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17th May: Find Out The Events That Happened On This Day In History

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17th May is the 137th day of the year (138th in leap years). 228 days remain until the end of the year. Today also marks International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia aka IDAHO, World Hypertension Day and World Information Society Day. Find out some of the events that occurred on this day, 17th May, in history.


Historical events

218 — Seventh recorded perihelion passage of Halley’s Comet.

1521 — Edward Stafford, the third Duke of Buckingham, is executed for treason.

1536 — Anne Boleyn’s four “lovers” executed shortly before her own beheading.

1590 — Anne of Denmark is crowned Queen of Scotland.

1620 — First merry-go-round is first seen at a fair in Philippopolis, Turkey.

1630 — Italian Jesuit Niccolo Zucchi is the first to see two belts on Jupiter surface.

1733 — Great Britain passes the Molasses Act. It puts high tariffs on rum and molasses imported to the colonies from a country other than British possessions.

1775 — American Revolutionary War: the Continental Congress bans trade with Canada.

1787 — English slave ship named Sisters, en route from Africa to Cuba capsizes killing hundreds.


17th May in the 19th Century

1803 — John Hawkins and Richard French patent the Reaping Machine.

17th May 1803 — John Hawkins and Richard French patent the Reaping Machine.
Patrick Bell’s (1799-1869) Improved Reaping Machine

1814 — Occupation of Monaco changes from French to Austrian.

1824 — The diaries of romantic poet Lord Byron are burnt by six of the poet’s friends at the office of John Murray in London, sometimes described as “the greatest crime in literary history”.

1859 — Australian Rules Football first ‘laws of the game’ published.

1865 — The International Telegraph Union (later the International Telecommunication Union) is established.

1877 — Edwin T Holmes installs the first telephone switchboard burglar alarm.

1881 — Revised version of the New Testament.

1890 — Comic Cuts, the first weekly comic paper, published in London.

1897 — The first successful submarine, that can run submerged for any considerable distance and combines electric and gasoline engines, launches in the USA by its designer John Philip Holland.

1899 — Victoria and Albert Museum foundation laid, London, England.


17th May in the 20th Century

1900 — “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” is first published by L. Frank Baum with illustrations by William Wallace Denslow in Chicago.

17th May 1900 — "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" is first published by L. Frank Baum with illustrations by William Wallace Denslow in Chicago
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Photo Alma Books

1916 — British Summer Time (Daylight Savings) introduced.

1938 — Radio quiz show “Information Please!” debuts on NBC Blue Network.

1939 — First televised baseball game is broadcast on NBC, with Princeton defeating Columbia 2-1.

1948 — The Soviet Union recognises Israel.

1960 — The first atomic reactor system patented by J W Flora of Canoga Park, California.

1961 — Singer-songwriter Eithne Ní Bhraonáin, known as Enya, is born in Gweedore, County Donegal, Ireland.

1961 — Cuban revolutionary and president Fidel Castro offers to exchange Bay of Pigs prisoners for 500 bulldozers.

1964 — First Tim Horton’s coffee and doughnut shop opens in Hamilton, Ontario by NHL player Tim Horton.

1967 — Dylan’s 1965 UK Tour released as a film “Don’t Look Back”.

1968 — European Space Research Org launches the first satellite.

1971 — Washington State bans s*x discrimination.

1972 — The Netherlands and the People’s Republic of China exchange ambassadors.

1973 — Singer-songwriter Stevie Wonder releases “You are the Sunshine of my Love”.

1974 — Composer Dmitri Shostakovich completes his 15th String quartet.

1975 — Rock star Mick Jagger punches a restaurant window, gets 20 stitches.

1983 — Israel and Lebanon sign a peace treaty.

1986 — “Chicken Song” by Spitting Image hits #1 on the UK pop chart.

1989 — Longest Cab Ride Ever: 14,000 miles costs $16,000!

1989 — Anti-apartheid activist and South African president Nelson Mandela receives a BA from University of South Africa.

1990 — World Health Organisation takes homosexuality out of its list of mental illnesses.

1991 — Lupita Jones, 23, of Mexico crowned 40th Miss Universe.


17th May in the 21st Century

2000 — In the Philippines, an explosion rocks Glorietta 2 injuring 13 persons, mostly teenagers. According to local authorities, the homemade bomb was placed in front of a toilet beside a video arcade.

2001 — 43rd US President George W. Bush calls for reduced regulations to encourage more oil, gas and nuclear production.

2009 — Video game Minecraft is first released to the public while in development.

2015 — “Blurryface,” the fourth studio album by Twenty One Pilots released. It subsequently becomes the first album ever to have every track gold-certified.

2015 — A mudslide hits the alpine town of Salgar in Western Colombia killing over 50 people.

2015 — 24th Billboard Music Awards: Singer-songwriter Taylor Swift wins top artist and seven other awards.

2018 — Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo spreads to the city of Mbandaka.

2018 — Michigan State University will pay $500 million in claims to 300 survivors of s****l abuse involving Larry Nassar. It is the largest s****l abuse case in sports history.

2018 — Gina Haspel confirmed as the first female director of the CIA by the US Senate.

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