On March 17, 1992, white South Africans went to the polls to vote on a referendum supporting the reforms negotiated by State President F.W. de Klerk two years earlier, in which de Klerk proposed to end the apartheid that had begun in 1948. The vote was nearly 69 percent in favor, leading to the apartheid being ended.
On March 17, 1776, British forces evacuate Boston, Massachusetts, after George Washington and Henry Knox place artillery in positions overlooking the city, thus ending the 11-month Siege of Boston.
On March 17, 461 A.D., Saint Patrick, the Christian missionary, bishop and apostle of Ireland, died.