On 17

Being a relatively low number, 17 is a frequently used. In our house, 17 is a special number in this house because both of us have birthdays on the 17th of different months. With that in mind, it’s time to learning more about 17.


  • Seventeen is the 7th prime number
  • 17 is the sum of the first four primes
  • 17 is the only positive Genocchi number that is prime
  • There are exactly seventeen two-dimensional space groups in plane geometry
  • Only divisible by two numbers: 1 and 17

In science

  • The atomic number of chlorine, thus its neutral atom has 17 protons and 17 electrons
  • On the Periodic Table, the Halogens are Group 17
  • Some cicada species have a 17-year life cycle between matings

Age 17
Depending on the state, 17 is the age of consent for purchasing M-rated video games, donating blood, obtaining driver’s license, renting or purchasing R-rated movies, and the age one can enlist in the armed forces with parental permission.


  • “17”, a song recorded by Rick James, Winger, Milburn, Shilina Ringo, Kings of Leon, and the Smashing Pumpkins, which took 17 seconds
  • Seventeen is a song by Ladyron, Jimmy Eat Word, Shaka Rock
  • 17/seventeen appears in numerous song titles: She’s Sexy + 17 (Stray Cats), At Seventeen (Janis Ian), Edge of Seventeen (Stevie Nicks), 17 Days (Prince), 17 Again (Eurythmics)
  • “Seventeen” was the original name of The Beatles song “I Saw Her Standing There” which begins with the lyric “Well, she was just seventeen if you know what I mean.”


  • Number Seventeen (1932), Stalag 17 (1953), directed by Billy Wilder, and Try Seventeen (2002)
  • In the film Three Days of the Condor, the title character played by Robert Redford works in section 17 of the CIA


  • The title of Seventeen, a magazine
  • The number 17 is a recurring theme in the works of novelist Steven Brust. All of his chaptered novels have either 17 chapters or two books of 17 chapters each. Multiples of 17 frequently appear in his novels set in the fantasy world of Dragaera, where the number is considered holy
  • In The Illuminatus! Trilogy, the symbol for Discordianism includes a pyramid with 17 steps because 17 has “virtually no interesting geometric, arithmetic, or mystical qualities”. However, for the Illuminati, 17 is tied with the “23/17 phenomenon”
  • In the Harry Potter universe 17 is the coming of age for wizards. It is equivalent to the usual coming of age at 18
  • 17 is the number of Sickles in one Galleon in the British wizards’ currency


  • According to Leon Kass, 17 has some significant meaning (as yet not known exactly) in the book of Genesis
  • The number of the raka’ahs that Muslims perform during Salah on a daily basis
  • The number of surat al-Isra in the Qur’an
  • 17th pope was Urban I, whose pontificate was 222 – 230


  • Cincinnati Reds wearing #17: Tommy Harper, Billy Martin, Fred Whitfield, Terry Crowley, Tom Lawless, Joe Nolan, Chris Sabo, and Aaron Boone
  • Super Bowl XVII: At the Rose Bowl, Redskins 27- Dolphins 17, John Riggins MVP
  • MLB: One retired 17: Dizzy Dean (Cardinals)
  • NBA: two retired 17s; John Havlicek (Celtics) and John Pollard (Lakers)
  • NFL: no retired 17s
  • NHL: two retired 17s; Rod Brind’Amour (Hurricanes), Jari Kurri (Oilers)
  • Kingman won the 17th Kentucky Derby (1891)
  • NASCAR: 17 is currently driven by Matt Kenseth (18 wins); and previously the number of Darryl Waltrip (15 wins)

Seventeen is:

  • Described at MIT as ‘the least random number’, according to hackers’ lore
  • The number of guns in a 17-gun salute to U.S. Army, Air Force and Marine Corps Generals, and Navy and Coast Guard Admirals
  • the four-engine heavy bomber as flown by the USAAF and other Allies and known as “The Flying Fortress” and the B-17
  • The maximum number of strokes of a Chinese radical
  • The number of syllables in a haiku (5+7+5)


  • The designation of United States Interstate 17, a freeway in Arizona
  • The designation of U.S. Route 17, a highway that runs from Virginia to Florida
  • Seventeen, also known as Lock Seventeen, an unincorporated place in Clay Township, Tuscarawas County, Ohio
  • 17th street Manhattan 17th Street forms the northern borders of both Union Square (between Broadway and Park Avenue South) and Stuyvesant Square
  • The 17th Street Canal is a drainage canal in Greater New Orleans, Louisiana that flows into Lake Pontchartrain
  • *17 is a downtown Houston restaurant http://www.17food.com/


  • 17 is considered unlucky In Italian culture
  • Roman numeral XVII
  • Also referred to as diciassette, Zeventien, sytten, On yedi, saptesprezece ani

Year 17 AD

  • Started on a Friday
  • Buddist calendar year 561, Holocene calendar 10017, Korean calendar 2350, Thai solar calendar 560
  • Emperor Tiberius sends Germanicus to the east in order to lead a military campaign against Parthia.
  • Beginning of a civil war in Germania
  • Herod Antipas, son of Herod the Great, builds on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee, the city Tiberias in honor of Tiberius
  • An earthquake in Asia Minor destroys the city of Sardis

17 BC

  • Bengali calendar -609, Burmese calendar -654, Hebrew calendar 3744-3745, Byzantine calendar 5482-5493
  • Under emperor Augustus, Rome celebrates the Secular games, for which Horace’s hymn the Carmen Saeculare is commissioned

