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|<<||Selected anniversaries for December||>>|
|An archive of historical anniversaries that appeared on the Main Page|
2019 day arrangement
- 1828 – Returning to Buenos Aires with troops who fought in the Cisplatine War, Juan Lavalle (pictured) deposed provincial governor Manuel Dorrego, reigniting the Argentine Civil Wars.
- 1923 – The Gleno Dam in the Italian province of Bergamo failed due to poor workmanship, flooding the downstream valley and killing at least 356 people.
- 1959 – Twelve countries signed the Antarctic Treaty, the first arms control agreement established during the Cold War, banning military activity in the Antarctic and setting the continent aside as a scientific preserve.
- 1966 – The first Gävle goat, a Swedish Yule goat tradition, was constructed in Gävle and then burned to the ground on New Year's Eve.
- 1991 – More than 92 percent of Ukrainian voters approved their country's independence as declared on 24 August.
- 1823 – U.S. president James Monroe issued the Monroe Doctrine, a proclamation of opposition to European colonialism in the New World.
- 1852 – Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte (pictured) established the Second French Empire, declaring himself Emperor of the French as Napoleon III.
- 1950 – Korean War: With the conclusion of the Battle of the Ch'ongch'on River, the Chinese army expelled UN forces from North Korea.
- 1989 – The Malayan Communist Party and the Malaysian government signed a peace accord to end the 21-year Communist insurgency.
- 2001 – Less than two months after disclosing accounting violations, Texas-based energy firm Enron filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, evaporating nearly $11 billion in shareholder wealth.
- 1904 – Himalia, the largest irregular satellite of Jupiter, was discovered by Charles Dillon Perrine at the Lick Observatory near San Jose, California.
- 1910 – Freda Du Faur (pictured) became the first woman to climb Mount Cook, the highest peak in New Zealand.
- 1959 – The current flag of Singapore was adopted, six months after the island became self-governing within the British Empire.
- 1979 – As per the results of a two-day referendum, the current Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran was adopted.
- 2009 – A suicide bombing in Mogadishu, Somalia, killed 25 people, including three ministers of the Transitional Federal Government.
- 1829 – Sati, the Hindu funeral custom of a widow's self-immolation on her husband's pyre, was prohibited in parts of British India after years of campaigning by Ram Mohan Roy.
- 1872 – The American brigantine Mary Celeste (painting shown) was found apparently abandoned under circumstances that remain unknown.
- 1949 – Duncan Stewart, the British governor of Sarawak, was fatally stabbed in Sibu during his first visit to the colony.
- 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 U.S.
- 1484 – Pope Innocent VIII (portrait shown) issued the papal bull Summis desiderantes affectibus, giving Dominican inquisitor Heinrich Kramer explicit authority to prosecute witchcraft in Germany.
- 1757 – Seven Years' War: Prussian troops under Frederick the Great defeated Austrian forces at the Battle of Leuthen.
- 1945 – Flight 19, a squadron of five U.S. naval TBF Avenger torpedo bombers, disappeared in the area now known as the Bermuda Triangle.
- 1965 – The "glasnost meeting" took place in Moscow, becoming the first demonstration in the Soviet Union after World War II and marking the beginning of the civil rights movement in the country.
- 2005 – The Civil Partnership Act came into force, granting civil partnerships in the United Kingdom rights and responsibilities identical to civil marriage.
- 1060 – Béla I was crowned King of Hungary in Székesfehérvár.
- 1847 – Mexican–American War: American and Mexican forces clashed at the Battle of San Pasqual, a series of skirmishes near San Diego, California.
- 1912 – The Nefertiti Bust (pictured), listed among the "Top 10 Plundered Artifacts" by Time magazine, was found in Amarna, Egypt, before being taken to Germany.
- 1989 – Claiming to be "fighting feminism", 25-year-old Marc Lépine killed fourteen women before committing suicide at the École Polytechnique in Montreal, Canada.
- 1999 – The Recording Industry Association of America filed a lawsuit against the peer-to-peer file sharing network Napster, alleging that the service facilitated widespread copyright infringement.
- 574 – Suffering from mental illness, Roman emperor Justin II had his general Tiberius proclaimed Caesar, adopting him as his own son.
- 1869 – American outlaw Jesse James committed his first confirmed bank robbery in Gallatin, Missouri.
