The People History

Important Events From This day in History December 17th

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1903 - U.S.A -- Orville and Wright
1903 : Orville and Wilbur Wright made the first successful man-powered airplane flight, near Kitty Hawk, N.C. . The craft is referred to as an airship and Orville and Wright are looking for buyers for their machine which is capable of speeds up to 10 mph.

1969 - U.S.A. -- U.S. Air Force Project "Blue Book"
The U.S. Air Force closed its Project ''Blue Book'' which was started in 1952 to determine if Unidentified flying objects (UFOs) were a threat to national security, and to scientifically analyze UFO related data, concluding there was no evidence of extraterrestrial spaceships behind 12,618 UFO sightings it had collected.

1911 - U.S.A -- Prohibition
Eastern Oklahoma was under federal orders to enforce prohibition in the Indian area and the Osaga reservation. Shipments of liquor to Indians were forbidden and liquor control was put under the jurisdiction of the federal government.

1987 - U.S.A. -- The Simpsons Debuts
The Simpsons featuring the Simpson Family including Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie debuts on Fox as a half-hour prime time show. The Simpsons has become the longest-running American sitcom and the longest-running American animated program. The program had originally been created as a series of shorts for The Tracey Ullman Show with the first showing on April 19, 1987.

1924 - South Africa -- Anti British
1924 : Boer leader, Premier Hertzog of South Africa, was courting German businessmen to build a steel factory in Pretoria. He deliberately snubbed the British efforts to establish factories and intended to practice his policy of putting the British Empire second to South Africa.

1931 - China -- Student Rebellion
Chaing Kai-Shek resigned suddenly propelling the Chinese government into a crisis. A student rebellion had forced his resignation and representatives from the Canton government were arriving to shore up the failing government.

1941 - World War II -- Rear Admiral Husband E. Kimmel
1941 : Rear Admiral Husband E. Kimmel is relieved of his command of the U.S. Pacific Fleet as part of a shake up in the wake of the Pearl Harbor disaster, His superiors believed that Kimmel was accountable, to a certain degree, for the devastation of the U.S. Pacific Fleet by the Japanese attack.

1942 - World War II -- Mass Executions of Jews
News is filtering out of German occupied Europe of atrocities and the mass executions of Jews by killing squads and in Poland, Jewish ghettoes were being "systematically emptied" except for the able-bodied who were being sent to labour camps.

1944 - Italy -- Armistice Terms
Premier Bonomi of Italy penned a 100 page missive to President Roosevelt complaining about the armistice terms that Britain imposed on Italy. "The armistice terms have never been published, and one big reason is that the Allies are fearful of public reaction to the frankly imperialistic demand of Churchill."

1944 - World War II -- Day 2 Battle of the Bulge
The Germans mount a series of counter attacks and are attacking with paratroops, tanks and aircraft along the 70-mile front guarded by American forces in the Ardennes region with some success allowing them to re cross the borders of Luxembourg and Belgium

1957 - Mexico -- Soviet Influence
Senator Mike Mansfield undertook a study tour in Mexico and brought back warnings that the Soviet Union was aggressively trying to infiltrate Mexico with a disproportionate number of representatives and communist propaganda. Mansfield cautioned that Mexico, Uruguay, and Argentina still maintained diplomatic contact with the U.S.S.R. . 1957

1961 - Brazil -- Circus Fire
A fire at the Gran Circo Norte Americano in Brazil kills 320 and severely burns hundreds more when the big top tent sets fire causing panic with many trampled to death and others caught in the fire.

1966 - Venezuela -- Terrorists
1966 : At Central University of Venezuela soldiers braved sniper fire to search for terrorist communists. The military uncovered a big cache of weapons and personal information about police officers. Many police had been the target of the terrorists and the university begged the government to help them, as the campus had become a hotbed for terrorist activities.

1968 - England -- Mary Bell
An 11-year-old girl ( Mary Bell ) is sentenced to life in detention after being found guilty at Newcastle Assizes of the manslaughter of two small boys aged 3 and 4.

1976 - Saudi Arabia -- OPEC Price Rises
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) are to increase the price of oil further next year with an increase of 10% in January and a further 5% in July taking the price of oil to $13.30 a barrel ( A barrel is 42 gallons ) . Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates will not be implementing these increases and will only increase the price oil by 5% as they are concerned on the effect of large increases on the worlds economy.

1978 - U.S.S.R. -- Immigration to Israel
The U.S.S.R. had been allowing only certain individuals out of the country such as a Jewish couple who sought medical help for their ailing baby and top scientist Venjamin Levich and his wife who wanted to immigrate to Israel. American senators were meeting in Moscow to get the Soviets to allow 200 Jews to immigrate to Israel.

1983 - England -- Harrods Department Store Bomb
A terrorist car bomb planted by the IRA is exploded outside the Harrods Department store in Knightsbridge, central London killing 9 and injuring 75 other Christmas shoppers during the busiest time of the year. After the explosion panic and chaos caused other minor injuries as people panicked scared that more bombs may explode.

1987 - South Korea -- Boeing 707 Disappears
A Korean Boeing 707 disappeared near Burma with 115 passengers on board. Pieces of the wreckage washed up 130 miles southeast of Rangoon. An Asian female was apprehended as a possible suspect who bombed the plane. Her mouth was bound with a bandage so she wouldn't commit suicide by swallowing her tongue.

