History of 17 August
1903 – Joseph Pulitzer donated a million dollars to Columbia University. This started the Pulitzer Prizes in his name.
1915 – Charles F. Kettering received a patent for the first electric ignition device.
1939 – The movie “Wizard of Oz” premiered in New York. It had premiered in Hollywood on August 15.
1943 – The Allied conquest of Sicily was completed as U.S. and British forces entered Messina.
1945 – The nationalists of Indonesia declared its independence from the Netherlands.
1961 – The Communist East German government completed the construction of the Berlin Wall.
1973 – Lee Trevino got the first hole in one of his careers at the U.S.I. Golf Classic, in Sutton, MA.
1977 – Florists Transworld Delivery (FTD) reported that in one day the number of orders for flowers to be delivered to Graceland had surpassed the number for any other event in the company’s history.
1978 – Maxie Anderson, Ben Abruzzo, and Larry Newman became the first to land after a successful trans-Atlantic balloon flight. The voyage began in Presque Isle, ME and ended in Misery, France.
1982 – The U.S. Senate approved an immigration bill that granted permanent resident status to illegal aliens who had arrived in the United States before 1977.
1985 – A year-long strike began when 1,400 Geo. A. Hormel and Co. meatpackers walked off the job.
1987 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 2,700 for the first time.
1992 – Woody Allen admitted to being romantically involved with Soon-Yi Previn. The girl was the adopted daughter of Mia Farrow, Allen’s longtime companion.
1996 – A military cargo plane crashed in Wyoming killing eight crewmembers and a Secret Service employee. The plane was carrying gear for U.S. President Clinton.
1996 – Ross Perot was announced to be the Reform Party’s presidential candidate. It was the party’s first-ever candidate.
1998 – U.S. President Clinton admitted to having an improper relationship with Monica Lewinsky, a White House intern.
1998 – NationsBank and BankAmerica merge to create the largest U.S. bank.
1998 – Russia devalued the ruble.
2002 – In Santa Rosa, CA, the Charles M. Schulz Museum opened to the public.
2004 – The National Assembly of Serbia unanimously adopts new state symbols for Serbia: Boze paravde becomes the new anthem and the coat of arms is adopted for the whole country.
2005 – The first forced evacuation of settlers, as part of Israeli disengagement from Gaza, starts.
2005 – Over 500 bombs are set off by terrorists at 300 locations in 63 out of the 64 districts of Bangladesh
2008 – American swimmer Michael Phelps becomes the first person to win eight gold medals at one Olympic Games.
2009 – An accident at the Sayano-Shushenskaya Dam in Khakassia, Russia, kills 75 and shuts down the hydroelectric power station, leading to a widespread power failure in the local area.
2015 – A bomb explodes near the Erawan Shrine in Bangkok, Thailand, killing at least 19 people and injuring 123 others.
2017 – Barcelona attacks: A van is driven into pedestrians in La Rambla, killing 14 and injuring at least 100.
2019 – A bomb explodes at a wedding in Kabul killing 63 people and leaving 182 injured.
Celebrating Birthday Today
- 1982 – Phil Jagielka, English footballer
- 1982 – Cheerleader Melissa, American wrestler, and manager
- 1982 – Mark Salling, American actor and musician (d. 2018)
- 1983 – Dustin Pedroia, American baseball player
- 1984 – Dee Brown, American basketball player
- 1984 – Oksana Domnina, Russian ice dancer
- 1984 – Garrett Wolfe, American football player
- 1985 – Yu Aoi, Japanese actress, and model
- 1986 – Rudy Gay, American basketball player
- 1986 – Tyrus Thomas, American basketball player
- 1988 – Natalie Sandtorv, Norwegian singer-songwriter
- 1988 – Jihadi John, Kuwaiti-British member of ISIS (d. 2015)
- 1988 – Erika Toda, Japanese actress
- 1992 – Alex Elisala, New Zealand-Australian rugby player (d. 2013)
- 1992 – Chanel Matautia, Australian rugby league player
- 1992 – Paige, English wrestler
- 1993 – Ederson Moraes, Brazilian footballer
- 1993 – Sarah Sjöström, Swedish swimmer
- 1994 – Phoebe Bridgers, American singer/songwriter
- 1995 – Gracie Gold, American figure skater
- 1995 – Dallin Watene-Zeleznik, New Zealand rugby league player
- 1996 – Jake Virtanen, Canadian ice hockey player
- 2000 – Lil Pump, American rapper and songwriter