Jump to navigation Jump to search
|<<||Selected anniversaries for December||>>|
|An archive of historical anniversaries that appeared on the Main Page|
2018 day arrangement
- 1577 – Elizabeth I of England's principal secretary and spymaster Francis Walsingham was knighted.
- 1828 – Juan Lavalle (pictured), returning to Buenos Aires with troops that fought in the Cisplatine War, deposed the provincial governor Manuel Dorrego, reigniting the Argentine Civil Wars.
- 1918 – With the signing of the Act of Union, Denmark recognized the Kingdom of Iceland as a fully sovereign state in personal union with Denmark through a common monarch.
- 1948 – In "one of Australia's most profound mysteries", the body of an unidentified man was found on Somerton beach in Adelaide, a case which remains unsolved.
- 1988 – Four armed men hijacked a bus carrying thirty schoolchildren and one teacher in Ordzhonikidze, Soviet Union (now Vladikavkaz in Russia), and were later given an Ilyushin Il-76 aircraft and ransom in exchange for the release of the hostages.
- 1805 – War of the Third Coalition: French forces led by Napoleon decisively defeated a Russo-Austrian army commanded by Tsar Alexander I in the Battle of Austerlitz.
- 1899 – Philippine–American War: A 60-man Filipino rear guard was defeated in the Battle of Tirad Pass, but delayed the American advance long enough to ensure Emilio Aguinaldo's escape.
- 1927 – The Ford Motor Company introduced the second version of the Model A (pictured), its first new model in 18 years.
- 1943 – World War II: The Luftwaffe conducted a surprise air raid on Allied ships in Bari, Italy, sinking twenty-eight ships and releasing one ship's secret cargo of mustard gas.
- 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 the Austrians and Bavarians in Hohenlinden, near Munich, forcing the Austrians to sign an armistice.
- 1910 – Freda Du Faur (pictured) became the first woman to climb Mount Cook, the highest peak in New Zealand.
- 1976 – Jamaican reggae musician Bob Marley survived an assassination attempt by unknown assailants.
- 1984 – Methyl isocyanate and other toxic chemicals were accidentally released from the Union Carbide India Limited pesticide plant in Bhopal, India, causing the world's worst industrial disaster.
- 1994 – Sony released the PlayStation, the first "computer entertainment platform" to ship 100 million units.
- 1829 – Sati, the Hindu funeral custom of widows immolating themselves, was prohibited in part of British India after years of campaigning by Ram Mohan Roy.
- 1893 – First Matabele War: A patrol of British South Africa Company soldiers was ambushed and annihilated by more than 3,000 Matabele warriors.
- 1909 – The Montreal Canadiens, the oldest professional ice hockey club in the world, were founded as a charter member of the National Hockey Association.
- 1971 – Indo-Pakistani War: The Indian Navy launched a successful attack against the Pakistan Navy at Karachi, sinking three ships with no Indian casualties.
- 1978 – Following the murder of Mayor George Moscone, Dianne Feinstein (pictured) became San Francisco's first female mayor.
- 1484 – Pope Innocent VIII issued the papal bull Summis desiderantes affectibus, giving Dominican Inquisitor Heinrich Kramer explicit authority to prosecute witchcraft in Germany.
- 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 (pictured) that would be used to strengthen the Siege of Boston.
- 1916 – Amid the First World War and following his loss of support in Parliament, British Prime Minister H. H. Asquith resigned.
- 1958 – Britain's first motorway, the Preston By-pass, opened to the public.
- 1995 – Azerbaijan Airlines Flight 56 crashed shortly after takeoff from Nakhchivan Airport, killing 52 people on board.
- 1865 – Slavery in the United States was officially abolished when the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified.
- 1912 – The Nefertiti Bust (pictured), labeled a "Top 10 Plundered Artifact" by Time magazine, was found in Amarna, Egypt, before being taken to Germany.
- 1956 – In a contest that became known as the "Blood in the Water" match at the Melbourne Olympics, the Hungarian water polo team defeated the USSR, 4–0, against the background of the Hungarian Revolution.
- 1988 – The Australian Capital Territory was granted self-government.
- 2015 – In Venezuela's parliamentary election, the ruling United Socialist Party lost control of the National Assembly for the first time since 1999.