The 17th century

  • The Baroque cultural movement
  • The French Grand Siècle dominated by Louis XIV
  • The beginning of modern science and philosophy
  • The Ottoman, Persian and Mughal empires flourished, the Edo period in feudal Japan, and the violent transition from the Ming to the Qing Dynasty in China

US History

  • Ohio is the 17th state
  • 17th Congress met from March 4, 1821 to March 3, 1823 during the first two years of the second of President James Monroe’s administration
  • In 2008, Michigan had 17 electoral votes, but no state will have 17 electoral votes in 2012
  • 17th Amendment (adopted April 8, 1913) provides the direct election of US Senators
  • Andrew Johnson, 17th US President

World Leaders

  • Dagobert III served as the 17th King of France 23 April 711 715
  • Pope John XVII only served from May 16, 1003 to December 6, 1003
  • Ethelred II, aka Ethelred the Unready, was the 17th King of England and had two reigns (978-1013 and 1014-1016), the resigns were interrupted by invading Danish Vikings

27 thoughts on “On 17

  1. Under the “Seventeen is” category of militaria- C-17 is the current medium-to-heavy lift cargo airplane of the USAF, currently used for cargo in our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    BB-17 was the USS Rhode Island, a Virginia class “pre-dreadnought” battleship. The Virginias were the successors to the Maine-class, famous for it’s name ship, destroyed in Havana Harbour, that helped trigger the Spanish-American War. (“Remember the Maine/To Hell with Spain!” was the famous battle cry.)
    CA-17 was the Australian designation for P-51 Mustang WW2 fighters, sent in “kit” form to be assembled and flown by the RAAF.
    F-17 (more correctly, YF-17) was the Northrop contender for the carrier fighter position eventually taken by the McDonnell Douglas F-18 Hornet.
    And perhaps most famously, 17 is the first two numbers of the Naval Construction Code for the Constitution class of starships, whose most famous member is NCC-1701 – USS Enterprise. 😀
    A fun one, Frank. Good work!


  2. Oh crap, how could we BOTH forget? 17 is the number of the last Apollo mission to land men on the moon, and the penultimate flight of the Apollo spacecraft system. The final flight would be the famous Apollo-Soyuz rendezvous between the two great Cold War enemies.
    Sorry for that major “DUH!” moment!


  3. Hi Frank,

    Ooooo I forgot to add seventeen====> dix-sept in French.

    Remember the movie “School Of Rock?” If you didn’t see the movie, there was a scene where Joan Cusack and Jack Black sang this song… I love this song and guess what? Seventeen – that is

    Happy 4th of July, my “classy” Ohioan friend…and everyone here.


    • Frank,

      I realize that you mentioned the songs in your post but because Nonnie posted Frank Sinatra…I just HAD too include the actual videos these great women. LOL!

      Anyway, you taught me how to post YouTubes on WordPress.


      • Meesh,
        Great additions. Since I’m on a project at the moment, I haven’t been able to interact with anyone’s comments like I normally do. Thus a reason why I have extra appreciation with your additions here. 🙂


    • Meesh,
      I knew you would come through with the French. I didn’t see the movie, but know the song. Another great addition. Of course being both a low number and a prime age, 17 has many associations to music. Happy Canada Day to you … and many thanks!


      • Frank,

        Here’s the part with the song..hahahahaha

        I’ll fill in anytime while you’re on your project. It felt GREAT to post once again here, I missed you!


        • Meesh,
          I can see how that’s a memorable scene for the followers of the movie. 🙂 Thanks for sharing … and feel free to fill in whenever you can. 🙂


  4. I love Stevie Nicks’ Edge of Seventeen. It’s cool that you were able to collect that much information on a number.

    In Numerology:

    17 It is spiritual growth, faith, and balance. It is also wealth or bankruptcy. It is an inner struggle to remain true to spiritual and moral values.


  5. hello Frank!

    Oh my! Today, I am filled with new knowledge regarding the number 17! Aside from all these and the fact that number 17 is considered unlucky In Italian culture [I wonder why], I also now know that your birthday and your wife’s fall on the 17th in different months. Cool!

    My fave number is 7. But I find any number with 7 on it — a good one!



  6. And a song that drifted into my head this morning (as things randomly do) – “Please Mister, Please” by Olivia Newton-John, whose song was at button B17. “Please mister, please/Don’t play B17/It was our song, it was his song/But it’s over”. And I can quote that from memory!
    (Sob.) God, I need a life……….


    • Thanks for that, Meesh! Hope all is well on your end. And how is Al doing? If you guys are still doing “The Regulator”, could you post the site address here? I can’t seem to find it!
      And to you, notre Dame canadienne de la beauté et la grâce, a Happy Canada Day tomorrow,and enjoy our 4th of July festivities!


      • Eh! John,,,

        No problem for the video, my avatar links to The Regulator….as for Al and I, we really do not post there any longer.

        Al is taking a break of posting altogether in general…or just eased off a bit for the summer. He’s just peachy and doing fine, I am sure he doesn’t miss Frank’s posts…haven’t asked him actually.

        As for Canada Day, some of my crazy canuck neighbours have been lighting up fireworks for the last week. So there’s no way over here, that we can forget about it…. So, I got the steaks and trimmings ready to go! You and yours have a great 4th of July, John!


        • Meesh,
          Make sure pass a hello to Al from me … as well as John and Nonnie (she has asked me). And from I see from your comment, you are sure that he doesn’t miss my posts. OH well … tell him hello anyway. 🙂


Comment with respect.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.