This was 229th day of the year and 136 days remained in the year.

August 17 Birthdays

Pierre de Fermat
1601–65, French mathematician.

William Carey
missionary (1761)

Davy Crockett
frontiersman (1786)

Marcus Garvey
black nationalist leader (1887)

Mae West
American comedienne (1893)

Ted Hughes
poet (1930)

V. S. Naipaul
author (1932)

Robert De Niro
film actor (1943)

Sean Penn
actor, producer, director (1960)

August 17 in History


Robert Fulton's steamboat, the Clermont, began its trip up the Hudson River to Albany.


Fort Sumter, S.C. was bombarded by Union ships during the Civil War.


Prospectors found gold in Alaska, a discovery that set off the Klondike gold rush.


Indonesian nationalists proclaimed independence from the Netherlands.


18-year-old Peter Fechter was shot and killed by guards at the Berlin Wall, spurring riots.


Hurricane Camille devastated the Gulf Coast, killing 248 people.


The first successful trans-Atlantic balloon flight landed outside of Paris.


Rudolf Hess, Adolf Hitler's second in command, committed suicide.


U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps won his eighth gold medal, breaking the record set by Mark Spitz in the 1972 Games. Phelps also set the record for the most golds in a single Olympics.

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Note: Dates in the Islamic calendar are provided for planning purposes only, and calculated with the hdate Islamic calendar program for moonrise in Boston, Masschusetts. Depending on your location and other factors, this result may differ from actual religious observances by one day. Please consult your local religious authority for any religious determinations of hejiric date.