It happened today – this day in history – August 17

1786: Birth of frontiersman Davy Crockett in Tennessee. On the same day, Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, mother of Queen Victoria, is born.

1876: Richard Wagner’s opera “Götterdämmerung” premieres in Bayreuth.

1882: Birth of film producer Samuel Goldwyn in Warsaw, Poland.

1893: Birth of actress Mae West in Brooklyn.

1915: German troops overrun Kovno, Lithuania.

1917: Italy declares war on Turkey.

1918: British troops attack Baku, Azerbaijan. On the same day, Bolshevik revolutionary leader Moisei Uritsky is assassinated.

1940: Adolf Hitler orders a total blockade of Britain.

1945: Korea is divided into North and South Korea along the 38th parallel.

1946: George Orwell’s Animal Farm is published.

1950: Indonesia declares independence from The Netherlands.

1960: The Beatles began their first Hamburg engagement at the Indra Club, Grosse Freiheit, Hamburg. On the same day, Gabon gains independence from France.

1961: Singles chart:

  1. You Don’t Know – Helen Shapiro
  2. Johnny Remember Me – John Leyton
  3. Well I Ask You – Eden Kane
  4. Romeo – Petula Clark
  5. Hello Mary Lou – Ricky Nelson
  6. Reach For The Stars – Shirley Bassey
  7. Halfway To Paradise – Billy Fury
  8. Temptation – The Everly Brothers
  9. You Always Hurt The One You Love – Clarence Frogman Henry
  10. Time – Craig Douglas

1962: East German border guards shot and kill Peter Fechter, 18, attempting to cross the Berlin Wall into the western sector.

1964: Glasgow Council announced that all boys and men with Beatles styled haircuts would have to wear bathing caps after a committee was told that hair from ‘Beatle-cuts’ was clogging the pool’s filters.

1973: Former Temptations singer Paul Williams was found dead in his car, after shooting himself.

1976: An earthquake and tsunami in the Philippines kills up to 8,000 people.

1978: Ben Abruzzo, Larry Newman and Max Anderson complete the first crossing of the Atlantic by hot air balloon.

1979: The premiere of Monty Python’s Life of Brian.

1983: Lyricist Ira Gershwin dies aged 86.

1987: Rudolf Hess, 93, who was Adolf Hilter’s right-hand man at the start of the Second World War, was found dead in Spandau Prison, West Berlin, where he had been held since 1946.

1988: Pakistani President Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq and U.S. Ambassador Arnold Raphel are killed in a plane crash.

1995: Depeche Mode singer Dave Gahan was rushed to Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre after an apparent suicide attempt.

1998: US President Bill Clinton admits having an inappropriate relationship with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

1999: A huge earthquake hits Turkey, killing at least 1,000 people. On the same day, former Bay City Rollers drummer Derek Longmuir appeared at the Edinburgh Sheriff Court accused of child porn and drugs offences. Longmuir, 48, denied the charges. He was later sentenced to 300 hours community service.

2000: Prince William passes three A-levels and secures a place to study history of art at St Andrews University.

2008: Jackson Browne was suing US Republican presidential candidate John McCain for using one of his songs without permission. Browne claimed the use of his song Running on Empty in an advert was an infringement of copyright and was claiming more than $75,000.

2008: Duffy

Album chart:

  1. The Script – The Script
  2. Gold – Greatest Hits – ABBA
  3. Rockferry – Duffy
  4. Viva La Vida – Coldplay
  5. Peaceful The World Lays Me Down – Noah And The Whale
  6. Rock n Roll Jesus – Kid Rock
  7. Jane – Jane McDonald
  8. Melody – Sharleen Spiteri
  9. We Started Nothing – The Ting Tings
  10. Good Girl Gone Bad – Rihanna

2009: An arrest warrant was issued for singer Bobby Brown after he failed to appear at a court hearing in Massachusetts involving child maintenance payments. On the same day, a thief in New Zealand took the unusual step of leaving his contact details at the scene of his crime. The man reserved a copy of Pink Floyd’s The Wall at a record shop in Christchurch, leaving his name and phone number, before robbing the till. He was a regular customer at the shop and already had several records on order.

2012: Three members of Russian feminist punk rock protest group Pussy Riot were sentenced to two years imprisonment after they had staged a performance on the soleas of Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior in a protest directed at the Orthodox Church leader’s support for President Putin during his election campaign.

2017: Terror attack on Las Ramblas in Barcelona, Spain, as a van rams into crowds killing 16 and injuring 120.

2019: Wildfires begin on Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands prompting the evacuation of 9,000 people.

BIRTHDAYS: Robert De Niro, actor, 77; Alan Minter, boxer, 69; Nelson Piquet, racing driver, 68; Kevin Rowland, singer-songwriter (Dexys Midnight Runners) 67; Eric Johnson, guitarist, 66; Colin Moulding, bassist (XTC) 65; Robin Cousins, figure skater, 63; Belinda Carlisle, singer, (The Go-Gos) 62; Sean Penn, actor, 60; Maria Mckee, singer, 56; Steve Gorman, drummer (The Black Crowes) 55; Helen McCrory, actress, 52; Donnie Wahlberg, actor/singer (New Kids On The Block) 51; Claire Richards, singer (Steps) 43; Tierry Henry, former footballer, 43; Phil Jagielka, footballer, 38.


Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]