1992 - North America -- North American Free Trade Agreement
President George H.W. Bush, Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari signed the North American Free Trade Agreement in separate ceremonies

1996 - Peru -- Hostages Japanese Embassy
14 Peruvian guerrillas who were members of the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA) take hundreds of people hostage at a party at the official residence of Japan's ambassador to Peru in Lima.
After 4 months of unsuccessful negotiations, the group of remaining hostages was freed via a raid by Peruvian Armed Forces commandos, during which one hostage, two commandos, and all the MRTA militants were killed.

1996 - Barbados -- Drug Trafficking
A sharp increase in drug trafficking led the U.S. to push Caribbean countries into allowing U.S. vessels to pursue criminals into Caribbean waters. However, an emergency meeting of Caribbean government officials protested loudly that the U.S. was coercing them into fighting the drug traffickers and were going to confront President Clinton.

2005 - U.S.A. -- Terrorist Surveillance Program
President George W. Bush acknowledged he'd personally authorized a secret eavesdropping program in the U.S. following Sept. 11, calling it "crucial to our national security.", referred to by the Bush administration as the "terrorist surveillance program", and is authorized by executive order to monitor, without warrants, phone calls and other communication involving any party believed by the NSA ( National Security Agency ) to be a threat to the security of the United States.

2006 - Cuba -- Guantanamo Bay
Guantanamo Bay holds the most dangerous, despicable criminals in the world according to the Pentagon. A crowd of suspects was rounded up after September 11th when two airplanes crashed into the World Trade Centre. However, since January 2002, the U.S. had released 360 prisoners from Guantanamo Bay and sent them to other countries. Of these former prisoners 205 out of 245 were freed which casts doubt on their guilt in the first place.

2006 - Russia -- Rallies in Moscow
2006 : About seventy thousand young people held a rally to honor the war veterans who defended Moscow in December 1941. The rally received coverage on a number of TV channels, and was named one of the major events of the year by some of them. It was well covered by the print and electronic media. Police and the security service were deployed, although many of the participants were dressed as Dyet Moroz, the Russian Santa Claus. Another rally was held to remember reporters killed in Russia from 1993-2006. About two hundred and fifty reporters from across Russia were killed over this period, and most of their cases are still unsolved. Moscow refused to officially sanction this demonstration, and denied permission to the activists to march on Tverskaya Street.

2009 - England -- No U.K. copyright for Stormtrooper uniforms
George Lucas's Lucasfilm company has lost the latest round in a legal battle against a prop designer who sells replica Stormtrooper costumes. The British Court of Appeal rejected claims by Lucasfilm that Andrew Ainsworth, of Shepperton Design Studios, who created the original Stormtrooper suits and helmets, was breaching copyright. It ruled that the helmets were not works of art and were therefore not covered by copyright law in the U.K. The decision allows Mr. Ainsworth to continue producing the uniforms in the U.K.

2010 - Tunisia -- Mohamed Bouazizi sets himself on fire
2011 : The Tunisian street vendor "Mohamed Bouazizi" sets himself on fire in protest of the confiscation of his wares and the harassment and humiliation by the local municipal official and her aides, Many believe his act proved to be the catalyst for the Tunisian Revolution and later the wider Arab Spring. Bouazizi barely survived suffering severe burns over 90% of his body before locals managed to douse the flames, he later died from his burn injuries on January 4th 2011

2011 - North Korea -- North Korean Leader Kim Jong-il Dies
North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-il, reportedly died after suffering a heart attack according to state media in the tightly controlled and highly isolated Communist country. His death signaled the possibility for increased instability as the transition of power within the country took place. In the days and weeks after Kim Jong-il's death, his youngest son Kim Jong-un was given various important titles such as "the Great Successor", leading to to what most suspect will be his eventual rise to leadership in the country. Citizens reportedly took to the streets in public displays of mourning and were shown through the state media.

2012 - United States -- Senior US Senator Dies
The most senior US Senator, Daniel Inouye of Hawaii, died at the age of eighty-eight. Inouye had been a US Senator since 1963, and had been a member of Congress since 1959 when Hawaii joined the union. Inouye had been the first Japanese-American member of Congress.


2013 - Germany -- Merkel Confirmed as Chancellor
Germany's parliament voted to confirm Angela Merkel as the German Chancellor for a third term. She was confirmed after successful negotiations formed a coalition between Merkel's CDU/CSU party and the SPD.


Born This Day In History 17th December

Celebrating Birthday's Today
Paula Radcliffe
Born: 17th December 1973 Davenham, Cheshire, UK
Known For :
Paula Radcliffe is known as a world class long distance runner who is the current world record holder for the women's marathon, she has won most of the major marathons at some stage in her career including London Marathon, New York City Marathon, and the World Championship Marathon, but with all that talent and also the world record holder she has never won a medal at the largest stage of all "The Olympic Games.

Peter Snell
Born: 17th December 1962 Opunake, New Zealand
Known For : Peter Snell is a New Zealand middle distance runner who achieved 3 Gold medals in the Olympic Games in the 60's 800 meters at Rome 1960 and 800 and 1500 meters at Tokyo 1964 , He was also the World Mile record holder for a time