Wikipedia:Selected anniversaries/December - Wikipedia
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|An archive of historical anniversaries that appeared on the Main Page|
2021 day arrangement
- 1577 – Francis Walsingham, Elizabeth I of England's principal secretary and spymaster, was knighted.
- 1822 – Pedro I was crowned the first emperor of Brazil seven weeks after his reign began on his 24th birthday.
- 1918 – With the signing of the Act of Union, Denmark recognized the Kingdom of Iceland as a fully sovereign state in personal union through a common monarch.
- 1955 – In a key event in the civil rights movement, Rosa Parks (pictured) was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a public bus to a white man in Montgomery, Alabama, sparking the Montgomery bus boycott.
- 1988 – Five armed men hijacked a bus carrying thirty schoolchildren and a teacher in Ordzhonikidze (now Vladikavkaz, Russia), and were later given an Ilyushin Il-76 aircraft and ransom for the release of the hostages.
- 1804 – Napoleon was crowned Emperor of the French (depicted) at Notre-Dame de Paris.
- 1899 – Philippine–American War: A 60-man Filipino rearguard was defeated at the Battle of Tirad Pass, but delayed the American advance long enough to ensure President Emilio Aguinaldo's escape.
- 1942 – Manhattan Project scientists led by Enrico Fermi initiated the first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction in the experimental nuclear reactor Chicago Pile-1.
- 1950 – Korean War: UN forces began a retreat from North Korea following defeat at the Battle of the Ch'ongch'on River.
- 1988 – Benazir Bhutto took office as the prime minister of Pakistan, becoming the first woman to head the government of a Muslim-majority state.
- 1800 – War of the Second Coalition: French forces defeated Austrian and Bavarian troops at Hohenlinden, eventually resulting in the Austrians signing the Treaty of Lunéville.
- 1904 – Himalia, Jupiter's largest irregular moon, was discovered by Charles Dillon Perrine at the Lick Observatory in California.
- 1927 – Putting Pants on Philip, the first official film featuring the comedy duo Laurel and Hardy, was released.
- 1967 – Cardiac surgeon Christiaan Barnard (pictured) performed the first successful human heart transplant on Louis Washkansky at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa.
- 1982 – The United States Environmental Protection Agency tested soil from Times Beach, Missouri, which revealed high concentrations of dioxin and led to the abandonment of the town.
- 1639 – English astronomer Jeremiah Horrocks made the first successful prediction and observation (depicted) of a transit of Venus.
- 1893 – First Matabele War: A patrol of 34 British South Africa Company soldiers was ambushed and annihilated by more than 3,000 Matabele warriors.
- 1909 – The first Grey Cup, the championship game of the Canadian Football League, was held in Toronto.
- 1980 – The English rock group Led Zeppelin officially disbanded.
- 2006 – Six black teenagers assaulted a white student in Jena, Louisiana; the subsequent court cases became a cause célèbre for perceived racial injustice in the United States.
- 1757 – Seven Years' War: Prussian troops under Frederick the Great defeated Austrian forces at the Battle of Leuthen.
- 1775 – American Revolutionary War: Continental Army colonel Henry Knox arrived at Fort Ticonderoga in New York to arrange the transport of 60 tons of artillery (depicted) to support the Siege of Boston.
- 1945 – Flight 19, a squadron of five U.S. Navy torpedo bombers, disappeared over the Bermuda Triangle.
- 1974 – The Birmingham Americans won the only World Bowl in World Football League history.
- 1060 – Béla I was crowned King of Hungary in Székesfehérvár.
- 1240 – After days of bombardment, Mongol invaders under Batu Khan breached the walls of Kiev and plundered the city, slaughtering its inhabitants.
- 1904 – President Theodore Roosevelt (pictured) announced the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine, justifying the exercise of "international police power" by the U.S. in the Western Hemisphere.
- 1975 – Four members of the Provisional Irish Republican Army took two people hostage in a house on Balcombe Street in London, surrendering six days later.
