Holidays Calendar for November 17, 2015

Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day is a public holiday celebrated in the Czech Republic and Slovakia on November 17. It commemorates two historical events that occurred on this day: the student demonstration against Nazis in 1939 and the beginning of the Velvet Revolution in 1989.

Presidents' Day is a public holiday in the Marshall Islands celebrated on November 17. The date was chosen because it coincides with the birthday of the country's first president, Amata Kabua, who was elected for consecutive terms and served from 1979 until his death in 1996.

International Students' Day is observed on November 17 every year. The first celebration was held in 1941 in London by the International Students' Council. For years, numerous students groups have been lobbying to make the day an official UN observance, but they have not succeeded yet.

World Prematurity Day (WPD) is an annual observance held on September 17 to raise awareness of the global problem of preterm birth. The first international awareness day for preterm birth was observed in 2009, it has been celebrated as WPD since 2011.

National Entrepreneurs’ Day is an unofficial American holiday that honors entrepreneurs who are considered the foundation of the country. It is celebrated on the third Tuesday in November.


Black Cat Day is celebrated in Italy on November 17. The initiative was launched in 2007 by the Italian Association for the Protection of Animals and the Environment (AIDAA) to reduce the number of black cats killed because of superstition.

Kyrgyz Cinema Day (also spelled Kirghiz Cinema Day) is a cultural and professional holiday celebrated in Kyrgyzstan on November 17. It is dedicated to the anniversary of the founding of the country’s first film studio.

National Revival Day is observed in Azerbaijan on November 17 every year. It commemorates the 1988 public rally against the inconsistent policy of Kremlin toward Azerbaijan and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

In India, there are several dates declared as Martyrs’ Day to honor those who died fighting for the nation’s independence. For example, Martyrs’ Day in Odisha is observed on November 17. It commemorates the death anniversary of Lala Lajpat Rai, also known as the “Lion of Punjab”.

The Homemade Bread Day is celebrated on November 17. This food-related holiday is the perfect occasion to try your hand at baking tasty bread.

This Day in History

  • 2013 Tatarstan Airlines Flight 363 crashed at Kazan International Airport in Kazan, Russia, killing all 50 people on board. The airport was temporarily closed after that.
  • 2013 Died: Doris Lessing (née Tayler), British novelist, short story writer, playwright, poet, librettist, and biographer who was awarded the 2007 Nobel Prize in Literature.
  • 2012 A school bus was hit by a train on a rail crossing near Manfalut, Egypt. At least 50 children between four and six years old and the bus driver died in the crash.
  • 2000 Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori submitted his resignation via fax, while traveling from Brunei to Tokyo. Congress did not accept it and removed him from office instead.
  • 2000 Died: Louis Néel, French physicist who was awarded the 1970 Nobel Prize in Physics for his discoveries concerning antiferromagnetism and ferrimagnetism.
  • 1997 62 people, mostly tourists, were killed by terrorists at Deir el-Bahri, an archaeological site and major tourist attraction across the Nile River from Luxor in Egypt.
  • 1990 Died: Robert Hofstadter, American physicist who was awarded the 1961 Nobel Prize in Physics for his pioneering studies of electron scattering in atomic nuclei.
  • 1983 Born: Christopher Paolini, American author best known for his Inheritance Cycle, which consists of the novels Eragon, Eldest, Brisingr and Inheritance.
  • 1973 The Athens Polytechnic uprising against the Regime of the Colonels ended in bloodshed. This student uprising has become a symbol of resistance to tyranny.
  • 1966 Born: Sophie Marceau, French actress, director, screenwriter, and author. Marceau is known for her roles in Braveheart, Firelight and The World Is Not Enough.
  • 1962 President John F. Kennedy dedicated Washington Dulles International Airport, an international airport in Dulles, Virginia. Its main terminal is a well-known landmark.
  • 1960 Born: RuPaul (RuPaul Andre Charles), American actor, drag performer, model, singer-songwriter, and author. He hosts the reality TV show RuPaul's Drag Race.
  • 1950 Lhamo Dondrub was officially named the fourteenth Dalai Lama. He was forced to leave Tibet during the 1959 uprising and has been living in India ever since.
  • 1944 Born: Danny DeVito, American actor of stage and screen, producer, and director. His breakout role was Louie De Palma on Taxi, for which he won a Golden Globe and an Emmy.
  • 1942 Born: Martin Scorsese, American director, producer, screenwriter, and actor. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential and significant filmmakers in cinema history.
  • 1935 Born: Toni Sailer, Austrian alpine ski racer, regarded as one of the best in the sport. He won all three gold medals in alpine skiing at the 1956 Winter Olympics.
  • 1929 Died: Herman Hollerith, American statistician and inventor who developed a mechanical tabulator based on punched cards. He founded the Tabulating Machine Company.
  • 1922 Former Sultan of the Ottoman Empire Mehmed VI left Turkey aboard the British warship Malaya, going into exile in Malta. He later moved to the Italian Riviera.
  • 1917 Died: Auguste Rodin, French sculptor. His best known works include The Thinker, The Burghers of Calais, The Walking Man, The Age of Bronze, The Kiss.
  • 1906 Born: Soichiro Honda, Japanese engineer and industrialist. Honda is best known as the founder of Honda Motor Co., Ltd., which he established in 1948.
  • 1902 Born: Eugene Wigner, Hungarian American theoretical physicist and mathematician. He shared the 1963 Nobel Prize in Physics with two other scientists.
  • 1869 The Suez Canal opened in Egypt under French control. The canal is an artificial sea-level waterway that connects the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea.
  • 1858 Died: Robert Owen, Welsh social reformer and one of the founders of utopian socialism and the cooperative movement. In 1817, he raised the demand for an 8-hour day.
  • 1796 Died: Catherine the Great, Russian Empress. Catherine II was the most renowned and the longest-ruling female leader of Russia, reigning from 1762 until her death.
  • 1790 Born: August Ferdinand Möbius, German mathematician and theoretical astronomer. Many mathematical concepts are named after him, including the Möbius strip.
  • 1749 Born: Nicolas Appert, French confectioner. He is primarily remembered for inventing airtight food preservation, that is why he is known as the "father of canning".
  • 1747 Died: Alain-René Lesage, French novelist and dramatist. He is best known for his works The Devil upon Two Sticks, Turcaret (Le Financier), and Gil Blas.
  • 1558 Elizabeth I ascended the British throne, following the death of her half-sister Mary I of England. The childless Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty.
  • 1558 Died: Mary I of England, Queen of England and Ireland from July 1553 until her death. Her opponents called her "Bloody Mary" for her executions of Protestants.
  • 1494 Died: Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, Italian philosopher. His best known work is Oration on the Dignity of Man, which has been called the "Manifesto of the Renaissance".