What happened on December 17? There are more than 283 events that were made this day in history. Here are the important historical events, facts, and some myths about this day.

Interesting Facts & Myths About December 17

December 17 In HistoryDecember 17 is the 352nd day of the year 2020. There are 14 days remaining until the end of this year. The day of the week is Thursday. This day falls under the 51st week of the year 2020.

On this day in Rumely, Michigan 49826 sunrise will occur at 08:26 AM and sunset will occur at 05:02 PM (local time).

The zodiac sign of a person born on this day is Sagittarius. The modern birthstone for this month is Turquoise while the mystical birthstone is Onyx.

According to the Chinese calendar, there are 57 days remaining before the start of the next Chinese New Year (February 12, 2021).

Birthday curiousity Is your birthday coming up in two days? Are you not curious to find out who is sharing your special day? Discover all the November 27 famous birthdays. There are fun facts about that day that you must know. (Sponsored link)

Historical Events For December 17

  • 920
    Romanos I is crowned co-emperor of the underage Emperor Constantine VII.
  • 942
    Assassination of William I of Normandy.
  • 1398
    Sultan Nasir-u Din Mehmud’s armies in Delhi are defeated by Timur.
  • 1538
    Pope Paul III excommunicates Henry VIII of England.
  • 1577
    Francis Drake sails from Plymouth, England, on a secret mission to explore the Pacific Coast of the Americas for English Queen Elizabeth I.
  • 1583
    Cologne War: Forces under Ernest of Bavaria defeats the troops under Gebhard Truchsess von Waldburg at the Siege of Godesberg.
  • 1586
    Emperor Go-Yozei becomes Emperor of Japan.
  • 1600
    Marriage of Henry IV of France and Marie de' Medici.
  • 1718
    Great Britain declares war on Spain.
  • 1777
    France formally recognizes the United States of America.
  • 1790
    Discovery of the Aztec calendar stone.
  • 1807
    France issues the Milan Decree, which confirms the Continental System.
  • 1812
    War of 1812: U.S. forces attack a friendly Lenape village in the Battle of the Mississinewa.
  • 1819
    Simón Bolívar declares the independence of the Republic of Gran Colombia in Angostura (now Ciudad Bolívar in Venezuela).
  • 1837
    Fire in the Winter Palace of Saint Petersburg occurred.
  • 1862
    American Civil War: General Ulysses S. Grant issues General Order No. 11, expelling Jews from Tennessee, Mississippi, and Kentucky.
  • 1865
    First performance of the Unfinished Symphony by Franz Schubert.
  • 1903
    The Wright Brothers make their first powered and heavier-than-air flight in the Wright Flyer at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
  • 1907
    Ugyen Wangchuck is crowned first King of Bhutan
  • 1918
    Culmination of the Darwin Rebellion as some 1000 demonstrators march on Government House in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia.
  • 1919
    Uruguay becomes a signatory to the Buenos Aires copyright treaty.
  • 1926
    Antanas Smetona assumes power in Lithuania as the 1926 coup d'état is successful.
  • 1927
    Indian revolutionary Rajendranath Lahiri was hanged to death in Gonda jail of U.P. in India 2 days before the scheduled date.
  • 1928
    Indian revolutionaries Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev Thapar and Shivaram Rajguru assassinate British police officer James Saunders in Lahore, Punjab to avenge the death of Lala Lajpat Rai at the hands of the police. The three were executed in 1931.
  • 1935
    First flight of the Douglas DC-3 airplane.
  • 1939
    World War II: Battle of the River Plate – The Admiral Graf Spee is scuttled by Captain Hans Langsdorff outside Montevideo.
  • 1941
    World War II: Japanese forces land in Northern Borneo.
  • 1944
    World War II: Battle of the Bulge – Malmedy massacre – American 285th Field Artillery Observation Battalion POWs are shot by Waffen-SS Kampfgruppe Peiper.
  • 1947
    First flight of the Boeing B-47 Stratojet strategic bomber.
  • 1950
    The F-86 Sabre’s first mission over Korea.
  • 1957
    The United States successfully launches the first Atlas intercontinental ballistic missile at Cape Canaveral, Florida.
  • 1960
    1960 Munich Convair 340 crash: 20 passengers and crew on board as well as 32 people on the ground are killed.
  • 1960
    Troops loyal to Haile Selassie I in Ethiopia crush the coup that began December 13, returning power to their leader upon his return from Brazil. Haile Selassie absolves his son of any guilt.
  • 1961
    Fire in the Gran Circus American in the city of Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the biggest tragedy in circus history.
  • 1967
    Prime Minister of Australia Harold Holt disappears while swimming near Portsea, Victoria and is presumed drowned.
  • 1969
    Project Blue Book: The United States Air Force closes its study of UFOs, stating that sightings are generated as a result of “A mild form of mass hysteria, Individuals who fabricate such reports to perpetrate a hoax or seek publicity, psychopathological persons, and misidentification of various conventional objects.”
  • 1969
    The SALT I talks begin.
  • 1970
    Polish 1970 protests: In Gdynia soldiers fire at workers emerging from trains, killing dozens.
  • 1973
    Terrorism: 30 passengers are killed in an attack by Palestinian terrorists on Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci Airport.
  • 1981
    Brigadier General James L. Dozier is abducted by the Red Brigade in Verona, Italy.
  • 1983
    The IRA bombs Harrods Department Store in London, killing six people.
  • 1989
    Fernando Collor de Mello defeats Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in the second round of the Brazilian presidential election, becoming the first democratically elected President in almost 30 years.
  • 1989
    Romanian Revolution: Protests continue in Timişoara with rioters breaking into the Romanian Communist Party’s District Committee building and attempting to set it on fire.
  • 1989
    The first episode of television series The Simpsons, “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire”, airs in the United States.
  • 1997
    The United Kingdom commences its Firearms (Amendment) (No. 2) Act 1997, which extends the state’s gun ban to include all handguns—with the exception of antique and show weapons.
  • 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
    SpaceShipOne flight 11P, piloted by Brian Binnie, makes its first supersonic flight.
  • 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.
  • 2005
    Anti-WTO protesters riot in Wan Chai, Hong Kong
  • 2005
    Jigme Singye Wangchuck abdicate the throne as King of Bhutan.
  • 2009
    MV Danny F II sinks off the coast of Lebanon, resulting in the deaths of 44 people and over 28,000 animals.
  • 2010
    Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire.This act became the catalyst for the Tunisian Revolution. The success of the Tunisian protests sparked protests in several other Arab countries.

