1985 – Serial killer Richard Ramirez, aka the "Night Stalker", commits the first two murders in his Los Angeles murder spree.
1973 – The Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph Burst of Joy is taken, depicting a former prisoner of war being reunited with his family, which came to symbolize the end of United States involvement in the Vietnam War.
1970 – My Lai Massacre: The United States Army charges 14 officers with suppressing information related to the incident.
1969 – Golda Meir becomes the first female Prime Minister of Israel.
1966 – Off the coast of Spain in the Mediterranean, the DSV Alvin submarine finds a missing American hydrogen bomb.
1958 – The United States launches the Vanguard 1 satellite.
1947 – First flight of the B-45 Tornado strategic bomber.
1942 – Holocaust: The first Jews from the Lvov Ghetto are gassed at the Belzec death camp in what is today eastern Poland.
1860 – The First Taranaki War begins in Taranaki, New Zealand, a major phase of the New Zealand land wars.
1780 – American Revolution: George Washington grants the Continental Army a holiday "as an act of solidarity with the Irish in their fight for independence".
1776 – American Revolution: British forces evacuate Boston, ending the Siege of Boston, after George Washington and Henry Knox place artillery in positions overlooking the city.
1337 – Edward, the Black Prince is made Duke of Cornwall, the first Duchy in England.
1997 – Katie Ledecky, American swimmer. Kathleen Genevieve Ledecky (/ləˈdɛki/; Czech pronunciation: ; born March 17, 1997) is an American competitive swimmer.
1987 – Bobby Ryan, American ice hockey player. Bobby Ryan (born Robert Shane Stevenson; March 17, 1987) is an American professional ice hockey winger currently playing for the Ottawa Senators of the National Hockey League (NHL).
1984 – Ryan Rottman, American actor, producer, and screenwriter. He is known for his role as Joey Colvin on the TeenNick series Gigantic.
1981 – Aaron Baddeley, American-Australian golfer. He represents Australia in international golf.
1981 – Kyle Korver, American basketball player. Kyle Elliot Korver (born March 17, 1981) is an American professional basketball player for the Milwaukee Bucks of the National Basketball Association (NBA).
1980 – Danny Califf, American soccer player. Daniel Benjamin Califf (born March 17, 1980 in Orange, California) is a retired American soccer player.
1979 – Samoa Joe, American professional wrestler. He is currently signed to WWE, where he performs on the Raw brand.
1979 – Stephen Kramer Glickman, Canadian-American actor, director, producer, and fashion designer. He is best known as Gustavo Rocque on the Nickelodeon television series Big Time Rush (2009–2013).
1978 – Zachery Kouwe, American journalist. Zachery "Zach" Kouwe (born March 17, 1978) is a communications strategist and former financial journalist.
1977 – Tamar Braxton, American singer-songwriter and actress. Tamar Estine Braxton (born March 17, 1977) is an American singer, actress, and television personality.
1976 – Scott Downs, American baseball player. He has been a starter, reliever and closer during his baseball career.
1975 – Natalie Zea, American actress. Natalie Zea (born March 17, 1975) is an American actress known for her performances on television.
1973 – Vance Wilson, American baseball player and manager. He played all or part of eight seasons in MLB.
1972 – Melissa Auf der Maur, Canadian-American singer-songwriter and bass player. Melissa Gaboriau Auf der Maur (/ˌɔːf dər ˈmaʊər/; born March 17, 1972) is a Canadian musician, singer-songwriter, photographer and actress.
1972 – Mia Hamm, American soccer player. Mariel Margaret Hamm-Garciaparra (born March 17, 1972) is an American retired professional soccer player, two-time Olympic gold medalist, and two-time FIFA Women's World Cup champion.
1971 – Bill Mueller, American baseball player and coach. William Richard Mueller (/ˈmɪlər/; born March 17, 1971) is an American retired professional baseball third baseman who played in Major League Baseball (MLB).
1970 – Gene Ween, American singer-songwriter and guitarist. Aaron Freeman (born March 17, 1970) better known by his stage name Gene Ween, is an American musician and a founding member of the experimental alternative rock group Ween.
