December 17 – Some important events on this day.
546 👉🏼 Gothic War (535-554): The Ostrogoths of King Totila conquer Rome by bribing the Byzantine garrison.
1398 👉🏼 Tamerlane captures and sacks Delhi, defeating Sultan Nasir-u Din Mehmud’s armies by setting camels loaded with hay alight and charging them at the Sultans armored elephants
1526 👉🏼 Pope Clemens VII publishes degree Cum ad zero – forms Inquisition
1777 👉🏼 France recognizes independence of British colonies in America
1788 👉🏼 Russian army of Grigory Potemkin occupies Ocharov
1845 👉🏼 German explorer Ludwig Leichhardt arrives in Port Essington after a nearly 4,800 km overland journey to explore Australia’s Northern Territory
1865 👉🏼 Franz Schubert’s Symphony No. 8 “Unfinished Symphony” premieres in Vienna with Johann von Herbeck conducting
1892 👉🏼 First issue of “Vogue” is published
1900 👉🏼 1st prize of 100,000 francs offered for communications with extraterrestrials. Martians excluded-considered too easy.
1903 👉🏼 The Wright brothers make the 1st sustained motorized aircraft flight at 10:35 AM, piloted by Orville Wright at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
Orville Wright and Wilbur Wright are widely regarded as being the first to invent, build and fly the first successful airplane. There had been many attempts to do so in the past, but any flight achieved was generally short and uncontrolled. This was changed by the Wright brothers when they took to the skies four times on their Wright Flyer on this day. The first of these flights, shown above, lasted about 12 seconds, at a speed of 10.9 km/h and an altitude of 37 m.
The difference with the Wright brother’s aircraft was that they managed to invent a system whereby the pilot could actually control the aircraft during flight. This method, the three-axis control system, remains the standard on all subsequent aircraft.
For three years until their successful flight in 1903 they honed their skills with glider flights and by building home-made wind tunnels that allowed them to collect more data than other engineers. This enabled them to build better wings and propellers, leading to their successful flights.
1967 👉🏼 Harold Holt, Prime Minister of Australia, vanishes in mysterious circumstances while swimming near Melbourne
1986 👉🏼 Mrs Davina Thompson makes medical history by having the 1st heart, lung & liver transplant at Papworth Hospital in Cambridge, England
1989 👉🏼 “The Simpsons” created by Matt Groening, premieres on Fox TV as a full animated series with the episode, “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire”
2003 👉🏼 “The Return of the King” 3rd Lord of the Ring films is released. Makes US$72 million opening weekend, 2nd film to gross over 1 billion worldwide.
2019 👉🏼 Australia has its hottest day ever with average temperature of 40.9 across the country