Answering Exams

May 17 – History, Events, Births, Deaths, Holidays and Observances On This Day

  • 1395 – Battle of Rovine: The Wallachians defeat an invading Ottoman army.
  • 1536 – George Boleyn, 2nd Viscount Rochford and four other men are executed for treason.
  • 1536 – Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn’s marriage is annulled.
  • 1590 – Anne of Denmark is crowned Queen of Scotland.
  • 1642 – Paul de Chomedey, Sieur de Maisonneuve (1612–1676) founds the Ville Marie de Montréal.
  • 1673 – Louis Jolliet and Jacques Marquette begin exploring the Mississippi River.
  • 1792 – The New York Stock Exchange is formed under the Buttonwood Agreement.
  • 1805 – Muhammad Ali becomes Wāli of Egypt.
  • 1809 – Emperor Napoleon I orders the annexation of the Papal States to the French Empire.
  • 1814 – Occupation of Monaco changes from French to Austrian.
  • 1814 – The Constitution of Norway is signed and Crown Prince Christian Frederick of Denmark is elected King of Norway by the Norwegian Constituent Assembly.
  • 1859 – Members of the Melbourne Football Club codified the first rules of Australian rules football.
  • 1863 – Rosalía de Castro publishes Cantares Gallegos, the first book in the Galician language.
  • 1865 – The International Telegraph Union (later the International Telecommunication Union) is established in Paris.
  • 1875 – Aristides wins the first Kentucky Derby with the jockey Oliver Lewis (2:37.75)
  • 1900 – Second Boer War: British troops relieve Mafeking.
  • 1900 – The children’s novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum, is first published in the United States. The first copy is given to the author’s sister.
  • 1902 – Greek archaeologist Valerios Stais discovers the Antikythera mechanism, an ancient mechanical analog computer.
  • 1914 – The Protocol of Corfu is signed, recognising full autonomy to Northern Epirus under nominal Albanian sovereignty.
  • 1915 – The last British Liberal Party government (led by H. H. Asquith) falls.
  • 1933 – Vidkun Quisling and Johan Bernhard Hjort form Nasjonal Samling — the national-socialist party of Norway.
  • 1939 – The Columbia Lions and the Princeton Tigers play in the United States’ first televised sporting event, a collegiate baseball game in New York City.
  • 1940 – World War II: Germany occupies Brussels, Belgium.
  • 1943 – World War II: Dambuster Raids commence by No. 617 Squadron RAF.
  • 1954 – The United States Supreme Court hands down a unanimous decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, outlawing racial segregation in public schools.
  • 1967 – Six-Day War: President Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt demands dismantling of the peace-keeping UN Emergency Force in Egypt.
  • 1969 – Venera program: Soviet Venera 6 begins its descent into the atmosphere of Venus, sending back atmospheric data before being crushed by pressure.
  • 1973 – Watergate scandal: Televised hearings begin in the United States Senate.
  • 1974 – The Troubles: Thirty-three civilians are killed and 300 injured when the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) detonates four car bombs in Dublin and Monaghan, Republic of Ireland.
  • 1974 – Police in Los Angeles raid the Symbionese Liberation Army’s headquarters, killing six members, including Camilla Hall.
  • 1977 – Nolan Bushnell opened the first Chuck E. Cheese’s in San Jose, California.
  • 1980 – General Chun Doo-hwan of South Korea seizes control of the government and declares martial law in order to suppress student demonstrations.
  • 1980 – On the eve of presidential elections, Maoist guerrilla group Shining Path attacks a polling location in Chuschi (a town in Ayacucho), starting the Internal conflict in Peru.
  • 1983 – The U.S. Department of Energy declassifies documents showing world’s largest mercury pollution event in Oak Ridge, Tennessee (ultimately found to be 4.2 million pounds , in response to the Appalachian Observer’s Freedom of Information Act request.
  • 1983 – Lebanon, Israel, and the United States sign an agreement on Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon.
  • 1984 – Prince Charles calls a proposed addition to the National Gallery, London, a “monstrous carbuncle on the face of a much-loved and elegant friend”, sparking controversies on the proper role of the Royal Family and the course of modern architecture.
