On This Day in History March 17

March 17 – Events:
• 45 BC – In his last victory, Julius Caesar defeats the Pompeian forces of Titus Labienus and Pompey the Younger in the Battle of Munda.
• 180 – Marcus Aurelius dies. Commodus is now the only emperor.
• 624 – Muhammad wins a key victory over his Meccan adversaries in the Battle of Badr.
• 1337 – Edward, the Black Prince is made Duke of Cornwall, the first Duchy made in England.
• 1577 – The Cathay Company is formed to send Martin Frobisher back to the New World for more gold.
• 1756 – St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated in New York City for the first time (at the Crown and Thistle Tavern).
• 1776 – American Revolution: British forces evacuate Boston, Massachusetts after George Washington and Henry Knox place artillery overlooking the city.
• 1805 – The Italian Republic, with Napoleon as president, becomes the Kingdom of Italy, with Napoleon as King.
• 1845 – The rubber band is patented.
• 1861 – The Kingdom of Italy (1861-1946) is proclaimed.
• 1886 – Carrollton Massacre: 20 African Americans are killed in Mississippi.
• 1891 – The British steamship SS Utopia sinks off the coast of Gibraltar, killing 574.
• 1901 – A showing of 71 Vincent van Gogh paintings in Paris, 11 years after his death, creates a sensation.
• 1906 – The Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity is founded at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.
• 1910 – Luther Gulick and his wife Charlotte found Camp Fire Girls (now Camp Fire USA) (formally announced in 1912).
• 1913 – The Uruguayan Air Force is founded.
• 1917 – Delta Phi Epsilon is founded at New York University Law School.
• 1921 – The Second Republic of Poland adopts the March Constitution.
• 1939 – Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945): The Battle of Nanchang between the Kuomintang and the Japanese breaks out.
• 1941 – In Washington, DC, the National Gallery of Art is officially opened by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
• 1942 – Holocaust: The first Jews from the Lviv Ghetto (western Ukraine) are gassed at the Belzec death camp (eastern Poland).
• 1945 – The strategically important captured railway Bridge at Remagen, having sped the end of WW-II, but ironically no longer taking artillery fire, collapses ten days into the battle rendering the lodgement on the Germany bank of the Rhine dependent entirely on pontoon bridges.
• 1948 – Benelux, France, and the United Kingdom sign the Treaty of Brussels, a precursor to the NATO Agreement.
• 1950 – University of California, Berkeley researchers announce the creation of element 98, which they name “Californium.”
• 1958 – The United States launches the Vanguard 1 satellite.
• 1959 – Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, flees Tibet for India.
• 1960 – U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs the National Security Council directive on the anti-Cuban covert action program that will ultimately lead to the Bay of Pigs Invasion.
• 1966 – Off the coast of Spain in the Mediterranean, the Alvin submarine finds a missing American hydrogen bomb.
• 1969 – Golda Meir becomes the first female Prime Minister of Israel.
• 1973 – The Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph Burst of Joy is taken, depicting a former prisoner of war being reunited with his family.
• 1979 – The Penmanshiel Tunnel collapses during engineering works, killing two workers.
• 1985 – Serial killer Richard Ramirez, the “Night Stalker,” commits his first two murders in Los Angeles, California murder spree.
• 1988 – A Colombian Boeing 727 jetliner, Avianca Flight 410, crashes into a mountainside near the Venezuelan border killing 143.
• 1988 – Eritrean War of Independence: The Nadew Command, an Ethiopian army corps in Eritrea, is attacked on three sides by military units of the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF) in the opening action of the Battle of Afabet.
