August 17 in History Events, Birthdays, & News

To know what happened today in history, famous events occurred, famous birthdays, death days, legend quotes, and historical news on August 17.

August 17

Events on August 17

1590 John White, Governor of Roanoke Island, returns to find the British colony deserted and that the first white child born in America has vanished.

1896 The first pedestrian to be killed by a car is knocked down in Croydon, England – the car is travelling at just 4 mph (6.4 kph).

1945 After Japanese occupation during World War II. Indonesia declares itself a republic under the leadership of Dr Sukarno.

1973 Paul Williams, an original member of The Temptations, shoots himself dead in his car in Denver, Colorado.

1983 Death of Ira Gershwin, brother of George, who collaborated on songs such as “Lady be Good”.

1987 Donald Harvey, a former nurse’s aide, is charged with the murder of 28 people in Ohio, having admitted to more than 50 murders.

1987 Death of Rudolf Hess, Hitler’s close friend and deputy leader of the Nazi party.

1989 An Australian airliner becomes the first commercial plane to fly non-stop from London to Sydney.

1999 A massive earthquake hits north-western Turkey, killing more than 14,000 people and leaving hundreds of thousands without homes or essential services.

Famous Birthdays on August 17

Davy Crockett 1786, American frontiersman and politician.

Mae West 1892, American comedy actress, scriptwriter and international sex symbol during the 1930s: she wrote most of her own stage-plays and film scripts.

Maureen O’Hara 1920, Irish-born actress who made her mark in Hollywood with films such as The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Black Swan and The Quiet Man.

V.S. Naipaul 1932, Trinidadian writer and novelist.

Robert De Niro 1943, American actor, star of many films including The Godfather, The Deerhunter, Raging Bull and Cape Fear.

Quotes from Legend

Baseball is very big with my people. It's the only time we can get to shake a bat at a white man without starting a riot.

- Dick Gregory, US comedian, 1967.

Historical News on August 17

Golden Strike on The Klondike

1896 A massive influx of prospectors to the Yukon Territory of Canada is expected after the discovery yesterday of a major gold find at Bonanza Creek on the Klondike River.

The three men who struck lucky, George W. Carmack and his two Indian brothers-in-law, made known their good fortune at the town of Forty Mile.

Pakistan President Blown Out of The Skies

1988 General Zia ul Haq, Pakistan’s iron-fisted ruler for the past 11 years, died today when the camouflaged C-130 Hercules plane in which he was travelling crashed shortly after take-off.

ZĂ­a, 64, was on his way back to Islamabad after watching a demonstration of the capabilities of the US M1A1 Abrams tank at an army testing range near the airport of Bahawalpur.

Among the 30 people on board were the US ambassador to Pakistan, Mr Amold Raphael, and the US embassy’s military liaison officer, Brigadier General Herbert Wassom.

Pakistani and US intelligence officers suspect that the aircraft may have been downed by a bomb or ground-to- air missile.

Zia is to be succeeded by former senate chairman Ghulam Ishaq Khan.

Another Brick in The Wall of Isolation

Another brick in the wall of isolation on August 17
Another brick in the wall of isolation

1961 There seems little doubt now that the East German authorities are intent on erecting a permanent barrier between the Eastern and Wester sectors of the city.

On August 13 the East German police began to string barbed wire and set up roadblocks along the inner boundary of the eight districts of the Soviet sector of Berlin.

This temporary barrier is now being replaced with a 9-ft (2.7-m) cement wall topped with barbed wire, complete with armed sentries in watchtowers.

The decision to build the wall was taken by Communist leader Walter Ulbricht, with the backing of the Soviet Union, in the light of the continuing massive exodus of East Germans to the West, estimated to be running at around 2000 people a day.

Pugilist's Charter

1743 True to his word, champion bare-knuckle fighter Jack Broughton has published a set of rules to control boxing.

He is said to have been determined on this course since Yorkshireman George Stevenson died of injuries sustained in a gruelling bout with him two years ago.

Past practices now forbidden under the new rules include hitting an opponent when he is down, kicking, gouging, head butting and grasping an opponent below the waist.

Broughton is also responsible for introducing 10-oz (300-g, gloves, called mufflers, to protect the hands and face from bruising during training.

His gymnasium is among the many boxing establishments to benefit from the innovation which has encouraged interest in the sport from young gentlemen previously put off by the prospect of disfigurement.

1998 President Bill Clinton was today giving evidence to the Grand Jury about his relationship with a young female intern.

During the examination, President Clinton was questioned about the exact nature of his relationship with Monica Lewinsky, and whether he had previously lied under oath.

An uncomfortable President Clinton was forced to defend previous statements about his affair with Miss Lewinsky by quibbling over the precise definition of his words.

After facing the Grand Jury, the President now awaits the verdict of the American people.

Baby Snatched By Dingo

Baby snatched by dingo on August 17
Baby snatched by dingo

1980 A distraught 32-year-old mother, Lindy Chamberlain, has told Australian police of how she watched her nine-week-old baby daughter, Azaria, being carried off into the night by a dingo, a type of wild dog.

The Chamberlain family, including Azaria’s father, Michael, were camping at the legendary Ayers Rock, a sacred site used for centuries by Aborigines and now a major tourist attraction, when the snatch occurred.

Police are to mount a search of the deserted bushland beyond the campsite for traces of the missing baby.

Leave a Reply