1969 – Alexander McQueen, English fashion designer, founded own eponymous brand (d. 2010), was a British fashion designer and couturier. He worked as chief designer at Givenchy from 1996 to 2001, and founded his own fort Alexander McQueen label in 1992.
1968 – Mathew St. Patrick, American actor and producer. Patrick (Born March 17, 1968) is an American actor best known for his portrayal of Keith Charles on the HBO drama television series Six Feet Under.
1967 – Barry Minkow, American pastor and businessman. However, it was actually a front to attract investment for a massive Ponzi scheme.
1967 – Billy Corgan, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer. William Patrick Corgan Jr. (born March 17, 1967) is an American musician and songwriter, who is the lead singer, primary songwriter, guitarist, and sole permanent member of The Smashing Pumpkins, in addition to being the owner and promoter of the National Wrestling Alliance.
1964 – Rob Lowe, American actor and producer. He is the recipient of two Screen Actors Guild Awards and has been nominated for six Golden Globes Awards and a Primetime Emmy Award.
1962 – Janet Gardner, American singer and guitarist. She was the band's longest serving vocalist having performed on three of the band's four studio albums.
1961 – Casey Siemaszko, American actor. His best known film roles are Back to the Future (1985) and Back to the Future Part II (1989) as 3-D, Stand By Me (1986) as Billy Tessio, Three O'Clock High (1987) as Jerry Mitchell, Young Guns (1988) as Charlie Bowdre, alongside Burt Reynolds in Breaking In (1989), and as Curley in Of Mice and Men (1992).
1961 – Dana Reeve, American actress, singer, and activist (d. 2006), was an American actress, singer, and activist for disability causes. She was the wife of actor Christopher Reeve.
1961 – Sam Bowie, American basketball player. In spite of the setbacks, the 7 ft 1 in (2.16 m) and 235 lb (107 kg) center played ten seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA).
1960 – Arye Gross, American actor. Arye Gross (born March 17, 1960) is an American actor, who has appeared on a variety of television shows in numerous roles, most notably Adam Greene in ABC Sitcom Ellen.
1960 – Vicki Lewis, American actress and singer. She is best known for her role as Beth in the NBC sitcom NewsRadio.
1959 – Danny Ainge, American baseball and basketball player. Ainge is currently the general manager and President of Basketball Operations for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association (NBA).
1959 – Paul Black, American singer-songwriter and drummer. Paul Black may refer to several people:
1958 – Christian Clemenson, American actor. He has appeared in a number of highly acclaimed films, including Hannah and Her Sisters, Broadcast News, Apollo 13 and The Big Lebowski, and portrayed Tom Burnett in Paul Greengrass' United 93.
1956 – Patrick McDonnell, American author and illustrator. He is the creator of the daily comic strip Mutts, syndicated since 1994.
1955 – Cynthia McKinney, American activist and politician. Cynthia Ann McKinney (born March 17, 1955) is an American politician and activist who is an assistant professor at North South University, Bangladesh.
1955 – Gary Sinise, American actor, director, and bass player. Among other awards, he has won an Emmy Award, a Golden Globe Award, a star on Hollywood Walk of Fame and was nominated for an Academy Award.
1955 – Paul Overstreet, American singer-songwriter and guitarist. He has also written singles for several other country acts, including No. 1 hits for Randy Travis, Blake Shelton, and Keith Whitley, as well as hits for The Judds and Kenny Chesney.
1953 – Chuck Muncie, American football player (d. 2013), was an American professional football player who was a running back for the New Orleans Saints and San Diego Chargers in the National Football League (NFL) from 1976 to 1984. He was selected to the Pro Bowl three times, and tied the then-NFL season record for rushing touchdowns in 1981.
1951 – Kurt Russell, American actor and producer. In the late 1960s, he signed a ten-year contract with The Walt Disney Company where, according to Robert Osborne, he became the studio's top star of the 1970s.
1951 – Scott Gorham, American singer-songwriter and guitarist, was one of the "twin lead guitarists" for the Irish rock band, Thin Lizzy. Although not a founding member of Thin Lizzy, he served a continuous membership after passing an audition in 1974, joining the band at a time when the band's future was in doubt after the departures of original guitarist Eric Bell and his brief replacement Gary Moore.
