|October 17 in recent years
October 17 is the 290th day of the year (291st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 75 days remaining until the end of the year.
- 539 BC - King Cyrus The Great of Persia marches into the city of Babylon, releasing the Jews from almost 70 years of exile and making the first Human Rights Declaration.
- 1091 - T8/F4 tornado strikes the heart of London.
- 1244 - Battle of La Forbie: Crusaders are defeated by Khwarezmians and Egyptians.
- 1346 - Battle of Neville's Cross: King David II of Scotland is captured by Edward III of England at Calais, and imprisoned in the Tower of London for eleven years.
- 1448 - Second Battle of Kosovo, where the mainly Hungarian army led by John Hunyadi were defeated by an Ottoman army led by Sultan Murad II.
- 1456 - The University of Greifswald is established, making it the second oldest university in northern Europe (also for a period the oldest in Sweden, and Prussia)
- 1604 - Kepler's Star: German astronomer Johannes Kepler observes that an exceptionally bright star had suddenly appeared in the constellation. Ophiuchus, which turned out to be the last supernova to have been observed in our own galaxy, the Milky Way.
- 1610 - French king Louis XIII is crowned in Rheims.
- 1660 - Nine Regicides, the men who signed the death warrant of Charles I, are hanged, another is hanged.
- 1662 - Charles II of England sells Dunkirk to France for 40,000 pounds.
- 1777 - American troops defeat the British in the Battle of Saratoga.
- 1781 - General Charles Cornwallis offers his surrender to the American revolutionists at Yorktown.
- 1797 - Treaty of Campo Formio is signed between France and Austria.
- 1800 - England takes control of the Dutch colony of Curaçao.
- 1806 - Former leader of the Haitian Revolution, Emperor Jacques I of Haiti was assassinated after an oppressive rule.
- 1860 - First The Open Championship (referred to in North America as the British Open).
- 1888 - Thomas Edison files a patent for the Optical Phonograph (the first movie).
- 1907 - Guglielmo Marconi's company begins first regular commercial trans-Atlantic wireless service between Glace Bay, Canada and Clifden, Ireland.
- 1912 - Bulgaria, Greece and Serbia declare war on the Ottoman Empire, joining Montenegro in the First Balkan War.
- 1917 - First British bombing of Germany in World War I.
- 1931 - Al Capone convicted of income tax evasion.
- 1933 - Albert Einstein, fleeing Nazi Germany, moves to the US.
- 1937 - Huey, Donald Duck's three almost identical nephews, first appear in a newspaper comic strip.
- 1941 - For the first time in World War II, a German submarine attacks an American ship.
- 1945 - A massive number of people, headed by CGT and Evita, gather in the Plaza de Mayo in Argentina to demand Juan Peron's release. This is known to the Peronists as the Día de la lealtad (day of loyalty). It's considered the birthday of Peronism.
- 1961 - Scores of Algerian protesters (some claim up to 400) are massacred by the Paris police at the instigation of Nazi collaborator Maurice Papon, then chief of the Prefecture of Police.
- 1965 - The 1964-1965 New York World's Fair closes after a two year run. More than 51 million people had attended the two-year event.
- 1966 - A fire at a building in New York, New York kills 12 firefighters, the New York City Fire Department's deadliest day until the September 11.
- 1967 - The musical Hair opens at the Anspacher Theater on Broadway.
- 1968 - The 1968 Olympics Black Power salute is performed by Tommie Smith and John Carlos.
- 1970 - Montreal: Quebec Vice-Premier and Minister of Labour Pierre Laporte murdered by members of the FLQ terrorist group.
- 1973 - OPEC starts an oil embargo against a number of western countries, considered to have helped Israel in its war against Syria.
- 1977 - German Autumn: Four days after it was hijacked, Lufthansa Flight 181 lands in Mogadishu, Somalia, where a team of German GSG 9 commandos later rescues all remaining hostages on board.
- 1979 - Mother Teresa awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
- 1979 - The Department of Education Organization Act is signed into law creating the US Department of Education and US Department of Health and Human Services. Both replace the Department of Health, Education and Welfare.