  • 1987 – Iran–Iraq War: An Iraqi Dassault Mirage F1 fighter jet fires two missiles into the U.S. Navy warship USS Stark, killing 37 and injuring 21 of her crew.
  • 1990 – The General Assembly of the World Health Organization (WHO) eliminates homosexuality from the list of psychiatric diseases.
  • 1992 – Three days of popular protests against the government of Prime Minister of Thailand Suchinda Kraprayoon begin in Bangkok, leading to a military crackdown that results in 52 officially confirmed deaths, hundreds of injuries, many disappearances, and more than 3,500 arrests.
  • 1994 – Malawi holds its first multi-party elections.
  • 1995 – Shawn Nelson steals an M60 tank from the California Army National Guard Armory in San Diego and proceeds to go on a rampage.
  • 1997 – Troops of Laurent Kabila march into Kinshasa. Zaire is officially renamed Democratic Republic of the Congo.
  • 2000 – Arsenal and Galatasaray fans clash in the 2000 UEFA Cup Final riots in Copenhagen
  • 2004 – The first legal same-sex marriages in the U.S. are performed in the state of Massachusetts.
  • 2006 – The aircraft carrier USS Oriskany is sunk in the Gulf of Mexico as an artificial reef.
  • 2007 – Trains from North and South Korea cross the 38th Parallel in a test-run agreed by both governments. This is the first time that trains have crossed the Demilitarized Zone since 1953.
  • 2014 – A plane crash in northern Laos kills 17 people.

Births on May 17

  • 1155 – Jien, Japanese monk, poet, and historian (d. 1225)
  • 1443 – Edmund, Earl of Rutland (d. 1460)
  • 1451 – Engelbert II of Nassau, Count of Nassau-Vianden and Lord of Breda (1475–1504) (d. 1504)
  • 1490 – Albert, Duke of Prussia, last Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights (d. 1568)
  • 1500 – Federico II Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua (d. 1540)
  • 1551 – Martin Delrio, Belgian occultist and theologian (d. 1601)
  • 1568 – Anna Vasa of Sweden, Swedish princess (d. 1625)
  • 1610 – Stefano della Bella, Italian engraver and etcher (d. 1664)
  • 1628 – Ferdinand Charles, Archduke of Austria (d. 1662)
  • 1636 – Edward Colman, English Catholic courtier under Charles II (d. 1678)
  • 1682 – Bartholomew Roberts, Welsh pirate (d. 1722)
  • 1698 – Gio Nicola Buhagiar, Maltese painter (d. 1752)
  • 1706 – Andreas Felix von Oefele, German historian and librarian (d. 1780)
  • 1718 – Robert Darcy, 4th Earl of Holderness, English politician and diplomat, Secretary of State for the Southern Department (d. 1778)
  • 1732 – Francesco Pasquale Ricci, Italian violinist and composer (d. 1817)
  • 1743 – Seth Warner, American colonel (d. 1784)
  • 1749 – Edward Jenner, English physician and microbiologist (d. 1823)
  • 1758 – Sir John St Aubyn, 5th Baronet, English politician (d. 1839)
  • 1768 – Caroline of Brunswick (d. 1821)
  • 1768 – Henry Paget, 1st Marquess of Anglesey, English general and politician, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (d. 1854)
  • 1794 – Anna Brownell Jameson, Irish-English author (d. 1860)
  • 1818 – Ezra Otis Kendall, American professor, astronomer and mathematician (d. 1899)
  • 1821 – Sebastian Kneipp, German priest and therapist (d. 1897)
  • 1835 – Thomas McIlwraith, Scottish-Australian politician, 8th Premier of Queensland (d. 1900)
  • 1836 – Virginie Loveling, Belgian author and poet (d. 1923)
  • 1836 – Wilhelm Steinitz, Austrian-American chess player (d. 1900)
  • 1845 – Jacint Verdaguer, Catalan priest and poet (d. 1902)
  • 1860 – Martin Kukučín, Slovak author and playwright (d. 1928)
  • 1860 – Charlotte Barnum, American mathematician and social activist (d. 1934)
  • 1863 – Léon Gérin, Canadian lawyer, sociologist, and civil servant (d. 1951)
  • 1864 – Louis Richardet, Swiss target shooter (d. 1923)
  • 1864 – Ante Trumbić, Croatian lawyer and politician, 27th Mayor of Split (d. 1938)
