On This Day

Historical Events on December 17

Events 1 - 200 of 222

  • 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.

Victory in battleVictory in Battle

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

Turkic Conqueror Tamerlane
Turkic Conqueror
Tamerlane
  • 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

BeatificationExcommunication

1538 Pope Paul II excommunicates King Henry VIII of England

King of England Henry VIII
King of England
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 and 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

  • 1777 France recognizes independence of British colonies in America
  • 1777 George Washington's army returns to Valley Forge, Pennsylvania
  • 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 (William Blount, Tennessee) 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
  • 1836 Colonel William Light chooses the site for the settlement of Adelaide in South Australia

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

Union General and US President Ulysses S. Grant
Union General and US President
Ulysses S. Grant

Music releaseMusic Premiere

1865 Franz Schubert's Symphony No. 8 "Unfinished Symphony" premieres in Vienna with Johann von Herbeck conducting

Composer Franz Schubert
Composer
Franz Schubert
  • 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
  • 1894 Cricket day 3 1T Australia v Engand; England 325 all out, 261 behind on 1st innings
  • 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 100,000 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

Plane1st Airplane Flight

1903 The Wright Brothers make the first sustained motorized aircraft flight at 10:35 AM, piloted by Orville Wright at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina
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Seconds into the first ever flight of the Wright Flyer at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Orville Wright is flying, Wilbur Wright is running alongside.
Seconds into the first ever flight of the Wright Flyer at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Orville Wright is flying, Wilbur Wright is running alongside.
  • 1907 Ugyen Wangchuck became 1st hereditary king of Bhutan

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1908 In Turkey the new parliament convenes with reformist Young Turks as the majority

Leader of the Ottoman Empire Enver Pasha
Leader of the Ottoman Empire
Enver Pasha
  • 1909 Leopold II, king of Belgium, died in Laeken after a reign of exactly 44 years
  • 1912 Albania's de facto independence from the Ottoman Empire is recognized at the London Conference of Ambassadors
  • 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 AL votes to let spitball pitchers to continue using it
  • 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
  • 1924 The Hamilton Tigers and Ottawa Senators battle out the first scoreless game in NHL history; Jake Forbes (Hamilton) and Alex Connell (Ottawa) each record shutouts
  • 1925 Colonel 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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1927 Bradman scores 118 on 1st-class cricket debut, 188 mins 8 fours

Cricket Legend Donald Bradman
Cricket Legend
Donald Bradman
  • 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 President John Heydler's designated hitter idea
  • 1932 Cards trade Jim Bottomley to Reds for Estel Crabtree & Ownie Carroll
  • 1933 B H Valentine scores 133 on Test Cricket debut, Eng v India at Bombay
  • 1933 Lala Amarnath scores century on Test Cricket debut (went on to 118)
  • 1933 Spain's 2nd government of Lerroux forms

Sport awardNFL Championship

1933 National Football League Championship - 1st title game, Wrigley Field, Chicago: Chicago Bears beat New York Giants, 23-21; "Bronko Nagurski Rule" - forward pass is legal anywhere behind line of scrimmage

Hall of Fame American Football Player Bronko Nagurski
Hall of Fame American Football Player
Bronko Nagurski
American Football Player Mel Hein
American Football Player
Mel Hein

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1935 1st flight of the Douglas DC-3 (C-47 Skytrain/Dakota) airplane.

Aviation Pioneer Donald Wills Douglas
Aviation Pioneer
Donald Wills Douglas
  • 1936 Ventriloquist Edgar Bergen & dummy Charlie McCarthy, appear on TV
  • 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 land 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

Sport awardNFL Championship

1944 National Football League Championship, Polo Grounds, NYC: Green Bay Packers beat New York Giants, 14-7 for 6th and final league title under long-time coach Curly Lambeau

NFL Head Coach Curly Lambeau
NFL Head Coach
Curly Lambeau
American Football Player Mel Hein
American Football Player
Mel Hein
  • 1944 San Franciso 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 Bradman & Barnes complete 405 run 5th wicket stand, score 234 each
  • 1946 US V-2 rocket reaches 183 km, White Sands Proving Grounds, New Mexico
  • 1947 NY struck by a blizzard, resulting with 27" of snow
  • 1947 WEWS TV channel 5 in Cleveland, Ohio (ABC) begins broadcasting

