On this day: December 17

Published On: Dec 14 2012 03:50:06 PM CST   Updated On: Dec 17 2013 01:00:00 AM CST

France recognizes America as a nation, the Wright brothers take flight, Tiny Tim marries Miss Vicki in front of millions of TV viewers, and Kim Jong-il dies, all on this day.

OTD December 17 - Wright brothers
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Library of Congress

1903: Orville and Wilbur Wright make their first powered and heavier-than-air flights in the Wright Flyer at Kitty Hawk, N.C. The first flight, by Orville, traveled 120 feet in 12 seconds at a speed of only 6.8 miles per hour and was recorded in this famous photograph. The next two flights covered approximately 175 feet and 200 feet by Wilbur and Orville respectively. The altitude of all the flights was about 10 feet above the ground. In the two years afterward, the brothers developed their flying machine into the first practical fixed-wing aircraft.

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