  • 1866 – Erik Satie, French pianist and composer (d. 1925)
  • 1868 – Horace Elgin Dodge, American businessman, co-founded Dodge (d. 1920)
  • 1868 – Panagis Tsaldaris, Greek politician, Prime Minister of Greece (d. 1936)
  • 1870 – Newton Moore, Australian politician, 8th Premier of Western Australia (d. 1936)
  • 1873 – Henri Barbusse, French author and journalist (d. 1935)
  • 1873 – Dorothy Richardson, English author and journalist (d. 1957)
  • 1874 – George Sheldon, American diver (d. 1907)
  • 1882 – Karl Burman, Estonian architect and painter (d. 1965)
  • 1886 – Alfonso XIII of Spain, Spanish monarch (d. 1941)
  • 1888 – Tich Freeman, English cricketer (d. 1965)
  • 1889 – Dorothy Gibson, American actress and singer (d. 1946)
  • 1889 – Alfonso Reyes, Mexican author (d. 1959)
  • 1891 – Napoleon Zervas, Greek general and politician (d. 1957)
  • 1893 – Frederick McKinley Jones, American inventor and entrepreneur (d. 1961)
  • 1895 – Saul Adler, Belarusian-English captain and parasitologist (d. 1966)
  • 1895 – Reinhold Saulmann, Estonian sprinter and bandy player (d. 1936)
  • 1897 – Odd Hassel, Norwegian chemist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1981)
  • 1898 – A. J. Casson, Canadian painter (d. 1992)
  • 1899 – Carmen de Icaza, Spanish writer (d. 1979)
  • 1901 – Werner Egk, German pianist and composer (d. 1983)
  • 1903 – Cool Papa Bell, American baseball player and manager (d. 1991)
  • 1904 – Marie-Anne Desmarest, French author (d. 1973)
  • 1906 – Zinka Milanov, Croatian-American soprano and educator (d. 1989)
  • 1909 – Julius Sumner Miller, American physicist and academic (d. 1987)
  • 1911 – Lisa Fonssagrives, Swedish-American model (d. 1992)
  • 1911 – Maureen O’Sullivan, Irish-American actress (d. 1998)
  • 1912 – Archibald Cox, American lawyer and politician, 31st United States Solicitor General (d. 2004)
  • 1912 – Ace Parker, American baseball and football player (d. 2013)
  • 1912 – Mary Beatrice Davidson Kenner, American inventor (d. 2006)
  • 1913 – Hans Ruesch, Swiss racing driver and author (d. 2007)
  • 1914 – Robert N. Thompson, American-Canadian chiropractor and politician (d. 1997)
  • 1918 – Joan Benham, English actress (d. 1981)
  • 1918 – Birgit Nilsson, Swedish operatic soprano (d. 2005)
  • 1919 – Antonio Aguilar, Mexican singer-songwriter, producer, actor, and screenwriter (d. 2007)
  • 1919 – Merle Miller, American author and screenwriter (d. 1986)
  • 1919 – Gustav Naan, Russian-Estonian physicist and philosopher (d. 1994)
  • 1920 – Harry Männil, Estonian-Venezuelan businessman, co-founded ACO Group (d. 2010)
  • 1921 – Dennis Brain, English composer (d. 1957)
  • 1921 – Bob Merrill, American composer and screenwriter (d. 1998)
  • 1922 – Jean Rédélé, French racing driver, founded Alpine (d. 2007)
  • 1923 – Michael Beetham, English commander and pilot (d. 2015)
  • 1924 – Roy Bentley, English footballer (d. 2018)
  • 1924 – Francis Tombs, Baron Tombs, English engineer and politician (d. 2020)
  • 1926 – David Ogilvy, 13th Earl of Airlie, English-Scottish soldier and politician
  • 1926 – Dietmar Schönherr, Austrian-Spanish actor, director, and screenwriter (d. 2014)
  • 1926 – Franz Sondheimer, German-English chemist and academic (d. 1981)
  • 1929 – Branko Zebec, Yugoslav football player and coach (d. 1988)
  • 1931 – Marshall Applewhite, American cult leader, founded Heaven’s Gate (d. 1997)
  • 1931 – Dewey Redman, American saxophonist (d. 2006)
  • 1932 – Rodric Braithwaite, English soldier and diplomat, British Ambassador to Russia
  • 1932 – Peter Burge, Australian cricketer (d. 2001)
  • 1933 – Yelena Gorchakova, Russian javelin thrower (d. 2002)
  • 1934 – Friedrich-Wilhelm Kiel, German educator and politician
  • 1934 – Earl Morrall, American football player and coach (d. 2014)
  • 1934 – Ronald Wayne, American computer scientist, co-founded Apple Inc.
