Dallas Yount

Dallas Yount

Modified & Updated: 07 Sep 2023

Source: Facts.net

February 17th is a significant date in history, marked by a multitude of significant events and fascinating facts. From groundbreaking inventions to notable births and historical milestones, this day has witnessed noteworthy occurrences across different eras. Exploring the events that happened on this day offers us a glimpse into the diverse tapestry of human history.

From scientific discoveries that shaped our understanding of the world to political and cultural moments that transformed societies, February 17th holds a wealth of historical significance. Whether it is remembering the birth of influential figures or commemorating the defining moments that shaped the course of history, understanding the events that took place on this day allows us to gain an appreciation of the strides humanity has made over time.

In this article, we will delve into the facts and events that transpired on February 17th throughout history, highlighting their importance and impact on our society and world at large.

Table of Contents


  • 1801: The U.S. House of Representatives breaks an electoral tie between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr, electing Jefferson as the third President of the United States.
  • 1867: The first ship sails through the Suez Canal, linking the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea.
  • 1904: The United Kingdom and Japan sign the Anglo-Japanese Treaty, establishing an alliance between the two countries.
  • 1944: World War II: The Battle of Eniwetok Atoll begins as U.S. forces launch a successful amphibious landing against the Japanese-held island.
  • 1972: The Volkswagen Beetle surpasses the Ford Model T as the best-selling car in history.


  • 1600: Italian philosopher Giordano Bruno is burned at the stake for heresy, mainly for his beliefs in the infinite universe and the plurality of worlds.
  • 1809: Robert Fulton receives a patent for his steamboat design, which would revolutionize transportation.
  • 1933: News is released about the discovery of the radioactive isotope of uranium, which would eventually play a key role in the development of nuclear power and atomic weapons.
  • 1959: The Vanguard 2 satellite is launched, becoming the first weather satellite to be successfully launched into orbit.
  • 1996: The world’s first cloned mammal, a sheep named Dolly, is announced by scientists in Scotland.


  • 1865: The final meeting of the Confederate States of America takes place in North Carolina, marking the official end of the Confederate government.
  • 1909: Apache leader Geronimo dies while under military confinement at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, symbolizing the end of the Indian Wars in the United States.
  • 1967: The United States successfully conducts the first controlled landing on the moon with the robotic spacecraft Surveyor 3.
  • 1996: China tests its first nuclear weapon, code-named “596” and becoming the fifth nuclear-armed country in the world.
  • 2011: Arab Spring: Demonstrations in Libya against Muammar Gaddafi’s rule begin, eventually leading to a civil war and Gaddafi’s overthrow.


  • 1600: The play “The Tragedy of Julius Caesar” by William Shakespeare is performed for the first time at the Globe Theatre in London, England.
  • 1859: Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s opera “Eugene Onegin” premieres at the Maly Theatre in Moscow.
  • 1972: The British rock band T. Rex reaches number one on the UK Singles Chart with their song “Telegram Sam.”
  • 1996: The Nintendo 64 game console is released in Japan, marking the beginning of a new era in video gaming.
  • 2014: The opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics is held in Sochi, Russia.


  • 1962: Michael Jordan, American basketball player widely regarded as one of the greatest players in NBA history.
  • 1981: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, American actor known for his roles in films such as “Inception” and “500 Days of Summer.”
  • 1982: Paris Hilton, American socialite, television personality, and businesswoman.
  • 1991: Ed Sheeran, English singer-songwriter known for hits like “Shape of You” and “Thinking Out Loud.”
  • 1992: Bonnie Wright, British actress best known for her role as Ginny Weasley in the “Harry Potter” film series.


  • 1107: Edgar, King of Scotland, known for his efforts to consolidate the kingdom and maintain stability.
  • 1823: Ann Radcliffe, English author and pioneer of Gothic fiction.
  • 1950: Percy Julian, American chemist and pioneer in the synthesis of medicinal drugs from plants.
  • 2009: Kelly Groucutt, English musician and bass player of the rock band Electric Light Orchestra (ELO).
  • 2013: Mindy McCready, American country singer known for her hit songs such as “Ten Thousand Angels.”


February 17th has been a significant date throughout history, witnessing various historical events, scientific breakthroughs, political milestones, cultural events, as well as the birth and passing of notable individuals. From the election of Thomas Jefferson as the third President of the United States to the launch of the world’s first weather satellite, each event has left an indelible mark on its respective field. The artistic realm has also been touched by February 17th through iconic moments like the premiere of Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” and the release of the Nintendo 64 game console. This date serves as a reminder of the rich tapestry of human history and accomplishments that have shaped the world we live in today.


Q: Is February 17th a holiday?

A: No, February 17th is not widely recognized as a public holiday.

Q: How many U.S. Presidents were elected on February 17th?

A: Only Thomas Jefferson was elected as President of the United States on February 17th.

Q: Are there any famous birthdays on February 17th?

A: Yes, notable individuals such as Michael Jordan, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Ed Sheeran were born on this date.

Q: Did anything significant happen in the scientific field on February 17th?

A: Yes, on February 17th, Robert Fulton received a patent for his steamboat design, and the world’s first cloned mammal, Dolly the sheep, was announced.

Q: Are there any notable deaths on February 17th?

A: Yes, individuals like Edgar, King of Scotland, and Ann Radcliffe, the pioneer of Gothic fiction, passed away on this day.