heart transplant

On This Day - December 17th

It’s December 17th, which means that holidays are fast approaching, and whatever you celebrate or don’t, you know some well-earned time off is on the way! But, before you get too swept up in upcoming plans, take the time to appreciate just how important today is. Here are some of the most fascinating things about December 17th.

On this day


The Gothic War took place

In 546, the Gothic War took place. The Ostrogoths of King Totila conquered Rome by bribing the Byzantine garrison! The war lasted from 535 to 554 AD – a long time ago now, but a moment in time remembered by historians for time to come!

john the baptist

The Bishop was presented with a skull

No, really! In 1206, the Crusader Wallon de Sarton presented the skull of John the Baptist to the Bishop of Amiens Richard de Gerberoy. The skull had been stolen from Constantinople. Later, Amiens cathedral was built to contain it.

coins minted under the rule of Sultan Nasir-u Mehmud

The Sultan was defeated

On this day back in 1398, Sultan Nasir-u Mehmud's forces fell to Tamerlane as Delhi was roundly captured. Believe it or not, the weapons used included loading camels with lit haystacks – who were then sent to charge at the enemy. The Sultan, meanwhile, used armored elephants!

Wright Flyer

The Wright Brothers took to the skies

An epoch-making moment in aviation history took place today all the way back in 1903! It’s today that the revolutionary Wright Brothers first took their aircraft to the skies – specifically, they made the world’s first-ever sustained flight in a motorized aircraft.

heart transplant

The first heart, lung, and liver transplant took place

In 1986, Davina Thompson made incredible modern medical history by receiving the first-ever heart, lung and liver transplant! The procedure took place at Papworth Hospital in Cambridge, England.

Special Days Falling on December 17th

December 17th may not seem like the most important date in December. But, here are a few things that might change your mind about that!
facts Bhutan

Bhutan National Day

Bhutan’s National Day is celebrated every December 17th. The day dates back as far as 1907, and the holiday commemorates the coronation of the first king of Bhutan, Ugyen Wangchuck, as the first Druk Gyalpo. That’s why his statue is carried during processions on every holiday!

Orville and Wilbur Wright

Wright Brothers Day

Wright Brothers Day is celebrated annually on December 17th in the United States of America. The day commemorates the first successful flights ever made in a mechanically propelled airplane. The planes were, of course, made by Orville and Wilbur Wright' in 1903. They were built near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

Saturn Facts


Saturnalia is celebrated every December 17th to 23rd. It is an ancient Roman festival held to celebrate the agricultural god Saturn. It was said to be the most popular holiday on the ancient Roman calendar! “Io Saturnalia” is the salutation during this festival, so if you hear it around, that’s why!

This page was last modified on December 11, 2023. Suggest an edit