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On this day in history - March 17

What Happened On This Day – March 17

  • 1992 Apartheid in South Africa comes to an end

    In a referendum, 68.7% of white South Africans voted for an abolishment of racial segregation in the country.

  • 1973 The photograph known as Burst of joy is taken

    Photographer Slava Veder was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for the image depicting a former U.S. prisoner of war being reunited with his family.

  • 1969 Golda Meir becomes Israel's first female Prime Minister

    In her country, Meir was known as the “Iron Lady” long before British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher rose to power.

  • 1959 The Dalai Lama flees Tibet for India

    Followers and advisers of Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, feared for his life after a revolt had erupted in Lhasa against the Chinese.

  • 1941 The National Gallery of Art opens in Washington. D.C.

    U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt opened the gallery, which today houses one of the world's finest art collections.

Illustration of stork, signifying birth

Births On This Day,
March 17

  • 1967 Billy Corgan

    American singer-songwriter, guitarist, producer

  • 1948 William Gibson

    American/Canadian author

  • 1919 Nat King Cole

    American singer, pianist, television host

  • 1883 Urmuz

    Romanian judge, author

  • 1834 Gottlieb Daimler

    German engineer, businessman, co-founded Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft

Illustration of tombstone, signifying death

Deaths On This Day,
March 17

  • 2006 Oleg Cassini

    French/American fashion designer

  • 2005 George F. Kennan

    American historian, diplomat, United States Ambassador to the Soviet Union

  • 1956 Fred Allen

    American comedian, actor, radio host

  • 460 Saint Patrick

    Irish missionary, bishop

  • 180 Marcus Aurelius

    Roman Emperor