August 17 is the 229th day of the year. There are 136 days remaining until the end of the year. This date is slightly more likely to fall on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday (58 in 400 years each) than on Saturday or Sunday (57), and slightly less likely to occur on a Tuesday or Thursday (56).
+ 1807 – Robert Fulton's North River Steamboat leaves New York City for Albany, New York, on the Hudson River, inaugurating the first commercial steamboat service in the world.
+ 1863 – American Civil War: In Charleston, South Carolina, Union batteries and ships bombard Confederate-held Fort Sumter.
+ 1908 – Fantasmagorie, the first animated cartoon, created by Émile Cohl, is shown in Paris, France.
+ 1969 – Category 5 Hurricane Camille hits the U.S. Gulf Coast, killing 256 and causing $1.42 billion in damage.
( Births )
+ 1786 – Davy Crockett, American soldier and politician (d. 1836)
+ 1893 – Mae West, American actress, playwright, and screenwriter (d. 1980)
+ 1960 – Sean Penn, American actor, director, and political activist
+ 1963 – Jon Gruden, American football player, coach, and sportscaster