Dynah Homan

Dynah Homan

Modified & Updated: 08 Sep 2023

Source: Facts.net

December 17th is a significant day in history, as it has witnessed various significant events and milestones across the globe. From groundbreaking discoveries to major historical occurrences, this date holds great significance in shaping the world we live in today. Throughout the years, December 17th has witnessed remarkable achievements in science, politics, arts, and beyond. It serves as a reminder of the progress humanity has made and the impact our actions have on the course of history. In this article, we will explore the key facts and events that have taken place on December 17th, delving into the fascinating stories that have shaped our world. Join us as we delve into the past and discover the noteworthy moments that have occurred on this memorable date.

Table of Contents


  • 1790: The Aztec calendar stone was discovered in Mexico City.
  • 1903: Orville Wright makes the first successful flight with a powered, controlled, and sustained airplane.
  • 1941: The Japanese occupy Hong Kong during World War II.
  • 1969: The British Parliament abolishes the death penalty for murder.
  • 2003: The hip-hop musical “The Black Crook” opens on Broadway, launching a new era of American musical theater.


  • 1903: Wilbur and Orville Wright successfully complete the first powered flight.
  • 1928: The discovery of Penicillin by Scottish scientist Alexander Fleming.
  • 1969: The United States successfully launches Apollo 8, the first manned mission to orbit the Moon.
  • 1996: Researchers successfully clone a mammal for the first time, a sheep named Dolly.
  • 2012: Scientists at CERN announce the discovery of the Higgs boson particle.


  • 1903: The United States acquires the rights to build the Panama Canal.
  • 1944: The Battle of the Bulge begins during World War II.
  • 1975: Lynette Fromme, a member of Charles Manson’s cult, attempts to assassinate U.S. President Gerald Ford.
  • 1997: The UK and Hong Kong announce they have reached an agreement on the future status of Hong Kong.
  • 2010: The Arab Spring begins with the self-immolation of a street vendor in Tunisia, triggering protests across the Middle East.


  • 1770: Ludwig van Beethoven, one of the greatest composers in history, is baptized in Bonn, Germany.
  • 1843: Charles Dickens’ classic novel “A Christmas Carol” is published in London, England.
  • 1938: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the first full-length animated feature film, is released in Los Angeles, California.
  • 1989: “The Simpsons,” one of the longest-running animated television series, premieres on Fox.
  • 2009: The movie “Avatar” directed by James Cameron is released, becoming a groundbreaking visual spectacle.


  • 1778: Humphry Davy, British chemist and inventor.
  • 1908: Willard Libby, American chemist and Nobel Prize laureate.
  • 1936: Pope Francis, the 266th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church.
  • 1958: Mike Mills, American musician and member of the band R.E.M.
  • 1975: Milla Jovovich, Ukrainian-born American actress and model.


  • 1790: Frederick William II, King of Prussia.
  • 1907: William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin, Irish-Scottish physicist and engineer.
  • 1942: Victor Emmanuel III, King of Italy.
  • 1975: Natalia Goncharova, Russian painter and costume designer.
  • 2011: Kim Jong-il, Supreme Leader of North Korea.


The 17th of December is a significant day in history, marked by various events across different fields. From the discovery of the Aztec calendar stone to the first successful airplane flight by the Wright brothers, this date has witnessed remarkable achievements. Scientific breakthroughs such as the cloning of Dolly the sheep and the discovery of the Higgs boson particle have pushed the boundaries of knowledge. Politically, it saw the beginnings of the Battle of the Bulge and marked the start of the Arab Spring. Culturally, important works like Beethoven’s baptism and the release of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” took place on this day. Notable births include Pope Francis and Milla Jovovich, while the passing of leaders like King Victor Emmanuel III and Kim Jong-il left a mark on history. December 17th stands as a day of diverse and significant events in history.


Q: What happened on December 17th in history?

A: There have been numerous significant events on December 17th throughout history. Some notable events include the discovery of the Aztec calendar stone, the Wright brothers’ first successful airplane flight, and the start of the Battle of the Bulge during World War II.

Q: Were there any important scientific breakthroughs on December 17th?

A: Yes, December 17th witnessed significant scientific breakthroughs such as the discovery of Penicillin by Alexander Fleming, the successful cloning of Dolly the sheep, and the announcement of the discovery of the Higgs boson particle by scientists at CERN.

Q: Are there any political milestones associated with December 17th?

A: Yes, December 17th marks important political milestones such as the acquisition of the rights to build the Panama Canal by the United States, the assassination attempt on U.S. President Gerald Ford by a member of Charles Manson’s cult, and the beginning of the Arab Spring protests triggered by the self-immolation of a street vendor in Tunisia.

Q: Are there any significant cultural events that took place on December 17th?

A: Yes, cultural events on December 17th include the baptism of Ludwig van Beethoven, the publication of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” the release of the first full-length animated feature film “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” the premiere of “The Simpsons” TV series, and the release of the movie “Avatar” by James Cameron.

Q: Who were some notable individuals born on December 17th?

A: Notable individuals born on December 17th include chemist Humphry Davy, Nobel Prize laureate Willard Libby, Pope Francis, musician Mike Mills, and actress Milla Jovovich.

Q: Were there any notable deaths on December 17th?

A: Yes, notable deaths on December 17th include King Frederick William II of Prussia, physicist William Thomson (Baron Kelvin), King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy, Russian painter Natalia Goncharova, and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.