December 17, 1903: After three years of experimentation, Orville and Wilbur Wright achieve the first powered, controlled airplane flights. They made four flights near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, the longest lasting about a minute.
December 19, 1946: War breaks out in French Indochina as Ho Chi Minh attacks the French seeking to oust them from Vietnam. This marks the beginning of a 30-year conflict, which eventually leads to heavy U.S. involvement and ends with a Communist victory in April 1975 after U.S. withdrawal from South Vietnam.
December 19, 1998: The House of Representatives impeaches President Bill Clinton, approving two out of four Articles of Impeachment, charging Clinton with lying under oath to a federal grand jury and obstructing justice.
December 20, 1956: The Montgomery bus boycott ends after the Supreme Court ruling integrating the Montgomery bus system is implemented. The boycott by African Americans had begun on December 5, 1955, after Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus to a white man.
December 21, 1988: Pan American Flight 103 explodes in midair as the result of a terrorist bomb and crashes into Lockerbie, Scotland. All 259 passengers and crew members, along with 11 persons on the ground, are killed.
December 23, 1987: Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager set a new world record of 216 hours of continuous flight around the world without refueling. Their aircraft Voyager travels 24,986 miles at a speed of about 115 miles per hour.