On this day: December 17

Published: Dec 14 2012 04:50:06 PM EST   Updated On: Dec 17 2013 02:00:00 AM EST

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 - America recognized
1 / 39
iStock/duncan1890

1777: The French foreign minister, Charles Gravier, count of Vergennes, officially acknowledges the United States as an independent nation. Although France was eager to see an American victory over the British after losing North America to the British in the Seven Years' War, at first Louis XVI only sent unofficial aid to America. When word of the Continental Army's overwhelming victory at Saratoga in October reached France in early December 1777, it gave Benjamin Franklin new leverage in his efforts to rally French support for the American rebels.

Advertisement

Most Viewed on WFMZ.com

Advertisement
 

Slideshow Of The Day

  • Bud Light Budweiser blurb

    Fred Prouser/Reuters

    World's most popular beers

    Think you can guess which beer is consumed the most worldwide? Take a look at a list of the most popular beers in the world and where they are brewed, according to CNN Money.

On this Day

  • Instrument of Surrender of Japan, World War II

    U.S. Army Signal Corps

    On this day: September 2

    London burns, Atlanta falls to Union forces, Japan surrenders to end World War II, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame celebrates its opening with a star-studded jam, all on this day.