Who Were Born On December 17?

  • 1239
    Kujo Yoritsugu, Japanese Shogun (d. 1256)
  • 1267
    Emperor Go-Uda of Japan (d. 1324)
  • 1619
    Prince Rupert of the Rhine, English Civil War figure (d. 1682)
  • 1632
    Anthony Wood, English antiquarian (d. 1695)
  • 1685
    Thomas Tickell, English writer (d. 1740)
  • 1706
    Émilie du Châtelet, French mathematician and physicist (d. 1749)
  • 1734
    Maria I of Portugal, Portuguese queen (d. 1816)
  • 1749
    Domenico Cimarosa, Italian composer (d. 1801)
  • 1778
    Humphry Davy, English chemist and physicist (d. 1829)
  • 1796
    Thomas Chandler Haliburton, Canadian novelist (d. 1865)
  • 1797
    Joseph Henry, American physicist (d. 1878).
  • 1807
    John Greenleaf Whittier, American poet and abolitionist (d. 1892)
  • 1830
    Jules de Goncourt, French publisher (d. 1870)
  • 1835
    Alexander Emanuel Agassiz, American scientist; son of Louis Agassiz (d. 1910)
  • 1842
    Sophus Lie, Norwegian mathematician; (d. 1899)
  • 1847
    Émile Faguet, French writer and critic (d. 1916)
  • 1853
    Émile Roux, French physician (d. 1933)
  • 1859
    Paul César Helleu, French artist (d. 1927)
  • 1873
    Ford Madox Ford, English writer (d. 1939)
  • 1874
    William Lyon Mackenzie King, 10th Prime Minister of Canada (d. 1950)
  • 1881
    Aubrey Faulkner, South African cricketer (d. 1930)
  • 1883
    Raimu, French actor (d. 1946)
  • 1887
    Empress Hermine Reuss of Germany (d. 1947)
  • 1887
    Josef Lada, Czech painter (d. 1957)
  • 1892
    Sam Barry, American basketball coach (d. 1950)
  • 1893
    Erwin Piscator, German film director (d. 1966)
  • 1894
    Arthur Fiedler, American conductor (d. 1979)
  • 1895
    Nils Asheim, Norwegian politician (d. 1966)
  • 1900
    Katina Paxinou, Greek actress (d. 1973)
  • 1900
    Mary Cartwright, English mathematician (d. 1998)
  • 1903
    Erskine Caldwell, American author (d. 1987)
  • 1903
    Ray Noble, English bandleader and actor (d. 1978)
  • 1904
    Paul Cadmus, American artist (d. 1999)
  • 1905
    Érico Lopes Veríssimo, Brazilian writer (d. 1975)
  • 1905
    Simo Häyhä, Finnish sniper (d. 2002)
  • 1906
    Fernando Lopes-Graça, Portuguese composer and musicologist (d. 1994)
  • 1906
    Russell C. Newhouse, American inventor (d. 1998)
  • 1908
    Willard Frank Libby, American chemist, Nobel laureate (d. 1980)
  • 1910
    Sy Oliver, American jazz arranger and bandleader (d. 1988)
  • 1912
    Edward Short, British politician
  • 1913
    Burt Baskin, American entrepreneur (Baskin and Robbins) (d. 1967)
  • 1914
    Fernando Alonso, Cuban ballet dancer and instructor
  • 1914
    Raymond Fernandez, American convicted murderer (d. 1951)
  • 1915
    André Claveau, French singer (d. 2003)
  • 1916
    Penelope Fitzgerald, English writer (d. 2000)
  • 1917
    Kenneth Dike, Nigerian historian (d. 1983)
  • 1920
    Kenneth E. Iverson, Canadian computer scientist (d. 2004)
  • 1921
    Lore Berger, Swiss writer (d. 1943)
  • 1922
    Alan Voorhees, American engineer and urban planner (d. 2005)
  • 1923
    Jaroslav Pelikan, American historian (d. 2006)
  • 1926
    Ray Jablonski, American baseball player (d. 1985)
  • 1927
    Richard Long, American actor (d. 1974)
  • 1929
    Jacqueline Hill, English actress (d. 1993)