- 1989 - Loma Prieta earthquake (7.1 on the Richter scale) hits the San Francisco Bay Area and causes 57 deaths directly (and 6 indirectly).
- 1992 - The United Nations General Assembly declares October 17 as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, to be observed beginning in 1993. Resolution 47/196 of 22 December 1992.
- 2000 - Train crash at Hatfield, north of London, leading to collapse of Railtrack.
- 2003 - The pinnacle was fitted on the roof of Taipei 101, a 101-floor skyscraper in Taipei, allowing it to surpass the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur by 50 meters (165 feet) and become the World's tallest highrise.
- 2003 - Eunuchs in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh float the political party Jiti Jitayi Politics.
- 2006 - The United States population reaches 300 million.
- 1253 - Ivo of Kermartin, French saint (d. 1303)
- 1563 - Jodocus Hondius, Flemish cartographer (d. 1611)
- 1577 - Cristofano Allori, Italian painter (d. 1621)
- 1582 - Johann Gerhard, German Lutheran leader (d. 1637)
- 1623 - Francis Turretin, Swiss theologian (d. 1687)
- 1688 - Domenico Zipoli, Italian composer (d. 1726)
- 1711 - Jupiter Hammon, American writer
- 1719 - Jacques Cazotte, French writer (d. 1792)
- 1811 - Albertus van Raalte, Dutch/American religious leader (d. 1876)
- 1813 - Georg Büchner, German playwright (d. 1837)
- 1817 - Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, Indian Muslim intellectual (d. 1898)
- 1853 - Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia (d. 1920)
- 1864 - Elinor Glyn, British writer (d. 1943)
- 1865 - James Rudolph Garfield, American politician (d. 1950)
- 1886 - Spring Byington, American actress (d. 1971)
- 1890 - Roy Kilner, English cricketer (d. 1928)
- 1892 - Herbert Howells, English Composer (d. 1983)
- 1898 - Shinichi Suzuki, Japanese violin teacher (d. 1998)
- 1898 - Simon Vestdijk, Dutch writer (d. 1971)
- 1900 - Jean Arthur, American actress (d. 1991)
- 1902 - Irene Ryan, American actress (d. 1973)
- 1903 - Nathanael West, American writer (d. 1940)
- 1906 - Paul Derringer, American baseball player (d. 1987)
- 1908 - Red Rolfe, American baseball player (d. 1969)
- 1912 - Pope John Paul I (d. 1978)
- 1912 - Jack Owens, American singer/songwriter (d. 1982)
- 1914 - Jerry Siegel, American cartoonist, co-creator of Superman (d. 1996)
- 1915 - Arthur Miller, American playwright (d. 2005)
- 1917 - Sumner Locke Elliott, Australian (later American) novelist (d. 1991)
- 1918 - Rita Hayworth, American actress (d. 1987)
- 1919 - Isaak Markovich Khalatnikov, Russian physicist
- 1920 - Miguel Delibes, Spanish writer
- 1920 - Montgomery Clift, American actor (d. 1966)
- 1921 - Tom Poston, American actor and comedian (d. 2007)
- 1921 - Maria Gorokhovskaya, Soviet gymnast (d. 2001)
- 1922 - Pierre Juneau, Canadian film and broadcast executive
- 1922 - Luiz Bonfá, Brazilian composer (d. 2001)
- 1923 - Charles McClendon, American football coach (d. 2001)
- 1923 - Barney Kessel, American musician (d. 2004)
- 1925 - Harry Carpenter, English sports commentator
- 1926 - Julie Adams, American film actress
- 1930 - Robert Atkins, American nutritionist (d. 2003)
- 1930 - Jimmy Breslin, American writer
- 1930 - Joe Erskine, American welterweight boxer and long distance runner
- 1931 - Ernst Hinterberger, Austrian writer
- 1933 - Jeanine Deckers, Belgian nun (d. 1985)
- 1934 - Johnny Haynes, English footballer (d. 2005)
- 1936 - Hiroo Kanamori, Japanese seismologist
- 1938 - Evel Knievel, American daredevil
- 1940 - Peter Stringfellow, British nightclub owner
- 1940 - Jim Smith, English footballer and manager.