  • 1935 – Dennis Potter, English voice actor, director, producer, and screenwriter (d. 1994)
  • 1936 – Dennis Hopper, American actor and director (d. 2010)
  • 1937 – Hazel R. O’Leary, American lawyer and politician, 7th United States Secretary of Energy
  • 1938 – Jason Bernard, American actor (d. 1996)
  • 1938 – Marcia Freedman, Israeli activist
  • 1938 – Pervis Jackson, American R&B bass singer (d. 2008)
  • 1939 – Hugh Dykes, Baron Dykes, English politician
  • 1939 – Gary Paulsen, American author
  • 1940 – Alan Kay, American computer scientist and academic
  • 1940 – Reynato Puno, Filipino lawyer and jurist, 22nd Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines
  • 1941 – David Cope, American composer and author
  • 1941 – Ben Nelson, American lawyer and politician, 37th Governor of Nebraska
  • 1942 – Taj Mahal, American blues singer-songwriter and musician
  • 1943 – Sirajuddin of Perlis, Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia
  • 1943 – Johnny Warren, Australian footballer, coach, and sportscaster (d. 2004)
  • 1944 – Jesse Winchester, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer (d. 2014)
  • 1945 – B.S. Chandrasekhar, Indian cricketer
  • 1945 – Tony Roche, Australian tennis player and coach
  • 1946 – Udo Lindenberg, German singer-songwriter and drummer
  • 1947 – Stephen Platten, English bishop
  • 1948 – Dick Gaughan, Scottish singer-songwriter and guitarist
  • 1949 – Bill Bruford, English drummer, songwriter, and producer
  • 1949 – Keith, American pop singer
  • 1950 – Howard Ashman, American playwright and composer (d. 1991)
  • 1950 – Keith Bradley, Baron Bradley, English accountant and politician
  • 1950 – Janez Drnovšek, Slovenian economist and politician, 2nd President of Slovenia (d. 2008)
  • 1950 – Alan Johnson, English politician, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer
  • 1950 – Valeriya Novodvorskaya, Russian journalist and politician (d. 2014)
  • 1951 – Simon Hughes, English lawyer and politician
  • 1952 – Howard Hampton, Canadian lawyer and politician
  • 1954 – Michael Roberts, South African-English jockey
  • 1955 – Bill Paxton, American actor and director (d. 2017)
  • 1955 – David Townsend, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (d. 2005)
  • 1956 – Sugar Ray Leonard, American boxer
  • 1956 – Annise Parker, American politician
  • 1956 – Bob Saget, American comedian, actor, and television host
  • 1956 – Dave Sim, Canadian cartoonist and author
  • 1957 – Pascual Pérez, Dominican baseball player (d. 2012)
  • 1958 – Paul Di’Anno, English rock singer-songwriter
  • 1959 – Marcelo Loffreda, Argentine rugby player and coach
  • 1960 – Lou DiBella, American boxing promoter, actor, and producer
  • 1960 – Simon Fuller, English talent manager and producer, created the Idols series
  • 1961 – Enya, Irish singer-songwriter and producer
  • 1961 – Jamil Azzaoui, Canadian singer-songwriter and guitarist
  • 1961 – Justin King, English businessman
  • 1962 – Lise Lyng Falkenberg, Danish journalist and author
  • 1962 – Andrew Farrar, Australian rugby league player and coach
  • 1962 – Craig Ferguson, Scottish-American comedian, actor, and talk show host
  • 1962 – Jane Moore, English journalist and author
  • 1962 – Rosalind Picard, American computer scientist and engineer, co-founded Affectiva
  • 1963 – Jon Koncak, American basketball player
