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1170 - Thomas Becket is slain in his own cathedral by knights eager to please Henry II of England.

1813 - War of 1812: British soldiers burn Buffalo, New York.

1835 - The Treaty of New Echota is signed, ceding all the lands of the Cherokee east of the Mississippi River to the United States.

1845 - Texas is admitted as the 28th U.S. state. (Republic of Texas and United States agree to annexation of Texas.)

1851 - The first American-based YMCA opens in Boston, Massachusetts.

1860 - The first British seagoing iron-clad warship, the HMS Warrior is launched.

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

1876 - The Ashtabula River Railroad bridge disaster, 64 injured, 92 dead at Ashtabula, Ohio.

1890 - Wounded Knee Massacre: The United States soldiers massacre over 400 men, women and children of the Great Sioux Nation at Wounded Knee, South Dakota.

1891 - Thomas Edison patents the radio.

1911 - Sun Yat-sen becomes the first President of the Republic of China.

1913 - Seligs Polyscope Company releases The Unwelcome Throne, the first serial motion picture.

1921 - William Lyon Mackenzie King becomes Prime Minister of Canada.


1934 - The first college basketball game at New York City's Madison Square Garden is played between the University of Notre Dame and New York University.

1934 - Japan renounces the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922 and the London Naval Treaty of 1930.

1937 - The Irish Free State is replaced by a new state called Ireland with the adoption of a new constitution.

1940 - World War II: In The Second Great Fire of London, the Luftwaffe firebombs City of London, killing almost 200 civilians.

1949 - KC2XAK of Bridgeport, Connecticut becomes the first Ultra high frequency (UHF) television station to operate a daily schedule.

1963 - 22 people perish in the Hotel Roosevelt fire, the worst fire to occur in Jacksonville, Florida since the Great Fire of 1901.

1972 - An Eastern Air Lines Lockheed "Tristar" crashed on approach to Miami International Airport, Florida, killing 101.

1975 - A bomb explodes at New York City's LaGuardia Airport killing 11.

1979 - Closing 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

1987 - Yuri Romanenko of USSR returns to Earth after 326 days in space.

1989 - Václav Havel becomes President of Czechoslovakia.

1989 - Riots break-out after Hong Kong decides to forcibly repatriate Vietnamese refugees.

1989 - On the final day of trading for the year and decade, the Japanese Nikkei 225 Average closes at an all-time high of 38,915.87.


1992 - Fernando Collor de Mello, president of Brazil, tried to resign among corruption charges, but ended up being impeached.

1993 - Construction of the Tian Tan Buddha, the world's tallest outdoor bronze statue of the seated Buddha, is completed.

1996 - Guatemala and leaders of Guatemalan National Revolutionary Union sign a peace accord ending a 36-year civil war.

1997 - Hong Kong begins to kill all the nation's chickens (1.25 million) to stop the spread of a potentially deadly influenza strain.

1998 - Leaders of the Khmer Rouge apologize for the 1970s genocide in Cambodia that claimed over 1 million.

2001 - A massive fire in the historic district of downtown Lima, Peru kills at least 274 people.

2002 - Cincinnati's Riverfront Stadium/Cinergy Field is demolished.


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