|<<||Selected anniversaries for December||>>|
|An archive of historical anniversaries that appeared on the Main Page
2017 day arrangement
- 1577 – Elizabeth I of England's principal secretary and spymaster Francis Walsingham was knighted.
- 1822 – Pedro I was formally crowned the first Emperor of Brazil, seven weeks after his reign began on his 24th birthday.
- 1955 – In a key event in the African-American 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.
- 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.
- 1991 – Over 92% of Ukrainian voters approved their country's independence as declared by the Ukrainian parliament on 24 August.
- 1804 – The coronation of Napoleon (pictured) as Emperor of the French was held at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris.
- 1823 – U.S. President James Monroe issued the Monroe Doctrine, a proclamation of opposition to European colonialism in the New World.
- 1950 – Korean War: With the conclusion of the Battle of the Ch'ongch'on River, the Chinese People's Volunteer Army expelled UN forces out of North Korea.
- 1988 – Benazir Bhutto took office as the Prime Minister of Pakistan, becoming the first woman to head the government of a Muslim-majority state.
- 2015 – In San Bernardino, California, a married couple carried out a mass shooting at a Christmas party before fleeing and dying in a shootout with police.
- 1800 – War of the Second Coalition: French forces defeated the Austrians and Bavarians in Hohenlinden, near Munich, forcing the Austrians to sign an armistice.
- 1904 – Himalia, the largest irregular satellite of Jupiter, was discovered by astronomer Charles Dillon Perrine at the Lick Observatory in San Jose, 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.
- 1992 – During extreme weather conditions, the oil tanker Aegean Sea ran aground off the coast of Galicia, Spain, spilling 67,000 tonnes of light crude oil.
- 1639 – English astronomer Jeremiah Horrocks (pictured) made the first successful prediction and observation of a transit of Venus.
- 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 first Grey Cup, the championship game of the Canadian Football League, was held.
- 1971 – The Troubles: The Ulster Volunteer Force, an Ulster loyalist paramilitary group, exploded a bomb at a Catholic-owned pub in Belfast, Northern Ireland, killing 15 people.
- 1992 – U.S. President George H. W. Bush ordered American troops into Somalia to help provide humanitarian aid and restore order during the ongoing Somali Civil War.
- 1757 – Seven Years' War: Prussian forces under Frederick the Great defeated Austrian forces under Prince Charles Alexander of Lorraine at the Battle of Leuthen.
- 1876 – Fire engulfed the Brooklyn Theatre (damage pictured) in Brooklyn, New York, killing at least 278 people, mostly due to smoke inhalation.
- 1958 – Britain's first motorway, the Preston By-pass, opened to the public.
- 1972 – Gough Whitlam took office as the 21st Prime Minister of Australia and formed a duumvirate with his deputy Lance Barnard, ending 23 years of Liberal-Country Party government.
- 2007 – A nineteen-year-old gunman went on a shooting spree at a shopping mall in Omaha, Nebraska, U.S., killing nine people, including himself.
- 1060 – Béla I the Champion was crowned King of Hungary.
- 1917 – World War I: USS Jacob Jones became the first American destroyer to be sunk by enemy action when it was torpedoed by German submarine SM U-53.
- 1941 – The British Secret Intelligence Service established a facility known as "Camp X" in Ontario, Canada, to train covert agents in clandestine operations.
- 1957 – The first U.S. attempt to launch a satellite failed with an explosion (pictured) on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral.
- 1992 – The Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, India, was destroyed by Hindu Kar Sevaks, who believed that it was built on the birthplace of Rama.
- 1904 – Comparative trials began between HMS Spiteful (pictured), the first warship powered solely by fuel oil, and a similar Royal Navy ship burning coal.
- 1941 – World War II: The Imperial Japanese Navy made a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, intending to neutralize the United States Pacific Fleet from influencing the war Japan was planning to wage in Southeast Asia.
- 1975 – The Indonesian military invaded East Timor under the pretext of anti-colonialism and began a 25-year occupation.
- 1987 – A former airline employee on Pacific Southwest Airlines Flight 1771 shot his former boss and the pilots and deliberately crashed the plane near Cayucos, California, leaving no survivors.
- 2007 – A crane barge that had broken free from a tugboat crashed into an oil tanker near Daesan, South Korea, causing the country's worst-ever oil spill.
