1728 - On this day in history, the Congregation Shearith Israel of NY purchased a lot in lower Manhattan, to build NY's first Synagogue.
1777 - France recognized American independence.
1777- Today in history, George Washington's army returned to Valley Forge, PA.
1791 - A traffic regulation in New York City established the first street to go "One Way."
1830 - On this day in history, Latin-American patriot Simón Bolívar died in Colombia.
1944 - Japanese-Americans were released from detention camps.
1953 - Today in history, The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) decided to approve RCA's color television specifications.
1957 - The US successfully test-fired the Atlas intercontinental ballistic missile for the first time.
1971 - On this day in history, "Diamonds are Forever" premiered in US.
1983 - The IRA bombed Harrods Department Store in London, killing six people.
1992 - Today in history, President George H.W. Bush, Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari signed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
1997 - President Clinton signed the No Electronic Theft Act. The act removed protection from individuals who claimed that they took no direct financial gains from stealing copyrighted works and downloading them from the Internet.
2004 - On this day in history, President George W. Bush signed into law the largest overhaul of U.S. intelligence gathering in 50 years. The bill aimed to tighten borders and aviation security. It also created a federal counterterrorism center and a new intelligence director.
SCIENCE, INVENTIONS, PATENTS - Today in History, December 17th
1895 - George L. Brownell received a patent for his paper-twine machine.
1903 - Today in history, Orville and Wilbur Wright piloted the first gasoline-powered flight.
1924 - The first US Diesel electric locomotive entered service in the Bronx, NY
1986 - On this day in history, Davina Thompson became the world's first recipient of a heart, lungs, and liver transplant.
MUSIC HISTORY - Today in History, December 17th
1892 - Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker" was first performed in St. Petersburg by the Russian Imperial Ballet.
1962 - Today in history, The Beatles made their first British TV appearance.
1965 - Judy Garland and The Supremes performed at the opening of the Astrodome in Houston.