Did you know, on this day, the 17th of August


The steamboat designed by Robert Fulton, the Clermont, begins its inaugural trip up the Hudson River. The boat is the first of its kind offered in public service.


Charles Kettering receives patent No. 1,150,523 for the first electric self-star. His invention put crank starts in the automobile industry’s rearview mirror. (The rearview mirror wouldn’t be invented for another 30 years.)


George Orwell published the allegorical novella Animal Farm.


Monty Python’s Life of Brian premieres in the United States.