- 43 BC – Cicero, widely considered one of Rome's greatest orators and prose stylists, was killed after having been proscribed as an enemy of the state.
- 1904 – Comparative trials began between HMS Spiteful (pictured), the first warship powered solely by fuel oil, and a similar Royal Navy ship burning coal.
- 1936 – Australian cricketer Jack Fingleton became the first player to score centuries in four consecutive Test innings.
- 1988 – A 6.8 Ms earthquake struck the Spitak region of Armenia, killing at least 25,000 people.
- 1993 – A passenger murdered six people and injured nineteen others on the Long Island Rail Road in Garden City, New York.
- 1660 – Margaret Hughes (pictured), appeared professionally on the English stage, and is thought to have been the first woman to do so.
- 1880 – At an assembly of 10,000 Boers, Paul Kruger announced the fulfilment of the decision to restore the South African Republic government and Volksraad.
- 1963 – After being struck by lightning while in a holding pattern, Pan Am Flight 214 crashed near Elkton, Maryland, U.S., killing all 81 people on board.
- 1998 – The Australian Cricket Board's cover-up of Shane Warne and Mark Waugh's involvement with bookmakers was revealed.
- 2013 – After a fatal car accident in the Little India region of Singapore, angry mobs of passers-by attacked the bus involved and emergency vehicles, the first riot in the country in over 40 years.
- 1688 – In the only substantial military action in England during the Glorious Revolution, forces loyal to William of Orange were decisively victorious in the Battle of Reading.
- 1892 – The English association football club Newcastle United was founded by the merger of Newcastle East End and Newcastle West End.
- 1948 – The United Nations General Assembly adopted the Genocide Convention, which defines genocide in legal terms and advises its signatories to prevent and punish such actions.
- 1968 – Douglas Engelbart gave what became known as "The Mother of All Demos", publicly debuting the computer mouse (pictured), hypertext, and the bit-mapped graphical user interface using the oN-Line System (NLS).
- 2008 – Governor of Illinois Rod Blagojevich was arrested for a number of corruption crimes, including attempting to sell the U.S. Senate seat that was being vacated by then-President-elect Barack Obama.
- 1684 – Edmond Halley presented the paper De motu corporum in gyrum, containing Isaac Newton's derivation of Kepler's laws from his theory of gravity, to the Royal Society.
- 1898 – The Spanish–American War ended with the signing of the Treaty of Paris, with Spain recognizing the independence of Cuba and ceding Guam, the Philippines, and Puerto Rico to the United States.
- 1907 – During the Brown Dog affair, about 1,000 protesters marched through London and then clashed with 400 police officers in Trafalgar Square over the existence of a memorial (pictured) for animals that had been vivisected.
- 1942 – Edward Raczyński of the Polish government-in-exile issued a note that was the first official report on the Holocaust.
- 1978 – Starring Christopher Reeve in the title role, Superman, the first big-budget Superman film, premiered in Washington, D.C.
- 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, received its charter.
- 1899 – Second Boer War: In the Battle of Magersfontein, Boers defeated the forces of the British Empire trying to relieve the Siege of Kimberley.
- 1972 – Apollo 17 (Lunar Roving Vehicle pictured), the last Apollo mission, landed on the Moon.
- 1981 – Salvadoran Civil War: About 900 civilians were killed by the Salvadoran armed forces in an anti-guerrilla campaign.
- 2008 – American stockbroker Bernard Madoff was arrested and charged with securities fraud in a $64.8 billion Ponzi scheme, the largest in history.
- 627 – A Byzantine army under Emperor Heraclius defeated Emperor Khosrau II's Persian forces, commanded by General Rhahzadh, near present-day Mosul, Iraq.
- 1866 – England's worst mining disaster occurred when a series of explosions caused by flammable gases ripped through the Oaks Colliery.
- 1905 – In support of the December Uprising in Moscow, the Council of Workers' Deputies of Kiev staged a mass uprising, establishing the Shuliavka Republic in the city.
- 1936 – Chiang Kai-shek (pictured), the Generalissimo of the Republic of China, was kidnapped by Marshal Zhang Xueliang, a former warlord of Manchuria.
- 1988 – Three trains collided near Clapham Junction railway station in London, killing 35 people and injuring 484 others.
- 1643 – First English Civil War: Roundhead forces serving under Sir William Waller (pictured) led a successful surprise attack on a winter garrison of Royalist infantry and cavalry.
