Today in History: December 17

Today in History: December 17

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December 16 December 18

1399

Tamerlane's Mongols destroy the army of Mahmud Tughluk, Sultan of Delhi, at Panipat.

1861

The Stonewall Brigade begins to dismantle Dam No. 5 of the C&O Canal.

1886

At a Christmas party, Sam Belle shoots his old enemy Frank West, but is fatally wounded himself.

1903

Near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Orville and Wilbur Wright make the first successful flight in history of a self-propelled, heavier-than-air aircraft.

1927

U.S. Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg suggests a worldwide pact renouncing war.

1938

Italy declares the 1935 pact with France invalid because ratifications had not been exchanged. France denies the argument.

1939

In the Battle of River Plate near Montevideo, Uruguay, the British trap the German pocket battleship Graf Spee. German Captain Langsdorf sinks his ship believing that resistance is hopeless.

1943

U.S. forces invade Japanese-held New Britain Island in New Guinea.

1944

U.S. approves end to internment of Japanese Americans. U.S. Major General Henry C. Pratt issues Public Proclamation No. 21, declaring that Japanese American "evacuees" from the West Coast could return to their homes effective January 2, 1945.

1944

The German Army renews the attack on the Belgian town of Losheimergraben against the defending Americans during the Battle of the Bulge.

1948

The Smithsonian Institution accepts the Kitty Hawk - the Wright brothers' plane.

1952

Yugoslavia breaks relations with the Vatican.

1965

Ending an election campaign marked by bitterness and violence, Ferdinand Marcos is declared president of the Philippines.

1981

Red Brigade terrorists kidnap Brigadier General James Dozier, the highest-ranking U.S. NATO officer in Italy.

1989

Fernando Color de Mello becomes Brazil's first democratically elected president in nearly 30 years.

1989

The Simpsons, television's longest-running animated series, makes its US debut.

1990

Jean-Bertrand Aristide wins Haiti's first free election.

2002

Congolese parties of the inter Congolese Dialogue sign a peace accord in the Second Congo War, providing for transitional government and elections within two years.

2010

Mohamed Bouazizi immolates himself, the catalyst for the Tunisian revolution and the subsequent Arab Spring.