10 Things that happened this day in History – August 17th

At Joan Allen we love our History, and we love to find out about interesting facts or events that happened on this very day back through the years. We picked the top 10 interesting things that occurred on this day throughout history, along with a handful of births and deaths.

Swat up on your facts and take a few minutes to think back on how this day might have been once…

Can you think of any interesting things that happened on this day in History?


1807 – Robert Fulton’s North River Steamboat first becomes the first commercial steamboat service in the world as it leaves New York City.

1908 – The first ever animated cartoon – Fantasmagorie – is shown in Paris.

1943 – In World War II, the Allied invasion of Sicily is completed when the US Seventh Army and 8th British Army arrive in Messina.

1943 – The first Quebec conference begins as Britain’s Winston Churchill, USA’s Franklin D. Roosevelt and Canada’s William Lyon Mackenzie King meet in WW2.

1953 – The first ever meeting of Narcotics Anonymous is held in Southern California.

1959 – Miles Davis releases Kind of Blue and wows the world of jazz.

1962 – Peter Fechter becomes one of the big casualties of the Cold War as he’s killed as he tries to cross the Berlin Wall.

1970 – In the Venera Program: Venera 7 is launched as it becomes the first spacecraft to go to Venus.

1998 – The Monica Lewinsky scandal hits US politics over her affair with President Bill Clinton.

2008 – Swimmer Michael Phelps becomes the first person to win eight gold medals in the Olympics in Beijing.



1786 – American Soldier and frontiersman Davy Crockett

1943 – Actor Robert De Niro

1943 – Broadcaster and Journalist John Humphyrs

1944 – Billionaire and CEO of Oracle Larry Ellison

1977 – Former Arsenal footballer Thierry Henry



1657 – Admiral Robert Blake

1987 – Nazi Deputy Rudolf Hess


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