InventionHistoric Invention

1947 British industrial company BTH receives a patent for holography, invented by Dennis Gabor in their development lab

Physicist and Electrical Engineer Dennis Gabor
Physicist and Electrical Engineer
Dennis Gabor
  • 1949 "Regina" closes at 46th St Theater NYC after 86 performances
  • 1949 Burma recognizes People's Republic of China
  • 1951 Dutch Communist Party members forbidden to be civil servants

Music releaseMusic Premiere

1953 Dmitri Shostakovich's 10th Symphony premieres in Leningrad

  • 1953 US Federal Communications Commission approves RCA's black & white-compatible color TV specifications
  • 1954 1st fully automated railroad freight yard (Gary, Indiana)
  • 1954 WEAU TV channel 13 in Eau Claire, WI (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • 1957 US successfully test-fires Atlas intercontinental ballistic missile

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1957 The last episode of The Nat King Cole Show airs on NBC due to lack of national sponsorship

Musician Nat King Cole
Musician
Nat King Cole
  • 1957 Ballon d'Or: Real Madrid forward Alfredo Di Stéfano wins award for best football player in Europe ahead of Englishmen Billy Wright and Duncan Edwards
  • 1957 The largest trade in NHL history at the time in terms of quantity; Chicago Black Hawks move Nick Mickoski, Jack McIntyre, Bob Bailey & Hec Lalonde to Detroit Red Wings for Earl Reibel, Billy Dea, Bill Dineen & Lorne Ferguson

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1958 Ted Lindsay becomes highest scoring left wing in NHL history, passing Aurel Joliat who retired with 270; scores twice and adds an assist In Chicago Black Hawks' 5-2 win over the Boston Bruins at Chicago Stadium

NHL Star Ted Lindsay
NHL Star
Ted Lindsay

  • 1959 "On The Beach" is 1st film to premiere on both sides of Iron Curtain
  • 1960 "La Plume de Ma Tante" closes at Royale Theater NYC after 835 performances
  • 1960 "Take Me Along" closes at Shubert Theater NYC after 448 performances
  • 1960 Pablo Casals' oratorio "El Pesebrio" premieres
  • 1961 India seizes Goa & 2 other Portuguese colonies
  • 1961 Niteroi Circus in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil catches fire; 323 die after disgruntled employee sets fire to the tent
  • 1962 Beatles 1st British TV appearance (People & Places)
  • 1962 Current constitution of Monaco promulgated
  • 1963 Tsjoi Doo Sun forms government in South Korea
  • 1963 West & East Berlin sign accord about travel rules
  • 1963 Ballon d'Or: Dynamo Moscow goalkeeper Lev Yashin wins award for best European football player; beats Milan midfielder Gianni Rivera and Tottenham striker Jimmy Greaves; first Russian national to win trophy

Film release premierFilm Premier

1964 "Goldfinger", 3rd James Bond film, starring Sean Connery and Honor Blackman premieres in London

Music concertMusic Concert

1965 Astrodome opens, 1st event is Judy Garland & Supremes concert

Actress Judy Garland
Actress
Judy Garland
  • 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)
  • 1967 WEDW TV channel 49 in Bridgeport, Connecticut (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • 1967 Harold Holt, Prime Minister of Australia, vanishes in mysterious circumstances while swimming near Melbourne
  • 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 Gdańsk strike; soldiers in Gdynia fire at workers emerging from trains, killing dozens.
  • 1971 "Diamonds are Forever", 7th James Bond film, last starring Sean Conner, also starring Jill St. John is 1st released in West Germany
  • 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
  • 1972 WGVC (now WUCX) TV channel 35 in Grand Rapids, MI (PBS) 1st broadcast
  • 1973 Arabs terrorists shoot passengers on Boeing 737 to Kuwait
  • 1975 1st time NY Islanders shut-out NY Rangers, 3-0-Billy Smith's 5th
  • 1975 John Paul Stevens appointed to the US 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 Mururoa atoll
  • 1977 Rookie defenseman Barry Beck scores first career hat trick and adds an assist in Colorado Rockies' 5-1 win v Minnesota North Stars; sets NHL record for rookie defensemen with a goal in his 6th straight game
  • 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 Brigadier General James L Dozier
  • 1983 "Peg" closes at Lunt-Fontanne Theater NYC after 5 performances
  • 1983 Disco in Madrid catches fire; 83 die
  • 1983 The Provisional IRA bombs Harrods department store in London, killing six people and injuring 90