1949 – Patrick Duffy, American actor, director, and producer. Patrick George Duffy (born March 17, 1949) is an American actor, best known for his role on the CBS primetime soap opera Dallas, where he played Bobby Ewing, the youngest son of Miss Ellie and the nicest brother of J.R.
1948 – William Gibson, American-Canadian author and screenwriter. William Ford Gibson (born March 17, 1948) is an American-Canadian speculative fiction writer and essayist widely credited with pioneering the science fiction subgenre known as cyberpunk.
1947 – Yury Chernavsky, Russian-American songwriter and producer. Member of performance rights organisations such as GEMA, BMI, and RAO.
1944 – Cito Gaston, American baseball player and manager. Clarence Edwin "Cito" Gaston (/ˈsiːtoʊ ˈɡæstən/; born March 17, 1944) is a former Major League Baseball outfielder and manager.
1944 – John Sebastian, American singer-songwriter and guitarist. He is best known as a founder of The Lovin' Spoonful, as well as his impromptu appearance at the Woodstock festival in 1969 and No. 1 hit in 1976, "Welcome Back".
1941 – Paul Kantner, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (d. 2016), was an American rock musician. He is best known as the co-founder, rhythm guitarist, and occasional vocalist of Jefferson Airplane, a leading psychedelic rock band of the counterculture era.
1940 – Mark White, American lawyer and politician, 43rd Governor of Texas, was an American politician and lawyer, who served as the 43rd Governor of Texas from 1983 to 1987. He also held office as Secretary of State of Texas (1973–77), and as Texas Attorney General (1979–83).
1939 – Jim Gary, American sculptor (d. 2006), was an American sculptor popularly known for his large, colorful creations of dinosaurs made from discarded automobile parts. These sculptures were typically finished with automobile paint although some were left to develop a natural patina during display outdoors.
1939 – Robin Knox-Johnston, English sailor and first person to perform a single-handed non-stop circumnavigation of the globe. Sir William Robert Patrick Knox-Johnston CBE RD* (born 17 March 1939) is a British sailor.
1938 – Zola Taylor, American singer (d. 2007). She was the original female member of The Platters from 1954 to 1962, when the group produced most of their popular singles.
1936 – Ken Mattingly, American admiral, pilot, and astronaut. Thomas Kenneth Mattingly II (born March 17, 1936), (RADM, USN, Ret.) is a former American naval officer and aviator, aeronautical engineer, test pilot, Rear Admiral in the United States Navy and astronaut who flew on the Apollo 16, STS-4 and STS-51-C missions.
1935 – Fred T. Mackenzie, American biologist and academic. Mackenzie (born March 17, 1934) is an American sedimentary and global biogeochemist.
1933 – Myrlie Evers-Williams, American journalist and activist. Myrlie Louise Evers–Williams (née Beasley; born March 17, 1933) is an American civil rights activist and journalist who worked for over three decades to seek justice for the 1963 murder of her husband Medgar Evers, another civil rights activist.
1931 – David Peakall, English-American chemist and toxicologist (d. 2001), was an internationally recognised toxicologist. His research into the effects of DDE and DDT on eggshells contributed to the ban on DDT in the United States.
1931 – Patricia Breslin, American actress (d. 2011), was an American actress and philanthropist. She had a prominent career in television, which included recurring roles as Amanda Miller on The People's Choice (1955–58), and as Laura Harrington Brooks on Peyton Place (1964–65).
1930 – James Irwin, American colonel, pilot, and astronaut (d. 1991), was an American astronaut, aeronautical engineer, test pilot, and a United States Air Force pilot. He served as Apollo Lunar Module pilot for Apollo 15, the fourth human lunar landing.
1927 – Betty Allen, American soprano and educator (d. 2009), was an American operatic mezzo-soprano who had an active international singing career during the 1950s through the 1970s. In the latter part of her career her voice acquired a contralto-like darkening, which can be heard on her recording of Sergei Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky with conductor Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra.
1922 – Patrick Suppes, American psychologist and philosopher (d. 2014), was an American philosopher who made significant contributions to philosophy of science, the theory of measurement, the foundations of quantum mechanics, decision theory, psychology and educational technology. He was the Lucie Stern Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at Stanford University and until January 2010 was the Director of the Education Program for Gifted Youth also at Stanford.
