1864 – Banjo Paterson the Australian poet was born on the 17th February 1864 (died 1941).
1904 – Madama Butterfly received its première at La Scala in Milan on the 17th February 1904.
1933 – The Blaine Act ended Prohibition in the United States on the 17th February 1933.
1934 – Barry Humphries the Australian comedian, actor, and author was born on the 17th February 1934.
1940 – Gene Pitney the American singer-songwriter was born on the 17th February 1940 (died 2006).
1959 – Vanguard 2 the first weather satellite was launched to measure cloud-cover distribution on the 17th February 1959.
1962 – David McComb the Australian singer-songwriter and guitarist from The Triffids and The Blackeyed Susans was born on the 17th February 1962 (died 1999).
1962 – Lou Diamond Phillips the American actor and director was born on the 17th February 1962.
1963 – Michael Jordan the American basketball player and actor was born on the 17th February 1963.
1965 – The Ranger 8 probe was launched on its mission to photograph the Mare Tranquillitatis region of the Moon on the 17th February 1965, in preparation for the manned Apollo missions. Mare Tranquillitatis aka Sea of Tranquility became the site chosen for the Apollo 11 lunar landing.
1971 – Denise Richards the American model and actress was born on the 17th February 1971.
1972 – Billie Joe Armstrong the American singer-songwriter and guitarist from Green Day was born on the 17th February 1972.
1972 – Taylor Hawkins the American singer-songwriter and drummer from the Foo Fighters was born on the 17th February 1972.
1972 – Sales of the Volkswagen Beetle exceeded those of the Ford Model-T on the 17th February 1972.
1981 – Paris Hilton the American model, actress and singer was born on the 17th February 1981.
1991 – Ed Sheeran the English singer-songwriter and guitarist was born on the 17th February 1991.
2008 – Kosovo declared independence on the 17th February 2008.
2010 ~ Ruby Hunter the Australian singer and songwriter died on the 17th February 2010, aged 54 (born 31st October 1955). Ruby Hunter was a member of the Ngarrindjeri nation of Aboriginal tribes, and often performed with her partner Archie Roach, whom both met as homeless teenagers. Ruby was forcibly taken from her family at the age of 8 as part of the Stolen Generation. Ruby Hunter received two ARIA Award nominations, for Best Indigenous Release for Thoughts Within (1995), and Best Blues & Roots Album for Feeling Good (2000).