- 1942 – Second World War: A small unit of Royal Marines launched Operation Frankton, in which they damaged six ships in the port of Bordeaux in German-occupied France.
- 1975 – The Indonesian military invaded East Timor under the pretext of anti-colonialism, beginning a 25-year occupation.
- 2015 – The JAXA space probe Akatsuki (artist's concept shown) entered into orbit around Venus to study the planet's atmosphere, five years after its first attempt failed.
- 1813 – Beethoven's Symphony No. 7 (audio featured) premiered in Vienna, conducted by the composer himself.
- 1854 – In his apostolic constitution Ineffabilis Deus, Pope Pius IX proclaimed the dogmatic definition of the Immaculate Conception, which holds that the Virgin Mary was conceived free of original sin.
- 1941 – The Holocaust: The Chełmno extermination camp in occupied Poland, the first such Nazi camp to kill Jews, began operating.
- 1972 – During an aborted landing and go-around while approaching Chicago's Midway International Airport, United Airlines Flight 553 crashed into a residential neighborhood, destroying five houses and killing forty-five people.
- 2009 – Bombings in Baghdad carried out by the Islamic State of Iraq killed at least 127 people and injured at least 448 others.
- 1775 – American Revolutionary War: After their loss in the Battle of Great Bridge, British authorities were forced to evacuate from the Colony of Virginia.
- 1905 – Legislation establishing state secularism in France was passed by the Chamber of Deputies of France, triggering civil disobedience by French Catholics.
- 1969 – U.S. Secretary of State William P. Rogers proposed his plan for a ceasefire in the War of Attrition; Egypt's and Jordan's acceptance of it over PLO objections led to civil war in Jordan in September 1970.
- 1979 – A World Health Organization commission of scientists certified the global eradication of smallpox (patient pictured), making it the only human infectious disease to date to have been completely eradicated from nature.
- 2016 – President of South Korea Park Geun-hye was impeached as the culmination of a corruption scandal.
- 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, killing 361 people.
- 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 – Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek (pictured) 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 led a successful surprise attack on a winter garrison of Royalist infantry and cavalry.
- 1862 – American Civil War: Union forces under Ambrose Burnside suffered severe casualties against entrenched Confederate defenders at the Battle of Fredericksburg in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
- 1928 – The premiere of An American in Paris, a jazz-influenced orchestral piece by George Gershwin (pictured), took place at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
- 1960 – With Haile Selassie, the Emperor of Ethiopia, out of the country, four conspirators staged a coup attempt and installed Crown Prince Asfaw Wossen as the new Emperor.
- 2001 – The Parliament of India was attacked by five gunmen, resulting in 14 deaths, including those of the perpetrators.
- 557 – A large earthquake severely damaged the city of Constantinople.
- 835 – In the Sweet Dew incident, Emperor Wenzong of the Tang dynasty conspired to kill the powerful eunuchs of the Tang court, but the plot was foiled.
- 1918 – In the 1918 United Kingdom general election women over thirty were permitted to vote, making it the first British election with female voters.
- 1948 – American physicists Thomas T. Goldsmith Jr. and Estle Ray Mann were awarded a patent for their cathode-ray tube amusement device, the first interactive electronic game.
- 2008 – During a press conference in Baghdad, Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi threw his shoes at U.S. President George W. Bush and Iraqi President Nouri al-Maliki (pictured), yelling that "this is for the widows and orphans and all those killed in Iraq".
- 687 – Sergius was elected pope, ending the last disputed period of sede vacante during the Byzantine Papacy.
- 1791 – The first ten amendments to the United States Constitution, collectively known as the Bill of Rights, were ratified.
- 1943 – World War II: American and Australian forces began the Battle of Arawe as a diversion before a larger landing at Cape Gloucester on New Britain.
- 1970 – The Soviet spacecraft Venera 7 (descent vehicle pictured) touched down on the surface of Venus, becoming the first spacecraft to land on another planet.
- 2013 – The South Sudanese Civil War began when three opposition leaders voted to boycott the meeting of the National Liberation Council in Juba.
- 1653 – Oliver Cromwell became Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England.
- 1893 – Czech composer Antonín Dvořák's New World Symphony (audio featured) premiered at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
- 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.
- 1938 – Adolf Hitler instituted the Cross of Honour of the German Mother as an order of merit for German mothers.