- 1941 - Earl Thomas Conley, American singer
- 1941 - Jim Seals American singer (Seals and Crofts)
- 1942 - Gary Puckett, American musician
- 1946 - Sir Cameron Mackintosh, British stage producer
- 1946 - Adam Michnik, Polish activist
- 1946 - Bob Seagren, American athlete
- 1946 - Michael Hossack, American musician (The Doobie Brothers)
- 1947 - Gene Green, American politician
- 1947 - Michael McKean, American actor
- 1948 - Margot Kidder, Canadian actress
- 1948 - George Wendt, American actor
- 1948 - Robert Jordan, American novelist (d. 2007)
- 1950 - Howard Rollins, American actor (d. 1996)
- 1956 - Mae Jemison, American astronaut
- 1956 - Patrick McCrory, American politician and Mayor of Charlotte
- 1957 - Lawrence Bender, American film producer
- 1957 - Steve McMichael, American football player
- 1958 - Alan Jackson, American singer and songwriter
- 1959 - Ron Drummond, American writer
- 1959 - Mark Peel, Australian historian and academic
- 1959 - Richard Roeper, American film critic
- 1959 - Russell Gilbert, Australian comedian
- 1960 - Rob Marshall, American director
- 1960 - Guy Henry, English actor
- 1962 - Mike Judge, Ecuadoran-born cartoonist
- 1963 - Sergio Goycochea, Argentine footballer
- 1963 - Norm MacDonald, Canadian comedian
- 1965 - Aravinda de Silva, Sri Lankan cricketer
- 1966 - Mark Gatiss, English actor
- 1967 - René Dif, Danish musician (Aqua)
- 1968 - Ziggy Marley, Jamaican musician
- 1969 - Wood Harris, African American actor
- 1969 - Ernie Els, South African golfer
- 1969 - Rick Mercer, Canadian comedian
- 1970 - Anil Kumble, Indian cricketer
- 1970 - John Mabry, American baseball player
- 1971 - Chris Kirkpatrick, American singer ('N Sync)
- 1972 - Eminem, American rapper
- 1972 - Tarkan, Turkish singer
- 1972 - Wyclef Jean, Haitian-born singer
- 1972 - Joe McEwing, American baseball player
- 1974 - Matthew Macfadyen, British actor
- 1974 - John Rocker, American baseball player
- 1975 - Francis Bouillon, American hockey player
- 1976 - Sebastián Abreu, Uruguayan footballer
- 1977 - Dudu Aouate, Israeli footballer
- 1979 - Marcela Bovio, Mexican singer and violinist (Elfonía, Stream of Passion)
- 1979 - Kimi Räikkönen, Finnish race car driver
- 1979 - Kostas Tsartsaris, Greek basketball player
- 1980 - Ekaterina Gamova, Russian volleyball player
- 1982 - Nick Riewoldt, Australian rules footballer
- 1983 - Daniel Booko, American actor
- 1983 - Ivan Saenko, Russian football player
- 1984 - Jelle Klaasen, Dutch darts player
- 1984 - Chris Lowell, American actor
- 1987 - Jarosław Fojut, Polish footballer
- 1990 - Taylor Parks, Stand-Up Comic
- 1992 - Matthew Crane, British operatic singer
- 1992 - Sam Concepcion, Filipino performer and actor
- 1995 - Alexandria, American triplets and actresses
- 532 - Pope Boniface II
- 1174 - Queen Petronila of Aragon (b. 1135)
- 1586 - Philip Sidney, English courtier, soldier, and writer (killed in battle) (b. 1554)
- 1616 - John Pitts, Catholic scholar and writer. (b. 1560)
- 1660 - Adrian Scrope, English regicide (b. 1601)
- 1673 - Thomas Clifford, English statesman (b. 1630)
- 1757 - René Antoine Ferchault de Réaumur, French scientist (b. 1683)
- 1776 - Pierre François le Courayer, French theologian (b. 1681)
