Historical Events on December 17
- 1777: The United States is formally recognized as an independent nation from Great Britain by France.
- 1790: The Aztec calendar stone is discovered in El Zócalo, Mexico City, Mexico.
- 1812: United States’ forces attack a Lenni Lenape village during the Battle of the Mississinewa.
- 1835: Over 50 acres of New York City’s Financial District is destroyed during the Second Great Fire of NY.
- 1837: Thirty guards are killed when a fire breaks out at the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia.
- 1862: During the American Civil War, Union General Ulysses S. Grant issued General Order No. 11. This order expels Jews from parts of Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee.
- 1903: The Wright brothers make their 1st controlled air flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
- 1935: The Douglas DC-3 flies for the first time.
- 1938: Otto Hahn discovers nuclear fission as it pertains to uranium. This would lay the foundation for nuclear energy.
- 1941: Japanese forces invade Northern Borneo.
- 1943: When the Magnuson Act is introduced and the Act of 1882 is repealed, all Chinese are allowed to once again become citizens of the U.S.
- 1957: The first Atlas Intercontinental Ballistic Missile is launched by the U.S from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
- 1960: Over 50 people are killed when the U.S Air Force plane the Convair C-131D Samaritan crashes in Munich.
- 1969: Operation Blue Book – the official study of Unidentified Flying Objects by the U.S Air Force – is officially closed.
Famous Birthdays on December 17
- American chemist and Nobel Prize laureate, Willard Libby is born in 1908.
- American businessman and co-founder of Baskin Robbins, Burt Baskin is born in 1913.
- Canadian computer scientist, Kenneth E. Iverson is born in 1920.
- American actor and director, Richard Long is born in 1927.
- James McGaugh, American neurobiologist and psychologist 1931.
- Canadian actor and screenwriter, Eugene Levy is born in 1947.
- American actor Wes Studi is born in 1947.
- American actor Bill Pullman is born in 1953.
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