  • 1963 – Page McConnell, American keyboard player and songwriter
  • 1964 – Stratos Apostolakis, Greek footballer and coach
  • 1964 – Mauro Martini, Italian race car driver
  • 1964 – Menno Oosting, Dutch tennis player (d. 1999)
  • 1965 – Trent Reznor, American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer
  • 1965 – Jeremy Vine, English journalist and author
  • 1966 – Qusay Hussein, Iraqi soldier and politician (d. 2003)
  • 1966 – Mark Kratzmann, Australian tennis player and coach
  • 1966 – Danny Manning, American basketball player and coach
  • 1966 – Gilles Quénéhervé, French sprinter
  • 1967 – Nancy Benoit, American professional wrestling valet and model (d. 2007)
  • 1967 – Mohamed Nasheed, Maldivian lawyer and politician 4th President of the Maldives
  • 1967 – Patrick Ortlieb, Austrian skier
  • 1968 – Dave Abbruzzese, American rock drummer and songwriter
  • 1969 – Keith Hill, English footballer and manager
  • 1970 – Hubert Davis, American basketball player and coach
  • 1970 – Jordan Knight, American singer-songwriter and actor
  • 1970 – Matt Lindland, American mixed martial artist, wrestler, and politician
  • 1970 – Jodie Rogers, Australian diver
  • 1970 – René Vilbre, Estonian director and screenwriter
  • 1971 – Mark Connors, Australian rugby player
  • 1971 – Shaun Hart, Australian footballer, coach, and sportscaster
  • 1971 – Stella Jongmans, Dutch athlete
  • 1971 – Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, Dutch royal
  • 1971 – Gina Raimondo, Governor of Rhode Island
  • 1972 – Barry Hayles, English born Jamaican international footballer
  • 1973 – Josh Homme, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer
  • 1974 – Andrea Corr, Irish singer-songwriter, pianist, and actress
  • 1974 – Wiki González, Venezuelan baseball player
  • 1974 – Eddie Lewis, American international soccer player
  • 1975 – Marcelinho Paraíba, Brazilian footballer
  • 1975 – Alex Wright, German wrestler
  • 1976 – Kandi Burruss, American singer-songwriter, producer, and actress
  • 1976 – Shayne Dunley, Australian rugby league player
  • 1976 – José Guillén, Dominican-American baseball player
  • 1976 – Daniel Komen, Kenyan runner
  • 1976 – Wang Leehom, American-Taiwanese singer-songwriter, producer, actor, and director
  • 1976 – Mayte Martínez, Spanish runner
  • 1976 – Kirsten Vlieghuis, Dutch freestyle swimmer
  • 1978 – John Foster, American baseball player and coach
  • 1978 – Paddy Kenny, English footballer
  • 1978 – Carlos Peña, Dominican-American baseball player
  • 1978 – Magdalena Zděnovcová, Czech tennis player
  • 1979 – David Jarolím, Czech footballer
  • 1979 – Wayne Thomas, English footballer
  • 1980 – Davor Džalto, Bosnian historian and philosopher
  • 1980 – Fredrik Kessiakoff, Swedish cyclist
  • 1980 – Alistair Overeem, Dutch mixed martial artist and kickboxer
  • 1980 – Ariën van Weesenbeek, Dutch drummer
  • 1981 – Beñat Albizuri, Spanish cyclist
  • 1981 – Leon Osman, English footballer
  • 1981 – Lim Jeong-hee, South Korean singer
  • 1981 – Chris Skidmore, English historian and politician
  • 1981 – Giannis Taralidis, Greek footballer
  • 1982 – Matt Cassel, American football player
  • 1982 – Dan Hardy, English mixed martial artist
  • 1982 – Reiko Nakamura, Japanese swimmer
  • 1982 – Tony Parker, French-American basketball player