  • 1929
    William Safire, American columnist (d. 2009)
  • 1930
    Armin Mueller-Stahl, German actor
  • 1930
    Bob Guccione, American magazine publisher (d. 2010)
  • 1931
    Dave Madden, Canadian-born American actor
  • 1931
    James McGaugh, American professor and neurobiologist
  • 1934
    Ray Wilson, English footballer
  • 1935
    Cal Ripken, Sr., American baseball coach (d. 1999)
  • 1935
    George Lindsey, American actor
  • 1936
    Jorge Bergoglio, Argentine cardinal
  • 1936
    Tommy Steele, English singer and actor
  • 1937
    Art Neville, American musician (The Neville Brothers)
  • 1937
    Calvin Waller, American Army general (d. 1996)
  • 1937
    John Kennedy Toole, American novelist (d. 1969)
  • 1937
    Kerry Packer, Australian businessman (d. 2005)
  • 1938
    Carlo Little, English drummer (d. 2005)
  • 1938
    Peter Snell, New Zealand runner
  • 1939
    Eddie Kendricks, American singer (The Temptations) (d. 1992)
  • 1940
    Kåre Valebrokk, Norwegian journalist
  • 1942
    Paul Butterfield, American musician (d. 1987)
  • 1943
    Mary Brunner, American “Manson Family” member
  • 1943
    Ron Geesin, Scottish musician and composer
  • 1944
    Bernard Hill, English actor
  • 1944
    Jack L. Chalker, American novelist (d. 2005)
  • 1945
    Cees de Wolf, Dutch footballer (d. 2011)
  • 1945
    Chris Matthews, American journalist
  • 1945
    Ernie Hudson, American actor
  • 1945
    Jacqueline Wilson, English author
  • 1946
    Eugene Levy, Canadian actor
  • 1947
    Wes Studi, American actor
  • 1949
    Paul Rodgers, English singer (Free; Bad Company)
  • 1949
    Sotiris Kaiafas, Cypriot footballer
  • 1950
    Laurence F. Johnson, American educator
  • 1951
    Ken Hitchcock, Canadian ice hockey coach
  • 1951
    Tatyana Kazankina, Soviet athlete
  • 1953
    Barry Livingston, American actor
  • 1953
    Bill Pullman, American actor
  • 1953
    Sally Menke, American film editor (d. 2010)
  • 1953
    Samuel Hadida, Morrocan film producer
  • 1955
    Brad Davis, American basketball player
  • 1956
    Peter Farrelly, American film director
  • 1957
    Bob Ojeda, American baseball player
  • 1957
    Earl Hudson, American drummer (Bad Brains)
  • 1958
    Mike Mills, American musician (R.E.M.)
  • 1959
    Albert King, American basketball player
  • 1960
    Moreno Argentin, Italian cyclist
  • 1961
    Sara Dallin, English singer (Bananarama)
  • 1962
    Paul Dobson, English footballer
  • 1962
    Richard Jewell, American security guard and accused bomber (d. 2007)
  • 1962
    Rocco Mediate, American golfer
  • 1964
    Frank Musil, Czech ice hockey player
  • 1964
    Ginger, English singer and guitarist (The Wildhearts)
  • 1964
    Joe Wolf, American basketball player
  • 1964
    Michele Tafoya, American sportcaster
  • 1965
    Craig Berube, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1966
    Kristiina Ojuland, Estonian politician
  • 1966
    Tracy Byrd, American musician
  • 1966
    Valeri Liukin, Soviet gymnast
  • 1967
    Gigi D'Agostino, Italian DJ and musician
  • 1967
    Vincent Damphousse, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1968
    Andrey Golovatiuk, Russian politician
  • 1968
    Paul Tracy, Canadian race car driver