- 1990 – An Italian Air Force military jet, abandoned by its pilot after an on-board fire, crashed into a high school near Bologna, killing 12 students and injuring 88 other people.
- 43 BC – Cicero (bust pictured), widely considered one of ancient Rome's greatest orators and prose stylists, was killed after having been proscribed as an enemy of the state.
- 1837 – British troops swiftly defeated rebels led by William Lyon Mackenzie and Anthony Van Egmond at the Battle of Montgomery's Tavern, the only major confrontation of the Upper Canada Rebellion.
- 1936 – Australian cricketer Jack Fingleton became the first player to score centuries in four consecutive Test innings.
- 2005 – Spanish authorities captured Croatian Army general Ante Gotovina, who was wanted for war crimes committed during the Croatian War of Independence; he was eventually cleared of all charges.
- 1432 – The first battle of the Lithuanian Civil War, between the forces of Švitrigaila and Sigismund Kęstutaitis, was fought near Ashmyany.
- 1880 – At an assembly of 10,000 Boers, Paul Kruger announced the fulfilment of the decision to restore the government and volksraad of the South African Republic.
- 1927 – Three different organizations established by Robert S. Brookings merged to form the Brookings Institution, one of the United States' oldest think tanks.
- 1980 – John Lennon (pictured) was murdered at the entrance of the Dakota Apartments in New York City.
- 2010 – The Japanese experimental spacecraft IKAROS flew by Venus at a distance of 80,800 km (50,200 mi), completing its planned mission to demonstrate solar-sail technology.
- 1897 – French actress, journalist and leading suffragette Marguerite Durand (pictured) founded the feminist newspaper La Fronde.
- 1911 – A mine explosion near Briceville, Tennessee, killed 84 miners despite a well-organized rescue effort led by the United States Bureau of Mines.
- 1940 – Second World War: British and Commonwealth forces began Operation Compass, the first major Allied military operation of the Western Desert campaign.
- 2017 – Same-sex marriage in Australia became legal as the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Act 2017 came into effect.
- 1508 – The Papal States, France, Aragon and the Holy Roman Empire formed the League of Cambrai, an alliance against the Republic of Venice.
- 1861 – Militia forces led by Nguyễn Trung Trực, an anti-colonial leader in southern Vietnam, sank the French lorcha L'Esperance.
- 1936 – Edward VIII, desiring to marry the American socialite Wallis Simpson against widespread British opposition, signed the instrument of abdication to renounce the throne in favour of his brother George VI.
- 1983 – Raúl Alfonsín (pictured) became the first democratically elected president of Argentina to take office after more than seven years of military dictatorship.
- 1789 – The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, one of the oldest public universities in the United States and the only one to award degrees in the 18th century, was chartered.
- 1886 – The London-based football club Arsenal, then known as Dial Square, played their first match on the Isle of Dogs.
- 1920 – Irish War of Independence: Following an Irish Republican Army ambush of a British Auxiliary patrol in Cork, British forces burned and looted numerous buildings in the city (aftermath pictured).
- 2005 – Demonstrations in Cronulla, a suburb of Sydney, against recent violence towards locals turned into a series of race riots.
- 627 – A Byzantine army under Emperor Heraclius defeated Emperor Khosrow II's Persian forces, commanded by General Rhahzadh, near present-day Mosul, Iraq.
- 1388 – Unable to defend her possessions, Maria of Enghien sold the lordship of Argos and Nauplia to the Republic of Venice.
- 1969 – The Greek junta announced its withdrawal from the Council of Europe after the junta was found guilty of torture and other human-rights violations by the European Commission of Human Rights.
- 2000 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Bush v. Gore that the recount of ballots cast in Florida for the presidential election be stopped, effectively making George W. Bush (pictured) the winner.
- 1862 – American Civil War: Union forces under Ambrose Burnside suffered severe casualties against entrenched Confederate defenders at the Battle of Fredericksburg in Virginia.
