August 17: Fun Facts about Today in History

Today in History

Learn about the most intriguing events and historical facts that occurred on August 17 throughout history. The 229th day of the Gregorian calendar is August 17. On this day in 1907, Seattle’s iconic Pike Place Market debuted, George Orwell’s famous Animal Farm was published for the first time, and Michael Phelps became the first person to win eight gold medals in one Olympic game.

Leo is the zodiac sign for August 17th. Robert De Niro, Sean Penn, and Mae West all had famous birthdays. The Gold Cup Parade and National Black Cat Appreciation Day are both on August 17th.


Happy Birthday! (August 17, 1629)
John III Sobieski, Polish–Lithuanian king. photo source:


(August 17, 1945)
Indonesia Independence Day. photo source:

(August 17, 1945)
Animal Farm, an anti-utopian satire by English novelist George Orwell, became a classic.

(August 17, 1978)
In Double Eagle II, Ben L. Abruzzo, Maxie Anderson, and Larry Newman conducted the first transatlantic balloon trip.

(August 17, 2008)
Michael Phelps, an American swimmer, helped his team win the 4 x 100-meter medley relay at the Beijing Olympics, becoming the first athlete to earn eight medals in a single Games.

Written by James

James has always been intrigued by dinosaurs, the universe, technology, and animals. With a Bachelor of Computer Science and years of writing expertise, he joined World Amazing Facts in 2021 as a staff writer.

Our team at World Amazing Facts is committed to verifying the accuracy of our content. It's possible that we'll get something wrong, or that our knowledge may become obsolete. Please let us know if you see any errors in the information provided.

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