  • 1982 – Chloe Smith, English politician
  • 1983 – Channing Frye, American basketball player
  • 1983 – Chris Henry, American football player (d. 2009)
  • 1983 – Nicky Hofs, Dutch footballer
  • 1983 – Kevin Kingston, Australian rugby league player
  • 1983 – Jeremy Sowers, American baseball player
  • 1984 – Christian Bolaños, Costa Rican footballer
  • 1984 – Christine Ohuruogu, English runner
  • 1984 – Christine Robinson, Canadian water polo player
  • 1984 – Passenger, English singer-songwriter and musician
  • 1985 – Teófilo Gutiérrez, Colombian footballer
  • 1985 – Derek Hough, American actor, singer, and dancer
  • 1985 – Christine Nesbitt, Canadian speed skater
  • 1985 – Todd Redmond, American baseball player
  • 1985 – Matt Ryan, American football player
  • 1986 – Marius Činikas, Lithuanian footballer
  • 1986 – Timo Simonlatser, Estonian skier
  • 1986 – Jodie Taylor, English footballer
  • 1987 – Edvald Boasson Hagen, Norwegian cyclist
  • 1987 – Aleandro Rosi, Italian footballer
  • 1988 – Nikki Reed, American actress, singer, and screenwriter
  • 1988 – Jennison Myrie-Williams, English footballer
  • 1989 – Mose Masoe, New Zealand rugby league player
  • 1989 – Rain Raadik, Estonian basketball player
  • 1989 – Tessa Virtue, Canadian ice dancer
  • 1990 – Fabian Giefer, German footballer
  • 1990 – Charlie Gubb, New Zealand rugby league player
  • 1990 – Katrina Hart, English runner
  • 1990 – Guido Pella, Argentine tennis player
  • 1991 – Johanna Konta, Australian-English tennis player
  • 1991 – Adil Omar, Pakistani rapper and music producer
  • 1991 – Abigail Raye, Canadian field hockey player

Deaths on May 17

  • 528 – Empress Dowager Hu of Northern Wei
  • 528 – Yuan Yong, imperial prince of Northern Wei
  • 528 – Yuan Zhao, emperor of Northern Wei (b. 526)
  • 896 – Liu Jianfeng, Chinese warlord
  • 924 – Li Maozhen, Chinese warlord and king (b. 856)
  • 946 – Al-Qa’im bi-Amr Allah, Fatimid caliph (b. 893)
  • 1299 – Daumantas of Pskov, Lithuanian prince (b. c. 1240)
  • 1336 – Go-Fushimi, emperor of Japan (b. 1288)
  • 1365 – Louis II, Elector of Brandenburg (b. 1328)
  • 1395 – Konstantin Dejanović/Constantine Dragaš, Serbian ruler (b. 1355)
  • 1464 – Thomas de Ros, 9th Baron de Ros, English politician (b. 1427)
  • 1510 – Sandro Botticelli, Italian painter (b. 1445)
  • 1521 – Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham, Welsh politician, Lord High Constable of England (b. 1478)
  • 1536 – George Boleyn, 2nd Viscount Rochford, English courtier and diplomat, Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports (b. 1504)
  • 1536 – William Brereton, English courtier (b. 1487)
  • 1536 – Henry Norris, English courtier (b. 1482)
  • 1546 – Philipp von Hutten, German explorer (b. 1511)
  • 1551 – Shin Saimdang, South Korean poet and calligraphist (b. 1504)
  • 1558 – Francisco de Sá de Miranda, Portuguese poet (b. 1485)
  • 1575 – Matthew Parker, English archbishop and academic (b. 1504)
  • 1606 – False Dmitriy I, pretender to the Russian throne (b. 1582)
  • 1607 – Anna d’Este, French princess (b. 1531)
  • 1626 – Joan Pau Pujol, Catalan organist and composer (b. 1570)
  • 1643 – Giovanni Picchi, Italian organist and composer (b. 1571)
  • 1727 – Catherine I of Russia (b. 1684)
  • 1729 – Samuel Clarke, English clergyman and philosopher (b. 1675)
