December 17 in Pop Culture History

December 17th History, Trivia, and Fun Facts

December 17th History Highlights

  • 1843 – A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens was published.
  • 1903 – The Wright brothers make the first controlled powered, heavier-than-air flight in the Wright Flyer at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
  • 1969 – Project Blue Book: The United States Air Force closed its study of UFOs.
  • 2101 – The Arab Spring began
  • 2014 – The United States and Cuba re-established diplomatic relations after severing them in 1961.
  • If you were born on December 17th,
    You were likely conceived the week of… March 25th (same year)

The Lord of Misrule

This is the first day of the Roman festival Saturnalia. It was a period of great feasting and festivity, with a lot of drinking and eating. Slaves would become masters for the festival, and everything was turned upside down. This part of the Roman festival survived into the 17th Century.

Project Blue Book

Are UFOs a threat to national security? That is the question that many people ask themselves when they hear about unidentified flying objects.

The US Air Force studied this topic from 1952 to 1969 and found no evidence of any such thing. This project, headquartered at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, known as Project Blue Book, was terminated on December 17th, 1969. directed by Captain Edward J. Ruppelt and followed projects of a similar nature such as Project Sign established in 1947, and Project Grudge in 1948.

Project Blue Book had two goals, namely, to determine if UFOs were a threat to national security, and to scientifically analyze UFO-related data.

Scrooge was better than his word. …

He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough, in the good old world. Some people laughed to see the alteration in him, but he let them laugh, and little heeded them; for he was wise enough to know that nothing ever happened on this globe, for good, at which some people did not have their fill of laughter in the outset; and knowing that such as these would be blind anyway, he thought it quite as well that they should wrinkle up their eyes in grins, as have the malady in less attractive forms.
His own heart laughed: and that was quite enough for him.

December 17 is…

National Maple Syrup Day
Pan American Aviation Day
Wright Brothers Day

December 17th Birthday Quotes

“To even mention all the things the bird must constantly keep in mind in order to fly securely through the air would take a considerable part of the evening… The bird has learned this art of equilibrium and learned it so thoroughly that its skill is not apparent to our sight. We only learn to appreciate it when we try to imitate it.”
– Wilbur Wright

“I’ve always been taught to play the game hard. Baseball is such a tough game, it really humbles you at times, you just have to try not to get too high or too low.”
– Chase Utley

“Live music is where you get the inspiration and creativity. I just try to keep an open mind, and that’s the way a lot of good things happen.”
– Paul Rodgers

“When someone asks if you’re a god, you say YES!”
– Ernie Hudson

“He had no further intercourse with Spirits, but lived upon the Total Abstinence Principle, ever afterwards; and it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God Bless Us, Everyone!”
– Charles Dickens in A Christmas Carol

December 17th Birthdays

1884 – Alison Uttley, English children’s book writer (died in 1976)
1894 – Arthur Fiedler, American conductor (died in 1979)
1903 – Ray Noble, English bandleader (died in 1978)
1913 – Burt Baskin, American businessman, co-founded Baskin-Robbins (died in 1967)
1928 – Marilyn Beck, American journalist (died in 2014)
1936 – Pope Francis (Jorge Mario Bergoglio), Argentinian priest, elected Pope on March 13, 2013
1939 – Eddie Kendricks, American R&B singer-songwriter (died in 1992)
1945 – Ernie Hudson, American actor, the ‘other’ Ghostbuster
1946 – Eugene Levy, Canadian actor
1949 – Paul Rodgers, English singer-songwriter
1975 – Milla Jovovich, Ukrainian-American actress
1978 – Chase Utley, American baseball player
1986 – Emma Bell, American actress

December 17th History

497 BC – The first Saturnalia festival was celebrated in ancient Rome.

1538 – Pope Paul III excommunicated England’s Henry VIII.

1777 – American Revolution: France formally recognized the United States.

1790 – The Aztec Stone (‘Sun Stone’) was excavated in the Zócalo, the main square of Mexico City. It is about 12 feet across and weighs about 24 tons.

1835 – The Great Fire of New York took place in New York City in 1835, destroying hundreds of buildings and killing two people.

1843 – Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol novella was published by Chapman and Hall. It is one of the most well-known books and stories of all time.

1865 – First performance of the Unfinished Symphony by Franz Schubert.

1880 -The Edison Electric Illuminating Company was incorporated to provide electric light to New York City.

1892 – First issue of Vogue magazine was published.

