Skydivers dressed in Santa Claus outfits react after landing as 155 tandem skydivers set a new Guinness World Record number of jumps over eight hours, in the Australian city of Wollongong, December 17, 2016. (Photo by Jason Reed/Reuters)

Following are some of the major events to have occurred on Dec 17


1903 – Wilbur and Orville Wright made the first successful controlled flight in a powered aircraft, the Wright “Flyer”, on the beach at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. They made four flights in all, the longest lasting almost a minute.

1909 – King Leopold II of Belgium died. He formed the Congo Free State in 1885, which Belgium annexed in 1908 as the Belgian Congo. His nephew succeeded him as Albert I.

1926 – Coup in Lithuania, martial law declared.

1996 – Peruvian rebels stormed the Japanese ambassador’s home in Lima, threatening to kill almost 490 hostages unless the government freed jailed comrades.

1997 – Thabo Mbeki succeeded Nelson Mandela as head of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress.

1997 – A Ukrainian airliner crashed in a mountainous area of Greece, killing all 70 on board.

1998 – The United States, backed by Britain, began four days of air strikes aimed at Iraq’s nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programmes.

2001 – The United States established a diplomatic presence in Kabul for the first time since its diplomats fled Afghanistan shortly before the end of the Soviet occupation in 1989.

2004 – The Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan banned tobacco sales and smoking in public, the first country in the world to do so.

2010 – Mohamed Bouazizi sets himself alight in Tunis, becoming the catalyst for the Tunisian Revolution and the wider Arab Spring.

2016 – Tandem skydivers dressed as Santa Claus set a new Guinness World Record with 155 jumps over eight hours.