Today in History: Dec. 17

Orville Wright, lying at the controls on the lower wing, pilots  the Wright Flyer on the first powered flight by a heavier-than-air aircraft, Dec. 17, 1903, at Kitty Hawk, N.C. In the moments before going airborne, his brother, Wilbur Wright, watching right, guided and steadied the plane as it accelerated along the starting rail at left. (AP Photo/Library of Congress, John T. Daniels)
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. (AP Photo/Library of Congress, John T. Daniels) (AP/John T. Daniels)
FILE - In this March 30, 1942 file photo, Cpl. George Bushy, left, a member of the military guard which supervised the departure of 237 Japanese people for California, holds the youngest child of Shigeho Kitamoto, center, as she and her children are evacuated from Bainbridge Island, Wash. Roughly 120,000 Japanese immigrants and Japanese-Americans were sent to desolate camps that dotted the West because the government claimed they might plot against the U.S. (AP Photo/File)
In 1944, the U.S. War Department announced it was ending its policy of excluding people of Japanese ancestry from the West Coast. In this March 30, 1942 file photo, Cpl. George Bushy, left, a member of the military guard which supervised the departure of 237 Japanese people for California, holds the youngest child of Shigeho Kitamoto, center, as she and her children are evacuated from Bainbridge Island, Wash. Roughly 120,000 Japanese immigrants and Japanese-Americans were sent to desolate camps that dotted the West because the government claimed they might plot against the U.S. (AP Photo/File) (AP)
People walk past ruins in the Culmer section of Miami May 19, 1980 after rioting over the acquittal of four police officers charged with the 1979 beating death of Arthur McDuffie, a black motorcyclist. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
In 1979, Arthur McDuffie, a black insurance executive, was fatally injured after leading police on a chase with his motorcycle in Miami. Here, people walk past ruins in the Culmer section of Miami May 19, 1980 after rioting over the acquittal of the four police officers. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens) (ASSOCIATED PRESS/KATHY WILLENS)
Pres. George H. W. Bush, center, signs the North American Free Trade Agreement during a ceremony at the Organization of American States headquarters, Thursday, Dec. 17, 1992, Washington, D.C. Canadian Amb. Derek Burney and U.S. Trade Representative Carla Hills applaud during the signing. The president predicted an explosion of growth throughout North America as he signed the agreement. (AP Photo/Dennis Cook)
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 approval by the legislative bodies of the leaders’ respective countries, the treaty came into force on Jan. 1, 1994.) In this photo, former President George H. W. Bush, center, signs the North American Free Trade Agreement during a ceremony at the Organization of American States headquarters, Thursday, Dec. 17, 1992, Washington, D.C. Canadian Amb. Derek Burney and U.S. Trade Representative Carla Hills applaud during the signing. The president predicted an explosion of growth throughout North America as he signed the agreement. (AP Photo/Dennis Cook) (ASSOCIATED PRESS/Dennis Cook)
Former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan attends the Global Nutrition Summit at Palazzo Reale, in Milan, Italy, Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017. Kofi Annan and Mandela's widow Graca Machel are addressing a summit on the global crisis of malnutrition that is an underlying cause of half of child deaths. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
In 1996, Kofi Annan of Ghana was appointed United Nations secretary-general. Former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan attends the Global Nutrition Summit at Palazzo Reale, in Milan, Italy, Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017. Kofi Annan and Mandela’s widow Graca Machel are addressing a summit on the global crisis of malnutrition that is an underlying cause of half of child deaths. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno) (AP/Luca Bruno)
A group of unidentified hostages released from the hostage situation at the residence of the Japanese ambassador to Peru Tuesday, Dec. 17, enter a car. Leftist rebels seized the residence with diplomats, businessmen and government officials inside and demanded that their jailed leaders be released as a condition for freeing their hostages. The Japanese ambassador taken hostage by Peruvian rebels in Lima told a Japanese broadcaster in a live telephone interview early Wednesday that the guerrillas want to talk with the Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)
In 1996, Peruvian guerrillas took hundreds of people hostage at the Japanese embassy in Lima (all but 72 of the hostages were later released by the rebels; the siege ended April 22, 1997, with a commando raid that resulted in the deaths of all the rebels, two commandos and one hostage). A group of unidentified hostages released from the hostage situation at the residence of the Japanese ambassador to Peru Tuesday, Dec. 17, enter a car. Leftist rebels seized the residence with diplomats, businessmen and government officials inside and demanded that their jailed leaders be released as a condition for freeing their hostages. The Japanese ambassador taken hostage by Peruvian rebels in Lima told a Japanese broadcaster in a live telephone interview early Wednesday that the guerrillas want to talk with the Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia) (Associated Press/MARTIN MEJIA)
FILE - In this April 25, 2002 file photo, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, right, applauds with Kim Yong Nam, president of the People's Congress from the balcony of a building during a military parade, celebrating the 70th anniversary of the founding of North  Korean People's Army in Pyongyang, North Korea. North Korean television announced Monday, Dec. 19, 2011 in a "special broadcast" that its leader Kim Jong Il has died in Pyongyang. (AP Photo/Katsumi Kasahara, File)
In 2011, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il died after more than a decade of iron rule; he was 69, according to official records, but some reports indicated he was 70. (AP Photo/Katsumi Kasahara, File) (ASSOCIATED PRESS/Katsumi Kasahara)
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Orville Wright, lying at the controls on the lower wing, pilots  the Wright Flyer on the first powered flight by a heavier-than-air aircraft, Dec. 17, 1903, at Kitty Hawk, N.C. In the moments before going airborne, his brother, Wilbur Wright, watching right, guided and steadied the plane as it accelerated along the starting rail at left. (AP Photo/Library of Congress, John T. Daniels)
FILE - In this March 30, 1942 file photo, Cpl. George Bushy, left, a member of the military guard which supervised the departure of 237 Japanese people for California, holds the youngest child of Shigeho Kitamoto, center, as she and her children are evacuated from Bainbridge Island, Wash. Roughly 120,000 Japanese immigrants and Japanese-Americans were sent to desolate camps that dotted the West because the government claimed they might plot against the U.S. (AP Photo/File)
People walk past ruins in the Culmer section of Miami May 19, 1980 after rioting over the acquittal of four police officers charged with the 1979 beating death of Arthur McDuffie, a black motorcyclist. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Pres. George H. W. Bush, center, signs the North American Free Trade Agreement during a ceremony at the Organization of American States headquarters, Thursday, Dec. 17, 1992, Washington, D.C. Canadian Amb. Derek Burney and U.S. Trade Representative Carla Hills applaud during the signing. The president predicted an explosion of growth throughout North America as he signed the agreement. (AP Photo/Dennis Cook)
Former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan attends the Global Nutrition Summit at Palazzo Reale, in Milan, Italy, Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017. Kofi Annan and Mandela's widow Graca Machel are addressing a summit on the global crisis of malnutrition that is an underlying cause of half of child deaths. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
A group of unidentified hostages released from the hostage situation at the residence of the Japanese ambassador to Peru Tuesday, Dec. 17, enter a car. Leftist rebels seized the residence with diplomats, businessmen and government officials inside and demanded that their jailed leaders be released as a condition for freeing their hostages. The Japanese ambassador taken hostage by Peruvian rebels in Lima told a Japanese broadcaster in a live telephone interview early Wednesday that the guerrillas want to talk with the Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)
FILE - In this April 25, 2002 file photo, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, right, applauds with Kim Yong Nam, president of the People's Congress from the balcony of a building during a military parade, celebrating the 70th anniversary of the founding of North  Korean People's Army in Pyongyang, North Korea. North Korean television announced Monday, Dec. 19, 2011 in a "special broadcast" that its leader Kim Jong Il has died in Pyongyang. (AP Photo/Katsumi Kasahara, File)