- 2014 – A hostage crisis in a Lindt chocolate café in Sydney, Australia, came to an end when police stormed the building, killing the perpetrator, but also one of the hostages.
- 942 – William Longsword of Normandy was ambushed and assassinated by supporters of Arnulf I, Count of Flanders, while the two were at a peace conference to settle their differences.
- 1862 – American Civil War: Union General Ulysses S. Grant issued General Order No. 11, expelling Jews from Tennessee, Mississippi, and Kentucky.
- 1918 – About 1,000 demonstrators marched (pictured) on Government House in Darwin, Australia, where they burnt an effigy of Administrator John Gilruth and demanded his resignation.
- 1948 – The Finnish Security Police was established to remove communist leadership from its predecessor, the State Police.
- 1970 – Soldiers fired at workers emerging from trains in Gdynia, Poland, beginning the government's brutal crackdown on mass anti-communist protests across the country.
- 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).
- 1916 – The French defeated German forces around the city of Verdun-sur-Meuse in northeast France, ending the longest and one of the bloodiest battles in the First World War.
- 1969 - On Her Majesty's Secret Service (cinema poster pictured), the sixth James Bond film and the only one to star George Lazenby as James Bond, premiered at the Odeon Leicester Square in London.
- 2010 – The Tunisian Revolution began with what was initially a series of protests, but then evolved into nationwide demonstrations that eventually toppled the regime of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali after more than 23 years of rule.
- 1154 – Henry II was crowned King of England in London's Westminster Abbey.
- 1828 – Nullification Crisis: Vice President of the United States John C. Calhoun wrote the South Carolina Exposition and Protest to protest the Tariff of 1828.
- 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 ruling junta of South Vietnam, led by Nguyễn Khánh, initiated a coup, dissolving the High National Council, a civilian advisory body.
- 2016 – Andrei Karlov, Russia's ambassador to Turkey, was assassinated at an art gallery in Ankara.
- 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.
- 1955 – Cardiff (City Hall pictured) was recognised as the capital of Wales.
- 1968 – The first two confirmed murders by the Zodiac Killer occurred in Benicia, California, in a case which remains unsolved.
- 1988 – The United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances governing international cooperation against the illegal drug trade was signed in Vienna.
- 1971 – The intergovernmental organization Doctors Without Borders is founded by Bernard Kouchner and a group of journalists in Paris, France.
- 2007 – Pablo Picasso's Portrait of Suzanne Bloch was stolen from the São Paulo Museum of Art and recovered about three weeks later.
- 1620 – The Mayflower Pilgrims landed at what is now Plymouth, Massachusetts, establishing the Plymouth Colony.
- 1872 – HMS Challenger sailed from Portsmouth, England on a scientific expedition that ended up laying the foundation of oceanography.
- 1968 – Apollo 8 (crew pictured) 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.
- 1994 – Mexico's Popocatépetl volcano, dormant for 47 years, began erupting, and is now one of the nation's most active volcanoes.
- 401 – The papacy of Innocent I began.
- 1807 – In an effort to avoid engaging in the Napoleonic Wars, the United States Congress passed the Embargo Act, forbidding American ships from engaging in trade with foreign nations.
- 1968 – Cultural Revolution: The People's Daily published a piece by Mao Zedong directing that "the intellectual youth must go to the country, and will be educated from living in rural poverty."
- 1988 – Brazilian unionist and environmental activist Chico Mendes (pictured) was murdered at his Xapuri home.
- 2008 – A dike ruptured at a waste containment area in Roane County, Tennessee, U.S., releasing 1.1 billion US gallons (4,200,000 m3) of coal fly ash slurry into local waterways.
- 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.
- 1938 – The first living specimen of a coelacanth (example pictured), long believed to be extinct, was discovered in a South African fisherman's catch.
- 1958 – The Tokyo Tower, then the world's tallest freestanding structure at 332.5 metres (1,091 ft), opened.
- 2008 – The Guinean military engineered a coup d'état, and announced that it planned to rule the country for two years prior to a new presidential election.
- 759 – 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.
- 1818 – "Silent Night", a Christmas carol by Josef Mohr and Franz Gruber, was first performed in a church in Austria.
- 1913 – Seventy-three people were crushed to death in a stampede after someone falsely yelled "fire" at a crowded Christmas party in Calumet, Michigan, U.S.
- 1979 – Soviet government deployed troops in Afghanistan, starting Soviet–Afghan War.
