Events in History on December 17

  • 283 St Gaius begins his reign as Catholic Pope
  • 546 Gothic War (535-554): The Ostrogoths of King Totila conquer Rome by bribing the Byzantine garrison.
  • 920 Romanos I is crowned as co-emperor of the underage Emperor Constantine VII.
  • 942 Assassination of William I Longsword, 2nd Duke of Normandy.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1398 Timur (Tamerlane) captures and sacks Delhi, defeating Sultan Nasir-u Din Mehmud's armies which include elephants

Turkic Conqueror Tamerlane
Turkic Conqueror
  • 1526 Ferdinand of Austria chosen as King of Bohemia
  • 1526 Pope Clemens VII publishes degree Cum ad zero - forms Inquisition
  • 1531 Pope Clement VII establishes a parallel body to the Inquisition in Lisbon, Portugal.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1538 Pope Paul II excommunicates King Henry VIII of England

King of England Henry VIII
King of England
Henry VIII
  • 1538 Pope Paul III excommunicates England's King Henry VIII
  • 1572 Spanish army begins fires in Haarlem Netherlands
  • 1586 Go-Yōzei becomes 107th Emperor of Japan.
  • 1587 The Earl of Leicester's army leaves Netherlands
  • 1637 Shimabara Rebellion: Japanese peasants led by Amakusa Shiro rise against daimyo Matsukura Shigeharu.
  • 1638 French/Swedish troops occupy Breisach on the Rhine
  • 1718 France, Britain and Austria declare war on Spain (War of the Quadruple Alliance 1718–1720)
  • 1728 Congregation Shearith Israel of New York purchases a lot on Mill Street in lower Manhattan to build the city's first synagogue
  • 1745 Bonnie Prince Charlie's army retreats to Scotland
  • 1777 France recognizes independence of British colonies in America
  • 1777 George Washington's army returns to Valley Forge, Pa
  • 1788 Russian army of Grigory Potemkin occupies Ocharov
  • 1790 Aztec calendar stone discovered in Mexico City
  • 1791 NYC traffic regulation creates 1st 1-way street
  • 1792 Opening of 1st legislative assembly of Lower Canada in Quebec city
  • 1798 1st impeachment trial against a US senator (Wm Blount, TN) begins
  • 1807 France issues the Milan Decree, which confirms the Continental System.
  • 1819 Congress of Angostura establishes Colombia's independence from Spain
  • 1821 Kentucky abolishes debtors' prisons

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1832 HMS Beagle/Charles Darwin sails in Strait Le Maire

Naturalist Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1845 German explorer Ludwig Leichhardt arrives in Port Essington after a nearly 4,800 km (3,000 mi) overland journey to explore Australia's Northern Territory

Explorer and Naturalist Ludwig Leichhardt
Explorer and Naturalist
Ludwig Leichhardt
  • 1852 1st Hawaiian cavalry organized
  • 1860 Anaheim Township created in Los Angeles County

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1862 General Ulysses S. Grant issues order #11, expelling Jews from Tennessee

US President & Union General Ulysses S. Grant
US President & Union General
Ulysses S. Grant
  • 1875 Violent bread riots in Montreal
  • 1885 France declares Madagascar a protectorate
  • 1887 Georges Feydeau's "Tailleur Pour Dames" premieres in Paris
  • 1892 Tchaikovski's ballet "Casse-noisette" premieres in St Petersburg
  • 1893 Russia ratifies Double Alliance with France
  • 1895 Anti-Saloon League of America formed, Washington, D.C.
  • 1895 George Brownell patents a machine to make paper twine (Mass)
  • 1900 1st prize of 100,00 francs offered for communications with extraterrestrials. Martians excluded-considered too easy
  • 1900 New Ellis Island Immigration station completed costing $1.5 million
  • 1900 Pope Leo XIII closes the 'Holy Door' of St Peter's in Rome, ending the Jubilee Year of 1900
  • 1902 Frank Wedekind's "Der Erdgeist" premieres in Berlin

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1903 The Wright Brothers make their first sustained motorized aircraft flight at 10:35 AM, piloted by Orville Wright at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina

