Holidays Calendar for August 17, 2016

The Gabonese Republic celebrates its Independence Day on August 17. This national holiday commemorates the independence of Gabon from France in 1960. The festivities usually last for two days, August 16 and 17.

Independence Day is celebrated in many countries around the world. This is one of the major public holidays for every nation, that gained independence from other country. For instance, Indonesia celebrates its Independence Day on August 17.

Ghost Festival (also Hungry Ghost Festival) is a traditional Buddhist, Taoist and Chinese folk religions festival. It's annually observed on the 15th day of the 7th month in the Chinese calender. South China celebrates the festival on the 14th day.


Every year engineers of Colombia celebrate professional holiday, Engineer's Day, on August 17. This holiday honors the hard work of engineers, who do their best to make our life safe and easy.

Employees of Drug Control Authority of the Kyrgyz Republic annually observe their professional holiday, Drug Control Authority Workers' Day, on August 17. This is the holiday for those people, who fight against distribution of drugs in the country.

Prekmurje Union Day is a memorial day in Slovenia, that is annually observed on August 17. This holiday celebrates the day, when the Slovenes of Prekmurje reunited with the mother nation.

August 17 is National Vanilla Custard Day. The term “custard” refers to a variety of culinary preparations made with milk or cream, egg yolks, and sugar. Depending on its consistency, custard can be served on its own or used as a filling for other desserts or dessert sauce.


This Day in History

  • 2008 American swimmer Michael Phelps became the first athlete to win eight gold medals in one Olympic Games (the 2008 Beijing Games).
  • 2005 About 500 bomb explosions occurred in Bangladesh. Islamic fundamentalist organisation Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh claimed responsibility.
  • 1987 Died: Shaike Ophir, Israeli film actor, comedian, singer and accomplished mime. The Israeli Film Academy named an award in his honor.
  • 1987 Died: Rudolf Hess, prominent politician in Nazi Germany. After World War II, he was convicted of crimes against peace and died in prison.
  • 1983 Died: Ira Gershwin, American lyricist who created some of the best known songs of the 20th century with his brother, composer George Gershwin.
  • 1982 Born: Mark Salling, American actor, musician and singer-songwriter best known for his role as Noah "Puck" Puckerman on the series Glee.
  • 1979 Died: John C. Allen, American roller coaster designer who was responsible for the revival of wooden roller coasters in the 1970s.
  • 1977 The Soviet nuclear-powered icebreaker Arktika became the first surface ship to reach the North Pole. The ship was retired in 2008.
  • 1977 Born: Tarja Turunen, Finnish singer-songwriter, musician and record producer who rose to prominence as the lead singer of the band Nightwish.
  • 1970 The Soviet spacecraft Venera 7 was launched. It became the first spacecraft to transmit data from another planet (Venus) back to Earth.
  • 1969 Died: Otto Stern, German physicist who was awarded the 1943 Nobel Prize in Physics for his discovery of the proton's magnetic moment.
  • 1960 Born: Sean Penn, American actor, film director and politician. He has won two Academy Awards for his role in Mystic River (2003) and Milk (2008).
  • 1950 North Korean army soldiers shot and killed 41 captured American POWs on a hill above Waegwan, South Korea (the Hill 303 massacre).
  • 1943 The Royal Air Force launched Operation Hydra during World War II. It was the first time a master bomber was used for the main force.
  • 1943 Born: Robert De Niro, American actor and film producer. He is known for his long and prolific collaboration with the film director Martin Scorsese.
  • 1940 Died: Billy Fiske, American bobsled driver and pilot. He won two gold Olympic medals in 1928 and 1932. Fiske was killed in action during WWII.
  • 1929 Born: Francis Gary Powers, American pilot whose spy plane was shot down while flying a reconnaissance mission over Soviet Union airspace.
  • 1911 Born: Mikhail Botvinnik, Soviet and Russian chess Grandmaster and three-time World Chess Champion, one of the greatest chess players of all time.
  • 1908 The world's first animated cartoon, Fantasmagorie, was shown in Paris, France. It was created by the French caricaturist Émile Cohl.
  • 1896 Bridget Driscoll became the first pedestrian victim of an automobile collision in the United Kingdom. She was run over by a Benz car.
  • 1893 Born: Mae West (Mary Jane West), American actress, singer, screenwriter, playwright and sex symbol whose career spanned 70 years.
  • 1870 Died: Perucho Figueredo, Cuban poet, musician and freedom fighter. He is best known as the author of the Cuban national anthem.
  • 1862 The Dakota War of 1862, also known as the Sioux Uprising, began in Minnesota. It ended with a mass execution of 38 Dacota men.
  • 1850 Died: José de San Martín, Argentine general and one of the leaders of the Spanish American wars of independence. He was Protector of Peru.
  • 1798 Born: Thomas Hodgkin, English physician regarded as a pioneer in preventive medicine and one of the most prominent pathologists of his time.
  • 1786 Died: Frederick II, King of Prussia from 1740 until his death. Due to his achievements during his reign, he became known as Frederick the Great.
  • 1673 Died: Regnier de Graaf, Dutch physician and anatomist who is primarily remembered for his key discoveries in reproductive biology.
  • 1648 The Battle of Preston began during the Second English Civil War. It ended on August 19, resulting in decisive Parliamentarian victory.
  • 1629 Born: John III Sobieski, King of Poland and and Grand Duke of Lithuania from 1674 until his death. He was very popular among his subjects.
  • 1601 Born: Pierre de Fermat, French layer and mathematician. He is best known for Fermat's Last Theorem that was finally proved only in 1994.