- 2008 – The Lord's Resistance Army, a Ugandan rebel group, began attacks on several villages in Haut-Uele District, Democratic Republic of the Congo, resulting in at least 400 deaths and numerous atrocities.
- 1758 – Based on predictions by Edmond Halley in 1705, Johann Georg Palitzsch observed a comet that was later named Halley's Comet.
- 1815 – The Handel and Haydn Society, the oldest continuously performing arts organization in the United States, made its debut at King's Chapel in Boston.
- 1941 – Second World War: The Japanese occupation of Hong Kong began when Mark Aitchison Young, the Governor of Hong Kong, surrendered the territory to Japan after 18 days of fierce fighting.
- 1968 – In Tamil Nadu, India, families of striking Dalit workers were massacred by a gang, allegedly led by their landlords.
- 2009 – Fire destroyed Longford's 19th-century St Mel's Cathedral (pictured), considered the "flagship cathedral" of the Irish midlands.
- 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.
- 1811 – Seventy-two people died when a theater in Richmond, Virginia, U.S., was destroyed by fire—the worst urban disaster in American history at the time.
- 1871 – Thespis, the first comic opera by Gilbert and Sullivan, made its debut at the Gaiety Theatre, London, UK.
- 1898 – At the French Academy of Sciences, physicists Pierre and Marie Curie (both pictured) announced the discovery of a new element, naming it radium.
- 1996 – Six-year-old American beauty queen JonBenét Ramsey was found beaten and strangled in the basement of her family's home in Boulder, Colorado, a murder that generated extensive coverage from the American media.
- 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.
- 1831 – Charles Darwin left Plymouth, England, aboard HMS Beagle on the expedition to South America that would make his name as a naturalist.
- 1932 – New York City's Radio City Music Hall (pictured) opened with the world's largest auditorium at the time.
- 1985 – The body of murdered American primatologist Dian Fossey was discovered inside her cabin in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda.
- 2008 – Citing rocket attacks from Palestinian armed groups, Israel launched a surprise attack against the Gaza Strip, opening the three-week Gaza War.
- 1065 – Westminster Abbey (pictured) in London, built by Edward the Confessor between 1045 and 1050, was consecrated.
- 1768 – Taksin the Great was crowned king of the newly established Thonburi Kingdom in the new capital at Thonburi, present-day Thailand.
- 1918 – Irishwoman Constance Markievicz became the first female Member of Parliament elected to the House of Commons of the United Kingdom, although she never served.
- 1943 – World War II: After eight days of brutal house-to-house fighting, the 1st Canadian Infantry Division captured Ortona, Italy.
- 2006 – Somali Civil War: Troops of Somalia's Transitional Federal Government and their Ethiopian allies captured Mogadishu unopposed.
- 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.
- 1876 – A railway bridge over the Ashtabula River in Ohio collapsed when a Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway train was crossing over it, killing 92 people and injuring 64 others.
- 1911 – Sun Yat-sen (pictured) was elected in Nanjing as the Provisional President of the Republic of China.
- 1959 – Physicist Richard Feynman gave a speech entitled "There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom", anticipating the field of nanotechnology.
- 1997 – In order to prevent the spread of the H5N1 flu virus, the Hong Kong government began the slaughter of 1.3 million chickens.
- 999 – In Ireland, the combined forces of Munster and Meath crushed a rebellion by Leinster and Dublin.
- 1853 – The United States purchased approximately 29,700 square miles (77,000 km2) of land south of the Gila River and west of the Rio Grande (map pictured) from Mexico for $10 million.
- 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 a conflict between the two nations.
- 2013 – Supporters of religious leader Paul-Joseph Mukungubila attacked television studios, the airport and a military base in Kinshasa, DR Congo.
- 1225 – Lý Chiêu Hoàng, the only empress regnant in the history of Vietnam, married Trần Thái Tông, making him the first emperor of the Trần dynasty at age seven.
- 1862 – American Civil War: The Battle of Stones River in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, began in an engagement where both sides would suffer their highest casualty rates of the war.
- 1965 – Jean-Bédel Bokassa, leader of the Central African Republic army, and his military officers began a coup d'état against the government of President David Dacko.
- 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.
- 1998 – The European Exchange Rate Mechanism froze the values of the legacy currencies in the Eurozone and established the value of the euro currency.