- 1769 – Dartmouth College in what is now Hanover, New Hampshire, U.S., was established by a royal charter and became the last university founded in the Thirteen Colonies before the American Revolution.
- 1937 – Second Sino-Japanese War: Japanese forces captured Nanking in China and then began to commit numerous atrocities over the next several weeks.
- 1982 – A magnitude 6.2 earthquake in North Yemen killed as many as 2,800 people and was the region's first instrumentally recorded event to be detected on global seismograph networks.
- 557 – A large earthquake severely damaged the city of Constantinople.
- 1836 – The Toledo War, the mostly bloodless boundary dispute between Ohio and the adjoining Territory of Michigan, unofficially ended with a resolution passed by the controversial "Frostbitten Convention".
- 1913 – Haruna (pictured), the fourth and last ship of the Kongō-class, was launched, eventually becoming one of the Japanese workhorses during both World Wars.
- 1918 - British women were able to vote for the first time during the 1918 United Kingdom general election
- 1981 – The Knesset extended Israeli "laws, jurisdiction and administration" to the Golan Heights, effectively annexing the territory.
- 1992 – War in Abkhazia: During the Siege of Tkvarcheli, a helicopter carrying evacuees from Tkvarcheli was shot down, resulting in at least 52 deaths, which catalysed more concerted Russian military intervention on behalf of Abkhazia.
- 687 – Sergius was elected pope, ending the last disputed period of sede vacante during the Byzantine Papacy.
- 1025 – Constantine VIII became sole emperor of the Byzantine Empire, 63 years after being crowned co-emperor.
- 1467 – Troops under Stephen III of Moldavia defeated the forces of Matthias Corvinus of Hungary in present-day Baia, Romania.
- 1906 – The Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway (poster pictured), a 14.17-kilometre (8.80 mi) long deep-level underground tube railway connecting Hammersmith and Finsbury Park, London, opened.
- 1942 – World War II: The Americans engaged Imperial Japanese forces at the Battle of Mount Austen, the Galloping Horse, and the Sea Horse in the hills near the Matanikau River area on Guadalcanal during the Guadalcanal Campaign.
- 1707 – The last recorded eruption of Japan's Mount Fuji released some 800 million m3 of volcanic ash.
- 1773 – To prevent the unloading of tea that was taxed without their consent under the Tea Act, a group of colonists destroyed it by throwing it into Boston Harbor (pictured).
- 1850 – The Canterbury Pilgrims aboard Randolph and Charlotte Jane arrived to settle Christchurch, New Zealand.
- 1918 – Vincas Mickevičius-Kapsukas declared the formation of the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic, a puppet state created by Soviet Russia to justify the Lithuanian–Soviet War.
- 1997 – "Dennō Senshi Porygon", an episode of the Japanese television series Pokémon, induced epileptic seizures in 685 children.
- 497 BC – The temple to the Roman god Saturn was dedicated in the Roman Forum; its anniversary was celebrated as Saturnalia.
- 546 – After a nearly year-long siege, the Ostrogoths led by Totila sacked Rome.
- 1837 – A fire in the Winter Palace (pictured) in Saint Petersburg broke out, damaging the palace and killing thirty guardsmen.
- 1948 – The Finnish Security Police was established to remove communist leadership from its predecessor, the State Police.
- 1983 – The Provisional Irish Republican Army detonated a car bomb just outside Harrods in London, killing six people and injuring about 90 others.
- 1499 – Muslims in the city of Granada rebelled against their rulers in response to forced conversions to Catholicism.
- 1898 – Gaston de Chasseloup-Laubat set the first official land speed record, averaging 63.15 km/h (39.24 mph) over 1 km (0.62 mi).
- 1939 – Second World War: The Luftwaffe victory over the Royal Air Force in the Battle of the Heligoland Bight greatly influenced both sides' future air strategy.
- 1963 – Students from Ghana and other African countries organized a protest on Moscow's Red Square in response to the alleged murder of medical student Edmund Assare-Addo.
- 1966 – Epimetheus (pictured), one of the moons of Saturn, was discovered, but was mistaken for Janus; it took twelve years to determine that they are two distinct objects sharing the same orbit.