- 1928 – An American in Paris, a jazz-influenced orchestral piece by George Gershwin, premiered at Carnegie Hall in New York.
- 1960 – With Haile Selassie (pictured), Emperor of Ethiopia, out of the country, four conspirators staged a coup attempt to install Crown Prince Asfaw Wossen as the new emperor.
- 1982 – An earthquake registering 6.2 Mw struck North Yemen, killing about 2,800 people.
- 1650 – English domestic servant Anne Greene survived being hanged for infanticide.
- 1836 – The Toledo War, a mostly bloodless territorial dispute between Ohio and the Michigan Territory, was unofficially ended with a resolution passed by the controversial "Frostbitten Convention".
- 1913 – Haruna (pictured), the fourth and last Japanese battlecruiser of the Kongō class, was launched, going on to serve in both world wars.
- 1960 – Australian cricketer Ian Meckiff was run out on the last day of the first Test match between Australia and the West Indies, resulting in the first tied Test in cricket history.
- 1467 – Troops under Stephen III of Moldavia defeated the forces of Matthias Corvinus of Hungary at the Battle of Baia in present-day Romania.
- 1890 – Sitting Bull, a Hunkpapa Lakota leader, was killed on Standing Rock Indian Reservation in South Dakota by U.S. Indian agency police.
- 1943 – World War II: American and Australian forces began the Battle of Arawe against Japanese forces on New Britain as a diversion before a larger landing at Cape Gloucester.
- 1970 – The Soviet spacecraft Venera 7 (replica pictured) touched down on the surface of Venus, making the first successful landing on another planet.
- 2005 – The F-22 Raptor, an early successful stealth fighter, entered into service despite a protracted and costly development period.
- 1761 – Seven Years' War: After a four-month siege, Russian forces captured Kolberg, the last major Prussian port on the Baltic Sea.
- 1850 – Settlers of the Canterbury Association (poster pictured) aboard Randolph and Charlotte Jane arrived to establish a colony at Christchurch, New Zealand.
- 1914 – First World War: The Imperial German Navy attacked ports in northern England, resulting in hundreds of civilian casualties.
- 1930 – German-American gangster Herman Lamm killed himself during a botched robbery attempt in Clinton, Indiana, to avoid being captured by police.
- 497 BC – The temple to the Roman god Saturn was dedicated in the Roman Forum; its anniversary was celebrated as Saturnalia.
- 1790 – The Aztec sun stone, now a modern symbol of Mexican culture, was excavated in the Zócalo, the main square of Mexico City.
- 1970 – Polish soldiers fired at workers (memorial pictured) emerging from trains in Gdynia, beginning the government's crackdown on mass anti-communist protests across the country.
- 2010 – Arab Spring: Tunisian street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire in protest against police harassment, triggering the Tunisian Revolution.
- 1622 – Portuguese forces and their Imbangala allies defeated the Kongo army at the Battle of Mbumbi.
- 1898 – Gaston de Chasseloup-Laubat (pictured) set the first official land speed record, averaging 63.15 km/h (39.24 mph) over 1 km (0.62 mi) in Achères, France.
- 1932 – Playing indoors at Chicago Stadium on a modified American football field, the Chicago Bears defeated the Portsmouth Spartans in the first playoff game of the National Football League.
- 2017 – An Amtrak Cascades passenger train derailed near DuPont, Washington, killing three people and injuring sixty-five others.
- 1843 – A Christmas Carol (illustration pictured), a novella by Charles Dickens about the miser Ebenezer Scrooge and his transformation after being visited by ghosts, was first published.
- 1956 – British physician and suspected serial killer John Bodkin Adams was arrested in connection with the death of Edith Alice Morrell.
- 1983 – The Jules Rimet Trophy, awarded to the winner of the FIFA World Cup, was stolen from the offices of the Brazilian Football Confederation.
- 1997 – Titanic, the third-highest-grossing film of all time, with a worldwide total of more than US$1.8 billion, was released in the United States.
