March 17 is the 76th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (77th in Leap years). There are 289 days remaining.
- 1756 - St. Patrick's Day is celebrated in New York City for the first time (at the Crown and Thistle Tavern).
- 1776 - American Revolution: British forces evacuate Boston, Massachusetts after George Washington places artillery overlooking the city
- 1861 - The Kingdom of Italy is proclaimed.
- 1886 - Carrollton Massacre[?]: 20 African Americans are killed in Mississippi.
- 1891 - The British steamship[?] SS Utopia[?] sinks off the coast of Gibraltar, killing 574.
- 1901 - A showing of 71 Vincent van Gogh paintings in Paris, 11 years after his death, creates a sensation.
- 1910 - Luther Gulick[?] and his wife Charlotte found Camp Fire Girls (formally announced in 1912).
- 1931 - Nevada legalizes gambling
- 1941 - In Washington, DC, the National Gallery of Art[?] is officially opened by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
- 1948 - Benelux, France, and the United Kingdom sign the Treaty of Brussels[?] which is a precursor to the NATO Agreement.
- 1950 - University of California, Berkeley researchers announce the creation of element 98 which they have named "californium".
- 1958 - The United States launches the Vanguard 1 satellite.
- 1959 - The Dalai Lama flees Tibet and travels to India.
- 1966 - Off the coast of Spain in the Mediterranean, the ALVIN submarine finds a missing American hydrogen bomb.
- 1969 - Golda Meir of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA, becomes Prime Minister of Israel.
- 1970 - My Lai massacre: The United States Army charges 14 officers with suppressing information related to the incident.
- 1985 - Serial killer Richard Ramirez, the "Night Stalker", commits his first two murders in Los Angeles, California murder spree.
- 1992 - 29 are killed and 242 injured when a suicide car-bomb goes off in the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires.
- 2003 - British Cabinet Minister, Robin Cook, resigns over government plans for war with Iraq.
- 1473 - King James IV of Scotland (+ 1513)
- 1777 - Roger Taney, Chief Justice of the United States (+ 1864)
- 1804 - Jim Bridger, pioneer (+ 1881)
- 1834 - Gottlieb Daimler, engineer and inventor (+ 1900)
- 1862 - Silvio Gesell, economist (+ 1930)
- 1888 - Frank Buck[?], "big game" hunter (+ 1950)
- 1894 - Paul Green[?], novelist, Pulitzer Prize winning playwright (+ 1981)
- 1895 - Shemp Howard[?], actor ("The Three Stooges") (+ 1955)
- 1902 - Bobby Jones[?], golfer (+ 1971)
- 1908 - Brigitte Helm[?], actress (+ 1996)
- 1912 - Bayard Rustin, civil rights activist (+ 1987)
- 1914 - Sammy Baugh[?], American football star
- 1918 - Mercedes McCambridge[?], actress
- 1919 - Nat King Cole, singer (+ 1965)
- 1920 - Mujibur Rahman[?], Prime Minister of Bangladesh[?] (+ 1975)
- 1926 - Siegfried Lenz[?], writer
- 1936 - Ladislav Kupkovic, composer
- 1938 - Rudolf Nureyev[?], dancer and choreographer (+ 1993)
- 1942 - John Wayne Gacy, serial killer (+ 1994)
- 1944 - John Sebastian, singer-songwriter, also a member of the Lovin' Spoonful
- 1948 - William Gibson, writer
- 1949 - Patrick Duffy[?], actor
- 1951 - Kurt Russell, actor
- 1954 - Lesley-Anne Down[?], actress
- 1955 - Gary Sinise[?], actor
- 1956 - Patrick McDonnell, creator of syndicated cartoon strip "Mutts"
- 1959 - Danny Ainge[?], basketball player, coach, baseball player
- 1964 - Rob Lowe, actor
- 1972 - Mia Hamm, soccer player
- 180 - Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor
- 461 - Saint Patrick, patron saint of Ireland died in Saul, County Down
- 1058 - King Lulach I of Scotland
- 1956 - Irene Joliot-Curie, scientist
- 1965 - Amos Alonzo Stagg[?], baseball, basketball and American football coach and player
- 1976 - Luchino Visconti, director
- 1957 - Ramon Magsaysay[?], President of the Philippines[?]
- 1990 - Capucine, actress
- 1993 - Helen Hayes, actress
Holidays and observances
See Also: March 16
- March 18
- February 17
- April 17
-- listing of all days
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
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