Capture of Richard I, "the Lion Hearted," King of England, by Austria
Election of Pope Benedict XII
Death of Stephen Urosh IV, Emperor of the Serbs
Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, tries tenderness towards the Protestants
John Fletcher, Elizabethan dramatist born
Death of Ambrose Pare, surgeon
The "Susan Constant", "Godspeed" and "Discovery" set sail from London to America. They landed at Jamestown, Virginia o start the first permanent English settlement in America.
Samuel Fuller becomes the first doctor to arrive in New England
Oliver Cromwell arrests most of Parliament; the "Rump Parliament"
Certain persons were imprisoned in London for the crime of being actors in stage plays
The first successful cotton mill in the United States began operating at Pawtucket, Rhode Island.
The Louisiana Purchase was completed as ownership of the territory was formally transferred from France to the United States during ceremonies in New Orleans.
Thomas Graham, the father of colloid chemistry born
Dr. Samuel Mudd, doctor who helped Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth born
John Geary, 1st Postmaster, 1st Mayor (May 1, 1850) born
The State of Missouri enacted legislation to tax bachelors between the ages of 21-50, $1 a year for being unmarried.
Beethoven accepted a commission from the Philharmonic Society of London to compose a ninth symphony. The terms included as is customary in commissions the rights to the world premiere. But Beethoven stiffed the Brits, permitting a performance of the completed work.
South Carolina became the first state to secede from the Union.
Confederate forces evacuated Savannah, Georgia, as Union General William T. Sherman continued his "March to the Sea."
Author and decorator Elsie de Wolfe (Lady Mendl) born
Industrialist Harvey Firestone Founder of Firestone Tire and Rubber Company born
Thomas A. Edison privately demonstrated his incandescent light at Menlo Park, New Jersey.
Baseball player Branch Rickey born
Alexander T. Brown and George Stillman of Syracuse, New York, patented the pneumatic tire.
Philosopher Susanne Langer (author of Philosophy in a New Key: A Study in the Symbolism of Reason, Rite, and Art) born
Actress Irene Dunne (Cimarron, Show Boat, Anna and the King of Siam, Life with Father, I Remember Mama) some sources list 1901 born
Baseball player Gabby (Charles) Harnett born
Nuclear physicist Robert Van de Graaff born
Max Lerner American educator, author, and syndicated columnist who was an influential spokesman for liberal political and economic views. born
Philosopher Sidney Hook born
Actress Ann Richards (Sorry Wrong Number) born
Actress Audrey Totter (The Postman Always Rings Twice, The Carpetbaggers born
An English-born comedian named Leslie Downes (Bob Hope) became an American citizen. He had lived in the United States since 1908.
Movie director George Roy Hill (Funny Farm, The World According to Garp, A Little Romance, Slap Shot, The Sting, Slaughterhouse Five, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Hawaii) born
Adolf Hitler is released from prison.
Prime minister of Malaysia Mahathir bin Mohamed (Malaysia's prime minister) born
Caricaturist David Levine (The New York Times) born
Sportscaster Jim Simpson born
Football player John Christiansen born
Actor John Hillerman (Magnum P.I., Hands of a Murderer, Chinatown, Blazing Saddles, Paper Moon, The Last Picture Show) born
Al Jolson recorded "April Showers" on Brunswick Records.
The German government announces 400,000 citizens are to be sterilized because of hereditary defects. Many of the Nazi leaders were prosecuted for the many atrocities that occurred during and before World War II.
First electronic television system is patented by Vladimir Kosma Zworykin of Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania.
Baseball player Mattie Alou born
Actress & singer Kim Weston (It Takes Two [w/Marvin Gaye]) born
Actress Angel Tompkins (Walking Tall, Part II, The Bees) born
Musician (drummer and singer with Blood, Sweat & Tears) Bobby Colomby (And When I Die, You Made Me So Very Happy, Spinning Wheel) born
Rock musician Peter Criss (Kiss) born
Mussolinis daughter Edda, is given a sentence of two years in prison for aiding the Fascists.
The Office of Price Administration announced the end of tire rationing, effective January first, 1946.
Psychic and showman Uri Geller born
The Frank Capra film "It's A Wonderful Life," starring James Stewart and Donna Reed, had a preview showing for charity at New York's Globe Theatre, a day before its "official" world premiere.
Singer Little Stevie Wright (She's So Fine, Wedding Ring, Sad and Lonely and Blue, Woman, Come and See Her, Friday on My Mind, Hello How are You) born
Baseball player Cecil Cooper born
Baseball player Oscar Gamble born
Hockey player Bill Clement born
Tom R. Ferguson American cowboy who six times consecutively (1974-79) won the all-around cowboy title of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. born
Actress Jenny Agutter (The Snow Goose, Logan's Run, An American Werewolf in London, Child's Play) born
Jimmy Boyd reached the #1 spot on the record charts with the Christmas song of the year, "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus."
Actress Blanche Baker born
Rock singer Billy (Steven) Bragg (The Milkman of Human Kindness, A New England, Man in the Iron Mask, Island of No Return, Between the Wars, World Turned Upside Down, Which Side are You On?) born
Actor Mark Keyloun (Separate Vacations, Gimme an F, Mike's Murder, Sudden Impact) born
A world indoor pole-vault record was set by Don Meyers in Chicago, IL as he cleared 16 feet, 1-1/4 inches.
In its first free election in 38 years, the Dominican Republic chooses leftist Juan Bosch Gavino as president.