  • 1765 – Alexis Clairaut, French mathematician, astronomer, and geophysicist (b. 1713)
  • 1797 – Michel-Jean Sedaine, French playwright and composer (b. 1719)
  • 1801 – William Heberden, English physician and scholar (b. 1710)
  • 1807 – John Gunby, American general (b. 1745)
  • 1809 – Leopold Auenbrugger, Austrian physician (b. 1722)
  • 1822 – Armand-Emmanuel de Vignerot du Plessis, Duc de Richelieu, French general and politician, 2nd Prime Minister of France (b. 1766)
  • 1829 – John Jay, American politician and diplomat, 1st Chief Justice of the United States (b. 1745)
  • 1838 – René Caillié, French explorer and author (b. 1799)
  • 1838 – Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, French bishop and politician, Prime Minister of France (b. 1754)
  • 1839 – Archibald Alison, Scottish priest and author (b. 1757)
  • 1868 – Kondō Isami, Japanese commander (b. 1834)
  • 1875 – John C. Breckinridge, American lawyer and politician, 14th Vice President of the United States, Confederate States general (b. 1821)
  • 1879 – Asa Packer, American businessman, founded Lehigh University (b. 1805)
  • 1880 – Ziya Pasha, Greek author and translator (b. 1826)
  • 1886 – John Deere, American blacksmith and businessman, founded the Deere & Company (b. 1804)
  • 1888 – Giacomo Zanella, Italian priest and poet (b. 1820)
  • 1911 – Frederick August Otto Schwarz, German-American businessman, founded FAO Schwarz (b. 1836)
  • 1916 – Boris Borisovich Golitsyn, Russian physicist and seismologist (b. 1862)
  • 1917 – Clara Ayres, American nurse (b. 1880)
  • 1917 – Charles Brooke, Rajah of Sarawak (b. 1829)
  • 1919 – Guido von List, Austrian-German journalist, author, and poet (b. 1848)
  • 1921 – Karl Mantzius, Danish actor and director (b. 1860)
  • 1922 – Dorothy Levitt, English racing driver and journalist (b. 1882)
  • 1927 – Harold Geiger, American pilot and lieutenant (b. 1884)
  • 1934 – Cass Gilbert, American architect (b. 1859)
  • 1935 – Paul Dukas, French composer, critic, and educator (b. 1865)
  • 1936 – Panagis Tsaldaris, Greek lawyer and politician, 124th Prime Minister of Greece (b. 1868)
  • 1938 – Jakob Ehrlich, Czech-Austrian academic and politician (b. 1877)
  • 1943 – Johanna Elberskirchen, German author and activist (b. 1864)
  • 1947 – George Forbes, New Zealand farmer and politician, 22nd Prime Minister of New Zealand (b. 1869)
  • 1951 – William Birdwood, Anglo-Indian field marshal (b. 1865)
  • 1960 – Jules Supervielle, Uruguayan-French poet and author (b. 1884)
  • 1963 – John Wilce, American football player, coach, and physician (b. 1888)
  • 1964 – Nandor Fodor, Hungarian-American psychologist and parapsychologist (b. 1895)
  • 1974 – Ernest Nash, German-American photographer and scholar (b. 1898)
  • 1977 – Charles E. Rosendahl, American admiral and pilot (b. 1892)
  • 1980 – Gündüz Kılıç, Turkish football player and coach (b. 1918)
  • 1985 – Abe Burrows, American director, composer, and author (b. 1910)
  • 1987 – Gunnar Myrdal, Swedish economist, sociologist, and politician, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1898)
  • 1992 – Lawrence Welk, American accordion player and bandleader (b. 1903)
  • 1995 – Toe Blake, Canadian ice hockey player and coach (b. 1912)
  • 1996 – Kevin Gilbert, American singer-songwriter and producer (b. 1966)
  • 1999 – Bruce Fairbairn, Canadian trumpet player and producer (b. 1949)
