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>> On This Day
On August 17th...
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1577 The Peace of Bergerac guaranteed political rights to Huguenots.
American frontiersman-politician David Crockett was born.
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. forces took Los Angeles.
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 Sumpter, in Charleston, South Carolina.
1864 Confederate forces retook Gainesville, Florida.
1870 Mount Rainier was ascended for the first time.
1879 Ferdinand de Lesseps formed the French Panama Canal Company.
Construction of the Washington Monument began.
1882 Film producer Samuel Goldwyn was born.
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.
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.
General George S. Patton and his 7th Army arrived in
Messina several hours before British Field Marshal
Bernard L. Montgomery and his 8th Army, completing the
Allied Conquest of 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.
spy trial of U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers opened in
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 III completed the first manned transatlantic balloon flight when it landed in a barley field near Paris, 137 hours after lifting off from Presque Isle, Maine.
1979 Actress Vivian Vance died.
1983 Songwriter Ira Gershwin died.
1990 Singer Pearl Bailey died.
This page was last updated on February 24, 2017.