  • 1907 Ugyen Wangchuck became 1st hereditary king of Bhutan
  • 1908 In Turkey the new parliament convenes with reformist Young Turks as the majority
  • 1909 Leopold II, king of Belgium, died in Laeken after a reign of exactly 44 years
  • 1914 Austrian troops beat Russians in Limanova Poland
  • 1914 Great Britain declares Egypt a protectorate
  • 1914 Jews are expelled from Tel Aviv by Turkish authorities
  • 1918 A conference of workers' and soldiers' councils take control of German government in Berlin, until elections in January selects new national assembly
  • 1919 Austrian parliament approves 8-hour working day
  • 1920 British Empire receives League of Nations mandate over Nauru
  • 1920 Japan receives League of Nations mandate over Pacific islands
  • 1920 South Africa receives League of Nations mandate over SW Africa
  • 1922 Last British troops leave Irish Free State
  • 1923 Greek king George II overthrown by army/republic
  • 1924 1st US diesel electric locomotive enters service, Bronx, NY
  • 1925 Col William "Billy" Mitchell court-martialed for insubordination
  • 1925 Soviet Union & Turkey sign non-aggresion pact

Victory in battleVictory in Battle

1925 Sultan Abdulaziz Ibn Saud conquers Jeddah, the last major stand of the Hashemites against the Saudis

Founder of Saudi Arabia Ibn Saud
Founder of Saudi Arabia
Ibn Saud
  • 1926 German Marx government falls due to cooperation with red army
  • 1926 KYA-AM in San Francisco CA begins radio transmissions
  • 1926 Lithuanian military state under gen Augustine Woldemaras
  • 1926 Antanas Smetona assumes power in Lithuania as the ‎1926 coup d'état‎ is successful.
  • 1927 US submarine S-4 sinks after collision killing all 34 aboard
  • 1927 Victoria score 793 against Queensland, Bill Ponsford 437
  • 1928 John McGraw backs NL Pres John Heydler's designated hitter idea
  • 1932 Cards trade Jim Bottomley to Reds for Estel Crabtree & Ownie Carroll
  • 1933 Spain's 2nd government of Lerroux forms
  • 1935 First flight of the Douglas DC-3 (C-47 Skytrain/Dakota) airplane.
  • 1938 Discovery of nuclear fission using uranium by Otto Hahn and his assistant Fritz Strassmann
  • 1938 Utrecht Central Station destroyed by fire
  • 1939 German pocket battleship Graf Spee scuttled by its crew off Uruguay
  • 1940 British troops occupy Sollum, Egypt
  • 1941 Dutch & Australian troops lands on Portuguese Timor
  • 1941 German submarine U-31 sunk

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1941 German troops led by Erwin Rommel begin retreating in North Africa

German WWII Field Marshal Erwin Rommel
German WWII Field Marshal
Erwin Rommel
  • 1941 World War II: Beginning of the Siege of Sebastopol.
  • 1942 Allies in London sentence German war criminals
  • 1943 Transport 63 departs with French Jews to nazi-Germany
  • 1944 M-Ocean View streetcar resumes service & is extended to Market St
  • 1944 US Army announces end of excluding Japanese-Americans from West Coast, detainees released.
  • 1944 US destroyers sink in storm off Philippines, 790 killed
  • 1946 US V-2 rocket reaches 183 km, White Sands Proving Grounds, NM
  • 1947 NY struck by a blizzard, resulting with 27" of snow
  • 1949 Burma recognizes People's Republic of China
  • 1951 Dutch Communist Party members forbidden to be civil servants
  • 1953 US Federal Communications Commission approves RCA's black & white-compatible color TV specifications
  • 1954 1st fully automated railroad freight yard (Gary, Indiana)
  • 1957 US successfully test-fires Atlas intercontinental ballistic missile
  • 1959 "On The Beach" is 1st film to premiere on both sides of Iron Curtain
  • 1960 Pablo Casals' oratorio "El Pesebrio" premieres
  • 1961 Disgruntled employee set fire to a circus tent in Niteroi Brazil
  • 1961 India seizes Goa & 2 other Portuguese colonies
  • 1961 Niteroi Circus of Rio de Janeiro catches fire; 323 die
  • 1962 Current constitution of Monaco promulgated
  • 1963 Tsjoi Doo Sun forms government in South Korea
  • 1963 West & East Berlin sign accord about travel rules
  • 1965 British government proclaims ends oil-embargo against Rhodesia
  • 1965 David Levy begins his search for comets
  • 1965 Dutch government shuts Limburgs coal mine
  • 1965 Largest newspaper-Sunday NY Times at 946 pages (50 cents)
  • 1969 USAF closes Project Blue Book, concluding no evidence of extraterrestrial spaceships behind thousands of UFO sightings
  • 1970 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1970 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • 1970 Poland: shipyard workers in Gdansk strike; soldiers in Gdynia fire at workers emerging from trains, killing dozens.
  • 1971 Cease fire between India & Pakistan in Kashmir
  • 1971 Radio Bangladesh begins transmitting
  • 1972 New line of control agreed to in Kashmir between India & Pakistan
  • 1973 Arabs terrorists shoot passengers on Boeing 737 to Kuwait
  • 1975 John Paul Stevens appointed to Supreme Court
  • 1975 Lynette Fromme sentenced to life for attempt on US President Ford's life
  • 1976 Superstation WTBS in Atlanta went national
  • 1977 Bobby Simpson scores 176 Australia v India at the WACA, aged 41
  • 1977 Elvis Costello & The Attractions 1st US TV appearance (SNL)
  • 1977 France performs nuclear test at Muruora Island
  • 1978 Referendum approves new constitution of Rwanda
  • 1978 The Workers' Party of Jamaica is founded by Trevor Munroe.
  • 1978 OPEC raises oil prices by 18% and agrees on a 14.5% petrolium price increase for 1979, to be implemented quarterly
  • 1979 Budweiser rocket car reaches 1190 kph (record for wheeled vehicle)
  • 1980 Great Britain performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1980 Mauritania provisional constitution published
  • 1981 Members of Red Brigades kidnap Brig Gen James L Dozier
  • 1983 Disco in Madrid catches fire; 83 die
  • 1983 The Provisional IRA bombs Harrods department store in London, killing six people and injuring 90
  • 1986 US Congress forms "Irangate" committee
  • 1986 Mrs Davina Thompson makes medical history by having the 1st heart, lung & liver transplant (Papworth Hospital in Cambridge, England)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1986 American mafia hitman Richard Kuklinski is arrested at a roadblock

