33 fun facts for January, 17

Discover dozens of fun facts for this special day. Read the summary for a quick recap on what happened.
January 17th marks several notable events, from Benjamin Franklin's birthday and the debuts of Popeye and The Simpsons, to the first United Nations Security Council meeting and Operation Desert Storm. It is also a day for celebrating unique observances such as National Hot Buttered Rum Day, International Mentoring Day, and Ditch New Year's Resolutions Day.
33 Fun facts
  1. On January 17, 1706, Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, was born in Boston. He was a writer, scientist, and inventor, best known for his kite experiment which demonstrated that lightning was electricity.
  2. January 17, 1929, marked the debut of the comic strip character Popeye the Sailor Man. Created by Elzie Crisler Segar, Popeye first appeared in a comic strip called Thimble Theatre, and he quickly became one of the most iconic and enduring comic characters.
  3. The annual Southern Foodways Symposium in the United States has designated January 17 as National Hot Buttered Rum Day. The tradition of hot buttered rum dates back to colonial America, and the day is celebrated with warmed rum mixed with butter, sugar, and spices.
  4. On January 17, 1946, the United Nations Security Council held its first meeting in London, England. The council is tasked with maintaining international peace and security and has the power to impose sanctions and authorize military action.
  5. Al Capone, the infamous American gangster, was born on January 17, 1899, in Brooklyn, New York. Capone was the leader of the Chicago Outfit, an organized crime syndicate, during the Prohibition era and became one of the most notorious American criminals in history.
  6. January 17 is recognized as the Day of Azerbaijani Artillery in Azerbaijan. It marks the anniversary of the establishment of the Azerbaijan Artillery Corps in 1919, and it highlights the achievements and contributions of Azerbaijani military forces.
  7. On January 17, 1950, the Great Brink's Robbery took place in Boston, Massachusetts. In one of the largest robberies in American history, a group of thieves stole over $2.7 million from the Brink's Building, a heavily guarded money transport facility.
  8. Jim Carrey, the talented comedic actor known for his roles in films like Ace Ventura, The Mask, and Dumb and Dumber, was born on January 17, 1962, in Ontario, Canada.
  9. Inventor and industrialist James Watt was born on January 17, 1736, in Greenock, Scotland. Watt significantly improved the steam engine and his innovations paved the way for the Industrial Revolution.
  10. On January 17, 1991, the Gulf War's Operation Desert Storm began with the unbelievable military air campaign. It was a response to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, and it ultimately led to the liberation of Kuwait and the expulsion of Iraqi forces.
  11. January 17 is the Feast Day of Saint Anthony the Great in the Christian calendar. He was an early Christian monk and is considered the founder of monasticism.
  12. Michelle Obama, the wife of the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, was born on January 17, 1964, in Chicago, Illinois. She was the First Lady of the United States from 2009 to 2017.
  13. On January 17, 1961, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivered his famous farewell address. In this speech, he warned of the potential dangers posed by the military-industrial complex and urged the American people to remain vigilant against it.
  14. The popular American television sitcom, The Simpsons, premiered its first full-length episode on January 17, 1990. The show has since become the longest-running American sitcom and is known for its satirical humor and cultural commentary.
  15. In 1989, on January 17, five eastern U.S. states experienced temperatures lower than -30°F, setting record-breaking low temperatures.
  16. January 17, 1982, marked the debut of Late Night with David Letterman, a late-night TV talk show that ran on NBC for over 33 years. Letterman was known for his sarcastic humor and engaging interviews.
  17. The first scheduled commercial Concorde flight took place on January 17, 1986. The supersonic jet was an incredible technological achievement, flying passengers between Europe and North America at speeds of over 1,300 mph.
  18. Beloved American children's author and illustrator, A.A. Milne, was born on January 17, 1882, in London, England. Milne was best known for creating the world of Winnie-the-Pooh and its memorable characters.
  19. January 17, 1904, marked the premiere of Giacomo Puccini's beloved opera, Madama Butterfly. Today, this classic opera is regarded as one of the most frequently performed operas of all time.
  20. January 17 is International Mentoring Day, which encourages people worldwide to mentor and support one another. The day aims to promote personal growth, career development, and connections between different generations.
  21. On January 17, 1917, the United States bought the Danish West Indies for $25 million. The islands are now known as the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  22. Professional Boxer Muhammad Ali was born on January 17, 1942, in Louisville, Kentucky. He went on to become a global icon and one of the greatest boxers of all time.
  23. On January 17, 2007, the popular internet search engine, Google, announced that it would invest in renewable energy technologies to curb climate change.
  24. January 17 is celebrated as National Bootlegger's Day in the United States. This day recognizes the early Prohibition-era bootleggers who smuggled and sold illegal alcohol.
  25. On January 17, 1819, Simon Bolivar, South American revolutionary leader, established Gran Colombia, a country that encompassed the territories of modern-day Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, and Venezuela.
  26. January 17 is known as National Kid Inventors' Day in the United States. This day recognizes the creativity and ingenuity of young inventors and encourages children to develop their problem-solving skills.
  27. On January 17, 1912, British explorer Robert Falcon Scott and his team reached the South Pole, only to discover that the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen had beaten them by 34 days.
  28. Swiss tennis player and 20-time Grand Slam champion, Roger Federer, was born on January 17, 1981, in Basel, Switzerland.
  29. On January 17, 2016, Netflix expanded its streaming service to 130 new countries, greatly increasing its global footprint.
  30. January 17, 1995, saw a severe earthquake hit the city of Kobe, Japan. The Great Hanshin Earthquake caused massive destruction and loss of life, drawing global attention and sympathy.
  31. The daily comic strip, Calvin and Hobbes, created by Bill Watterson, ended on January 17, 1996. It was beloved for its imaginative storylines and witty humor, and it still maintains a strong fanbase today.
  32. On January 17, 1984, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Sony Corp. of America v. Universal City Studios, Inc., that home videotaping for personal use was legal and did not constitute copyright infringement.
  33. January 17 is also known as Ditch New Year's Resolutions Day, a humorous day celebrated by those who cannot maintain their New Year's resolutions and choose to abandon them.