Death of St. Eusebius of Vercelli
Death of Pepin II, ruler of France
Election of Pope Marinus I
Coronation of Henry VI, King of England, as King of France
Catherine of Aragon, the first wife of England's King Henry VIII born
Death of Alfonso d'Albuquerque
Anne Balfour burned in Scotland as a witch
Oliver Cromwell became lord protector of England, Scotland and Ireland.
Composer Ludwig van Beethoven was born in Bonn, Germany.
The Boston Tea Party took place as some 50 American colonists boarded a British ship and dumped 342 chests of tea overboard into Boston harbor to protest tea taxes.
Novelist Jane Austen born
Johann Wilhelm Ritter. German physicist who discovered the ultraviolet region of the spectrum and thus helped broaden man's view beyond the narrow region of visible light to encompass the entire electromagnetic spectrum from the shortest gamma rays to the longest radio waves. born
Napoleon Bonaparte was divorced from the Empress Josephine by an act of the French Senate.
One of history's strongest recorded earthquakes struck near New Madrid, Mo. The principal shock toppled chimneys 400 miles away in Cincinnati.
Alexander Ross Clarke English geodesist whose calculations of the size and shape of the Earth were the first to approximate accepted modern values with respect to both polar flattening and equatorial radius. born
A fire in New York City destroys property estimated to be worth $20,000,000. Beginning in a store at Pearl and Merchant (Hanover) Streets, it lasts two days, ravages 17 blocks (52 acres), and destroys 674 buildings including the Stock Exchange, Merchants' Exchange, Post Office, and the South Dutch Church.
Josephine Shaw Lowell. American charity worker and social reformer, an advocate of the doctrine that charity should not merely relieve suffering but that it should also rehabilitate the recipient. born
Confederate General Joseph Johnston takes command the Army of Tennessee, replacing Lt. General William Hardee.
Philosopher and writer George Santayana. His original name JORGE AUGUSTN NICOLÁS RUIZ DE SANTAYANA. (Three Philosophical Poets, Character and Opinion of the United States, The Sense of Beauty, The Interpretations of Religion and Poetry, The Life of Reason, Scepticism and Animal Faith, Realms of Being, The Last Puritan) born
The "New World" Symphony was premiered by Anton Seidl and the New York Philharmonic. "From the New World" is the actual subtitle of Dvorak's 9th and last symphony, signifying that Dvorak's ideas were inspired by music he heard in the western hemisphere.
Colonel Griffith J. Griffith bequeathed 3,015 acres of his Rancho Los Feliz estate as a Christmas gift to the people of Los Angeles to be used as parkland. Griffith Park
Playwright and composer Noel Coward born
American anthropologist Margaret Mead. She was best-known for her studies of the nonliterate peoples of Oceania. born
Women ushers were employed for the first time at the Majestic Theatre in New York City.
Sime Silverman published the first issue of "Variety", the weekly show biz magazine. The first issue was 16 pages in length and sold for a nickel. "Variety" and "Daily Variety" are still going strong.
Leonid Brezhnev (Russian leader of the Communist Party) born
Eugene H. Farrar became the first singer to broadcast on radio. He sang "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?" from the Brooklyn Navy Yard in New York.
The first postage stamp to depict an airplane was issued. It was a 20-cent parcel-post stamp.
Gregory Rasputin, the monk who'd wielded powerful influence over the Russian court, was murdered by a group of noblemen.
SciFi author Arthur C. Clarke. Some of his science-fiction concepts have had remarkable parallels, particularly in the development of satellite communications. (A Space Odyssey, Islands in the Sky) born
New Polish President Gavriel Narutowicz is assassinated after only two days in office.
Biochemist Bruce Ames born
In Spain, a general strike is called in support of the revolution.
Ray W. Fuller U.S. biochemist who, as a pharmacological researcher at Eli Lilly & Co. from 1963, helped to create fluoxetine--the popular antidepressant drug known by the trademark Prozac. This drug combates depression by slowing the reabsorption of serotonin in the brain. born
Civil rights attorney Morris Dees born
Actress Joyce Bulifant born
National Womens Party urges immediate congressional action on equal rights.
British carry out an air raid on Italian Somalia.
CBS news correspondent Lesley Stahl born
TV producer Steven Bochco born
The World War Two Battle of the Bulge began as German forces launched a surprise counter-attack against Allied forces in Belgium.
Pop singer Benny Andersson (ABBA) born
Rock singer-musician Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top) born
Chinese Communist leader Mao Tse-tung is received at the Kremlin in Moscow.
President Truman proclaimed a national state of emergency in order to fight "Communist imperialism."
NBC-TV debuted "Dragnet" in a special preview, on "Chesterfield Sound Off Time". The Jack Webb (Sgt. Joe Friday) police drama opened its official TV run on January 3, 1952. Sgt. Fridays boss in this preview was played by Raymond Burr (later of Perry Mason and Ironside fame).
Actress Alison LaPlaca born
134 people were killed when a United Air Lines DC-8 and a TWA Super Constellation collided over over foggy New York harbor.
Actor Benjamin Bratt (Law & Order) born
Spain voids the 1492 law which expelled Jews.