Contract Killer Richard Kuklinski
Contract Killer
Richard Kuklinski
  • 1987 Czechoslovak party leader Gustav Husak resigns
  • 1988 USS Tennessee, 1st sub to carry Trident 2 missiles, commissioned
  • 1988 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • 1989 Brazil elects conservative Fernando Collor de Mello as president
  • 1990 KTBN, Salt Lake City Utah, begins shortwave radio transmissions
  • 1991 NBA's most lopsided game Cleveland beats Miami 148-80
  • 1991 Patrick Manning becomes premier of Trinidad & Tobago
  • 1992 Gen Suwa finds tooth of 4.4 million year old Australopithecus ramidus
  • 1993 Muslims in Bangladesh call for the murder of feminist Taslima Nasrin
  • 1993 Kevin Scott skates world record 1000 m (1:12.54)
  • 1993 Northern Exposure star Barry Corbin falls off his horse
  • 1994 KLM's last DC-10 goes out of service
  • 1999 The United Nations General Assembly passes resolution 54/134 designating November 25 as the annual International Day to Eliminate Violence Against Women.
  • 2002 Second Congo War: The Congolese parties of the Inter Congolese Dialogue sign a peace accord which makes provision for transitional governance and legislative and presidential elections within two years.
  • 2003 The Soham murder trial ends at the Old Bailey in London, with Ian Huntley found guilty of two counts of murder. His girlfriend Maxine Carr is found guilty of perverting the course of justice.
  • 2003 SpaceShipOne flight 11P, piloted by Brian Binnie, makes its first supersonic flight.
  • 2005 Anti-WTO protesters riot in Wan Chai, Hong Kong
  • 2007 Republic of Lakotah asserts independence from the United States
  • 2012 Jiroemon Kimura of Japan becomes the world's oldest verified man at 116 years old
  • 2012 17 people are killed and 70 are injured by a blast in a market in the Khyber Agency, Pakistan
  • 2012 10 girls collecting firewood are killed by a mine blast in east Afghanistan
  • 2012 18 people drown after an overloaded boat sinks in Cotonou, Benin
  • 2012 NASA completes a successful mission to map the Moon’s gravity field

Electoral defeatElection of Interest

2013 Angela Merkel is elected Chancellor of Germany for a third term

Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel
Chancellor of Germany
Angela Merkel
  • 2015 Martin Shkreli, CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals is arrested on fraud charges in New York by the FBI
  • 2015 Libyan warring political factions sign a UN-brokered deal to form a unified government