17 December: On This Day In History | What Special Day Is Today?

“17 December: What Happened On This Day In History?”


17 December: In a year, the 17th of December is the 351st day as per the Gregorian Calendar. In a leap year, it is the 352nd day of the year.

What special day is today?

On this day, the first Atlas intercontinental ballistic missile was launched, the United States, Canada, and Mexico signed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and the publication of Vogue started in New York.

Famous birthdays include Francis (the Pope), W.L. Mackenzie King, and Syed Mushtaq Ali.

December 17 also marks ‘International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers’.

Let’s explore what happened today.

17 December: On This Day In History | What Special Day Is Today?

What Happened Today? On This Day in History: 17 December

Art & Artists

  • 1910 Sy Oliver, the American jazz composer, trumpeter, and bandleader was born in Michigan. He was a leading arranger for nearly two decades (the 1930s and ’40s).
  • 1989After being telecasted as a cartoon short, The Simpsons (the animated television series) launched as a Christmas special. In 1990 it turned into a weekly series.

Science & Technology

  • 1938Discovery of the nuclear fission of uranium (heavy element) by Otto Hah. It helped to harness nuclear energy, scientifically and technologically.
  • 1957 The first Atlas intercontinental ballistic missile was launched successfully by the US at Cape Canaveral, Florida.

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Leaders & Politics

  • 1992The United States, Canada, and Mexico signed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In 2020, NAFTA was replaced by the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement.
  • 2014 Diplomatic relations were established again between the United States and Cuba re-established which was suspended for over 50 years.

People & Society

  • 1760 Deborah Sampson, a revolutionary soldier from America was born. She despised herself as a man to facilitate her joining the 4th Massachusetts Regiment.
  • 1892 The publication of Vogue started in New York. An immensely significant fashion and lifestyle magazine from America was at first come out as a weekly high-society journal.

Disasters: Natural & Man-made

  • 1961 Over 500 died as a nasty fire broke out at the time of a circus show (by the Gran Circus Norte-Americano) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • 1973 – Terrorists from Palestine attacked Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport, Rome. The incident took 30 lives.
  • 2009 Over 28,000 animals and 44 people died as MV Danny F II sank near the Lebanese.

Discoveries & Explorations

  • 1969The United States Air Force closes Project Blue Book, a code name used for a mission to study UFOs.

Leisure & Sports

  • 1927 Don Bradman, the Australian cricketer scored a century (118 runs) in his first 1st-class match at the Adelaide Oval against South Australia. He played for the NSW team.
  • 1927 Bill Ponsford scored 437 runs for Victoria in their match against Queensland. Victoria ended their inning with a massive score of 793 runs.

Birth Anniversaries (17 December)

  • 1734 – Maria I (Queen, Portugal)
  • 1874 – W.L. Mackenzie King (Prime minister, Canada)
  • 1914Syed Mushtaq Ali (Cricketer, India)
  • 1936 – Francis (Pope)
  • 1978 – Manny Pacquiao (Boxer turned Politician, Philippines)

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Death Anniversaries (17 December)

  • 1930 – Peter Warlock (British Composer)
  • 1957 – Dorothy L. Sayers (British Writer)
  • 1967 – Harold Holt (Prime Minister of Australia)
  • 2011 – Kim Jong Il (North Korean Political Leader)

What Special Day is Today: (17 December)

  • International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers
  • Kurdish Flag Day (Global Kurdish population)
  • Pan American Aviation Day (United States)
  • Accession Day (Bahrain)
  • National Day (Bhutan)


Like other days the day (17 December) is also an important day that saw many transformations around the world.

Nations and individuals both flourished and perished on this day in history.

Nevertheless, the story of 17 December is unique and enchanting.

We consistently try to create content that matters the most to you.

It would be better if we can know your comments and suggestions on this article.



On This Day:

31 December30 December29 December28 December27 December | 26 December | 25 December24 December23 December22 December21 December20 December | 19 December18 December16 December | 15 December | 14 December | 13 December | 12 December | 11 December | 10 December | 9 December | 8 December | 7 December | 6 December | 5 December | 4 December | 3 December | 2 December | 1 December


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Our team at BeAnInspirer.com include members who write Inspirational articles for this inspiring blog. Page maintained by Krishnendu Pramanick.

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