December 1917 in History

Events in History

  • Dec 1 Boys Town founded by Father Edward Flanagan west of Omaha Neb
  • Dec 2 Han Yong-woon, found Zen awakening at Osean Monastery Korea
  • Dec 3 After nearly 20 years of planning and construction, the Quebec Bridge opens to traffic.
  • Dec 3 The Supreme Allied War Council, meeting at Versailles to define war aim, fails to reach an agreement
  • Dec 5 Austro-German Forces launch an offensive against the Italians on the western end of their line, around Asiago
  • Dec 6 French munition ship "Mont Blanc" explodes in Halifax, kills 1,700
  • Dec 6 Taking advantage of the temporary relaxation of authority in Russia, Finland declares itself a republic, following the Ukraine on 20 November
  • Dec 7 US becomes 13th country to declare war on Austria during World War I

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 7 The USA's 42nd 'Rainbow' Division arrives in France (with Colonel Douglass MacArthur among its ranks)

US WWII General Douglas MacArthur
US WWII General
Douglas MacArthur
  • Dec 9 British forces under General Allenby capture Jerusalem
  • Dec 11 13 black soldiers hanged for participation in Houston riot
  • Dec 11 German-occupied Lithuania proclaims independence from Russia
  • Dec 12 French troop train derails in French Alps killing 543
  • Dec 12 Rev Edward Flanagan forms Boys Town outside Omaha, Nebraska
  • Dec 14 UFA, Universal Film AG, forms in Germany
  • Dec 15 Moldavian Republic declares independence from Russia
  • Dec 15 World War I: An armistice is reached between the new Russian Bolshevik government and the Central Powers.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 18 Soviet regiment (Stalin/Lenin) declares Finland Independent

Marxist Revolutionary and Russian Leader Vladimir Lenin
Marxist Revolutionary and Russian Leader
Vladimir Lenin
Soviet Union Premier Joseph Stalin
Soviet Union Premier
Joseph Stalin
  • Dec 18 The 18th Amendment, authorizing prohibition of alcohol, is approved by the US congress and sent to the states for ratification
  • Dec 20 Cheka formed - Soviet state security force and forerunner to the KGB, under Felix Dzerzhinsky after decree by Lenin
  • Dec 20 A second nationwide referendum on military conscription is rejected by the Australian public
  • Dec 22 Flanders declares its independence, under Pieter Tack
  • Dec 23 3 British warships come close to Holland
  • Dec 25 "Why Marry" 1st drama to win Pulitzer Prize, premieres in NYC
  • Dec 26 US Federal government took over operation of American railroads for duration of WW I
  • Dec 30 -32°F (-36°C) in Mountain City, Tennessee (state record)
  • Dec 30 -37°F (-38°C) in Lewisburg, WV (state record)
  • Dec 31 Dutch Social-democratic trade union NVV counts 159,450 members

Birthdays in History

  • Dec 5 Simone Gallimard, publisher
  • Dec 6 Kamal Jumblatt, leader of the Lebanese Druze (d. 1977)
  • Dec 6 Irv Robbins, Canadian-American entrepreneur (d. 2008)
  • Dec 9 James Angleton, head of counterintelligence for the CIA (d. 1987)
  • Dec 9 James Rainwater, American physicist, Nobel laureate (d. 1986)
  • Dec 10 Sultan Yahya Petra, King of Malaysia (d. 1979)
  • Dec 12 Edward Firth Henderson, arabist
  • Dec 14 June Taylor, American choreographer (d. 2004)
  • Dec 15 Shan-ul-Haq Haqqee, linguist and writer of Pakistan (d. 2005)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Dec 16 Sir Arthur C. Clarke, Minehead England, science fiction author (2001, 2010, Childhood's End)

Sci-Fi Author Sir Arthur C. Clarke
Sci-Fi Author
Sir Arthur C. Clarke
  • Dec 16 Nabi Bux Khan Baloch, Sindhi scholar
  • Dec 20 David Bohm, American-born physicist, philosopher, and neuropsychologist (d. 1992)
  • Dec 21 Alicia Alonso, ballerina (American Ballet Theatre), born in Havana, Cuba
  • Dec 21 Andre Eglevsky, choreographer (Limelight)
  • Dec 21 Sophie Masloff, American politician
  • Dec 22 Andrew Fielding Huxley, physiologist (Nobel 1963), born in London, England (d. 2012)
  • Dec 22 Gene Rayburn, Christopher Ill, TV game show host (Match Game)
  • Dec 22 Piet De Somer, Belgian rector (U of Leuven)
  • Dec 24 Kim Jong-suk, Wife of Kim Il-sung, mother of Kim Jung-Il, "The Heroine of the Anti-Japanese Revolution" (d. 1949)
  • Dec 26 Rosemary Woods, Nixon's secretary, keep her away from your tapes
  • Dec 27 Earl of Inchcape, English large landowner/industrialist (P&O)
  • Dec 27 Onni Palaste, Finnish writer
  • Dec 28 Ellis Clarke, president Trinidad & Tobago (1976-87)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Dec 29 Tom Bradley, Mayor of Los Angeles (D-1973-93), born in Calvert, Texas (d. 1998)

American Politician Tom Bradley
American Politician
Tom Bradley
  • Dec 30 Seymour Melman, American industrial engineer (d. 2004)

Weddings in History

HeartWedding of Interest

Dec 24 Famous pilot Jimmy Doolittle (21) weds high school sweetheart Josephine E. Daniels

Aviation Pioneer Jimmy Doolittle
Aviation Pioneer
Jimmy Doolittle

Deaths in History

  • Dec 8 Mendele Moykher Sforim, Russian writer (b. 1836)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Dec 10 Sir Mackenzie Bowell, fifth Prime Minister of Canada, dies of pneumonia at 93

5th Prime Minister of Canada Mackenzie Bowell
5th Prime Minister of Canada
Mackenzie Bowell
  • Dec 17 Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, 1st qualified woman physician in Britain, first woman mayor (Aldeburgh), dies at 81
  • Dec 22 Francesca Saveria Cabrini, US saint/patron of immigrant, dies at 67
  • Dec 26 Louise J Gautier, French poetess/daughter of Theophile G, dies at 71
  • Dec 28 Alfred Edwin McKay, Canadian World War One flying ace (b. 1892)