On this day: December 17

Published On: Dec 14 2012 03:50:06 PM CST   Updated On: Dec 17 2015 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 - LOTR Return of the King
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New Line Cinema

2003: "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King," the third part in filmmaker Peter Jackson's fantasy trilogy, opens in theaters. The movie would go on to gross more than $1.1 billion worldwide, making it the highest-grossing film of 2003 and the sixth highest of all time. It would also be nominated for 11 Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score, Best Original Song, Best Visual Effects, Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design, Best Make-up, Best Sound Mixing and Best Film Editing. At the 76th Academy Awards in 2004, the film won all the categories for which it was nominated.

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