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
- National Vanilla Custard Day
- Thrift Shop Day
- Black Cat Appreciation Day
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.
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
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