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On August 17th...
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Independence Day (Indonesia)
1563 King Charles IX of France was declared an adult, at age 13.
1577 The Peace of Bergerac guaranteed political rights to Huguenots.
frontiersman-politician David Crockett was born.
1787 Jews in Budapest, Hungary, were given permission to pray in groups.
1788 Cincinnati, Ohio, was founded, as Losantville.
1807 Robert Fulton successfully demonstrated the world's first commercially successful steamboat, the Clermont.
1809 Matthew Boulton, factory operator and innovator, died.
1846 U. S. Navy Commodore Robert F. Stockton annexed California.
1850 Latin American revolutionary José de San Martín died.
1858 The first bank in Hawaii opened.
1859 The first air mail by balloon took off from Lafayette, Indiana.
1863 Federal batteries and ships bombarded Fort Sumter, in Charleston, South Carolina.
1864 Confederate forces retook Gainesville, Florida.
1869 Oxford defeated Harvard on the River Thames in the first ever international boat race.
1870 Mount Rainier was ascended for the first
1877 Asaph Hall discovered Mars' moon Phobos.
1879 Ferdinand de Lesseps formed the French Panama Canal Company.
Construction of the Washington Monument began.
1882 Film producer Samuel Goldwyn was born.
1883 The national anthem of the Dominican Republic, Himno Nacional, was performed in public for the first time.
1887 Activist Marcus Garvey was born.
1891 The automobile electric self-starter was patented.
1893 Actress Mae West was born.
1896 Gold was discovered on the Klondike River in Alaska.
1897 W. B. Purvis patented the electric railway switch.
1905 An expedition led by Roald Amundsen became the first to sail through the Northwest Passage.
1908 The first cartoon, Fantasmagorie, was shown in a Paris movie theater.
1913 Mark Felt, FBI official who admitted to being Watergate informant "Deep Throat," was born.
1914 Lithuania surrendered to Germany.
1915 Charles F. Kettering received a patent for an electric automobile starter.
1918 Samuel Riddle bought Man O'War for $5,000.
1920 Actress Maureen O'Hara was born.
1927 The Woolaroc, a Travel Air MA5000, won the Dole Race to Hawaii.
1929 Francis Gary Powers, U-2 spy plane pilot shot down over the Soviet Union, was born.
1933 Lou Gehrig broke a record by playing in his 1,308th straight game.
1939 Wizard of Oz opened at Loew's Capitol Theater in New York City, New York.
1940 The United States and Canada arranged for the joint defense of North America.
1942 U. S. bombers staged their first independent raid on Europe, attacking Rouen, France.
1943 U. S. General George S. Patton
and his 7th Army arrived in Messina, Sicily.
1945 Indonesia declared its independence from The Netherlands.
1958 Singer Belinda Carlisle was born.
1959 Yellowstone National Park was struck by a 7.1-magnitude earthquake.
1960 The spy trial of U-2 pilot
Francis Gary Powers opened in Moscow, Russia.
1961 Construction of the
Berlin Wall began.
1962 The Beatles replaced Pete Best with Ringo Starr.
1969 Singer Donnie Wahlberg was born.
1973 Singer Paul Williams died.
1974 Film producer Samuel Goldwyn died.
1978 The Double Eagle II completed the first manned transatlantic balloon flight.
1979 Actress Vivian Vance died.
1983 Songwriter Ira Gershwin died.
1990 Singer Pearl Bailey died.
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This page was last updated on August 16, 2018.