Today is Monday, Dec. 17, the 351st day of 2018. There are 14 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Dec. 17, 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.

On this date:

In 1777, France recognized American independence.

In 1865, Franz Schubert’s Symphony No. 8, known as the “Unfinished” because only two movements had been completed, was first performed publicly in Vienna 37 years after the composer’s death.

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

In 1957, the United States successfully test-fired the Atlas intercontinental ballistic missile for the first time.

In 1967, Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt, 59, disappeared while swimming in the ocean off Cheviot Beach in Victoria state; despite an extensive search, his body was never found (Holt was succeeded as premier by John McEwen).

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. An estimated 50 million TV viewers watched singer Tiny Tim marry his fiancee, Miss Vicky, on NBC’s “Tonight Show.”

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

In 1979, Arthur McDuffie, a black insurance executive, was fatally injured after leading police on a chase with his motorcycle in Miami. (Four white police officers accused of beating McDuffie were later acquitted, sparking riots.)

In 1992, President George H.W. Bush, Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney (muhl-ROO’-nee) and Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari (sah-LEE’-nuhs deh gohr-TAHR’-ee) signed the North American Free Trade Agreement in separate ceremonies. (After approval by the legislative bodies of the leaders’ respective countries, the treaty came into force on Jan. 1, 1994.)

In 1996, Peruvian guerrillas took hundreds of people hostage at the Japanese embassy in Lima (all but 72 of the hostages were later released by the rebels; the siege ended April 22, 1997, with a commando raid that resulted in the deaths of all the rebels, two commandos and one hostage). Kofi Annan of Ghana was appointed United Nations secretary-general.

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 he was named Time magazine’s Person of the Year.’

In 2011, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il died after more than a decade of iron rule; he was 69, according to official records, but some reports indicated he was 70.

Ten years ago: President-elect Barack Obama named former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack as agriculture secretary and Colorado Sen. Ken Salazar of Colorado to head the Interior Department. OPEC agreed to slash 2.2 million barrels from daily production — its single largest cut ever. Pro Football Hall of Famer Sammy Baugh died in Rotan, Texas at age 94.

Five years ago: Germany’s Parliament elected Chancellor Angela Merkel (AHN’-geh-lah MEHR’-kuhl) to a third term as the leader of Europe’s biggest economic power, nearly three months after an awkward election result forced her to put together a new governing coalition. A suicidal gunman opened fire at a Reno, Nevada, hospital campus, killing one person and critically wounding two others before ending his own life.

One year ago: Facing an investigation of allegations of sexual misconduct and using racist language, Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson announced that he would sell the NFL team after the season. “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” took in $220 million in its debut weekend in North America, good for the second-best opening ever and behind only its predecessor, “The Force Awakens.” French sailor Francois Gabart broke the record for sailing around the world alone, circumnavigating the planet in just 42 days and 16 hours.

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