• 1992 – A suicide car-bomb kills 29 and injures 242 at the Israeli Embassy attack in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
March 17 – Birthdays:
• 1231 – Emperor Shijo of Japan (d. 1242)
• 1473 – King James IV of Scotland (d. 1513)
• 1628 – François Girardon, French sculptor (d. 1715)
• 1676 – Thomas Boston, Scottish church leader (d. 1732)
• 1725 – Lachlan McIntosh, Scottish-born American military and political leader (d. 1806)
• 1777 – Roger Brooke Taney, 5th Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court (d. 1864)
• 1780 – Thomas Chalmers, Scottish pastor, social reformer, author, and scientist (d. 1847)
• 1787 – Edmund Kean, English actor (d. 1833)
• 1804 – Jim Bridger, American trapper and explorer (d. 1881)
• 1820 – Jean Ingelow, English poet (d. 1897)
• 1834 – Gottlieb Daimler, German engineer and inventor (d. 1900)
• 1846 – Kate Greenaway, English children’s author and illustrator (d. 1901)
• 1856 – Mikhail Vrubel, Russian painter (d. 1910)
• 1862 – Silvio Gesell, Belgian economist (d. 1930)
• 1866 – Pierce Butler, Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (d. 1939)
• 1870 – Horace Donisthorpe, British entomologist (d. 1951)
• 1880 – Sir Patrick Hastings, British barrister (d. 1952)
• 1880 – Lawrence Oates, English army officer and Antarctic explorer (d. 1912)
• 1881 – Walter Rudolf Hess, Swiss physiologist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1973)
• 1883 – Urmuz, Romanian writer (d. 1923)
• 1884 – Alcide Nunez, American jazz clarinetist (d. 1934)
• 1886 – Princess Patricia of Connaught, British princess (d. 1974)
• 1888 – Paul Ramadier, French politician (d. 1961)
• 1892 – Benjamin Drake Van Wissen, Australian Engineer (d. 1984)
• 1894 – Paul Green, American writer (d. 1981)
• 1897 – Jozef C. Mazur, American stained glass artist and painter (d. 1970)
• 1901 – Alfred Newman, American film composer (d. 1970)
• 1902 – Bobby Jones, American golfer (d. 1971)
• 1907 – Sonny Werblin, former owner of the New York Jets (d. 1991)
• 1908 – Brigitte Helm, German actress (d. 1996)
• 1912 – Bayard Rustin, American civil rights activist (d. 1987)
• 1914 – Sammy Baugh, American football player
• 1915 – Henry Bumstead, American art director (d. 2006)
• 1916 – Ray Ellington, British singer (d. 1985)
• 1919 – Nat King Cole, American singer (d. 1965)
• 1922 – Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Founding Leader of Bangladesh (d. 1975)
• 1925 – Gabriele Ferzetti, Italian film and stage actor
• 1926 – Siegfried Lenz, German writer
• 1928 – William John McKeag, Canadian politician (d. 2007)
• 1930 – James Irwin, American astronaut (d. 1991)
• 1931 – David Peakall, British scientist (d. 2001)
• 1936 – Ladislav Kupkovic, Slovakian composer
• 1936 – Ken Mattingly, American astronaut
• 1937 – Adam Wade, American singer and actor
• 1938 – Rudolf Nureyev, Russian-born dancer and choreographer (d. 1993)
• 1938 – Keith Michael Patrick O’Brien, Northern Irish clergyman
• 1938 – Zola Taylor, American singer (The Platters) (d. 2007)
• 1939 – Jim Gary, American sculptor (d. 2006)
• 1939 – Robin Knox-Johnston, British Yachtsman
• 1940 – Mark White, American politician
• 1941 – Paul Kantner, American musician (Jefferson Airplane)
• 1941 – Wang Jin-pyng, Taiwanese politician
• 1942 – John Wayne Gacy, American serial killer (d. 1994)
• 1942 – Dimitris Poulikakos, Greek composer, singer and actor
• 1944 – Pattie Boyd, British photographer and model
• 1944 – Cito Gaston, American baseball player and manager
• 1944 – John Sebastian, American singer and songwriter
• 1945 – Elis Regina, Brazilian singer (d. 1982)
• 1945 – Michael Hayden, General USAF, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency
• 1945 – Katri Helena, Finnish singer
• 1947 – James Morrow, American author
• 1947 – Jan Andersson, Swedish politician
• 1947 – Yury Chernavsky, Russian-born Composer and Producer