- 1776 – Thomas Paine published the first in a series of pamphlets entitled The American Crisis, opening with the line, "These are the times that try men's souls."
- 1843 – A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (pictured), a novella about the miser Ebenezer Scrooge and his transformation after being visited by three Christmas ghosts, was first published.
- 1964 – The Army of the Republic of Vietnam, the ruling junta of South Vietnam led by Nguyễn Khánh, initiated a coup, dissolving and arresting members of the High National Council, a civilian advisory body.
- 1983 – The Jules Rimet Trophy, awarded to the winner of the FIFA World Cup, was stolen from a display case in the Brazilian Football Confederation offices.
- 1997 – SilkAir Flight 185 crashed into the Musi River in Indonesia, killing 104 people.
- 1860 – South Carolina became the first of eleven slave states to secede from the United States, leading to the eventual creation of the Confederate States of America and later the American Civil War.
- 1951 – Experimental Breeder Reactor I near Arco, Idaho, United States, became the world's first electricity-generating nuclear power plant when it became able to illuminate four 200-watt light bulbs.
- 1987 – The deadliest peacetime maritime disaster in history occurred when the MV Doña Paz (pictured) sank after colliding with an oil tanker on the Tablas Strait, in the Philippines, resulting in an estimated 4,000 deaths.
- 1995 – As per the Dayton Agreement that ended the Bosnian War, the NATO-led IFOR began peacekeeping operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
- 2007 – Pablo Picasso's Portrait of Suzanne Bloch was stolen from the São Paulo Museum of Art and recovered about three weeks later.
- 1124 – Lamberto Scannabecchi was elected Pope and took the name Honorius II.
- 1826 – Settlers from the United States in Mexican Texas made the first attempt to secede from Mexico, establishing the short-lived Republic of Fredonia.
- 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.
- 1968 – Apollo 8 launched from Florida's Kennedy Space Center, placing its crew on a trajectory to the Moon, for the first visit to another celestial body by humans.
- 1988 – A total of 270 people were killed when a bomb on board Pan Am Flight 103 exploded while the plane was in flight over Lockerbie, Scotland.
- 2012 – Countries that were part of the Maya civilization celebrated the end-date of a 5,126-year-long cycle in the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar.
- 856 – An earthquake with an estimated magnitude of 7.9 struck the eastern Alborz mountains of Persia, causing 200,000 deaths.
- 1769 – Having been soundly defeated in battle, the Qing dynasty agreed to terms of truce, ending the Sino-Burmese War.
- 1937 – The Lincoln Tunnel (pictured), connecting New York City to Weehawken, New Jersey, opened.
- 1987 – The Zimbabwe African National Union and Zimbabwe African People's Union agreed to merge, bringing an end to the Gukurahundi, the suppression of predominantly Ndebele civilians by the 5th Brigade.
- 1997 – Hussein Farrah Aidid relinquished the disputed title of President of Somalia.
- 1793 – French Revolution: The Royalist counterrevolutionary army was decisively defeated in the Battle of Savenay, although fighting continued in the War in the Vendée for years afterward.
- 1888 – During a bout of mental illness, Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh stalked his friend French painter Paul Gauguin with a razor, and then afterwards cut off the lower part of his own left ear and gave it to a prostitute.
- 1919 – The Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919 was enacted, lifting most of the existing common-law restrictions on women in the United Kingdom.
- 1957 – Ian Craig of Australia became the youngest Test cricket captain in history.
- 2010 – A monsoonal trough brought torrential rain to Queensland, causing massive flooding (pictured) that killed 38 people and caused A$2.38 billion in damage.
- 1818 – "Silent Night", a Christmas carol by Josef Mohr and Franz Gruber, was first performed in a church in Austria.
- 1846 – The Sultanate of Brunei ceded the island of Labuan to Great Britain as a colony.
- 1914 – British and German soldiers interrupted World War I to celebrate Christmas, beginning the Christmas truce (pictured).
- 1964 – The Viet Cong bombed the Brinks Hotel in Saigon, killing two U.S. Army officers, raising fears of an escalation in the Vietnam War.
- 1973 – The United States Congress granted Washington, D.C. home rule, allowing the residents to elect their own mayor and city council.
- 36 – The empire of Chengjia was conquered by the Eastern Han dynasty after the death of its emperor Gongsun Shu.
