It happened today – this day in history – August 17

1585: Antwerp surrenders after an 8-month siege by the Duke of Parma.

1743: The Treaty of Åbo is signed, ending the Russo-Swedish War.

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

1788: Losantville, Ohio (now Cincinnati) is founded.

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 begin their first Hamburg engagement at the Indra Club. On the same day, Gabon gains independence from France.

1962: German border guards shoot and kill Peter Fechter, 18, as he attempts to cross the Berlin Wall into the western sector.

1964: Glasgow Council announces that all boys and men with Beatle-style haircuts will have to wear bathing caps after a committee was told that hair from ‘Beatle-cuts’ was clogging up pool filters.

1969: The final day of the Woodstock Festival is marked by an iconic performance of The Star Spangled Banner by Jimi Hendrix.

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


1975: Singles chart:

  1. I Can’t Give You Anything (But My Love) – The Stylistics
  2. Sailing – Rod Stewart
  3. The Last Farewell – Roger Whittaker
  4. Barbados – Typically Tropical
  5. If You Think You Know How To Love Me – Smokie
  6. It’s Been So Long – George McCrea
  7. Blanket On The Ground – Billy Jo Spears
  8. That’s The Way (I Like It) – KC and the Sunshine Band
  9. Jive Talkin’ – The Bee Gees
  10. Dolly My Love – The Moments
1975: The Carpenters – Horizon

Album chart:

  1. The Best Of – The Stylistics
  2. Horizon – The Carpenters
  3. Once Upon A Star – The Bay City Rollers
  4. Venus And Mars – Wings
  5. Thank You Baby – The Stylistics
  6. Ten Years Non Stop Jubilee – James Last
  7. Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy – Elton John
  8. One Of These Nights – The Eagles
  9. Mud Rock Vol 2 – Mud
  10. Greatest Hits – Cat Stevens

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

1978: Americans Ben Abruzzo, Larry Newman and Max Anderson make 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, Hitler’s former right-hand man, is found dead aged 93 in Spandau Prison, West Berlin.

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

1991: Nirvana shoot the video for Smells Like Teen Spirit at GMT Studios in Culver City, California.

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

1996: On the opening day of the season, Manchester United youngster David Beckham scores from the halfway line with a lob over Wimbledon goalkeeper Neil Sullivan’s head.

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

1999: The most powerful earthquake to hit Turkey kills 17,000 people. On the same day, former Bay City Rollers drummer Derek Longmuir appears at the Edinburgh Sheriff Court accused of child porn and drugs offences.

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

2012: Three members of Russian feminist punk rock protest group Pussy Riot are sentenced to two years imprisonment after they had staged a performance on the soleas of Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour 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, 78; (Desmond) John Humphrys, broadcaster, 78; Lady Colin Campbell (Georgia Arianna Ziadie), author, 72; Baron (Julian) Fellowes of West Stafford, actor/director/writer. 72; Kevin Rowland, singer/songwriter (Dexys Midnight Runners), 68; Colin Moulding, bassist/singer/songwriter, (XTC) 66; Belinda Carlisle, singer, 63; Sean Penn, actor/director, 61; Lisa Coleman, keyboards/songwriter (The Revolution) 61; Maria Mckee, singer, 57; Carrie Grant, vocal coach, 56; Donnie Wahlberg, actor/singer (NKOTB), 52; Claire Richards, singer (Steps) 44; Thierry henry, footballer/manager/pundit, 44; Johnny Mercer MP, politician, 40; Phil Jagielka, footballer, 39; Ederson (Santana de Moraes), goalkeeper, 28; Taissa Farmiga, actress, 27.