Events in History on March 17

Victory in Battle

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

Roman Empire

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

Historic Event

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

Historic Event

1521 Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan reaches the Philippines

  • 1526 French King Francis I freed from Spain
  • 1537 French troops invade Flanders
  • 1580 Prince Willem of Orange welcomed in Amsterdam

Historic Event

1658 Pro-Charles II plot in England discovered

  • 1722 Willem KH Friso 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
  • 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

Treaty of Interest

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

Historic Event

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 General Crook destroy Cheyennes & Oglala-Sioux Indian camps
  • 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
  • 1894 US & China sign treaty preventing Chinese laborers from entering US

Historic Event

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

Historic Event

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

Historic Event

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

  • 1906 The Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity is founded at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio
  • 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
  • 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

Historic Event

1921 Vladimir Lenin proclaims New Economic Politics

Historic Event

1924 Eugene O'Neill's "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
  • 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

Historic Event

1932 German police raid Adolf Hitler's Nazi headquarters

Treaty of Interest

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

  • 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

Historic Event

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

Historic Event

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

Historic Event

1950 Belgian government of Gaston Eyskens resigns due to constitutional crisis

  • 1950 Element 98 (Californium) announced
  • 1951 Government of Drees takes power
  • 1953 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • 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

Historic Event

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

Historic Event

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
  • 1966 South Africa's government bans Defense & Aid Fund
  • 1966 US submarine locates missing hydrogen bomb on the Mediterranean sea floor
  • 1968 2-tiered gold price negotiated in Washington, D.C. by US & 6 European nations

Historic Event

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

  • 1970 US casts their 1st UN Security Council veto (Support England)
  • 1971 Government of Trygve Bratteli takes office in Norway

Historic Event

1973 Queen Elizabeth II opens new London Bridge

  • 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 Malikov skates world record 1000m (1:15.76)
  • 1976 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • 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 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 Worlds Ladies' Figure Skating Champ in Vienna won by Linda Fratianne
  • 1982 4 Dutch TV crew members shot dead in El Salvador
  • 1986 Haemers gang robs gold transport in Belgium of 35 million BF
  • 1987 IBM releases PC-DOS version 3.3
  • 1988 Iran says Iraq uses poison gas
  • 1989 Dorothy Cudahy is 1st female grand marshal of St. Patrick Day Parade
  • 1990 PBA National Championship Won by Jim Pencak
  • 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 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
  • 1993 86 killed by bomb attack in Calcutta
  • 1994 Iran transport aircraft crashes in Azerbaijan (32 killed)
  • 1995 British pound hits 2.4545 to Dutch guilder (record)

Historic Event

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
  • 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
  • 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 MESSENGER spacecraft begins its extended mission
  • 2013 10 people are killed by a car bombing in Basra, Iraq

Historic Event

2013 Pope Francis delivers his first Angelus prayer and blessing

  • 2013 Toyo Ito wins the 2013 Pritzker Architecture Prize
  • 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

Historic Event

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

  • 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

Historic Event

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

  • 2019 Flash flooding and a landslides kills at least 73 and injures about 60 in Sentani and Jayapura, Papua, eastern Indonesia
  • 2019 US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announces her presidential bid
  • 2019 Zimbabwe declares a state of emergency after Cyclone Idai tears through eastern Zimbabwe killing at least 259
  • 2020 Chad begins repaying a $100 million debt to Angola with cattle, as more than 1,000 cows arrive in Luanda
  • 2020 European Union announces a 30-day ban on entering its 26 countries for almost all travelers as it struggles to contain COVID-19
  • 2020 UEFA announces the postponement of its flagship national team football competition, UEFA EURO 2020, due to be played in June / July due to the COVID-19 emergency

Historic Event

2022 Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari apologies for recent fuel shortages and power outages, including the failure of the national electricity grid and an increase in adulterated fuel [1]