November 17: Facts & Historical Events On This Day

Did you know that on this day, November 17, 1855, explorer David Livingstone became the first European to see Victoria Falls?

November 17th is the day we officially celebrate Take A Hike Day and Unfriend Day.

We made it to day 321 of the year and there’s only 44 days left to go until we reach the new year.

From religious events to disasters and politics, November 17th in history has been an eventful one! Learn all about this special day with these historical facts & events that all happened on this day.

Did you know that on this day in 1855, explorer David Livingstone became the first European to see Victoria Falls? He carved his initials and the date into a nearby tree to commemorate the occasion.

Keep reading for more interesting facts about November 17th in history!

What Events Happened On November 17 In History?

2019 A 55-year-old man became the first known person to contract COVID-19.

The unnamed man hailed from the Hubei province, where the virus was first recorded. Despite cases of the virus being found as early as this, the Chinese government didn't recognize it as a new virus until a few weeks later.

2014 The legislation was passed, allowing females to be appointed as bishops of The Church of England.

2009 A sequel to LittleBigPlanet was released for the PlayStation Portable.

This PSP sequel was confusingly called LittleBigPlanet, so it's often referred to as LittleBigPlanet PSP. Many of the game's levels look similar to the PS3 sequel, but the story is completely different.

2006 Sony released the PlayStation 3 console in North America.

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1989 This day marked the beginning of The Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia.

OTD in 1989: This day marked the beginning of The Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia.

The Velvet Revolution, also called the Gentle Revolution, was a series of non-violent protests and demonstrations led by Prague students against the communist government. Riot police broke up this first demonstration, which sparked a series of ongoing student protests until December 29, 1989.

1986 The crew aboard Japan Airlines Flight 1628 sighted three potential UFOs above Alaska.

The Boeing 747 aircraft flew from Paris to Narita International Airport in Japan with a cargo of French wine. While flying over Alaska, the crew reportedly saw two unidentified flying objects close in on their plane and escort it. After the two UFOs departed, another larger circular object was witnessed tailing the aircraft. No other aircraft in the area were able to confirm the sightings.

1970 The Soviet Lunokhod 1 became the first robotic lunar rover to land on the Moon’s surface.

1922 The Ottoman Empire ended when the last Sultan Mehmed VI was exiled to Malta on a British warship.

1888 Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s 5th symphony was performed for the first time in St Petersburg, Russia.

The symphony is 50 minutes long and features the piccolo, three flutes, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, four horns, two trumpets, three trombones, a tuba, timpani, and strings.

1855 Explorer David Livingstone became the first European to see Victoria Falls.

OTD in 1855: Explorer David Livingstone became the first European to see Victoria Falls.

1837 An earthquake struck Valdivia, south-central Chile, which caused a tsunami that damaged Hawaii, French Polynesia, and Japan.

1800 The US Senate held its first session in the unfinished Capitol Building.

1603 Writer, explorer, and courtier Sir Walter Raleigh went on trial for suspected treason.

Raleigh was imprisoned in the Tower of London until 1616 and was found not guilty of treason. The King pardoned him in 1617.

1558 Queen Elizabeth I was coronated and re-established the protestant Church of England.

OTD in 1558: Queen Elizabeth I was coronated and re-established the protestant Church of England.

It was a resettlement that became a compromise between Protestants and Catholics.

1278 All of London’s Jews (approx. 680) were accused and arrested for coin clipping and counterfeiting.

Two hundred and ninety-three of them were later hanged.


Famous Quotes Said On November 17

Below are the most famous quotes people have said or written on November 17th throughout history.


“Education is an admirable thing. But it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.”

– Oscar Wilde


“An artist cannot do anything slovenly.”

– Jane Austen

Famous People Born On November 17

Is today your birthday? If so, you share the same birthday with Danny DeVito. Here are a few other famous people born on this day.

1944 Danny DeVito

American Actor

Danny DeVito
78 years old
Born In:
New Jersey, USA

1960 RuPaul

American Drag Queen

62 years old
Born In:
California, USA

1978 Rachel McAdams

Canadian Actress

Rachel McAdams
44 years old
Born In:
Ontario, Canada

1942 Martin Scorsese

American Film Director

Martin Scorsese
80 years old
Born In:
New York, USA

Special Holidays On November 17

If you’re looking to try something new today, here are some special holidays that might just give you an idea.

November 17: National Take A Hike Day

National Take A Hike Day

It’s time to get your hiking gear out of the closet, lace up your boots, and go on an adventure! Hiking is one of those things that always feels so rewarding, yet we often don’t find time for it. It doesn’t matter if you go for a short hike or go trekking for days; just get outdoors!

November 17: National Unfriend Day

National Unfriend Day

In 2014 American comedian Jimmy Kimmel founded National Unfriend Day because he felt that too many people had too many so-called friends on social media that they didn’t even know. If you have friends on social media that you don’t know or care about, unfriend them today!

THe Fact Site's

Fun Fact Of The Day

There is a small strip of land in North Carolina, which is officially British. It is a small cemetery that flies the British flag, and the “forever lease” states that it is British land.

November 17 Birthday Facts, Zodiac & Birthstone

Everyone who was born on November 17th shares the star sign of Scorpio.

Scorpios are often misunderstood due to their harsh and fiery nature. However, they’re actually highly emotional and crave intimacy.

Anyone born in November has the Topaz birthstone. Topaz is a very hard and durable gemstone and provides love and affection while also providing strength and intelligence.

If you were born on November 17th, you would likely have been conceived on or around February 24th of the same year.

A baby that is conceived on this day will be due around August 10, 2024.

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