  • 1999 – Lembit Oll, Estonian chess Grandmaster (b. 1966)
  • 2000 – Donald Coggan, English archbishop (b. 1909)
  • 2001 – Jacques-Louis Lions, French mathematician (b. 1928)
  • 2001 – Frank G. Slaughter, American physician and author (b. 1908)
  • 2002 – László Kubala, Hungarian-Spanish footballer, coach, and manager (b. 1927)
  • 2002 – Aşık Mahzuni Şerif, Turkish poet and composer (b. 1940)
  • 2004 – Jørgen Nash, Danish poet and painter (b. 1920)
  • 2004 – Tony Randall, American actor (b. 1920)
  • 2004 – Ezzedine Salim, Iraqi politician (b. 1943)
  • 2005 – Frank Gorshin, American actor (b. 1934)
  • 2006 – Cy Feuer, American director, producer, and composer (b. 1911)
  • 2007 – Lloyd Alexander, American soldier and author (b. 1924)
  • 2007 – T. K. Doraiswamy, Indian poet and author (b. 1921)
  • 2009 – Mario Benedetti, Uruguayan journalist, author, and poet (b. 1920)
  • 2009 – Jung Seung-hye, South Korean journalist and producer (b. 1965)
  • 2010 – Yvonne Loriod, French pianist, composer, and educator (b. 1924)
  • 2010 – Walasse Ting, Chinese-American painter and poet (b. 1929)
  • 2011 – Harmon Killebrew, American baseball player and sportscaster (b. 1936)
  • 2012 – Gideon Ezra, Israeli geographer and politician, Israeli Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office (b. 1937)
  • 2012 – Patrick Mafisango, Congolese-Rwandan footballer (b. 1980)
  • 2012 – Donna Summer, American singer-songwriter (b. 1948)
  • 2013 – Philippe Gaumont, French cyclist (b. 1973)
  • 2013 – Peter Schulz, German politician, Mayor of Hamburg (b. 1930)
  • 2013 – Ken Venturi, American golfer and sportscaster (b. 1931)
  • 2013 – Jorge Rafael Videla, Argentine general and politician, 42nd President of Argentina (b. 1925)
  • 2014 – Gerald Edelman, American biologist and immunologist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1929)
  • 2014 – C. P. Krishnan Nair, Indian businessman, founded The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts (b. 1922)
  • 2014 – Douangchay Phichit, Laotian politician (b. 1944)
  • 2014 – Thongbanh Sengaphone, Laotian politician (b. 1953)
  • 2017 – Todor Veselinović, Serbian football player and manager (b. 1930)
  • 2019 – Herman Wouk, American author (b. 1915)
  • 2020 – Lucky Peterson, American blues singer, keyboardist and guitarist (b. 1964)

Holidays and observances on May 17

  • Birthday of the Raja (Perlis)
  • Christian feast day:
    • Giulia Salzano
    • Paschal Baylon
    • William Hobart Hare (Episcopal Church (USA))
    • Restituta
    • May 17 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics)
  • Children’s Day (Norway)
  • Constitution Day (Nauru)
  • Norwegian Constitution Day
  • The earliest date on which Trinity Sunday can fall, while June 20 is the latest; celebrated on the first Sunday after Pentecost. (Western Christianity)
  • Feast of ‘Aẓamat (Bahá’í Faith, day shifts with March Equinox, see List of observances set by the Baháʼí calendar)
  • Galician Literature Day or Día das Letras Galegas (Galicia)
  • National Day Against Homophobia (Canada)
  • International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia also known as IDAHOT
  • Liberation Day (Democratic Republic of the Congo)
  • Navy Day (Argentina)
  • World Hypertension Day
  • World Information Society Day (International)
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