August 17 events in history

986 Byzantine–Bulgarian Wars: Battle of the Gates of Trajan – The Bulgarians under the Comitopuli Samuel and Aron defeat the Byzantine forces at the Gates of Trajan, with Byzantine Emperor Basil II barely escaping
1186 Georgenberg Pact: Duke Ottokar IV of Styria and Duke Leopold V of Austria sign a heritage agreement in which Ottokar gives his duchy to Leopold and to his son Frederick under the stipulation that Austria and Styria would henceforth remain undivided
1386 Karl Topia, the ruler of Princedom of Albania forges an alliance with the Republic of Venice, committing to participate in all wars of the Republic and receiving coastal protection against the Ottomans in return
1424 Hundred Years' War: Battle of Verneuil – An English force under John, Duke of Bedford defeats a larger French army under the Duke of Alençon, John Stewart, and Earl Archibald of Douglas
1498 Cesare Borgia, son of Pope Alexander VI, becomes the first person in history to resign the cardinalate. On the same day, the French King Louis XII names him Duke of Valentinois
1549 Battle of Sampford Courtenay – The Prayer Book Rebellion is quashed in England
1560 The Roman Catholic Church is overthrown and Protestantism is established as the national religion in Scotland
1585 Eighty Years' War: Siege of Antwerp – Antwerp is captured by Spanish forces under Alexander Farnese, Duke of Parma, who orders Protestants to leave the city and as a result over half of the 100,000 inhabitants flee to the northern provinces
1585 A first group of colonists sent by Sir Walter Ralegh under the charge of Ralph Lane lands in the New World to create Roanoke Colony on Roanoke Island, off the coast of present-day North Carolina
1597 Islands Voyage: Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, and Sir Walter Raleigh set sail on an expedition to the Azores
1611 Gaspar de Borja y Velasco is made a cardinal by Pope Paul V
1668 An earthquake with a magnitude of 8.0 on the Richter magnitude scale causes 8,000 deaths in Anatolia, Ottoman Empire
1717 Austro-Turkish War of 1716–18: The month-long Siege of Belgrade ends with Prince Eugene of Savoy's Austrian troops capturing the city from the Ottoman Empire
1723 Ioan Giurgiu Patachi becomes Bishop of Făgăraş and is festively installed in his position at the St. Nicolas Cathedral in Făgăraş, after being formally confirmed earlier by Pope Clement XI
1740 Pope Benedict XIV, previously known as Prospero Lambertini succeeds Clement XII as the 247th Pope
1771 Edinburgh botanist James Robertson makes the first recorded ascent of Ben Nevis in Scotland
1784 Classical composer Luigi Boccherini receives a pay rise of 12000 reals from his employer, the Infante Luis, Count of Chinchón
1798 The Vietnamese Roman Catholics report a Marian apparition in Quảng Trị, an event which is called Lady of La Vang
1807 Robert Fulton's North River Steamboat leaves New York, New York, for Albany, New York, on the Hudson River, inaugurating the first commercial steamboat service in the world
1862 American Civil War: Major General J.E.B. Stuart is assigned command of all the cavalry of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia
1862 American Indian Wars: The Dakota War of 1862 begins in Minnesota as Lakota warriors attack white settlements along the Minnesota River
1863 American Civil War: In Charleston, South Carolina, Union batteries and ships bombard Confederate-held Fort Sumter
1864 American Civil War: Battle of Gainesville – Confederate forces defeat Union troops near Gainesville, Florida
1866 The Grand Duchy of Baden announces her withdrawal from the German Confederation and signs a treaty of peace and alliance with Prussia
1883 The first public performance of the Dominican Republic's national anthem, Himno Nacional
1896 Bridget Driscoll is run over by a Benz car in the grounds of The Crystal Palace, London, the UK's first pedestrian motoring fatality
1907 Pike Place Market, a popular tourist destination and registered historic district in Seattle, Washington, opened
1908 Fantasmagorie, the first animated cartoon, created by Émile Cohl, is shown in Paris, France
1914 World War I: Battle of Stallupönen – The German army of General Hermann von François defeats the Russian force commanded by Paul von Rennenkampf near modern-day Nesterov, Russia
1915 A Category 4 hurricane hits Galveston, Texas with winds at 135 miles per hour (217 km/h)
1915 Jewish American Leo Frank is lynched for the alleged murder of a 13-year-old girl in Marietta, Georgia, United States
1918 Bolshevik revolutionary leader Moisei Uritsky is assassinated
1941 World War II: Soviet Army left Nikolaev and Krivoi Rog
1942 World War II: U.S. Marines raid the Japanese-held Pacific island of Makin (Butaritari)
1943 World War II: The Royal Air Force begins Operation Hydra, the first air raid of the Operation Crossbow strategic bombing campaign against Germany's V-weapon program
1943 World War II: The U.S. Eighth Air Force suffers the loss of 60 bombers on the Schweinfurt–Regensburg mission
1943 World War II: The U.S. Seventh Army under General George S. Patton arrives in Messina, Italy, followed several hours later by the British 8th Army under Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, thus completing the Allied conquest of Sicily
1943 World War II: First Québec Conference of Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and William Lyon Mackenzie King begins
1945 Sukarno and Mohammad Hatta proclaim the independence of Indonesia, igniting the Indonesian National Revolution against the Dutch Empire
1947 The Radcliffe Line, the border between Dominion of India and Dominion of Pakistan is revealed
1950 Hill 303 massacre: American POWs are shot to death by the North Korean Army
1953 Addiction: First meeting of Narcotics Anonymous in Southern California
1958 Pioneer 0, America's first attempt at lunar orbit, is launched using the first Thor-Able rocket and fails. Notable as one of the first attempted launches beyond Earth orbit by any country
1959 Kind of Blue by Miles Davis, the much acclaimed and highly influential best selling jazz recording of all time, is released
1959 Quake Lake is formed by the magnitude 7.5 1959 Hebgen Lake earthquake near Hebgen Lake in Montana
1960 Decolonization: Gabon gains independence from France
1962 East German border guards kill Peter Fechter, 18, as he attempts to cross the Berlin Wall into West Berlin becoming one of the first victims of the wall
1969 Category 5 Hurricane Camille hits the U.S. Gulf Coast, killing 256 and causing $1.42 billion in damage
1970 Venera program: Venera 7 launched. It will later become the first spacecraft to successfully transmit data from the surface of another planet (Venus)
1977 The Soviet icebreaker Arktika becomes the first surface ship to reach the North Pole