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1481 - Battle of Westbroek - Holland defeats troops of Utrecht.

1620 - Elizabeth Báthory's crimes are uncovered.

1620 - Pilgrim Fathers land at what becomes New Plymouth in Massachusetts.

1776 - American Revolutionary War: The British are defeated in the Battle of Trenton.

1790 - Louis XVI of France gives his public assent to Civil Constitution of the Clergy during the French Revolution.

1792 - The final trial of Louis XVI of France begins in Paris.

1793 - Battle of Geisberg: French defeat Austrians.

1793 - The wedding of Prince Friedrich Ludwig of Prussia and Frederica of Mecklenburg-Strelitz takes place.

1825 - Several Imperial Russia army officers lead circa 3000 soldiers on the Senate Square in the failed Decembrist uprising.

1825 - The Erie Canal opens.

1848 - The Phi Delta Theta fraternity is founded.

1861 - American Civil War: Confederate diplomatic envoys James M. Mason and John Slidell are freed by the United States government, thus heading off a possible war between the United States and Britain.

1862 - American Civil War: The Battle of Chickasaw Bayou begins.


1870 - The 12.8-km long Fréjus Rail Tunnel through the Alps is completed.

1898 - Marie and Pierre Curie announce the isolation of radium.

1908 - Jack Johnson becomes the first African American heavyweight boxing champion by defeating Tommy Burns in Sydney, Australia.

1916 - Joseph Joffre is made Marshal of France.

1925 - The Communist Party of India is founded.

1925 - Turkey adopts the Gregorian Calendar.

1931 - Phi Iota Alpha, the oldest existing Latino fraternity is founded.

1933 - The Nissan Motor Company is organized in Tokyo, Japan.

1933 - FM radio is patented.

1943 - World War II: The German warship Scharnhorst sinks off the coast of North Cape in Norway after being attacked by the British Royal Navy late the previous evening.

1944 - The play The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams is first publicly performed.

1944 - World War II: U.S. troops repulse German forces at Bastogne.

1945 - CFP franc and CFA franc are created.


1946 - The Flamingo Hotel opens in Las Vegas.

1947 - Twenty-six inches of snow falls in 16 hours in New York City.

1948 - Cardinal Mindszenty is arrested in Hungary and accused of treason and conspiracy.

1966 - The first Kwanzaa is celebrated by Maulana Karenga, the chair of Black Studies at California State University, Long Beach.

1973 - Comet Kohoutek reaches perihelion but is not such a display as expected.

1973 - Soyuz 13 lands on earth after a week in orbit.

1974 - Salyut 4 is launched.

1975 - The Tupolev Tu-144 goes into service in Soviet Union.

1976 - The Communist Party of Nepal (Marxist-Leninist) is founded.

1979 - Soviet Special forces troops take over presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan.

1979 - Opening night of the Concerts for the People of Kampuchea at the Hammersmith Odeon; a benefit concert for the citizens of Cambodia who were victims of dictator Pol Pot

1980 - Aeroflot puts the Ilyushin Il-86 into service.

1982 - TIME magazine's Man of the Year was for the first time given to a non-human, the personal computer.

1984 - Princess Astrid of Belgium marries Archduke Lorenz of Austria-Este.

1986 - The first long-running American television soap opera, Search for Tomorrow, airs its final episode after thirty-five years on the air.

1988 - The Nanjing Anti-African protests in Nanjing, China begin.

1991 - Supreme Soviet meets and formally dissolves the USSR.

1991 - Mount Pinatubo erupts.

1996 - JonBenét Ramsey, a six-year-old beauty queen, is found murdered in her family's basement in Boulder, Colorado.

1996 - The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification goes into force.

1998 - Iraq announced its intention to fire upon U.S. and British warplanes that patrol the northern and southern no-fly zones.

1998 - Severe gales over Ireland, northern England, and southern Scotland cause widespread disruption and widespread power outages in Northern Ireland and southern Scotland.

1999 - Severe weather in France kills over 100 people and causes extensive damage to property and trees and the French national power grid (see Lothar).

2002 - French Raelian scientist Brigitte Boisselier says Clonaid has delivered the first of a supposed five clone babies through cesarean section.

2003 - A major earthquake devastates southeast Iranian city of Bam, killing tens of thousands and destroying the citadel of Arg-é Bam.

2004 - An earthquake measuring 9.0 on the Richter magnitude scale creates a tsunami causing devastation in Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, The Maldives and many other areas around the rim of the Indian Ocean, killing more than 300,000.


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