On this day in history – December 17 – Almanac


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The North Korean flag flies over its embassy in Beijing on December 19, 2011, two days after the death of leader Kim Jong Il. Stephen Shaver / UPI File | License photo

Today is Friday, December 17, the 351st day of 2021 with 14 to follow.

The moon is growing. The morning stars are Mars and Uranus. The evening stars are Jupiter, Neptune, Saturn, Uranus and Venus.


People born on this date are under the sign of Sagittarius. They include Deborah Sampson, a soldier in the American Revolutionary War, who fought as a man under the pseudonym Robert Shurtlieff, in 1760; the English writer Ford Madox Ford in 1873; the Burt Baskin ice cream businessman in 1913; Pope Francis, born Jorge Mario Bergoglio, in 1936 (85 years old); British singer / actor Tommy Steele in 1936 (85); blues musician Paul Butterfield in 1942; Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari in 1942 (79 years old); political commentator Chris Matthews in 1945 (76); actor Ernie Hudson in 1945 (76); the actor Eugene Levy in 1946 (75 years old); British rock singer Paul Rodgers in 1949 (72); actor Bill Pullman in 1953 (68); actor Barry Livingston in 1953 (68); actor Laurie Holden in 1969 (52); 1969 MMA fighter Chuck Liddell (52); actor Sarah Paulson in 1974 (47); the famous pastry chef Duff Goldman in 1974 (47 years old); actor Milla Jovovich in 1975 (46 years old); actor Katheryn Winnick in 1977 (44); boxer / politician / artist Manny Pacquiao in 1978 (43); whistleblower Chelsea Manning in 1987 (34); actor Kiersey Clemons in 1993 (28); actor Nat Wolff in 1994 (27).


At this date in history:

In 1790, the Aztec calendar, or solar stone, was discovered by workers repairing Mexico City’s central plaza.

In 1903, Orville Wright made the first sustained airplane flight in history, lasting 12 seconds and covering 120 feet near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. His brother Wilbur flew to 852 feet later that day.

In 1925, US Army General William “Billy” Mitchell, considered the father of the US Air Force, was convicted of conduct prejudicial to the good of the armed forces. He received the Medal of Honor 20 years after his death.

In 1939, the Nazi warship Graf Spee was scuttled off the coast of Uruguay as British ships pursued it after the Battle of the Plate River. United Press reporter Roscoe Snipes observed the explosions on a plane.

In 1944, the more than 110,000 Japanese Americans who had been displaced from the West Coast shortly after the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor were told they would be allowed to return home on January 2.

In 1967, the Clean Air Act was enacted by President Lyndon B. Johnson.

In 1975, a federal jury in Sacramento sentenced Lynette Alice “Squeaky” Fromme to life in prison for her attempted assassination of US President Gerald R. Ford. She was released from prison in August 2009.

In 1981, the US Army Brigadier. General James Dozier was kidnapped in Verona by the Italian Red Brigades. He was released 42 days later in a raid by Italian counterterrorism forces.

In 1986, a federal jury in Las Vegas awarded artist Wayne Newton $ 19.3 million in his libel lawsuit against NBC. A judge reduced the price to $ 5.3 million.

In 1989, The simpsons, which began as a feature of The Tracy Ullman Show, had its first standalone episode aired. The popular animated series has sparked look-alike contests, college classes, tattoos, and controversy.

In 1990, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, a radical Catholic priest and opponent of the dictatorship of Jean-Claude Duvalier, was elected President of Haiti in a landslide victory.

In 1992, US President George HW Bush and the leaders of Mexico and Canada formally signed the North American Free Trade Treaty.

In 1996, Kofi Annan of Ghana was elected Secretary General of the United Nations.

In 1997, New Jersey became the first state in the United States to allow same-sex couples to adopt children.

In 2004, the United States officially forgave the full $ 4.1 billion owed to the Iraqi government and urged other creditors to do the same.

In 2010, Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire to protest against the treatment he had suffered at the hands of a municipal official. This would prove to be the catalyst for the Tunisian revolution and set the stage for the Arab Spring.

In 2011, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il passed away and his son, Kim Jong Un, took over.

In 2015, warring factions in Libya signed a UN-brokered agreement to form a unity government four years after the death of Muammar Gaddafi.

In 2020, China’s Chang’e-5 spacecraft landed in China’s Inner Mongolia region, making the country the third in history to return a space probe to Earth with samples from the moon.


A thought for the day: “The wise speak because they have something to say; fools because they have something to say. – The Greek philosopher Plato

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