Advertisement

On This Day: 'The Simpsons' airs first standalone episode

On Dec. 17, 1989, "The Simpsons," which began as a feature of The Tracy Ullman Show, had its first stand-alone episode broadcast. The popular animated series has spurred look-alike contests, college classes, tattoos and controversy.

The Simpsons store is promoted at an international fashion mall in Beijing on May 6, 2016. On December 17, 1989, The Simpsons, which began as a feature of The Tracy Ullman Show, had its first stand-alone episode broadcast. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
"The Simpsons" store is promoted at an international fashion mall in Beijing on May 6, 2016. On December 17, 1989, "The Simpsons," which began as a feature of "The Tracy Ullman Show," had its first stand-alone episode broadcast. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 17 (UPI) -- On this date in history:

In 1790, the Aztec Calendar, or Solar Stone, was uncovered by workmen repairing Mexico City's Central Plaza.

Advertisement

In 1903, Orville Wright made history's first sustained airplane flight, lasting 12 seconds and covering 120 feet near Kitty Hawk, N.C. His brother Wilbur flew 852 feet later that day.

In 1925, U.S. Army Gen. William "Billy" Mitchell, considered to be the father of the U.S. Air Force, was found guilty of conduct prejudicial to the good of the armed services. He was awarded the Medal of Honor 20 years after his death.

In 1939, the Nazi warship Graf Spee was scuttled off the coast of Uruguay as British vessels pursued it after the Battle of the River Plate. United Press reporter Roscoe Snipes observed the explosions aboard an airplane.

In 1944, the more than 110,000 Japanese Americans who had been relocated from the West Coast shortly after the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor were told they would be allowed to return home on Jan. 2.

A woman visits the National Japanese American Memorial during the dedication November 9, 2000, in Washington, D.C. The memorial is dedicated to the 120,000 Japanese Americans who were interned in camps and the 800 who died fighting during WWII. File Photo by Roger L. Wollenberg/UPI

In 1967, the Clean Air Act was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson.

In 1975, a federal jury in Sacramento sentenced Lynette Alice "Squeaky" Fromme to life in prison for her attempted assassination of U.S. President Gerald R. Ford. She was released from prison in August 2009.

In 1981, U.S. Army Brig. Gen. James Dozier was kidnapped in Verona by Italy's Red Brigades. He was freed 42 days later in a raid by Italian anti-terrorist forces.

In 1986, a Las Vegas federal jury awarded entertainer Wayne Newton $19.3 million in his defamation suit against NBC. A judge reduced the award to $5.3 million.

In 1989, The Simpsons, which began as a feature of The Tracy Ullman Show, had its first stand-alone episode broadcast. The popular animated series has spurred look-alike contests, college classes, tattoos and controversy.

In 1990, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, a radical Roman Catholic priest and opponent of the dictatorship of Jean-Claude Duvalier, was elected president of Haiti in a landslide victory.

In 1992, U.S. President George H.W. Bush and the leaders of Mexico and Canada formally signed the North American Free Trade Treaty.

In 1996, Kofi Annan of Ghana is elected secretary-general of the United Nations.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan becomes the first secretary-general to toss out the first pitch for a World Series game during the game between the New York Yankees and the Atlanta Braves, October 26, 1999. File Photo by H. R. Celestin/UPI

In 1997, New Jersey became the first state in the United States to permit same-sex couples to adopt children.

In 2004, the United States officially forgave all of the $4.1 billion owed the government by Iraq and urged other creditors to do the same.

In 2010, Mohamed Bouazizi self-immolated in protest of his treatment at the hands of a municipal official. This would prove to be the catalyst for the Tunisian Revolution and set the stage for the Arab Spring.

In 2011, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il died and his son, Kim Jong Un, took over leadership.

In 2015, Libya's warring factions signed a U.N.-brokered deal to form a unity government after years of violence following the death of Moammar Gadhafi.

In 2018, Merriam-Webster announced its 2018 Word of the Year was "justice."

File Photo by Pat Benic/UPI

Latest Headlines