- 1860 – South Carolina became the first of eleven slave states to declare secession from the U.S., leading to the eventual creation of the Confederate States of America and later the American Civil War.
- 1980 – NBC aired the American football match between the New York Jets and the Miami Dolphins without announcers.
- 1995 – Mandated by the Dayton Agreement that ended the Bosnian War, the NATO-led Implementation Force (troops pictured) began peacekeeping operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
- 2007 – Pablo Picasso's Portrait of Suzanne Bloch was stolen from the São Paulo Museum of Art, before being recovered about three weeks later.
- 1620 – The Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower landed at present-day Plymouth, Massachusetts, establishing the Plymouth Colony.
- 1872 – HMS Challenger departed Portsmouth on a scientific expedition that laid the foundations of oceanography.
- 1937 – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the first full-length cel-animated feature in film history, premiered at the Carthay Circle Theatre in Los Angeles.
- 1970 – The Grumman F-14 Tomcat (example pictured), the primary fighter aircraft of the U.S. Navy for nearly 30 years, made its first flight.
- 1995 – In accordance with the Oslo II Accord, Israeli troops withdrew from Bethlehem in preparation for the transfer of control to the Palestinian National Authority.
- 856 – An earthquake registering an estimated 7.9 Ms struck the eastern Alborz mountains in Persia, causing an estimated 200,000 deaths.
- 1769 – Defeated by the Burmese Konbaung dynasty, Qing China agreed to a peace treaty to end the Sino-Burmese War.
- 1920 – The Congress of Soviets approved the GOELRO plan, the first Soviet plan for national economic recovery and development.
- 2010 – The United States repealed its controversial "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gay, lesbian and bisexual people in the military (signing pictured).
- 1815 – Jane Austen's novel Emma was first published.
- 1888 – During a bout of mental illness, Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh (pictured) severed part of his left ear and gave it to a woman in a brothel in Arles.
- 1916 – First World War: Allied forces gained a strategic victory in the Battle of Magdhaba on the Sinai Peninsula.
- 1957 – Leading the Australia national cricket team, Ian Craig became the youngest Test cricket captain up to that time.
- 1990 – About 88 percent of eligible voters in Slovenia voted to secede from the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
- 759 – The Tang-dynasty poet Du Fu (pictured) departed for Chengdu, where he lived for the next five years and composed poems about life in his thatched cottage.
- 1826 – More than a third of U.S. Military Academy cadets in West Point, New York, rioted after consuming eggnog with whiskey during a Christmas party.
- 1846 – The Sultanate of Brunei ceded the island of Labuan to the British Empire.
- 1964 – The Viet Cong bombed the Brinks Hotel in Saigon, killing two U.S. Army officers and raising fears of an escalation of the Vietnam War.
- 1999 – Jihadists linked to al-Qaeda hijacked Indian Airlines Flight 814 to force the release of Islamist figures held in prison in India.
- AD 36 – After the death of Emperor Gongsun Shu of Chengjia, the empire was conquered by the Eastern Han dynasty.
- 1100 – Baldwin I was crowned the first king of Jerusalem (depicted) in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.
- 1950 – Four Scottish university students removed the Stone of Scone, used in the coronations of Scottish and British monarchs, from Westminster Abbey in London.
- 1990 – British computer programmer Tim Berners-Lee introduced WorldWideWeb, the world's first web browser and WYSIWYG HTML editor.
- 2000 – Russian president Vladimir Putin signed into law a bill officially adopting a new national anthem, with music by Alexander Vasilyevich Alexandrov originally composed for the anthem of the Soviet Union.
- 1606 – The first known performance of Shakespeare's tragedy King Lear, based on the legend of Leir of Britain, took place before King James I.
- 1825 – Imperial Russian Army officers led about 3,000 soldiers in protest against Nicholas I's assumption of the throne after his elder brother Konstantin removed himself from the line of succession.
