Years Ago

Today is Tuesday, Dec. 17, the 351st day of 2013. There are 14 days left in the year.


On this date in:

1830:South American patriot Simon Bolivar dies in Colombia.

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

1903: Wilbur and Orville Wright of Dayton, Ohio, conduct the first successful manned powered- airplane flights near Kitty Hawk, N.C., using their experimental craft, the Wright Flyer.

1925: Col. William “Billy” Mitchell is convicted at his court-martial in Washington of insubordination for accusing senior military officials of incompetence and criminal negligence; he is suspended from active duty.

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

1938: German chemists Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassmann discover nuclear fission by splitting the nuclei of uranium into lighter elements while performing experiments in Berlin.

1944: The U.S. Army announces it is ending its policy of excluding Japanese-Americans from the West Coast.

1957: The United States successfully test-fires the Atlas intercontinental ballistic missile for the first time.

1959: Stanley Kramer’s anti-nuclear war drama “On the Beach,” starring Gregory Peck and Ava Gardner, premieres on all seven continents (including Antarctica).

1979: In a case that aggravates racial tensions, Arthur McDuffie, a black insurance executive, is fatally injured after leading police on a chase with his motorcycle in Miami. (Four white police officers accused of beating McDuffie are later acquitted, sparking riots.)

1981: Members of the Red Brigades kidnap Brig. Gen. James L. Dozier, the highest-ranking U.S. Army official in southern Europe, from his home in Verona, Italy. (Dozier is rescued 42 days later.)

2003:: Former Illinois Gov. George Ryan is indicted on corruption charges. (Ryan is later convicted and ends up serving more than 51/2 years in federal custody.)

The British government announces the first reported case of a person dying from the human form of mad cow disease after a blood transfusion from an infected donor.

An attempt to re- create the Wright brothers’ first flight on the 100th anniversary fails to take off from North Carolina’s Outer Banks.

2008: OPEC agrees to slash 2.2 million barrels from daily production — its single largest cut ever.

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


1988: Damion Johnson, 11, and Lewis Butler, 13, are being hailed as heroes after they awakened seven family members and helped them escape from a fire at their home at 436 W. Chalmers Ave.

A jury awards $1.4 million, one of Mahoning County’s largest awards in history, to Boardman Molded Products Inc., which claimed its goods were damaged in a 1984 warehouse fire.

During a meeting of Mahoning, Trumbull, Columbiana, Ashtabula and Geauga counties with the Ohio EPA at the Ramada Inn in Liberty, Mahoning officials decide to form their own solid waste management district.

1973: More than 600 people attend the dedication of the newest Youngstown city school, the Coffin Career Center, named for C.C. Choffin, who donated $100,000 for industrial education in 1950.

Jean Corliss, a graduate of Niles McKinley High School, is crowned sweetheart of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity at Youngstown State University.

The annual year-end census conducted in the Youngstown area by the Grant Cook Bird Club shows a tally of 70 species, up by 14 from a year earlier.

1963: The Salvation Army Toy Shop for needy youngsters opens at 111 W. Federal St., bigger than ever making one new toy and two used ones available to each child.

Mahoning County Welfare Director I.L. Feuer says the new Aid to Dependent Children of Unemployed will take some 2,200 people of Mahoning rolls, saving the county $197,208.

Shareholders of Lee Rubber & Tire Corp. vote overwhelmingly to sell the corporation’s Republic Rubber Division plant in Youngstown to Aeroquip Corp. of Jackson, Mich.

1938: The “Mile of Dimes” goes over in an unexpected way when the 78-foot record board for the Junior Chamber of Commerce campaign topples over in front of the Union National Bank Building minutes before Mayor Lionel Evans arrived to make his ceremonial contribution.

Court papers reveal that Youngstown Atty. John W. Powers investigated the Fidelity Investment Association as early as 1932, when he was an assistant director of commerce. The Securities and Exchange Commission, which was established in 1933, is accusing Fidelity of fraud in the sale of $600 million in investment contracts.

Jonas Rea, 40, of Salem, a lineman for the Ohio Edison Co., is killed after coming in contact with a high tension wire and falling 40 feet from a light pole.

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