Rhythm-and-blues singer Michael McCary (Boyz II Men) born
Don McLeans eight-minute-plus version of "American Pie" was released and became one of the longest songs with some of the most confusing lyrics to ever hit the pop charts. It was a disc jockey favorite since there were few songs long enough for potty breaks at the time. "American Pie" hit #1 on January 15, 1972.
The Miami Dolphins became the first NFL team to go unbeaten and untied in a 14-game regular season.
Jim Browns single-season rushing record in the NFL was smashed by O.J. Simpson. Brown rushed for 1,863 yards, while The Juice ran for 2,003 yards.
President Jimmy Carter appoints Andrew Young as Ambassador to the United Nations.
Cleveland becomes the first U.S. city to default since the depression.
Reputed organized-crime chief Paul Castellano was shot to death outside a New York City restaurant.
South Korea held its first direct presidential election in 16 years, choosing the government's handpicked candidate, Roh Tae-woo.
Former White House aide Michael K. Deaver was convicted of lying to a House subcommittee and a grand jury investigating whether he had violated federal ethics laws (he was fined and ordered to perform community service).
President-elect Bush chose former Texas Senator John Tower to be his secretary of defense, a nomination that went down to defeat in the US Senate.
Federal appeals court judge Robert S. Vance was killed by a mail bomb at his Alabama home. (Walter Leroy Moody Junior was later sentenced to death for killing Vance, and received seven life terms on federal charges in that killing and the death of civil rights attorney Robert E. Robinson.)
Jean-Bertrand Aristide was elected president of Haiti in the country's first democratic elections. (He was overthrown in a military coup in 1991, but was later restored to power.)
The UN General Assembly rescinded its 1975 resolution equating Zionism with racism by a vote of 111-to-25.
Secretary of State Lawrence S. Eagleburger said Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic and Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic had to answer for atrocities committed in former Yugoslavia.
President Clinton announced the nomination of Bobby Ray Inman to succeed Les Aspin as defense secretary (Inman, however, later withdrew).
The 100th anniversary of the premiere of the "New World" Symphony was celebrated by the Boston Symphony in Prague. A gala Dvorak concert featured lots of stars and lots of music.
The White House and Republicans traded barbs over whose tax plan was fairer to the middle class, a day after President Clinton presented a package of proposed tax cuts.
White House Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers announced she was leaving her job at the end of the year.
President Clinton and congressional Republicans traded accusations as their budget impasse led to a second shutdown of the federal government.
Former South Korean President Chun Doo-hwan, condemned to death for a 1979 coup and a deadly military crackdown the next year, had his sentence commuted to life imprisonment.
UN weapons monitor Richard Butler left Iraq after failing to persuade President Saddam Hussein to open his palaces to inspections.
In Japan, at least 700 mostly young TV viewers suffered nausea and epilepsy-like spasms after watching an animated cartoon that featured bright, flashing colors.
A Pentagon-appointed panel concluded that the Army, Navy and Air Force should segregate male and female recruits in their earliest phases of basic training.
The House delayed a debate set to begin the next day on four articles of impeachment against President Clinton.
President Clinton ordered a sustained series of airstrikes against Iraq by American and British forces in response to Saddam Hussein's continued defiance of UN weapons inspectors.
Israel and Syria ended two days of inconclusive peace talks in Washington and agreed to resume early in the new year.
Torrential rains and mudslides in Venezuela left thousands of people dead and forced at least 120,000 to flee their homes.
Sydney's newest motorway to open today
Business Brief for December 16, 2005
US offers to eliminate duties on Cotton, Africa says it's not enough
California class commemorates Holocaust
Imprisoned Haitian priest may need US doctors
Flooding in Nakhon Sri Thammarat
Police warn Sydneysiders to stay away from Eastern beaches
Senate rejects short-term extension of the USA PATRIOT Act
NYC transit deadline past, no strike or talks
West Wing star John Spencer dies from heart attack
President Bush of the United States authorized NSA surveillance of citizens, bypassing court warrants
Allegations New Zealand prison guards accept bribes from prisoners
HP France in trouble due to alleged monopolist behavior
Camel sacrificed at major Turkish airport
All executions suspended in Florida after error
Rally organizer arrested in Caledonia, Ontario
Toronto team-led research on Type 1 Diabetes 'groundbreaking'
Gilchrist scores second fastest Test century
Two light aircraft in mid-air collision near East Midlands Airport
American singer Dan Fogelberg dies at age 56
Google announces testing of online reference tool
New Zealand journalist deported from Fiji
Sharp increase in number of Zimbabwean cholera deaths
Alleged tax-haven scheme linked to Canada's largest brokerage firm
Boeing 787 "Dreamliner" makes maiden flight
Volcano eruption in Philippines prompts evacuations
Suicide bomber kills at least twenty in Pakistan town
Payment pending; Canadian recording industry set for six billion penalties?
Expedition 26 crew blast off to space station
Border agent killed in Arizona, four in custody
Jimmie Johnson named Driver of the Year
Vietnam fishing vessel sinks in South China Sea, 27 missing
Mark Zuckerberg named Time Person of the Year
Author and contrarian Christopher Hitchens dies at age 62
Zimbabwean footballer Adam Ndlovu dies in car accident aged 42