The Berlin Wall was opened for the first time. It remained open for the holiday season, but closed again on January 6, 1964. 4,000 people crossed over to visit relatives during this period.
Country singer Kris Tyler born
In the largest U.S. drug bust to date, 209 lb. of heroin is seized in Georgia.
Rock singer Chris Robinson (The Black Crowes) born
Author John Steinbeck died in New York at age 66.
Singer Bobby Darin died following open-heart surgery at the age of 37.
Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley died at age 74.
The government of the Soviet Union confirmed that former Premier Alexei N. Kosygin had died two days earlier at the age of 76.
Shirley Temple Black became a grandmother. Her oldest daughter gave birth to a baby girl.
Joe Gibbs, of the Washington Redskins, was named NFL Coach of the Year by the Associated Press. He became the first head coach to receive this honor in consecutive years since 1961-62 (when Allie Sherman, of the New York Giants, was so honored).
More than 3,000 people were killed when the "Dona Paz," a Philippine passenger ship, collided with the tanker "Vector" off Mindoro island, setting off a double explosion.
The International Committee of the Red Cross suspended its operations in Lebanon after receiving death threats.
The United States launched Operation "Just Cause," sending troops into Panama to topple the government of General Manuel Noriega.
Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze shocked Soviet lawmakers by announcing his resignation, warning that "dictatorship is coming."
US Marines and Belgian paratroopers in Somalia took control of Kismayu'sport and airport; the first truck convoy in more than a month reached the starving inland town of Baidoa.
Real estate developer Donald Trump married Marla Maples in a brief ceremony in the grand ballroom of Trump's Plaza Hotel in New York. (However, the couple separated in 1997.)
Alina Fernandez Revuelta, a daughter of Cuban President Fidel Castro, flew to Spain, where she was granted political asylum by the US Embassy.
Former Secretary of State Dean Rusk died in Athens, Georgia, at age 85.
Intel announced it would replace all flawed Pentium computer chips.
Marcelino Corniel, a homeless man, was shot and mortally wounded by White House security officers as he brandished a knife near the execution mansion.
Former President Jimmy Carter succeeded in getting Bosnia's warring factions to agree to a temporary cease-fire.
An American Airlines Boeing 757 en route to Cali, Colombia, slammed into a mountain, killing all but four of the 163 people aboard.
In Bosnia-Herzegovina, NATO began its peacekeeping mission, taking over from the United Nations.
President Clinton selected Federico Pena as energy secretary, Rodney Slater as transportation secretary, Andrew Cuomo as housing secretary and Alexis Herman as labor secretary.
Astronomer Carl Sagan died in Seattle at age 62.
A judge in Orange County, California, gave O.J. Simpson full custody of his young children.
President Nelson Mandela stepped down as leader of South Africa's governing African National Congress.
Pope John Paul the Second sent Christmas greetings to the Cuban people in advance of his visit to the island.
Nkem Chukwu gave birth in Houston to five girls and two boys, 12 days after giving birth to another child, a girl. (However, the tiniest of the babies died a week later.)
The Vermont Supreme Court ruled that homosexual couples were entitled to the same benefits and protections as wedded couples of the opposite sex.
Country music legend Hank Snow died in Nashville, Tenn., at age 85.
Opposition claims Australian Treasurer misled parliament
Business Brief for December 20, 2005
Security increased at Delta plants due to extortion threat
Poll predicts another Liberal Party minority government in Canada
Early returns in Iraqi elections
Poll shows PrÃ©val with clear lead, but ineligible candidate SimÃ©us could have presented a challenge
Mayor under investigation in San Jose, CA, USA for spending without consent
Two trains collide near Rome
New Zealand's worst behaved politicians list released
Canada's environment minister may be replaced
New Jersey gives $270 million to Stem Cell Research Center
Part of major road in Sweden collapses in landslide
Israel Journal: Is Yossi Vardi a good father to his entrepreneurial children?
US Department of Health proposes priorities for flu vaccine distribution
Lee Myung-bak wins South Korean presidency
American animator Jack Zander dies, aged 99
France holds five suspects in Algiers bombing
Jump5 plays their last concert, disbanding after nine years
Former Greek Culture Ministry official attempts suicide
Indonesia's transport minister tells airlines not to buy European aircraft due to EU ban
Natural death confirmed for man who died on Disney World roller coaster
Scottish man to be freed from death row in Ohio, US
US university Penn State wins NCAA Division I volleyball championship
American actress Brittany Murphy dies at age 32
Democratic holdout agrees to support health care reform in US
Rage Against The Machine top UK singles chart
Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri dies
Eurostar suspended due to cold weather
Stella English wins sixth series of UK's The Apprentice
South Korea and US hold joint exercises; North does not retaliate
Kara Tointon and Artem Chigvintsev win UK Strictly Come Dancing
Oil pipeline explosion kills 27 in central Mexico
UN says it won't leave Ivory Coast
'Unacceptable' and 'without foundation': Poland rejects Russian air crash report
Alexander Lukashenko re-elected for the 4th time as President of Belarus
BBC Foreign correspondent Brian Hanrahan dies aged 61
Two founding members of Paramore leave band
Scottish Premier League: Kilmarnock defeat Hibernian 2 - 1
Indian Parliament irate as Russia poised to ban Bhagavad Gita
Internet security firm to donate revenue to charity after Anonymous protest of Westboro Baptist Church