- 1398 Timur (Tamerlane) captures and sacks Delhi, defeating Sultan Nasir-u Din Mehmud's armies by setting camels loaded with hay alight and charging them at the Sultans armoured elephants
- 1526 Pope Clemens VII publishes degree Cum ad zero - forms Inquisition
- 1788 Russian army of Grigory Potemkin occupies Ocharov
- 1903 The Wright Brothers make the first sustained motorized aircraft flight at 10:35 AM, piloted by Orville Wright at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina
- 1986 Mrs Davina Thompson makes medical history by having the 1st heart, lung & liver transplant at Papworth Hospital in Cambridge, England
1st prize of 100,000 francs offered for communications with extraterrestrials. Martians excluded-considered too easy.
On December 17, 1900
Harold Holt, Prime Minister of Australia, vanishes in mysterious circumstances while swimming near Melbourne
On December 17, 1967
- 1600 Marriage of Henry IV of France and Marie de' Medici
- 1915 Journalist Benito Mussolini marries Rachele Guidi in Treviglio Lombardy
- 1918 Philippine Senator (and later 2nd President) Manuel L. Quezon (40) weds first cousin Aurora Aragon (30) in Hong Kong
- 1955 Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall (47) weds Cecilia Suyat
- 1969 50m TV viewers watch singer Tiny Tim marry Miss Vicky, on "The Tonight Show"
- 2007 Actor Dermot Mulroney (44) divorces actress Catherine Keener (48) due to irreconcilable differences after 17 years of marriage