- 1862 – American Civil War: The Battle of Chickasaw Bayou began with Confederate defenders engaging Union forces attempting to capture the city of Vicksburg, Mississippi.
- 1898 – At the French Academy of Sciences, physicists Pierre and Marie Curie announced the discovery of a new element, naming it radium.
- 1900 – A relief crew arrived at the Flannan Isles Lighthouse (pictured) in Scotland and discovered that the previous crew had disappeared.
- 1521 – A period of unrest in Wittenberg, Saxony, following the arrival of the Zwickau prophets, was quelled after the release of Martin Luther from custody.
- 1657 – Citizens of New Netherland presented the Flushing Remonstrance to Peter Stuyvesant, the director general, requesting an exemption to his ban on Quaker worship.
- 1831 – HMS Beagle departed Plymouth, England, on a voyage to South America that would make a name for Charles Darwin as a naturalist.
- 1922 – The Imperial Japanese Navy commissioned Hōshō (pictured), the world's first purpose-built aircraft carrier.
- 1985 – The body of murdered American primatologist Dian Fossey was discovered inside her cabin in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda.
- 2007 – Former prime minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated while leaving a Pakistan Peoples Party political rally at Liaqat National Bagh in Rawalpindi.
- 484 – Alaric II succeeded his father Euric as King of the Visigoths.
- 1065 – Westminster Abbey, built by Edward the Confessor as the first Romanesque church in England, was first consecrated.
- 1612 – Galileo Galilei became the first person to observe the planet Neptune (pictured), although he mistakenly catalogued it as a fixed star.
- 1908 – An earthquake registering 7.1 Mw struck near Messina, which, along with the subsequent tsunami, killed at least 75,000 people in southern Italy.
- 1967 – American businesswoman Muriel Siebert became the first woman to own a seat on the New York Stock Exchange.
- 1812 – War of 1812: In a three-hour single-ship action, HMS Java was captured by USS Constitution off the coast of Brazil.
- 1845 – The Republic of Texas was annexed by the United States, becoming the 28th state to be admitted to the Union.
- 1940 – Second World War: The Luftwaffe began a major night bombing raid on the British capital as part of the Blitz, beginning what was later called the "Second Great Fire of London".
- 1975 – A bomb planted by unknown perpetrators exploded at LaGuardia Airport in New York City, killing 11 people and seriously injuring 74 others.
- 1996 – Peace accords were signed under the leadership of President Álvaro Arzú (pictured) and guerilla leader Rolando Morán, ending the 36-year-long Guatemalan Civil War.
- 999 – In Ireland, the combined forces of Munster and Meath crushed a rebellion by Leinster and Dublin.
- 1460 – Wars of the Roses: At the Battle of Wakefield, Lancastrian forces destroyed the Yorkist army and killed Richard of York at Sandal Magna in West Yorkshire, England.
- 1906 – The All-India Muslim League, a political party in British India that developed into the driving force behind the creation of Pakistan as a Muslim state on the Indian subcontinent, was founded in Dhaka.
- 1940 – The Arroyo Seco Parkway (pictured), one of the first freeways built in the U.S., connecting downtown Los Angeles with Pasadena, California, was officially dedicated.
- 2000 – A series of bombings occurred around Metro Manila in the Philippines, killing 22 people and injuring around 100 others.
- 1775 – American Revolutionary War: At the Battle of Quebec, British forces repulsed an attack by the Continental Army to capture Quebec City and enlist French Canadian support.
- 1857 – Queen Victoria announced the choice of Ottawa (pictured), then a small logging town, as the capital of the British colony of Canada.
- 1909 – The Manhattan Bridge, connecting Lower Manhattan to Downtown Brooklyn and considered to be the forerunner of modern suspension bridges, opened to traffic.
- 1965 – Military officers led by Jean-Bédel Bokassa began a coup d'état against the government of Central African Republic president David Dacko.
- 1999 – Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin became acting president upon President Boris Yeltsin's unexpected resignation.