  • 1969
    Chris Mason, English darts player
  • 1969
    Chuck Liddell, American mixed martial artist
  • 1969
    Michael V., Filipino comedian and actor
  • 1969
    Mick Quinn, English musician (Supergrass)
  • 1970
    Sean Patrick Thomas, American actor
  • 1971
    Alan Khan, South African radio & TV presenter
  • 1971
    Antoine Rigaudeau, French basketball player
  • 1971
    Sinan Akkuş, Turkish-German actor
  • 1972
    John Abraham, Indian actor
  • 1972
    Laurie Holden, American actress
  • 1973
    Konstadinos Gatsioudis, Greek javelin thrower
  • 1973
    Paula Radcliffe, English runner
  • 1973
    Rian Johnson, American writer and director
  • 1974
    Duff Goldman, American chef
  • 1974
    Giovanni Ribisi, American actor
  • 1974
    Ian Petrella, American actor
  • 1974
    Marissa Ribisi, American actress
  • 1974
    Sarah Paulson, American actress
  • 1975
    Bree Sharp, American singer/songwriter
  • 1975
    Mayuko Aoki, Japanese voice actress
  • 1975
    Milla Jovovich, Ukrainian-born actress
  • 1975
    Nick Dinsmore (Eugene), American professional wrestler
  • 1976
    Éric Bédard, Canadian speed skater
  • 1976
    Nir Davidovich, Israeli footballer
  • 1976
    Patrick Müller, Swiss footballer
  • 1976
    Takeo Spikes, American football player
  • 1976
    Zsanett Égerházi, Hungarian-born porn actress
  • 1977
    Arnaud Clément, French tennis player
  • 1977
    Oxana Fedorova, Russian beauty pageant contestant (Miss Universe 2002)
  • 1977
    Samuel Pahlsson, Swedish hockey player
  • 1978
    Alex Cintrón, Puerto Rican baseball player
  • 1978
    Chase Utley, American baseball player
  • 1978
    Manny Pacquiao, Filipino boxer and politician
  • 1978
    Neil Sanderson, Canadian drummer (Three Days Grace)
  • 1978
    Riteish Deshmukh, Indian actor
  • 1979
    Jaimee Foxworth, American actress
  • 1979
    Matt Murley, American ice hockey player
  • 1979
    Ryan Key, American musician and songwriter (Yellowcard)
  • 1980
    Alexandra Papageorgiou, Greek hammer thrower
  • 1980
    Eli Pariser, American political blogger and activist
  • 1980
    Ryan Hunter-Reay, American race car driver
  • 1980
    Stella Ng, Singaporean singer & actress
  • 1981
    Jerry Hsu, American pro skater
  • 1981
    Rena Takeshita, Japanese fashion model
  • 1981
    Tim Wiese, German footballer
  • 1982
    Craig Kielburger, Canadian anti-child-labor activist
  • 1982
    Josh Barfield, American baseball player
  • 1982
    Lorenzo Cittadini, Italian rugby player
  • 1982
    Ryan Moats, American football player
  • 1982
    Stephane Lasme, Gabonese basketball player
  • 1983
    Bryan Jurynec, American ice hockey player
  • 1983
    Erik Christensen, Canadian hockey player
  • 1983
    Kosuke Saito, Japanese DJ
  • 1984
    Andrew Davies, English footballer
  • 1984
    Luis Maria Alfageme, Argentine footballer
  • 1985
    Ryuichi Ogata, Japanese singer (w-inds.)
  • 1986
    Vanessa Zima, American actress
  • 1987
    Bradley Manning, American soldier, leaked information to WikiLeaks
  • 1989
    Ashley Edner, American actress
  • 1989
    Taylor York, American rock guitarist
  • 1994
    Nat Wolff, American singer and actor
  • 2007
    James, Viscount Severn, British royal

