March 17 is the 77th day of the year. There are 289 days remaining until the end of the year.
- 460 CE – Saint Patrick, patron saint of Ireland, died. He was born in 387 CE.
- 1756 – St. Patrick’s Day was celebrated in NYC for the first time (at the Crown and Thistle Tavern).
- 1845 – The rubber band was patented.
- 1941 – In Washington, DC, the National Gallery of Art was officially opened by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
- 1950 – Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley announced the creation of element 98, which they name Californium.
- 1959 – Tenzin Gyatso the 14th Dalai Lama, fled Tibet for India.
- 1969 – Golda Meir became the first woman Prime Minister of Israel.
- 1992 – A referendum to end Apartheid in South Africa was passed, 68.7% to 31.2%.