34 fun facts for June, 17

Discover dozens of fun facts for this special day. Read the summary for a quick recap on what happened.
June 17th has been packed with significant and exciting events throughout history. One of the most notable among them is the arrival of the Statue of Liberty in New York City in 1885. Additionally, this day has witnessed the first successful kidney transplant, Amelia Earhart's historic flight across the Atlantic Ocean, and the groundbreaking discovery Neanderthal DNA.
34 Fun facts
  1. In 1885, the Statue of Liberty arrived in New York City. A gift from France, this famous statue was disassembled and shipped across the Atlantic Ocean before being reassembled on its current spot in New York Harbor.
  2. On June 17, 1972, five burglars were arrested at the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C., leading to the uncovering of the Watergate scandal and President Richard Nixon's eventual resignation.
  3. In 1856, the Republican National Convention nominated John C. Fremont as their first presidential candidate. Although he lost the general election, the Republican Party would go on to become one of the two major political forces in the United States.
  4. On June 17, 1939, the last public execution in France took place. Eugène Weidmann, a convicted murderer, was guillotined in front of a crowd of onlookers. Public outrage led to the end of public executions in the country.
  5. In 1986, Kate Smith, an American singer known for her rendition of "God Bless America," passed away. Her version of the song remains popular, and she is credited with helping to popularize the song during World War II.
  6. On June 17, 1462, Vlad III, commonly known as Vlad the Impaler or Dracula, led an attack against the forces of Mehmed II, the Conqueror. The night raid on the Ottoman Empire marked the start of Dracula's defensive campaign against the Ottomans, a campaign that has been romanticized in literature and film.
  7. In 1930, the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act was signed into law by President Herbert Hoover. The act aimed to protect American industry from foreign competition but ultimately worsened the Great Depression due to retaliatory tariffs from other countries.
  8. On June 17, 1991, South Africa's parliament repealed apartheid laws. This marked a significant step in dismantling the system of racial segregation that had existed in the country since the 1940s.
  9. In 1987, Basque separatist group ETA declared a 60-day ceasefire, raising hopes of increased political stability in Spain. ETA disbanded three decades later in 2018, after a long and bloody history of political violence.
  10. On June 17, 1963, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Abington School District v. Schempp that organized Bible reading in public schools was unconstitutional. The case set the stage for future debates regarding the separation of church and state.
  11. In 1961, Soviet ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev defected to the West, requesting asylum in France. Nureyev went on to become one of the most celebrated ballet dancers in the world.
  12. On June 17, 1940, RMS Lancastria, a British ocean liner, was sunk during World War II, resulting in the loss of an estimated 4,000 lives. The incident is still regarded as one of Britain's worst maritime disasters.
  13. In 1932, Congress established the Board of Public Works to fund public projects and create jobs during the Great Depression. The board was one of many aspects of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal aimed at rejuvenating the American economy.
  14. On June 17, 1884, Alaska's first recorded volcanic eruption occurred at Mount Edgecumbe. The eruption lasted for about a month and produced a plume of ash that rose over 20,000 feet into the air.
  15. In 1898, the United States Navy Hospital Corps was established. The Hospital Corps is responsible for providing medical care to U.S. Navy and Marine Corps personnel and remains an essential component of the U.S. military.
  16. On June 17, 1963, Brazil's president João Goulart proposed a wide range of reforms, dubbed the "Basic Reforms Plan," aimed at addressing socioeconomic inequalities in the country. However, opposition to the plan ultimately led to his overthrow in a military coup the following year.
  17. In 1967, the People's Republic of China announced a successful test of its first hydrogen bomb, known as the "Great Cultural Revolution" or "Test No. 6." This marked a significant development in the country's nuclear capabilities.
  18. On June 17, 1950, the first kidney transplant took place at a hospital in Chicago. The groundbreaking procedure solidified the importance of organ transplantation in modern medicine.
  19. In 1994, the infamous O.J. Simpson slow-speed chase took place in Los Angeles, as millions of TV viewers watched Simpson evade police in a white Ford Bronco. The event was a precursor to his high-profile murder trial.
  20. On June 17, 1928, Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean as a passenger. Earhart's achievement garnered her international fame, and she would later become the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic in 1932.
  21. In 1978, a magnitude 6.5 earthquake struck Thessaloniki, Greece, resulting in the deaths of nearly 50 people and causing extensive damage to the historic city.
  22. On June 17, 2007, the Church of England voted to allow women to become bishops. This marked a significant step toward gender equality within the church.
  23. In 1901, the College Board, the organization responsible for administering standardized tests like the SAT, was founded. The College Board continues to play a pivotal role in American higher education today.
  24. On June 17, 1953, East German workers staged an uprising, protesting the increase in work quotas and demanding political reforms. The uprising was quickly suppressed by Soviet forces, but it remains an important event in the history of the Cold War.
  25. In 1992, President George H.W. Bush and Russian President Boris Yeltsin agreed to reduce their nuclear arsenals. The agreement marked a key step in ending the arms race that characterized much of the 20th century.
  26. On June 17, 1631, Mumtaz Mahal, the chief wife of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, died. Her death inspired Shah Jahan to build the Taj Mahal, one of the most recognizable and beautiful buildings in the world, as her tomb.
  27. In 1975, fishermen in the Philippines caught a 13-foot-long megamouth shark, marking the first discovery of the species. Since then, fewer than 70 sightings of the rare and elusive fish have been reported.
  28. On June 17, 1840, Samuel Morse received the patent for his invention of the telegraph system. The invention revolutionized communication by making it possible to send messages long distances quickly and efficiently.
  29. In 1991, the Parliament of South Africa officially repealed the Population Registration Act, the cornerstone of apartheid regulations that classified and segregated citizens by race.
  30. On June 17, 2009, Neanderthal DNA sequences were published, shedding light on the genetic relationship between humans and our ancient relatives. The study ultimately helped to dispel the myth that Neanderthals were direct ancestors of modern humans.
  31. In 1822, Denmark Vesey, a former slave in South Carolina, was executed for planning a massive slave rebellion. Vesey's planned revolt is considered one of the most massive and elaborately planned slave rebellions in U.S. history.
  32. On June 17, 1863, the Battle of Aldie took place during the American Civil War. The battle, which ended in a Union victory, was part of the larger Gettysburg Campaign.
  33. In 1971, President Richard Nixon declared a "War on Drugs" in a nationally televised press conference. This declaration marked the beginning of extensive drug-prevention measures and harsher penalties for drug offenses in the United States.
  34. On June 17, 2008, hundreds of same-sex couples were married in California after the state's Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage. The decision was later overturned, but it marked an important milestone in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights in the U.S.