Wikipedia defines history as the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. It came from the Greek word ‘historia’ – which means ‘inquiry, knowledge acquired by investigation’.

Did you know? There are many who claim Herodotus, a fifth century BC Greek historian, as the “father of history”.

This website utilizes pages from Wikipedia to extract historical events from 3761 BC up to the present. There are 105,062 records in the database that include events, births and deaths of popular individuals. The present day Gregorian calendar was adopted to show dates of interest.

Let us begin with today’s history. You may also enter a specific day using the form on the right sidebar.

What are the important events that happened on August 17? Here are historical events, facts, and some myths about this day.

August 17: Facts & Myths About This Day

August 17 is the 229th day of the year 2017 in the Gregorian calendar. There are 136 days remaining until the end of this year. The day of the week is Thursday.

Under the Julian calendar, this day is August 4, 2017 – a Thursday. Both day of the week are the same but did you notice the difference with the Gregorian calendar?

When this day started, 1,502,928,000 seconds has elapsed since midnight of January 1, 1970 – the Unix epoch.

Strange as it may, if we name this day after a polygon then it will be called ‘dihectaicosaenneagon’ day.

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Leo is the zodiac sign of a person born on this day. Peridot is the modern birthstone for this month. Diamond is the mystical birthstone from Tibetan origin that dates back over a thousand years.

According to the lunisolar Chinese calendar, there are 186 days remaining before the start of the next Chinese New Year.

The ancient Maya civilization believes that the end of the world will happen on December 21, 2012. There are now 1,700 days since this fabled cataclysmic event.

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August 17 Historical Events

  • 1807
    Robert Fulton’s North River Steamboat leaves New York City for Albany, New York on the Hudson River, inaugurating the first commercial steamboat service in the world.
  • 1883
    The first public performance of the Dominican Republic’s national anthem, Himno Nacional.
  • 1953
    Addiction: First meeting of Narcotics Anonymous in Southern California.
  • 1978
    Double Eagle II becomes first balloon to cross the Atlantic Ocean when it lands in Miserey near Paris, 137 hours after leaving Presque Isle, Maine.
  • 1988
    Pakistani President Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq and U.S. Ambassador Arnold Raphel are killed in a plane crash.

Who were born on August 17?

  • 1686
    Nicola Porpora, Italian composer (d. 1768)
  • 1880
    Percy Sherwell, South African cricketer (d. 1948)
  • 1960
    Sean Penn, American actor and director
  • 1968
    Helen McCrory, English actress
  • 1971
    Jorge Posada, Puerto Rican baseball player

Who died on August 17?

  • 1657
    Robert Blake, British admiral (b. 1599)
  • 1935
    Charlotte Perkins Gilman, American feminist and writer (b. 1860)
  • 1954
    Billy Murray, American recording artist (b. 1877)
  • 1983
    Ira Gershwin, American lyricist (b. 1896)
  • 1988
    Victoria Shaw, Australian-born American actress (b. 1935)

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