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On December 17th...

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National Day (Bhutan)

1526 Ferdinand of Austria was chosen as King of Bohemia.

Henry VIII1538 Pope Paul III excommunicated England's King Henry VIII.

1718 France, Britain, and Austria declared war on Spain.

Nathaniel Macon1758 U.S. Congressman Nathaniel Macon was born.

1777 France recognized the independence of British colonies in America.

Humphry Davy1778 Chemist Humphry Davy was born.

1790 An Aztec calendar stone was discovered in Mexico City.

1791 New York City created the first one-way street.

1798 The first impeachment trial against a U.S. Senator (William Blount of Tennessee) began.

John Greenleaf Whittier1807 Poet John Greenleaf Whittier was born.

Simon Bolivar1830 South American revolutionary Simón Bolivar died.

1847 Empress Marie Louise of France died.

1874 William Lyon Mackenzie King, three-time Prime Minister of Canada, was born.

1885 France declared Madagascar a protectorate.

Arthur Fiedler1894 Conductor Arthur Fiedler was born.

1895 The Anti-Saloon League of America was formed in Washington, D.C.
1895 George Brownell patented a machine to make paper twine.

Wright Brothers1903 Orville Wright made the first heavier-than-air flight, at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
1903 Author Erskine Caldwell was born.

1907 Physicist Lord Kelvin died.

1908 Chemist Willard Libby was born.

Leopold II1909 King Leopold II of Belgium died.

1914 The United Kingdom declared Egypt a protectorate.

Gregory Rasputin1916 Russian mystic Gregory Rasputin was murdered.

Nauru1920 The British Empire received a League of Nations mandate over Nauru.
1920 Japan received a League of Nations mandate over several Pacific islands.
1920 South Africa received a League of Nations mandate over South West Africa.

1922 The last British troops left Irish Free State.

1923 King George II of Greece was overthrown by the army.

1924 The first diesel electric locomotive in the United States entered service in Bronx, New York.

1928 Actor George Lindsey was born.

1929 Columnist William Safire was born.

1930 Penthouse founder Bob Guccione was born.

1935 The Douglas DC-3 airplane flew for the first time.

1936 Ventriloquist Edgar Bergen made his first television appearance with Charlie McCarthy.

1939 Singer Eddie Kendricks was born.

1941 The Siege of Sevastopol, Russia, began.

1945 Talk show host Chris Matthews was born.

B-47 Stratojet1947 America's first swept-wing multi-engine bomber, the B-47 Stratojet, made its first flight.

1950 William Lyon Mackenzie King, three-time Prime Minister of Canada, was born.

1953 Actor Barry Livingston was born.

1954 The first fully automated railroad freight yard began operations in Gary, Indiana.

1957 The U.S. successfully test-fired an Atlas intercontinental ballistic missile.
1957 The last new episode of "The Nat King Cole Show" aired on NBC-TV.

1961 Fire destroyed the main tent of the Grand North American Circus in Niterói, Brazil, killing 323 persons.

1964 Goldfinger, the third James Bond film, premiered in London, England.

1965 The Houston Astrodome opened to the public.

1967 Australian Prime Minister Harold E. Holt disappeared while swimming off Portosa, near Melbourne, and was feared drowned.

1969 The U.S. Air Force officially closed Project Blue Book.

1970 Shipyard workers in Gdansk, Poland, went on strike.

1971 Diamonds Are Forever, the last James Bond film to star Sean Connery, was released.

1974 Celebrity baker Duff Goldman was born.

1975 Lynette Fromme was sentenced to life in prison for attempting to assassinate U.S. President Gerald Ford.

1978 Boxer Manny Pacquiao was born.

1979 Actress Jaimee Foxworth was born.

1983 Fire in a Madrid, Spain, disco killed 83 persons.

1986 Davina Thompson became the first person to undergo a heart, lung, and liver transplant, at Papworth Hospital in Cambridge, England.

1989 "The Simpsons" debuted.

1992 Actress Dana Andrews died.

1997 Comedian Chris Farley died.

2005 Columnist Jack Anderson died.

2011 North Korean leader Kim Jung Il died.

2012 Seventeen persons were killed and 70 injured by a blast in a market in the Khyber Agency, Pakistan.

2016 Pollster Louis Harris died.
2016 Henry Heimlich, developer of the Heimlich Maneuver, died.

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The Robinson Library >> On This Day

This page was last updated on December 16, 2017.