- 1100 – Baldwin of Boulogne was crowned as Baldwin I of Jerusalem (pictured), the first King of Jerusalem in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.
- 1831 – A Baptist preacher named Samuel Sharpe began an unsuccessful eleven-day slave revolt in Jamaica.
- 1927 – The Việt Nam Quốc Dân Đảng, a revolutionary socialist political party that sought Vietnamese independence from French colonial rule, was formed in Hanoi.
- 1989 – Romanian Revolution: Dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu and his wife Elena were condemned to death under a wide range of charges and executed.
- 2007 – A tiger at the San Francisco Zoo escaped from its enclosure and attacked three patrons before it was shot and killed.
- 1606 – The first known performance of the play King Lear, a tragedy by William Shakespeare based on the legendary King Lear of the Britons, was held.
- 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) of Scotland and discovered that the previous crew had disappeared without a trace.
- 1919 – American baseball player Babe Ruth was sold by the Boston Red Sox to their rivals, the New York Yankees, starting the 84-year-long "Curse of the Bambino".
- 1996 – The Federation of Korean Trade Unions called upon its 1.2 million members to walk off the job, beginning the largest organized strike in South Korea's history.
- 1521 – Three men of the Radical Reformation arrived in Wittenberg, Saxony, and caused an unrest that required the release of Martin Luther from custody to quell.
- 1831 – Aboard HMS Beagle, Charles Darwin (pictured) left Plymouth, England, on what became a historic expedition to South America that made his name as a naturalist.
- 1922 – The Imperial Japanese Navy commissioned Hōshō, the world's first purpose-built aircraft carrier.
- 1997 – Loyalist Volunteer Force leader Billy Wright was assassinated in the HM Prison Maze by members of the Irish National Liberation Army.
- 2007 – Riots erupted in Mombasa, Kenya, after Mwai Kibaki was declared the winner of the presidential election—the first event in a political, economic, and humanitarian crisis.
- 484 – Alaric II succeeded his father Euric as king of the Visigoths.
- 1612 – Galileo became the first person to observe the planet Neptune (pictured), although he mistakenly catalogued it as a fixed star.
- 1895 – History of film: Using their cinematograph in Paris, the Lumière brothers showed motion pictures to a paying audience for the first time.
- 1943 – World War II: After eight days of brutal house-to-house fighting, the 1st Canadian Infantry Division captured Ortona, Italy.
- 2014 – The passenger ferry Norman Atlantic caught fire in the Adriatic Sea, resulting in nine deaths, with a further 19 missing.
- 1845 – The Republic of Texas was annexed by the United States, becoming the 28th state admitted into the union.
- 1860 – To counter the French Navy's Gloire, the world's first ironclad warship, the British Royal Navy launched the world's first iron-hulled armoured warship, HMS Warrior.
- 1911 – Sun Yat-sen (pictured) was elected in Nanjing as the Provisional President of the Republic of China.
- 1975 – A bomb set by unknown perpetrators at LaGuardia Airport in New York City exploded, killing 11 people and seriously injuring 74 others.
- 1997 – In order to prevent the spread of the H5N1 flu virus, the Hong Kong government began the slaughter of 1.3 million chickens.
- 1460 – Wars of the Roses: Richard, Duke of York (pictured), was killed in the Battle of Wakefield in West Yorkshire, England, and his army was destroyed.
- 1813 – War of 1812: British forces captured Buffalo, New York, and engaged in considerable plundering and destruction.
- 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.
- 1958 – The Guatemalan Air Force fired upon Mexican fishing boats which had strayed into Guatemalan territory, causing conflict between the two nations.
- 2009 – Pro-government counter-demonstrators held rallies in several Iranian cities in response to recent anti-government protests held on the holy day of Ashura.
- 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 selected Ottawa, then a small logging town, to be the capital of the British colony of Canada.
- 1963 – Despite Prime Minister Roy Welensky's efforts, the Central African Federation officially collapsed, subsequently becoming three separate nations: Zambia, Malawi and Rhodesia.
- 1986 – Three disgruntled employees set fire to the Dupont Plaza Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico, killing more than 90 people and injuring 140 others (rescue efforts depicted), making it the second deadliest hotel fire in United States history.
- 1999 – Panama took control of the Panama Canal Zone from the United States, in accordance with the 1977 Torrijos–Carter Treaties.