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December 17th History

1830 - Death of Simon Bolivar, South American revolutionary who gained the name "the Liberator" by expelling the Spanish from Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela.

1903 - Wright Brothers Make First Powered Flight

1907 - Death of British physicist William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin, after whom the Kelvin scale of temperature is named

1909 - Death of King Leopold ll of Belgium

1939 - The German battleship Admiral Graf Spee is scuttled in the River Plate off Montevideo, Uruguay by British warships.

1987 - In Britain, Davi na Durbin becomes the world's first triple heart, lungs and liver transplant patient.

1989 - In Romania, as many as 2,000 anti-government protesters are massacred in the city of Timisoara

1990 - Radical priest Jean Bertrand Aristide is elected president of Haiti.

1991 - Joseph Robert Smallwood, Canadian politician who led Newfoundland into the Canadian Confederation in 1949 and became its first premier, dies just short of his 91st birthday.