What Happened On This Day – December 17
2010 Mohamed Bouazizi sets himself on fire
The Tunisian street vendor self-immolated as a protest against the economic conditions in Tunisia. He died 18 days after at the age of 26. His protest and death was a catalyst for the Tunisian revolution and similar revolutions and protests around the Arab world.
2010 The beginning of the Arab Spring
The multi-country protests and demands for change in the Arab world are thought to have begun with street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi's self-immolation in Tunisia. Bouazizi's attempt and death 18 days later was the catalyst for the Tunisian Revolution which forced then-president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali to step down from his post.
1989 First episode of The Simpsons aired
The popular American animated series directed by Matt Groening is set in the fictional town of Springfield and it follows the life of the Simpson family.
1903 First flight of the Wright Flyer
The powered aircraft was made by the Wright brothers and was the first such aircraft to take flight.
1790 Discovery of the Aztec calendar stone
Also known as the Stone of the Five Eras, the sculpture was excavated in Mexico City.
Births On This Day – December 17
1978 Manny Pacquiao
Filipino boxer, politician
1973 Paula Radcliffe
1936 Pope Francis
Current Pope of the Catholic Church.
1778 Humphry Davy
English chemist, physicist
1770 Ludwig van Beethoven
German pianist, composer
Deaths On This Day – December 17
2011 Kim Jong-il
North Korean politician, 2nd Supreme Leader of North Korea
2010 Captain Beefheart
1933 13th Dalai Lama
1830 Simón Bolívar
Persian mystic, poet