (d. 1901)
  • 1820 Earl Van Dorn, American Major General (Confederate Army), born in Claiborne County, Mississippi (d. 1863)
  • 1820 Émile Augier, French dramatist, born in Valence, Drôme, Kingdom of France (d. 1889)
  • 1825 Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar, American politician and U.S. Supreme Court Justice, born in Eatonton, Georgia (d. 1893)
  • 1826 Berhard Riemann, German mathematician (zeta-function), born in Breselenz, Hanover (d. 1866)
  • 1834 Edouard Pailleron, French attorney, poet and stage writer, born in Paris, France (d. 1899)
  • 1839 Ira Erastus Davenport, American magician, claimed to be a spirit medium, born in Buffalo, New York (d. 1911)
  • 1853 Clemens Baeumker, German historian (Patristischen Philosophie), born in Paderborn, Germany (d. 1924)
  • 1854 David Dunbar Buick, Scottish-American automobile pioneer (Buick Motor Company), born in Arbroath, Angus, Scotland (d. 1929)
  • 1857 Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, Russian pioneer in rocket and space research, born in Izhevskoye, Ryazan Governorate, Russian Empire (d. 1935)
  • 1859 Frank Dawson Adams, Canadian geologist, born in Montreal, Quebec (d. 1942)

  • 1861 Owen Seaman, British poet and editor (Punch), born in Shrewsbury, England (d. 1936)
  • 1868 James Alexander Calder, Canadian politician, born in Oxford County, Ontario (d. 1956)
  • 1869 Christian Lous Lange, Norwegian pacifist and internationalist (Nobel Peace Prize 1921), born in Stavanger, Norway (d. 1938)
  • 1874 Ben Turpin, American comic (Uncle Tom Without the Cabin), born in New Orleans, Louisiana (d. 1940)
  • 1879 Periyar E. V. Ramasamy, Indian Social social activist and reformer, born in Erode, Madras Presidency, British India (d. 1973)
  • 1881 Alfred Carpenter, English Royal Navy soldier, born in Barnes, Surrey (d. 1955)
  • 1882 Anton Hendrik Blaauw, Dutch botanist (Perception of Light), born in Elst, Overbetuwe, Netherlands (d. 1942)
  • 1883 William Carlos Williams, American physician and poet, born in Rutherford, New Jersey (d. 1963)
  • 1884 Bastiaan de Gaay Fortman, Dutch historian and Justice of Curacao, born in Amsterdam (d. 1961)
  • 1890 Gabriel Heatter, American radio commentator famous for his WWII sign-on "There's good news tonight", born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 1972)
  • 1893 Abel Herzberg, Russian-Dutch Jewish lawyer and writer (Persecution of Jews), born in Amsterdam, Netherlands (d. 1989)
  • 1899 Winnie Lightner, American comedienne (Sit Tight, Side Show), born in Greenport, New York (d. 1971)
  • 1900 J. Willard Marriott, American entrepreneur and hotelier (founder of Marriott Corporation), born in Marriott Settlement, Utah (d. 1985)
  • 1901 Francis Chichester, English aviator and sailor (Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire), born in Barnstaple, Devon, England (d. 1972)

