Aug. 17, 1560 – The Roman Catholic Church was overthrown and Protestantism was established as the national religion in Scotland.
Aug. 17, 1585 – A first group of colonists sent by Sir Walter Ralegh under the charge of Ralph Lane landed in the New World to create Roanoke Colony on Roanoke Island, off the coast of present-day North Carolina.
Aug. 17, 1597 – Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex and Sir Walter Raleigh set sail on an expedition to the Azores.
Aug. 17, 1771 – Edinburgh botanist James Robertson made the first recorded ascent of Ben Nevis in Scotland
Aug. 17, 1785 - Jonathan Trumbull, governor of both the colony and state of Connecticut, died in Lebanon, Connecticut, where he was buried.
Aug. 17, 1786 – American soldier, politician and folk hero David “Davy” Crockett was born in Greene County, Tenn. He would be killed at the Alamo in 1836. Crockett was a participant in the Battle of Tallushatchee, which took place on November 3, 1813, in present-day Calhoun County, Ala. It was America's first military victory in the Creek War of 1813-14. Crockett was a member the Second Regiment of Tennessee Volunteer Mounted Riflemen under Brigadier General John Coffee.
Aug. 17, 1790 - The capital city of the United States moved to Philadelphia from New York City.
Aug. 17, 1798 – The Vietnamese Roman Catholics reported a Marian apparition in Quảng Trị, an event which is called Our Lady of La Vang.
Aug. 17, 1807 – Robert Fulton's North River Steamboat left New York City for Albany, New York, on the Hudson River, inaugurating the first commercial steamboat service in the world.
Aug. 17, 1814 – A Choctaw company of 53 warriors, commanded by Pushmataha, with Moshulitubbee as second in command, was mustered into the service of the United States. This company of Indian warriors formed part of the detachment under the command of Major Uriah Blue, and assisted in bringing the Creek War to a close. They were mustered out of service at Fort Stoddart on Jan. 27, 1815.
Aug. 17, 1829 - The conjoined twins, Chang & Eng, arrived in America from Siam to embark on their exhibition tour. Their condition was the source of the phrase "Siamese twins."
Aug. 17, 1833 – Charles D. McCall named postmaster at Burnt Corn, Ala., but he refused to accept the job, and J. Walker served as acting postmaster in his place.
Aug. 17, 1836 – David Moniac of Alabama, the first Native American graduate of West Point, was commissioned as a captain in the Second Seminole War.
Aug. 17, 1853 – Daniel McCool was commissioned for his third and final term as Monroe County, Alabama’s Circuit Court Clerk.
Aug. 17, 1861 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Palmyra, Hunnewell and at Brunswick, Mo.
Aug. 17, 1861 - George Thomas was appointed brigadier general of volunteers, Army of the Cumberland.
Aug. 17, 1862 – During the Civil War, Major General J.E.B. Stuart was assigned command of all the cavalry of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia.
Aug. 17, 1862 – During the Civil War, Minnesota erupted in violence as desperate Dakota Indians attacked white settlements along the Minnesota River. Over 500 white settlers lost their lives along with about 150 Dakota warriors. The Dakota were eventually overwhelmed by the U.S. military six weeks later, and over 300 warriors were sentenced to death.
Aug. 17, 1862 - J. E. B. Stuart assumed command of the cavalry of the Army of Northern Virginia.
Aug. 17, 1862 - Corpus Christi, Texas was bombarded by Union forces.
Aug. 17, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at London, at Flat Lick and near Mammoth, Kentucky.
Aug. 17, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Grand Prairie, Arkansas; and at Grenada and near Panola, Mississippi.
Aug. 17, 1863 – During the Civil War, in an impressive display of firepower, Federal batteries began heavy shelling of Confederate positions ringing Charleston Harbor including Fort Sumter. Using Parrott rifled cannon including the 200-pound Swamp Angel, the artillery was deadly accurate and easily breached Sumter, but no assault was forthcoming. Although the initial attack was the heaviest, Federal artillery assaults continued off and on until September, 1864.
Aug. 17, 1864 – During the Civil War, at the Battle of Gainesville, Confederate forces defeated Union troops near Gainesville, Florida.
Aug. 17, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Gainesville, Florida; at South Newport, Georgia; at White Oak Springs, Kentucky; and at Winchester and at Gravel Hill, Virginia.
Aug. 17, 1864 – During the Civil War, General John Bankhead Magruder appointed commander of Confederate forces in Arkansas.
Aug. 17, 1870 - Spanish-American War hero Richmond Pearson Hobson was born in Greensboro, Ala. Hobson later represented Alabama in the U.S. Congress and was active in the prohibition movement. He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1933 for heroism during the Spanish-American War and became a Rear Admiral in 1934. Hobson died in 1937.
