Today's History Trivia for August 17
Leo Frank Lynching
He had been convicted of murdering 14-year-old Mary Phagan. Although sentenced to death, after reviewing the evidence the governor commuted his sentence to life in prison. Angered by the change in sentencing a mob kidnapped him from prison and lynched him. The lynch mob was said to include prominent citizens, including former Georgia Governor Joseph Mackey Brown. Nobody was ever charged in the lynching.
1998 Clinton-Lewinsky Affair The President admits that he had had an "inappropriate" relationship with Monica Lewinsky. He denied having committed perjury because oral sex was not a sexual relation. He also made his famous "It depends upon what the meaning of the word 'is' is" defense of previous statements denying he was have sexual relations with Lewinksy.
1988 Rogaine becomes the first hair growth drug approved for marketing by the FDA.
1988 Dan Quayle The future U.S. Vice-President states, "Let me just tell you how thrilling it really is, and how, what a challenge it is, because in 1988 the question is whether we're going forward to tomorrow or whether we're going to go past to the back! …That's a Hoosierism. You've got to get used to that!"
1981 A 65,000,000-year-old Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton is discovered in South Dakota.
1978 First transatlantic balloon crossing Three Americans arrive in France after having departed from Maine six days earlier.
1969 Hurricane Camile striking Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana killing 300 and leaving 70,000 homeless.
1962 The Beatles Ringo Starr joins the Beatles, replacing Pete Best on drums.
1945 Animal Farm After being rejected by several publishers, George Orwell's classic is finally published. It was an instant best seller and is considered one of the greatest works of Western literature.
1938 Henry Armstrong wins the world lightweight boxing championship He was currently the world featherweight and welterweight champion.
1908 First animated film Fantasmagorie, by émile Cohl, is shown at the Théâtre de Gymnase in Paris. (View Fantasmagorie).
1807 Robert Fulton makes his first trip from New York to Albany in his steamboat Clermont.
Today's Birthdays for August 17
1893 Mae West d. 1980 (Mary Jane West), American actress, sex symbol. "Come up and see me sometime." In 1927, her play "Sex," which she wrote, produced, and directed, was raided on morals charges. She ending up spending eight days in jail, which she used as publicity stunt.
1969 Donnie Wahlberg (Donald E. Wahlberg, Jr.), American pop musician, member of New Kids on the Block.
1960 Sean Penn American actor, Madonna's ex-husband. Film: Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982).
1959 David Koresh d. 1993 (Vernon Howell), American leader of the Branch Davidians during their 51-day stand off with federal agents (1993) which resulted in a mass suicide of him and his followers.
1958 Belinda Carlisle American singer, with the Go-Go's. Music: We Got the Beat (1981) and Vacation (1982).
1950 Gail A. Cobb d. 1974 American police officer. She was the first female U.S. police officer killed in the line of duty (1974, Washington D.C.). She was killed while trying to apprehend a bank robbery suspect. She had been on the force less than a year.
1943 Robert De Niro American Oscar-winning actor. Film: The Godfather Part II (1974, Oscar, Vito Corleone), Taxi Driver (1976), and The Deer Hunter (1978).
1929 Francis Gary Powers d. 1977 American CIA agent, U-2 pilot. In 1960 he was shot down over Russia, convicted of spying, and then exchanged in 1962 for Russian spy Rudolf Abel.
1920 Maureen O'Hara (Maureen FitzSimons), Irish actress. Film: The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939, Esmeralda).
1913 William Mark Felt d. 2008 Sr., American agent and Associate Director of the FBI (1972-73). He was the informant known as Deep Throat in the Watergate scandal. His leaks about Watergate led to Nixon's resignation.
1879 Samuel Goldwyn d. 1974 (Samuel Goldfish), Polish-born film maker. Quote: "I don't think anybody should write his autobiography until after he's dead."
1871 Jesse Lynch Williams d. 1929 American playwright. His Why Marry? (1917) was the first play to win a Pulitzer Prize for drama.
1786 Davy Crockett d. 1836 American frontiersman, died at the Alamo.
Deaths for August 17
Leo M. Frank
American factory worker. He was convicted of murdering 14-year-old Mary Phagan. Although sentenced to death, after reviewing the evidence the governor commuted his sentence to life in prison. Angered by the change in sentencing a mob kidnapped him from prison and lynched him. The lynch mob was said to include prominent citizens, including former Georgia Governor Joseph Mackey Brown. Nobody was ever charged in the lynching.
1990 Pearl Bailey b. 1918 Tony Award-winning actress, singer, noted for her role in the all-black version of Hello Dolly!
1987 Rudolf Hess b. 1894 German politician, Hitler's private secretary. In 1941, he embarked on a solo peace mission to Scotland - without Hitler's permission. He was arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment.
1983 Ira Gershwin b. 1896 American Pulitzer-winning lyricist, collaborated with his brother George for Funny Face (1927), Strike Up The Band (1929), Of the I Sing (1931, Pulitzer).
1979 Vivian Vance b. 1909 (Vivian Roberta Jones), American Emmy-winning actress. TV: I Love Lucy (Ethel Mertz).
1920 Ray Chapman b. 1891 American baseball player. He was the first major-league baseball player mortally wounded during a game; he was hit in the head by a pitch.
310 Saint Eusebius b. ???? Greek-born religious leader, 31st Pope (c309-310).