December 17th

2010
The beginning of the Arab Spring. The multi-country protests and demands for change in the Arab world are thought to have begun with street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi's self-immolation in Tunisia. Bouazizi's attempt and death 18 days later was the catalyst for the Tunisian Revolution which forced then-president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali to step down from his post.
Arab Spring
2005
President George W. Bush acknowledged he'd personally authorized a secret eavesdropping program in the U.S. following Sept. 11.
President's Surveillance Program
2004
President George W. Bush signed into law the largest overhaul of U.S. intelligence-gathering in 50 years.
Director of National Intelligence
1996
Kofi Annan of Ghana became United Nations secretary-general.
Kofi Annan
1992
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.
North American Free Trade Agreement
1989
First episode of The Simpsons aired. The popular American animated series directed by Matt Groening is set in the fictional town of Springfield and it follows the life of the Simpson family.
The Simpsons (season 1)
1986
Mrs Davina Thompson makes medical history by having the 1st heart, lung & liver transplant at Papworth Hospital in Cambridge, England.
Loretta Devine
1975
Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme was sentenced to life in prison for her attempt on the life of President Gerald R. Ford. (She was paroled in 2009.).
Timeline of United States history
1969
The U.S. Air Force closed its Project "Blue Book" by concluding there was no evidence of extraterrestrial spaceships behind thousands of UFO sightings.
Project Blue Book
1957
The United States successfully test-fired the Atlas intercontinental ballistic missile for the first time.
Intercontinental ballistic missile
1944
The U.S. Army announced the end of its policy of holding Japanese-Americans in internment camps, allowing 'evacuees' to return home.
Internment of Japanese Americans
1933
In the first NFL championship game, the Chicago Bears defeated the New York Giants 23-21 at Wrigley Field.
1933 NFL Championship Game
1903
First flight of the Wright Flyer. The powered aircraft was made by the Wright brothers and was the first such aircraft to take flight.
Wright Flyer
1790
Discovery of the Aztec calendar stone. Also known as the Stone of the Five Eras, the sculpture was excavated in Mexico City.
Aztec calendar stone
1788
Russian army of Grigory Potemkin occupies Ocharov.
Grigory Potemkin
1777
France recognized American independence.
France in the American Revolutionary War
1526
Pope Clemens VII publishes degree Cum ad zero - forms Inquisition.
1398
Timur (Tamerlane) captures and sacks Delhi, defeating Sultan Nasir-u Din Mehmud's armies which include elephants.
Muslim conquests of the Indian subcontinent