1919 – Nat King Cole, American singer, pianist, and television host (d. 1965), was an American vocalist and jazz pianist. He recorded over one hundred songs that became hits on the pop charts.
1914 – Sammy Baugh, American football player and coach (d. 2008). During his college and professional careers, he most notably played quarterback, but also played as a defensive back and punter.
1912 – Bayard Rustin, American activist (d. 1987). Anti-war and civil rights movements
1910 – Sonny Werblin, American businessman and philanthropist (d. 1991), was a prominent entertainment industry executive and sports impresario who was an owner of the New York Jets and chairman of Madison Square Garden, and who built and managed the Meadowlands Sports Complex.
1904 – Chaim Gross, Austrian-American sculptor and educator (d. 1991). Gross was born to a Jewish family in Austrian Galicia, in the village of Wolowa (now known as Mezhgorye, Ukraine), in the Carpathian Mountains.
1885 – Ralph Rose, American shot putter, discus thrower, and tug of war competitor (d. 1913), was an American track and field athlete. He was born in Healdsburg, California.
1884 – Alcide Nunez, American clarinet player (d. 1934), was an American jazz clarinetist. He was one of the first musicians of New Orleans to make audio recordings.
1866 – Pierce Butler, American lawyer and jurist (d. 1939), was a South Carolina rice planter, slaveholder, politician, an officer in the Revolutionary War, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He served as a state legislator, a member of the Congress of the Confederation, a delegate to the 1787 Constitutional Convention, and a member of the United States Senate.
1849 – Charles F. Brush, American businessman and philanthropist, co-invented the Arc lamp (d. 1929), was an American engineer, inventor, entrepreneur, and philanthropist.
1849 – Cornelia Clapp, American marine biologist (d. 1934), was an American zoologist and academic specializing in marine biology. She was born in Montague, Massachusetts, the first daughter and oldest child of two teachers, and was rated as one of the top zoologists in the United States in her lifetime.
1834 – Gottlieb Daimler, German engineer and businessman, co-founded Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft (d. 1900), was an engineer, industrial designer and industrialist born in Schorndorf (Kingdom of Württemberg, a federal state of the German Confederation), in what is now Germany. He was a pioneer of internal-combustion engines and automobile development.
1806 – Norbert Rillieux, African American inventor and chemical engineer (d. 1894), was an American inventor who was widely considered one of the earliest chemical engineers and noted for his pioneering invention of the multiple-effect evaporator. This invention was an important development in the growth of the sugar industry.
1804 – Jim Bridger, American fur trader and explorer (d. 1881), was an American mountain man, trapper, Army scout and wilderness guide who explored and trapped the Western United States in the first half of the 19th century. Bridger is known for participating in numerous early expeditions into the western interior as well as mediating between Native American tribes and westward-migrating European-American settlers, and by the end of his life had earned a reputation as one of the foremost frontiersmen in the American Old West.
1777 – Roger B. Taney, American politician and jurist, 5th Chief Justice of the United States (d. 1864), was the fifth Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, holding that office from 1836 until his death in 1864. He delivered the majority opinion in Dred Scott v.
1725 – Lachlan McIntosh, Scottish-American general and politician (d. 1806), was a Scottish American military and political leader during the American Revolution and the early United States. In a 1777 duel, he fatally shot Button Gwinnett, a signer of the Declaration of Independence.
2014 – Joseph Kerman, American musicologist and critic (b. 1924)
2014 – Rachel Lambert Mellon, American gardener, philanthropist, art collector and political patron (b. 1910)
2013 – A.B.C. Whipple, American journalist and historian (b. 1918)
2013 – Lawrence Fuchs, American scholar and academic (b. 1927)
2013 – William B. Caldwell III, American general (b. 1925)
2010 – Alex Chilton, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer (b. 1950)
2010 – Sid Fleischman, American author and screenwriter (b. 1920)
2008 – Roland Arnall, French-American businessman and diplomat, 63rd United States Ambassador to the Netherlands (b. 1939)
2007 – John Backus, American mathematician and computer scientist, designed Fortran (b. 1924)
2007 – Roger Bennett, American singer-songwriter and pianist (b. 1959)