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On This Day: December 17

Today is Wednesday, December 17, 2014. This is the 351st day of the year, with 14 days remaining in 2014.

Fact of the Day: eating

To signal a waiter that you have finished eating, place your knife and fork tines up together on the plate. Make sure the silverware is securely on the plate and take care not to leave the handles extending precariously over the rim.


Feast day of St. Lazarus, St. Sturmi, St. Begga, St. Wivina, and St. Olympias.

Bhutan: National Day.

Pan American Aviation Day.

Wright Brothers Day.


1777 - France recognized American independence.

1903 - Orville Wright and Wilbur Wright went on the first successful manned and self-propelled airplane flights, at Kill Devil Hills near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

1957 - The United States successfully test-fired the Atlas intercontinental ballistic missile.

1969 - An estimated 50 million TV viewers watched singer Tiny Tim marry his fiancee, Miss Vicky, on NBC's "Tonight Show."

1989 - "The Simpsons" premieres on TV.

1996 - Kofi Annan of Ghana was appointed United Nations Secretary-General.


1778 - Humphry Davy, English chemist and inventor.

1807 - John Greenleaf Whittier, American poet, abolitionist, reformer, and founder of the Liberal Party.

1894 - Arthur Fiedler, American, conductor Boston Pops Orchestra.

1908 - Willard Frank Libby, American chemist who won a Nobel Prize for his part in creating the carbon-14 method of dating artifacts.


1830 - Simón Bolívar, South American revolutionary leader and statesman.

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