Aug. 17, 1877 - Though only a teenager at the time, William Bonney, aka “Billy the Kid,” wounded an Arizona blacksmith named Frank “Windy” Cahill, who died the next day. He was the famous outlaw’s first victim.
Aug. 17, 1878 – Irish writer and wit Oliver St. John Gogarty was born in Dublin.
Aug. 17, 1893 – Actress and playwright Mae West was born in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Aug. 17, 1894 - John Wadsworth of Louisville set a Major League Baseball record when he gave up 28 base hits in a single game.
Aug. 17, 1903 - Joseph Pulitzer donated a million dollars to Columbia University, which started the Pulitzer Prizes in his name.
Aug. 17, 1907 – Pike Place Market, a popular tourist destination and registered historic district in Seattle, Washington, opened.
Aug. 17, 1909 - With a unanimous vote by the legislature, Alabama became the first state to ratify the 16th amendment to the U.S. Constitution. When the amendment went into effect on February 25, 1913, it gave Congress the power to collect income taxes.
Aug. 17, 1913 – Major League Baseball first baseman Rudy York was born in Ragland, Ala. He would go on to play for the Detroit Tigers, the Boston Red Sox, the Chicago White Sox and the Philadelphia Athletics.
Aug. 17, 1914 – Boll weevils arrived in Montgomery County, Ala. as the State Department of Agriculture received a specimen from the plantation of W.V. Bell of Ada in the western part of the county.
Aug. 17, 1916 – The Conecuh Record reported that a cavalry company was to be organized in Evergreen within the next 10 days. E.C. Barnes and J.A. Rumbley were the recruiting officers. At the time, there were only three states in the Union that had cavalry troops - Illinois, New York and Pennsylvania – and Alabama was to be the fourth. Elsewhere in that day’s paper it was reported that Capt. Duke Guice of Greenville was in Evergreen looking for recruits for a cavalry company that week.
Aug. 17, 1916 – The Monroe Journal reported that Mr. and Mrs. Walter Lee and a party of young folks from Evergreen were guests of Mr. and Mrs. L.W. Locklin on the occasion of the dance at the courthouse on this Thursday night.
Aug. 17, 1924 - Alabama author A. Cleveland Harrison was born in McRae, Ark.
Aug. 17, 1924 – Novelist, poet and short-story writer Evan S. Connell was born in Kansas City, Mo.
Aug. 17, 1930 – Poet Ted Hughes was born in West Riding, Yorkshire.
Aug. 17, 1933 - New York Yankees first baseman Lou Gehrig played in his 1,308th consecutive game, breaking former Yankee Everett Scott’s record for consecutive games played. Gehrig would go on to play in 2,130 games in a row, setting a record that would stand for over half a century.
Aug. 17, 1939 - The movie "Wizard of Oz" premiered in New York, two days after it premiered in Hollywood on August 15.
Aug. 17, 1959 – “Kind of Blue” by Miles Davis, the much acclaimed and highly influential best selling jazz recording of all time, was released.
Aug. 17, 1965 – In an election in Mobile, Lambert C. Mims, a native of Monroe County, was one of the two top vote getters in a seven-man race for Place 3, Mobile City Commission. He was to face Henry R. Luscher Jr. in the runoff Sept. 7. A food broker, Mims was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Jeff C. Mims of Uriah. He was a graduate of the J.U. Blacksher High School and lived in Uriah until he moved to Mobile several years before 1965.
Aug. 17, 1968 – Mystery writer Steve Hockensmith was born in Louisville, Ky.
Aug. 17, 1968 - Defense Department figures put the number of combat missions flown over North Vietnam since February 1965 to 117,000, dropping over 2.5 million tons of bombs and rockets.
Aug. 17, 1969 – Category 5 Hurricane Camille hit the U.S. Gulf Coast, killing 256 and causing $1.42 billion in damage.
Aug. 17, 1973 - The United States and Thailand agreed to begin negotiations on the reduction of the 49,000-man American presence in Thailand.
Aug. 17, 1980 – Azaria Chamberlain disappeared at Ayers Rock, Northern Territory, probably taken by a dingo, leading to what was then the most publicized trial in Australian history.
Aug. 17, 1982 – The first compact discs for commercial release were manufactured in Germany.
Aug. 17, 1986 - Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Reds was struck out for his last at bat by San Diego Padres relief pitcher Rich "Goose" Gossage.
Aug. 17, 1987 – Evergreen, Ala. weather reporter Earl Windham reported 2.5 inches of rain on this day in Evergreen.
Aug. 17, 2004 - Kathleen “Kathy” Theresa Lutz of “Amityville Horror” fame passed away from emphysema at the age of 57.