• 1948 – William Gibson, American writer
• 1948 – Alex MacDonald, Scottish Footballer and football manager
• 1949 – Patrick Duffy, American actor
• 1949 – Pat Rice, Northern Irish footballer and football manager
• 1949 – Daniel Lavoie, French Canadian singer and songwriter
• 1950 – Patrick Adams, American record producer and songwriter
• 1951 – Donald Findlay, Scottish lawyer
• 1951 – Scott Gorham, American musician (Thin Lizzy)
• 1951 – Kurt Russell, American actor
• 1951 – Craig Ramsay, Canadian ice hockey player
• 1952 – Nikos Xydakis, Greek musician and composer
• 1953 – Filemon Lagman, Filipino communist revolutionary (d. 2001)
• 1953 – Chuck Muncie, American former football running back
• 1954 – Lesley-Anne Down, English actress
• 1955 – Cynthia McKinney, American politician
• 1955 – Gary Sinise, American actor
• 1956 – Patrick McDonnell, American cartoonist
• 1957 – Mal Donaghy, Northern Irish footballer
• 1957 – Michael Kelly, American journalist (d. 2003)
• 1958 – Pat Bolland, Canadian Broadcaster
• 1959 – Danny Ainge, American basketball player and coach
• 1959 – Christian Clemenson, American actor
• 1961 – Casey Siemaszko, American actor
• 1961 – Dana Reeve, American actress and activist (d. 2006)
• 1961 – Andrew Paul, English actor
• 1962 – Clare Grogan, Scottish actress-singer
• 1962 – Ank Bijleveld-Schouten, Dutch politician
• 1963 – Nick Peros, Canadian composer
• 1963 – Alex Fong Chung-Sun, Chinese actor
• 1964 – Rob Lowe, American actor
• 1964 – Lee Dixon, English footballer
• 1964 – Jacques Songo’o, Cameroonian footballer
• 1966 – Jeremy Sheffield, English actor
• 1967 – Billy Corgan, American musician (The Smashing Pumpkins)
• 1969 – Mathew St. Patrick, American actor
• 1969 – Alexander McQueen, British fashion designer
• 1970 – Gene Ween, American Musician (Ween)
• 1970 – Yanic Truesdale, Canadian actor
• 1971 – Bill Mueller, American baseball player
• 1972 – Melissa Auf der Maur, Canadian musician
• 1972 – Marc Gunn, poet, podcaster, and Celtic musician (Brobdingnagian Bards)
• 1972 – Mia Hamm, American soccer player
• 1973 – Rico Blanco, Filipino singer (Rivermaya)
• 1973 – Caroline Corr, Irish singer and musician
• 1973 – Vance Wilson, American baseball player
• 1973 – Jerome Woods, American Football player for the Kansas City Chiefs
• 1974 – Mark Dolan, TV show host
• 1975 – Justin Hawkins, British singer (The Darkness)
• 1975 – Andrew “Test” Martin, Canadian professional wrestler
• 1975 – Natalie Zea, American actress
• 1976 – Stephen Gately, Irish singer, musician, and actor (Boyzone)
• 1976 – Brittany Daniel, American actress
• 1976 – Cynthia Daniel, American actress and photographer
• 1976 – Álvaro Recoba, Uruguayan footballer
• 1976 – Scott Downs, American baseball player
• 1978 – Adam Jennings, British actor, producer and film director
• 1979 – Andrew Ference, Canadian ice hockey player
• 1979 – Samoa Joe, Samoan professional wrestler
• 1979 – Stormy Daniels, American pornographic actress
• 1980 – Danny Califf, American soccer player
• 1981 – Kyle Korver, American Basketball Player
• 1982 – Steven Pienaar, South African footballer
• 1986 – Olesya Rulin, American actress
March 17 – Deaths:
• 45 BC – Titus Labienus, Roman leader
• 180 – Marcus Aurelius, Roman emperor (b. 121)
• 461 or 493 – Saint Patrick, patron saint of Ireland
• 659 – Gertrude of Nivelles, Belgian abbess
• 1040 – Harold Harefoot, King of England
• 1058 – King Lulach I of Scotland
• 1199 – Jocelin, bishop of Glasgow
• 1272 – Emperor Go-Saga of Japan (b. 1220)
• 1425 – Ashikaga Yoshikazu, Japanese shogun (b. 1407)
• 1516 – Giuliano di Lorenzo de’ Medici, ruler of Florence (b. 1478)
• 1565 – Alexander Ales, Scottish theologian (b. 1500)
• 1640 – Philip Massinger, English dramatist (b. 1583)
• 1649 – Gabriel Lallemant, French Jesuit missionary, one of the Canadian Martyrs (b. 1610)
• 1680 – François de La Rochefoucauld, French writer (b. 1613)