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1983 In his 352nd NHL game, Wayne Gretzky scores a goal & 5 assists in 8-1 rout of Quebec Nordiques to record his 800th point and 500th assist; averages 2.27 points, 1.42 assists, 0.85 goals per game to start career

Ice Hockey Great Wayne Gretzky
Ice Hockey Great
Wayne Gretzky
  • 1986 US Congress forms "Irangate" committee
  • 1986 Mrs Davina Thompson makes medical history by having the 1st heart, lung & liver transplant at 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
  • 1986 Edmonton's Wayne Gretzky scores 4 goals, including a natural hat trick in the 1st period and also records an assist as the Oilers win 5-3 over the visiting Quebec Nordiques; his 41st NHL career hat trick
  • 1987 Czechoslovak party leader Gustav Husak resigns
  • 1988 77th Davis Cup: Germany beats Sweden in Gothenburg (4-1)
  • 1988 Bryan Murray becomes 17th NHL coach to win 300 games (Wash Caps)
  • 1988 NY Islanders break 12 game losing streak, beat Devils 5-2
  • 1988 USS Tennessee, 1st sub to carry Trident 2 missiles, commissioned
  • 1988 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR

Appears on tv showTelevision Premiere

1989 "The Simpsons" created by Matt Groening, premieres on Fox TV as a full animated series with the episode, "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire"

Fictional TV Character Homer Simpson
Fictional TV Character
Homer Simpson
Cartoonist Matt Groening
Cartoonist
Matt Groening
Actor Hank Azaria
Actor
Hank Azaria
  • 1989 78th Davis Cup: Germany beats Sweden in Stuttgart (3-2)
  • 1989 Brazil elects conservative Fernando Collor de Mello as president
  • 1989 Michael Bevan scores cricket century on 1st-class debut (114 SA v WA)
  • 1990 KTBN, Salt Lake City Utah, begins shortwave radio transmissions
  • 1991 Cleveland Cavaliers beat Miami Heat 148-80, by record 68 pts
  • 1991 NBA's most lopsided game Cleveland beats Miami 148-80
  • 1991 Patrick Manning becomes premier of Trinidad & Tobago
  • 1991 Soap opera "One Life To Live" airs its 6,000th episode
  • 1991 Pittsburgh Penguins score team record 8 goals in one period in 2nd session of 10-2 win over NHL expansion San Jose Sharks
  • 1992 "Christmas Carol" opens at Broadhurst Theater NYC for 22 performances
  • 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
  • 1995 "School after Scandal" closes at Lyceum Theater NYC after 23 performances

Electoral defeatElection of Interest

1995 René Préval wins the Haiti presidential elections for the Fanmi Lavalas party

President of Haiti René Préval
President of Haiti
René Préval
  • 1996 "In My Bed" single released by Dru Hill (Billboard Song of the Year 1997)
  • 1999 The United Nations General Assembly passes resolution 54/134 designating November 25 as the annual International Day to Eliminate Violence Against Women

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1999 Ray Bourque becomes just the 3rd player in NHL history to score 1,100 assists, and goaltender Byron Dafoe records his 100th NHL victory in Boston Bruin's 3-1 win over the Thrashers in Atlanta

NHL Legend Ray Bourque
NHL Legend
Ray Bourque
  • 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
  • 2003 "The Return of the King" 3rd Lord of the Ring films is released. Makes US$72 million opening weekend, 2nd film to gross over 1 billion worldwide.
  • 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