Who Died On December 17?

  • 535
    Emperor Ankan of Japan (b. 466)
  • 942
    William Longsword, 2nd Duke of Normandy (b. 893)
  • 1187
    Pope Gregory VIII
  • 1195
    Baldwin V, Count of Hainaut (b. 1150)
  • 1273
    Rumi (b. 1207)
  • 1663
    Nzinga of Ndongo and Matamba (b. 1583)
  • 1721
    Richard Lumley, 1st Earl of Scarbrough, English statesman (b. 1640)
  • 1830
    Simón Bolívar, Venezuelan military leader (b. 1783)
  • 1833
    Kaspar Hauser, German foundling (b. 1812)
  • 1847
    Archduchess Marie Louise of Austria, second wife of Napoleon (b. 1791)
  • 1860
    Désirée Clary, Queen of Sweden and Norway (b. 1777)
  • 1907
    William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin, Irish-born physicist (b. 1824)
  • 1909
    Leopold II of Belgium (b. 1835)
  • 1917
    Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, English physician (b. 1836)
  • 1917
    Frank Gotch, American professional wrestler (b. 1878)
  • 1927
    Rajendra Lahiri, Indian British anti-occupation activist (b. 1892)
  • 1929
    Manuel Gomes da Costa, Portuguese politician (b. 1863)
  • 1930
    Peter Warlock, Anglo-Welsh composer (b. 1894)
  • 1933
    Thubten Gyatso, 13th Dalai Lama (b. 1876)
  • 1940
    Alicia Boole Stott, Irish mathematician (b. 1860)
  • 1947
    Christos Tsigiridis, Greek electrical engineer and technological pioneer (b. 1877)
  • 1957
    Dorothy L. Sayers, English writer (b. 1893)
  • 1962
    Thomas Mitchell, American actor (b. 1892)
  • 1964
    Victor Franz Hess, Austrian-born American physicist, Nobel laureate (b. 1883)
  • 1967
    Harold Holt, Australian politician (b. 1908)
  • 1967
    Jack Perrin, American actor (b. 1896)
  • 1978
    Don Ellis, American jazz band leader (b. 1934)
  • 1981
    Ada Kramm, Norwegian actress (b. 1899)
  • 1981
    Antiochos Evangelatos, Greek composer and conductor (b. 1903)
  • 1982
    Homer S. Ferguson, American politician (b. 1889)
  • 1987
    Linda Wong, American porn star (b. 1951)
  • 1987
    Marguerite Yourcenar, Belgian novelist (b. 1903)
  • 1992
    Dana Andrews, American actor (b. 1909)
  • 1992
    Günther Anders, Polish philosopher (b. 1902)
  • 1998
    Allan D'Arcangelo, American artist (b. 1930)
  • 1999
    Grover Washington, Jr., American saxophonist (b. 1943)
  • 1999
    Rex Allen, American actor, singer, and songwriter (b. 1920)
  • 2002
    James Hazeldine, English actor (b. 1947)
  • 2003
    Ed Devereaux, Australian actor (b. 1925)
  • 2003
    Otto Graham, American football player (b. 1921)
  • 2004
    Tom Wesselmann, American collage artist (b. 1931)
  • 2005
    Jack Anderson, American journalist (b. 1922)
  • 2005
    Marc Favreau, French-Canadian humourist (b. 1929)
  • 2006
    Larry Sherry, American baseball player (b. 1935)
  • 2008
    Dave Smith, American baseball player (b. 1955)
  • 2008
    Freddy Breck, German schlager singer and news anchor (b. 1942)
  • 2008
    Sammy Baugh, American football player (b. 1914)
  • 2009
    Chris Henry, American football player (b. 1983)
  • 2009
    Dan O'Bannon, American screenwriter and actor (b. 1943)
  • 2009
    Jennifer Jones, American actress (b. 1919)
  • 2010
    Captain Beefheart, American musician (b. 1941)
  • 2010
    Walt Dropo, American baseball player (b. 1923)
  • 2011
    Cesária Évora, Cape Verdean singer (b. 1941)
  • 2011
    Eva Ekvall, Venezuelan beauty queen (b. 1983)
  • 2011
    Kim Jong-il, North Korean leader (b. 1941)

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