• 1704 – Menno van Coehoorn, Dutch military engineer (b. 1641)
• 1713 – Juraj Jánošík, famous Slovak outlaw [b. 1688)
• 1715 – Gilbert Burnet, Scottish Bishop of Salisbury (b. 1643)
• 1741 – Jean-Baptiste Rousseau, French poet (b. 1671)
• 1764 – George Parker, 2nd Earl of Macclesfield, English astronomer
• 1782 – Daniel Bernoulli, Dutch-born mathematician (b. 1700)
• 1830 – Laurent, Marquis de Gouvion Saint-Cyr, French marshal (b. 1764)
• 1846 – Friedrich Bessel, German mathematician and astronomer (b. 1784)
• 1849 – William II of the Netherlands (b. 1792)
• 1853 – Christian Doppler, Austrian physician and mathematician (b. 1803)
• 1875 – Ferdinand Laub, Czech violinist (b. 1832)
• 1893 – Jules Ferry, French statesman (b. 1832)
• 1912 – Lawrence Oates, English army officer (b. 1880)
• 1917 – Franz Brentano, German philosopher and psychologist (b. 1838)
• 1926 – Aleksei Brusilov, Russian general (b. 1853)
• 1937 – Austen Chamberlain, English statesman, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (b. 1863)
• 1941 – Marguerite Nichols, American actress (b. 1895)
• 1946 – Dai Li, Chinese spymaster (b. 1897)
• 1949 – Aleksandra Ekster, Russian painter (b. 1882)
• 1956 – Fred Allen, American actor and comedian (b. 1894)
• 1956 – Irene Joliot-Curie, French physicist, Nobel laureate (b. 1897)
• 1957 – Ramon Magsaysay, President of the Philippines (b. 1907)
• 1961 – Susanna M. Salter, Mayor of Argonia, Kansas (b. 1860)
• 1965 – Amos Alonzo Stagg, American football coach, player, and innovator (b. 1862)
• 1974 – Louis Kahn, American architect
• 1976 – Luchino Visconti, Italian director (b. 1906)
• 1981 – Paul Dean, American baseball player (b. 1913)
• 1983 – Haldan Keffer Hartline, American physiologist, Nobel laureate (b. 1903)
• 1987 – Santo Trafficante, Jr., American gangster (b. 1914)
• 1988 – Nikolas Asimos, Greek counter-culture composer and singer (b. 1949)
• 1989 – Merritt Butrick, American actor (b. 1959)
• 1990 – Capucine, French actress (b. 1931)
• 1990 – Ric Grech, British bass player (Blind Faith – Traffic) (b. 1946)
• 1992 – Grace Stafford, American actress (b. 1903)
• 1993 – Helen Hayes, American actress (b. 1900)
• 1995 – Ronnie Kray, British gangster (b. 1933)
• 1995 – Rick Aviles, American actor (b. 1952)
• 1996 – René Clément, French film director and screenwriter (b. 1913)
• 1996 – Terry Stafford, American singer (b. 1941)
• 1999 – Ernest Gold, Austrian composer (b. 1921)
• 1999 – Rod Hull, British comedian (b. 1936)
• 2002 – Rosetta LeNoire, American actress (b. 1911)
• 2002 – Pat Weaver, American broadcast executive (b. 1908)
• 2003 – Su Buqing, Chinese mathematician and educator (b. 1902)
• 2004 – J. J. Jackson, American television personality (b. 1941)
• 2005 – George F. Kennan, American Cold War strategist and historian (b. 1904)
• 2005 – Andre Norton, American writer (b. 1912)
• 2006 – Bob Blue, American singer/songwriter (b. 1948)
• 2006 – Oleg Cassini, American fashion designer (b. 1913)
• 2006 – Ray Meyer, American basketball coach (b. 1913)
• 2006 – Bob Papenbrook, American voice actor (b. 1955)
• 2007 – John Backus, American computer scientist (b. 1924)
• 2007 – Roger Bennett, American Southern Gospel performer (b. 1959)
• 2007 – Jim Cronin, Animal welfare campaigner and founder of Monkey World in Dorset, England.
March 17-Holidays
• Ancient Latvia – Kustonu Diena (return of the larks) observed
• Feast day of St Patrick: a public holiday in Ireland (National feast), Montserrat and the Canadian Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, widely celebrated elsewhere in North America and worldwide (see St. Patrick’s Day)
• Boston, Massachusetts – Evacuation Day
• Ancient Rome – the second day of the Bacchanalia in honor of Bacchus
• Ancient Rome – the Liberalia in honor of Liber
• St. Agricola
• St. Joseph of Arimathea
• Saint Alexius

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