TODAY IN HISTORY


Today is Friday, Dec. 17, the 351st day of 2021. There are 14 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Dec. 17, 1944, the U.S. War Department announced it was ending its policy of excluding people of Japanese ancestry from the West Coast.

On this date:

In 1777, France recognized American independence.

In 1903, Wilbur and Orville Wright of Dayton, Ohio, conducted the first successful manned powered-airplane flights near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, using their experimental craft, the Wright Flyer.

In 1933, in the inaugural NFL championship football game, the Chicago Bears defeated the New York Giants, 23-21, at Wrigley Field.

In 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.

In 1975, Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme was sentenced in Sacramento, California, to life in prison for her attempt on the life of President Gerald R. Ford. (She was paroled in Aug. 2009.)

In 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. (After President Donald Trump demanded a new deal, the three countries signed a replacement agreement in 2018.)

In 2000, President-elect George W. Bush named Stanford professor Condoleezza Rice his national security adviser and Alberto Gonzales to the White House counsel’s job, the same day Bush was named Time magazine’s Person of the Year.

In 2001, Marines raised the Stars and Stripes over the long-abandoned American Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan.

In 2018, a report from the Senate intelligence committee found that Russia’s political disinformation campaign on U.S. social media was more far-reaching than originally thought, with troll farms working to discourage Black voters and “blur the lines between reality and fiction” to help elect Donald Trump.

Today’s Birthdays: Pope Francis is 85. Singer-actor Tommy Steele is 85. Comedian-actor Eugene Levy is 75. Actor Marilyn Hassett is 74. Rock singer Paul Rodgers is 72. Actor Bill Pullman is 68. Actor Barry Livingston is 68. Country singer Sharon White is 68. Rock musician Mike Mills (R.E.M.) is 63. Pop singer Sarah Dallin (Bananarama) is 60. Country singer Tracy Byrd is 55. Actor Sean Patrick Thomas is 51. Actor Milla Jovovich is 46.