May 17: Facts & Historical Events On This Day

Facts & Historic Events That Happened on May 17

May 17th is officially World Baking Day and Pack Rat Day.

Today is the 137th day of the year, and there are 228 days left of the year.

People who were born on this day share the Taurus star sign.

Today might be an important one to you or, perhaps you just want a lesson in history for this day? Well here we are going to cover the most interesting historical events, celebrity births, deaths and much more that all fell on May 17 throughout history.

Did you know that on this day in 1861, the first ever color photo was taken? The picture was taken by Thomas Sutton and had a tartan ribbon as the subject.

Keep reading for more facts about May 17th in history!

What Happened On May 17 In History?


Blurryface, the fourth studio album by Twenty One Pilots was released.

It was also the first album ever to have every track gold-certified.

Chattahoochee single was released by Alan Jackson.

It won the Country Music Award Single of the Year, as well as Billboard Song of the Year.

Atari was founded by Jack Tramiel as Tramel Technology, Ltd.

The company changed their name to Atari just under two months later. Atari released several video gaming consoles and introduced us to some of the most iconic games in history such as Space Invaders and Pac-Man.

Stephen Schwartz’ musical “Godspell” premiered off-Broadway.


The first Tim Hortons opened in Hamilton, Ontario by NHL player Tim Horton.

The original name was Tim Horton Donuts before changing to just Tim Hortons.

The first televised baseball game was broadcasted on NBC, featuring Princeton defeating Colombia 2-1.


The Naval Act of 1938 passed in United States legislation.

It authorized a 20% increase in strength of the United States Navy.

The first ever color photo was taken.

OTD in 1861: The first ever color photo was taken.
With the combined efforts of James Clerk Maxwell, a Scottish physicist, and Thomas Sutton, a photographer, they successfully captured the first color photo, which was a photo of a tartan ribbon.
Source BBC

The diaries of Lord Byron were burned by six of the poet’s friends.

OTD in 1824: The diaries of Lord Byron were burned by six of the poet's friends.
Often recognized as the greatest crime in literary history, Lord Byron's friend, Murray, saw the memoirs as being scandalous enough to forever damage Byron's reputation. All of this, despite the fact that Byron himself declared that he wished the memoirs to be published.

Great Britain passed the Molasses Act.

This enacted high tariffs on imported rum and molasses to the colonies from any country other than Britain or its territories. The tax was not intended for generating revenue, but rather encourage the purchase of these items from Britain directly.

The first merry-go-round debuted at a fair in Philippopolis, Turkey.

Did you know that on this day, May 17th 1861, the first ever color photo was taken?