- 1780 - William Cookworthy, English chemist (b. 1705)
- 1786 - Johann Ludwig Aberli, Swiss artist (b. 1723)
- 1806 - Jean-Jacques Dessalines, Haitian independence leader (b. 1758)
- 1836 - Orest Kiprensky, Russian painter (b. 1782)
- 1837 - Johann Nepomuk Hummel, Austrian virtuoso pianist and composer (b. 1778)
- 1849 - Frédéric Chopin, Polish-French musician and composer (b. 1810)
- 1868 - Laura Secord, Canadian heroine of the war of 1812 (b. 1775)
- 1887 - Gustav Kirchhoff, German physicist (b. 1824)
- 1889 - Nikolai Chernyshevsky, Russian philosopher (b. 1828)
- 1910 - Julia Ward Howe, American composer and abolitionist (b. 1819)
- 1931 - Alfons Maria Jakob, German neurologist (b. 1884)
- 1934 - Santiago Ramón y Cajal, Spanish histologist and neuroscientist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1852)
- 1938 - Karl Kautsky, Marxist theoretician (b. 1854)
- 1943 - Stefan Starzyński, Polish politician (b. 1893)
- 1958 - Charlie Townsend, English cricketer (b. 1876)
- 1958 - Paul Outerbridge, American photographer (b. 1896)
- 1962 - Natalia Goncharova, Russian painter (b. 1882)
- 1963 - Jacques Hadamard, French mathematician (b. 1865)
- 1965 - John Barton King, Philadelphian cricketer (b. 1873)
- 1966 - Wieland Wagner, German stage director (b. 1917)
- 1967 - Henry Pu Yi, last Emperor of China (b. 1906)
- 1970 - Pierre Laporte, Vice-Premier of Quebec (assassinated) (b. 1921)
- 1970 - Vola Vale, American actress (b. 1897)
- 1972 - Turk Broda, Canadian ice hockey player (b. 1914)
- 1972 - Prince George of Yugoslavia (b. 1887)
- 1972 - Billy Williams, American singer (b. 1910)
- 1973 - Ingeborg Bachmann, Austrian writer (b. 1926)
- 1979 - S. J. Perelman, American writer (b. 1904)
- 1979 - John Stuart, Scottish actor (b. 1898)
- 1981 - Albert Cohen, Swiss author (b. 1895)
- 1983 - Raymond Aron, French philosopher (b. 1905)
- 1991 - Tennessee Ernie Ford, American singer and television performer (b. 1919)
- 1992 - Herman Johannes, Indonesian professor, scientist and politician (b. 1912)
- 1993 - Criss Oliva, American musician (Savatage) (b. 1963)
- 1996 - Chris Acland, English drummer (Lush) (b. 1966)
- 1998 - Joan Hickson, British actress (b. 1906)
- 1998 - Hakim Mohammed Said, Pakistani scholar and philanthropist
- 1999 - Nicholas Metropolis, Greek-American mathematician, physicist and computer scientist (b. 1915)
- 2000 - Leo Nomellini, wrestler (b. 1924)
- 2001 - Jay Livingston, American songwriter (b. 1915)
- 2001 - Rehavam Zeevi, Israeli politician (b. 1926)
- 2002 - Derek Bell, Irish harpist (The Chieftans) (b. 1935)
- 2002 - Aileen Riggin, American swimmer (b. 1906)
- 2004 - Uzi Hitman, Israeli singer (b. 1952)
- 2005 - Ba Jin, Chinese writer (b. 1904)
- 2005 - Franky Gee, European techno artist (b. 1962)
- 2006 - Daniel Emilfork, French actor (b. 1924)
- 2006 - Christopher Glenn, American newscaster (b. 1938)
- 2007 - Joey Bishop, American entertainer, member of the Rat Pack (b. 1918)
- 2007 - Teresa Brewer, American pop and jazz singer (b. 1931)
- 2007 - Taku, orca at Sea World
Holidays and observances
109 Familypedia people were born on October 17
110 Familypedia people died on October 17
82 Familypedia people were first married on October 17