On This Day in History

This database is a source for anniversaries of world interest, searchable by day or keyword, built up by Graphic News over many year for the On This Day series of graphics.

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Event
Anniversary
17 Aug
1906
Marcello (Jose) Caetano, Portuguese ruler, born. Prime minister from 1968 until he was ousted in a coup by Antonio Spinola in April 1974Marcello (Jose) Caetano, Portuguese ruler, born. Prime minister from 1968 until he was ousted in a coup by Antonio Spinola in April 1974
111 years ago
17 Aug
1896
Gold was first discovered by George Carmack at Bonanza Creek in a tributary of Canada’s Klondike River, precipitating the famous gold rush of 1898Gold was first discovered by George Carmack at Bonanza Creek in a tributary of Canada’s Klondike River, precipitating the famous gold rush of 1898
121 years ago
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17 Aug
1893
Mae West, U.S. sex symbol and actress, born. Her Broadway performance in 'Sex' in 1926 earned her an eight-day jail term. The only actress to have an inflatable life jacket named…Mae West, U.S. sex symbol and actress, born. Her Broadway performance in 'Sex' in 1926 earned her an eight-day jail term. The only actress to have an inflatable life jacket named after her, she insisted her birth year was 1893 and not 1892 as is often recorded
124 years ago
17 Aug
1887
Charles I, last Emperor of Austria 1916-18, and king of Hungary 1916-19, bornCharles I, last Emperor of Austria 1916-18, and king of Hungary 1916-19, born
130 years ago
17 Aug
1877
American astronomer Asaph Hall discovered the first of the two small moons of Mars, later named Phobos and Deimos after the sons of Ares, the God of War in Greek mythologyAmerican astronomer Asaph Hall discovered the first of the two small moons of Mars, later named Phobos and Deimos after the sons of Ares, the God of War in Greek mythology
140 years ago
17 Aug
1876
The first performance of the complete cycle of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen ended at WeimarThe first performance of the complete cycle of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen ended at Weimar
141 years ago
17 Aug
1863
Federal ships bombarded Fort Sumter in Charleston harbour during the American Civil WarFederal ships bombarded Fort Sumter in Charleston harbour during the American Civil War
154 years ago
17 Aug
1850
Denmark ceded all forts and property rights on the Gold Coast of Africa to BritainDenmark ceded all forts and property rights on the Gold Coast of Africa to Britain
167 years ago
17 Aug
1850
Jose de San Martin, soldier, statesman and national hero of Argentina, died. With Simon Bolivar he led South America's independence movementJose de San Martin, soldier, statesman and national hero of Argentina, died. With Simon Bolivar he led South America's independence movement
167 years ago
17 Aug
1844
Menelik II, King of Ethiopia from1896 until his death in 1913, was bornMenelik II, King of Ethiopia from1896 until his death in 1913, was born
173 years ago
17 Aug
1830
Charles X of France retired to Lulworth Castle in Dorset, England after being forced to abdicate the throneCharles X of France retired to Lulworth Castle in Dorset, England after being forced to abdicate the throne
187 years ago
17 Aug
1812
Napoleon’s army defeated the Russians at the Battle of SmolenskNapoleon’s army defeated the Russians at the Battle of Smolensk
205 years ago
17 Aug
1807
The first economically viable steamship, Robert Fulton’s Clermont, began its maiden voyage, chugging up New York’s Hudson River on a successful return trip to AlbanyThe first economically viable steamship, Robert Fulton’s Clermont, began its maiden voyage, chugging up New York’s Hudson River on a successful return trip to Albany
210 years ago
17 Aug
1786
Davy Crockett, U.S. frontiersman and politician, born. U.S. congressman 1827-31, 1833-35. Killed by the Mexicans at the Alamo in March 1836Davy Crockett, U.S. frontiersman and politician, born. U.S. congressman 1827-31, 1833-35. Killed by the Mexicans at the Alamo in March 1836
231 years ago
17 Aug
1786
Frederick the Great, King of Prussia since 1740, died in Potsdam, and was succeeded by Frederick William IIFrederick the Great, King of Prussia since 1740, died in Potsdam, and was succeeded by Frederick William II
231 years ago
17 Aug
1743
The Peace of Abo was signed, ending the Russo-Swedish War of 1741-43The Peace of Abo was signed, ending the Russo-Swedish War of 1741-43
274 years ago
17 Aug
1629
John III Sobieski, King of Poland from 1674 to 1696, born. Polish hero who fought against Swedes, Turks, Tartars and CossacksJohn III Sobieski, King of Poland from 1674 to 1696, born. Polish hero who fought against Swedes, Turks, Tartars and Cossacks
388 years ago
17 Aug
1585
Spanish forces, led by the Duke of Parma, captured Antwerp after a 14-month siege during the Dutch War of LiberationSpanish forces, led by the Duke of Parma, captured Antwerp after a 14-month siege during the Dutch War of Liberation
432 years ago
17 Aug
1424
The English defeated the Scots and French at the Battle of Verneuil during the Hundred Years' WarThe English defeated the Scots and French at the Battle of Verneuil during the Hundred Years' War
593 years ago
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