Person of interestFrederick Ashton

1904 Frederick Ashton, British choreographer (Cinderella), born in Guayaquil, Ecuador (d. 1988)

Choreographer Frederick Ashton
Choreographer
Frederick Ashton
  • 1906 J. R. [Junius Richard] Jayawardene, 2nd President of Sri Lanka (1978-89) and 7th Prime Minister of Sri Lanka (1977-78), born in Colombo, British Ceylon (d. 1996)
  • 1906 Edgar Wayburn, American environmentalist awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom 1999, born in Macon, Georgia (d. 2010)
  • 1907 Desmond Heap, British lawyer and authority on British planning law, born in Burnley, Lancashire (d. 1998)
  • 1907 Warren E. Burger, 15th Supreme Court chief justice (1969-86), born in Saint Paul, Minnesota (d. 1995)
  • 1909 Elizabeth Wilkinson, professor German University College London
  • 1909 Kenneth Darling, British Army Commander-in-chief Allied Forces, born in Bengal Presidency, British India (d. 1998)
  • 1910 Vernon Thompson, thoracic surgeon
  • 1912 Pauline Parsons, matron in chief (PMRAFNS)
  • 1914 Shin Kanemaru, Japanese politician (Deputy Prime Minister 1986-87), born in Suwa, Yamanashi Prefecture, Empire of Japan (d. 1996)
  • 1916 Mary Stewart, British sci-fi author (Crystal Cave), born in Sunderland, England (d. 2014)
  • 1916 Ove Abildgaard, Danish poet (Uglegylp), born in Lemvig, Denmark (d. 1990)
  • 1916 Oswald Garrison Villard Jr., American Engineer (electronics) who invented the over-the-horizon radar that could detect objects thousands of miles away and peer around the Earth's curvature, born in Dobbs Ferry, New York
  • 1918 Chaim Herzog, 6th President of Israel (1983-93), born in Belfast, Ireland (d. 1997)
  • 1920 Marjorie Holt, American politician (Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Maryland), born in Birmingham, Alabama (d. 2018)
  • 1921 Virgilio Barco Vargas, President of Colombia (1986-90), born in Cúcuta, Colombia
  • 1922 Agostinho Neto, 1st President of Angola (1975-79), born in Ícolo e Bengo, Portuguese Angola (d. 1979)
  • 1922 Naomi Datta, British geneticist and bacteriologist (pioneer in investigating the development of resistance to antibiotics by bacteria), born in London (d. 2008)
  • 1923 John Rigby Hale, British linguist and historian, born in Ashford, Kent (d. 1999)
  • 1926 Donald Acheson, Irish physician and Chief Medical Officer for England (1983-90), born in Belfast, Northern Ireland (d. 2010)
  • 1927 Theodore S. Weiss, American politician (Rep-D-NY, 1977-92), born in Gáva, Hungary (d. 1992)
  • 1928 Brian Matthew, British disc jockey (Saturday Club), born in Coventry (d. 2017)
  • 1929 John Stewart-Clark, British businessman and Member of the European Parliament (MEP), born in Dalmeny, Scotland
  • 1929 David Craig, Baron Craig of Radley, British marshal (RAF), born in Dublin, Ireland
  • 1930 Edgar Mitchell, NASA astronaut (Apollo 14), born in Hereford Texas (d. 2016)
  • 1930 Gwyn Francis, British Forestry commissioner
  • 1930 Thomas P. Stafford, American Air Force officer and astronaut (Gem 6 9, Ap 10 18), born in Weatherford, Oklahoma
  • 1930 Jim Rohn, American business philosopher, born in Yakima, Washington (d. 2009)
  • 1932 Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of Qatar (1972-95), born in Rayyan (d. 2016)
  • 1933 Chuck Grassley, American (Sen-R-Iowa, 1981- ), born in New Hartford, Iowa
  • 1933 Desmond Fennell, British high court judge, born in Sheffield, England (d. 2011)
  • 1935 Ken Kesey, American author (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest), born in La Junta Colorado (d. 2001)
  • 1935 Timothy Bavin, British Anglican bishop (Bishop of Portsmouth 1985-95)
  • 1936 Jennifer Dickson, South African-British artist and photographer, born in Piet Retief, South Africa
  • 1936 Mischa de Vreede, Dutch poetess (Our Eternal Hunger), born in Batavia, Dutch East Indies
  • 1936 Richard Gaskell, solicitor/president (Law Society)
  • 1937 Albertine Sarrazin, French author (L'astragale, La Cavale), born in Algiers, Algeria (d. 1967)
  • 1938 Alec Broers, British electrical engineer and master (Churchill College Cambridge), born in Calcutta, India
  • 1939 David Souter, American retired 107th Supreme Court Justice (1990-2009), born in Melrose, Massachusetts
  • 1940 Jan Eliasson, Swedish diplomat (4th Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations), born in Gothenburg, Sweden
  • 1941 Bob Matsui, American politician (Rep-D-California, 1979-2005), born in Sacramento, California (d. 2005)

  • 1942 Robert Graysmith, American Zodiac killer researcher and author, born in Pensacola, Florida
  • 1943 Samuel T. Durrance, American scientist and astronaut (STS 35, STS 67), born in Tallahassee, Florida
  • 1943 Sarah Lucas, theatre administrator (d. 1997)
  • 1944 Reinhold Messner, Italian mountain climber (Mount Everest), born in Brixen (Bressanone), Italy
  • 1946 Michael Jack, British Conservative Party politician and minister of state-home office, born in Folkestone, Kent, England
  • 1947 Jeff MacNelly, American Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist (Shoe), born in NYC, New York (d. 2000)
  • 1947 Robert Kidd, marine geoscientist
  • 1947 Tessa Jowell, British MP
  • 1948 Patricia Kluge, Baghdad Iraq, wife of Billionaire John Kluge

Person of interestNarendra Modi

1950 Narendra Modi, 15th Prime Minister of India, born in Vadnagar, Gujarat

15th Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi
15th Prime Minister of India
Narendra Modi
  • 1950 Chris Heister [Gun Christina Heister], Swedish politician, born in Östhammar, Uppsala
  • 1950 Lawrence Anthony, Johannesberg, South Africa, conservationist and author, (d. 2012)
  • 1953 Rita Rudner, comedienne (Funny People)
  • 1953 Altaf Hussain, Pakistani politician and founder of MQM
  • 1955 Mike Parson, American politician, Governor of Missouri (2018-), born in Wheatland, Missouri
  • 1956 Brian Andreas, American writer, sculptor, painter and publisher
  • 1957 David Bintley, choreographer
  • 1961 Pamela Ann Melroy, Major USAF/astronaut (sk:STS 92), born in Palo Alto, California
  • 1963 Rami Saari, Israeli poet and translator
  • 1963 Michael Adler, American businessman
  • 1963 Wendy Northcutt, Author of the Darwin Awards
  • 1963 Amy Roloff, American reality star
  • 1965 Yuji Naka, Japanese video game programmer
  • 1968 Marie-Chantal, Crown Princess of Greece
  • 1974 Tormod Granheim, Norwegian adventurer
  • 1977 Latoya Warning, Suriname 4th Miss Teenager (1993)
  • 1982 Hope Larson, American illustrator and cartoonist
  • 1991 Jordan McCoy, American entertainer
  • 1994 Taylor Ware, American yodeler