1903 – Orville piloted the gasoline-powered, propeller-driven biplane he made with his brother Wilbur, which stayed aloft for 12 seconds and covered 120 feet on its inaugural flight near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

1933 – The Chicago Bears beat the New York Giants 23-21 in the first NFL Championship game.

1957 – The United States successfully launched the first (Atlas) InterContinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) at Cape Canaveral, Florida.

1969 – Tiny Tim married Miss Vicky (Victoria May Budinger) on The Tonight Show.

1969 – The United States Air Force closed its study of UFOs, Project Blue Book.

1976 – Cable channel TBS premiered and eventually became known as “The Superstation”.

1979 – The first rocket automobile vehicle to break the sound barrier on land was driven by Stan Barrett who reached 739.7 mph (speed of sound: 761.2) on a 3-mile test-strip at Rogers Lake, Edwards Air Force Base, CA.

1980 – Broadway Show – Amadeus (Play) December 17, 1980

1982Tootsie and The Dark Crystal debuted in theaters.

1987Final Fantasy (I) was released in Japan.

(fictional) December 17, 1991, Maria and Tony Start were murdered, Iron Man, Marvel Cinematic Universe, Film

1989The Simpsons television series first premiered on television with the episode “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire”.

1991 – Gilbert O’Sullivan’s Alone Again (Naturally) was ‘sampled’ in Biz Markie’s Alone Again, and the United States Federal Court for the Southern District of New York agreed with the 70’s artist that Biz needed to get permission to use his music in a very landmark case. That permission typically involves direct payment or a portion of the net profits today.

1993What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, The Pelican Brief and Beethoven’s 2nd were released in theaters.

1994 – #1 Hit December 17, 1994 – January 27, 1995: Ini Kamoze – Here Comes The Hotstepper

1999Stuart Little was released in theaters.

2000 – In addition to a 17-0 victory by the San Francisco 49ers over the Chicago Bears, San Francisco’s wide receiver Terrell Owens set a new NFL record of 20 catches in a single game.

2003The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King was released, and it went on to win 11 Oscars. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy was first published in 1954/1955.

2004Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events and The Aviator debuted in theaters.

2008The Wrestler debuted in theaters.

2011Yogi Bear was released in theaters.

2011 – Kim Jong Il, ‘Beloved, Brilliant, Perfect, Wise, Unique and Dear’ Leader and Father of the People of North Korea, Died. He was also referred to as the Superior Person, Sun of the Communist Future, and The Shining Star of Paektu Mountain. #RIP

2011 – The Adventures of Tintin was released in theaters.

2014 – The United States and Cuba re-established diplomatic relations.

2014 – The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies was released in US theaters

#1 Hit December 17, 2022 – January 13, 2023 – All I Want For Christmas Is YouMariah Carey

Today’s Random Trivia and Shower Thoughts

Now You Know: When you stop believing in Santa Claus you start getting clothes for Christmas!

TV Quotes… “Smile, you’re on ‘Candid Camera’ ” (Alan Funt) on Candid Camera.

We need to come up with new phrases to replace “you sound like a broken record” and “roll up the window” etc. #newwords

The biggest film of 1915: The Birth of a Nation (Drama) earned ~ $10,000,000

Shania Twain – Real Name: Eileen Regina Edwards

A Dutchman named Jan de Doot, in 1651, removed his own bladder stone with a kitchen knife. He pulled it out through an incision he made in his perineum. It was the size of an egg and weighed a quarter of a pound. He lived for years after and had the stone plated in gold.

Sammy Davis Jr was outlived by his mother (died 2000 at age 95) and his grandmother (died 1996 at age 112).

Today I solved a captcha, and as a result, the system confirmed to me that I am not a robot. I feel reassured knowing that I really am a human. Thank you, captcha people!

“Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.” – Zig Ziglar

<spoilers> In The Sixth Sense (1999), Bruce Willis is dead and doesn’t know it. In Unbreakable (2000), Bruce Willis is the only one still alive, and he doesn’t know why. </spoilers>

The reason the taste of artificial banana flavoring and artificial banana flavored products doesn’t taste like bananas is because it is based on a type of banana that was wiped out by a plague in the 1950s.

The Capital of Angola is Luanda

“Sorry folks, the park’s closed. Moose out front shoulda told ya.” #moviequotes

“I just want you to know that even though you tried to terminate me, revenge is not an idea we promote on my planet.” – Buzz Lightyear #moviequotes

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