17 August

August 17 is the 229th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar; 136 days remain until the end of the year.

We have some interesting facts & historic events all about August 17th, including areas in religion, crime, health and more.

Keep reading for more interesting facts about August 17th in history!

Table of Contents

  1. Global Celebrations
  2. Historic Events
  3. Famous Birthdays
  4. Heartbreaking Deaths

Global Celebrations

  • National Vanilla Custard Day
  • Thrift Shop Day
  • Black Cat Appreciation Day

Historic Events

What Happened On This Day – August 17

2008: Michael Phelps Earns his 8th Gold Medal in the 2008 Olympics

The American champion swimmer won the medal in the 4×100-meter medley relay race in the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. With this medal, he broke the record for the most gold medals won by a person in a single Olympic games, a record previously held by American swimmer Mark Spitz.

1978: Ben Abruzzo, Maxie Anderson, and Larry Newman become the first people to complete the world’s First Transatlantic Balloon Flight

The feat was accomplished in a balloon called the Double Eagle II. It took Abruzzo, Anderson, and Newman 6 days to fly from Preque Isle, Maine to a barley field near Paris.

1970: Venera 7 launched by the Soviet Union

Launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan Venera 7 became the first spacecraft to land on another planet, Venus, and send data back to Earth. It entered Venus’ atmosphere in December 1970.

1960: Gabon gains independence from the French

France had occupied Gabon since the latter part of the 1800’s. In 1910, the Equatorial country was added to French Equatorial Africa, a federation of France’s Central African colonies. From 1934 to 1958, French Equatorial Africa was considered by France as an unified colony.

Famous Birthdays

Births On This Day, August 17

1960: Sean Penn, American actor, director

1949: Norm Coleman, American politician

1943: Robert De Niro, American actor

1911: Mikhail Botvinnik, Russian chess player

1786: Davy Crockett, American soldier, politician

Heartbreaking Deaths

Deaths On This Day, August 17

1988: Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, Pakistani politician, 6th President of Pakistan

1935: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, American sociologist, novelist

1880: Ole Bull, Norwegian violinist, composer

1850: José de San Martín, Argentinian general, politician, 1st President of Peru

1786: Frederick the Great, Prussian king

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