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17th March

1762 The first St Patrick's Day parade was held in New York.

1845 Elastic bands were patented by Stephen Perry of a London rubber company.

1846 * Kate Greenaway, English illustrator.

1899 The classic Neapolitan song 'O Sole Mio!' was published by E. di Campa and G. Capurro.

1917 * Nat(aniel Adams) 'King' Cole, legendary US singer and pianist.

1934 * Rudolf Nureyev, Russian-born ballet dancer who defected to the West in 1961.

1939 * Robin Knox-Johnson, The first solo round the world yachtsman.

1942 General Douglas MacArthur became supreme commander of Allied forces in the southwest Pacific.

1949 * Patrick Duffy, US actor, best known for playing 'Bobby Ewing' in the TV series Dallas.

1954 * Leslie Ann Downe, English actress who appeared in the TV series Upstairs, Downstairs.

1957 British European Airways withdrew 25 Viscount 701s following the fatal Manchester air crash.

1963 Mount Agung on Bali erupted, killing almost 2000 people.

1968 A huge demonstration was held in London over the US involvement in the Vietnam War.

1969 Golda Meir was sworn in as prime minister of Israel.

1978 The oil tanker Amoco Cadiz ran aground off the coast of Brittany.

1988 Nigel Short won the chess Euwe memorial tournament in Amsterdam.

2003 US President Bush delivered an ultimatum to Saddam Hussein, 'leave Iraq within 48 hours or face an attack'.

xxxx * = Date of birth

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