1958 ~ Pioneer 0 was launched using the 1st Thor-Able rocket and failed on the 17th August 1958, during America’s 1st attempt at lunar orbit. The event was notable as one of the 1st attempted launches beyond Earth orbit by any country.
1962 ~ Peter Fechter was killed by East German border guards as he attempted to cross the Berlin Wall into West Berlin on the 17th August 1962, becoming one of the 1st victims of the wall. Peter Fechter was 18 years old when he died..
1980 ~ Azaria Chamberlain disappeared at Ayers Rock, Northern Territory on the 17th August 1980, presumed to be taken by a dingo.
1982 ~ Classical music Compact Discs (CDs) were produced for the 1st time in the World on 17th August 1982, in Germany. The CDs contained a selection of 14 Waltzes by Chopin as interpreted and recorded by Claudio Arrau in 1979, who marked this historical event by visiting the Hannover Philips production plant to press the Start button.
1995 ~ Ted Whitten the Australian footballer and coach died on the 17th August 1995 (born 1933).
1998 ~ Lewinsky scandal: US President Bill Clinton admitted a taped testimony on the 17th August 1998 that he had an “improper physical relationship” with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. On the same day he also admitted before the nation that he “misled people” about the relationship.
1999 ~ İzmit Earthquake hit İzmit, Turkey at 7.4-magnitude on the 17th August 1999, killing more than 17,000 people, and injuring over 44,000.
2008 ~ Michael Phelps the American swimmer became the 1st person to win 8 gold medals in one Olympic Games on the 17th August 2008.