- 1432 – The first battle of the Lithuanian Civil War between the forces of Švitrigaila and of Sigismund Kęstutaitis was fought near what is now the town of Ashmyany.
- 1813 – Beethoven's Symphony No. 7 (audio featured) premiered in Vienna, conducted by the composer himself.
- 1971 – Indo-Pakistani War: Following their successful attack three days earlier, a small Indian Navy strike force attacked the Port of Karachi again and created a de facto blockade.
- 1987 – A man shot and killed eight people at the Australia Post building in Melbourne, before jumping to his death.
- 2009 – Bombings carried out by the Islamic State of Iraq in Baghdad, Iraq, killed at least 127 people and injured 448.
- 1775 – American Revolutionary War: After their loss in the Battle of Great Bridge, British authorities were forced to evacuate from the Colony of Virginia.
- 1897 – French actress, journalist and leading suffragette Marguerite Durand founded the feminist newspaper La Fronde.
- 1917 – First World War: Hussein al-Husayni, the Ottoman mayor of Jerusalem, surrendered (pictured) the city to the British.
- 1931 – The approval of the Spanish Constitution by the Constituent Cortes paved the way to the establishment of the Second Spanish Republic.
- 1979 – A World Health Organization commission of scientists certified the global eradication of smallpox, making it the only human infectious disease to date to have been completely eradicated from nature.
- 1508 – The Papal States, France, Aragon and the Holy Roman Empire formed the League of Cambrai, an alliance against the Republic of Venice.
- 1861 – Forces led by Nguyễn Trung Trực, an anti-colonial guerrilla leader in southern Vietnam, sank the French lorcha L'Esperance.
- 1909 – Swedish author Selma Lagerlöf (pictured) became the first woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.
- 1979 – The Kuomintang (KMT) dictatorship of Taiwan arrested a large number of opposition leaders who had organized pro-democracy demonstrations, an incident credited with ending the KMT's rule in 2000.
- 1989 – At the first open pro-democracy demonstration in Mongolia, journalist Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj announced the formation of the Mongolian Democratic Union, which would be instrumental in ending Communist rule four months later.
- 1789 – The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (The Old Well pictured), one of the oldest public universities in the United States and the only one to award degrees in the 18th century, received its charter.
- 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.
- 1962 – Convicted murderers Ronald Turpin and Arthur Lucas were the last two persons to be executed in Canada.
- 1981 – Salvadoran Civil War: About 900 civilians were killed by the Salvadoran armed forces in an anti-guerrilla campaign.
- 1866 – England's worst mining disaster occurred when a series of explosions caused by flammable gases ripped through the Oaks Colliery.
- 1911 – The final Delhi Durbar, a mass assembly at Coronation Park to mark the succession of an Emperor or Empress of India, took place.
- 1942 – World War II: German troops began Operation Winter Storm, an attempt to relieve encircled Axis forces during the Battle of Stalingrad.
- 1964 – Jomo Kenyatta (pictured) became the first President of the Republic of Kenya.
- 2000 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Bush v. Gore that the election recount of the ballots cast in Florida for the presidential election must stop, effectively making George W. Bush the winner.
- 1643 – First English Civil War: Parliamentary 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 present-day 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 Nanjing 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.
- 2011 – After killing a woman at his home, a man threw grenades and fired an automatic rifle at crowds in the Place Saint-Lambert, Liège, Belgium, killing five people and injuring 125 others, before committing suicide.
- 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.
- 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".
- 1911 – Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen and his team became the first people to reach the South Pole (pictured).
- 1960 – Australian cricketer Ian Meckiff was run out on the last day of the first Test between Australia and the West Indies, causing the first tied Test in the history of cricket.
- 2008 – During a press conference in Baghdad, Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi threw his shoes at U.S. President George W. Bush, yelling that "this is for the widows and orphans and all those killed in Iraq".
- 1161 – Emperor Hailing (bust pictured) of the Jin dynasty was assassinated in a military camp near the Yangtze River front following Jin losses in the Battle of Caishi.
- 1791 – The first ten amendments to the United States Constitution, collectively known as the Bill of Rights, were ratified.
- 1906 – The Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway, a 14.17-kilometre (8.80 mi) long deep-level underground tube railway connecting Hammersmith and Finsbury Park, London, opened.
- 1946 – US-backed Iranian troops brought an end to the Iran crisis when they marched upon the breakaway Republic of Mahabad and recaptured the territory.
- 1961 – Former Nazi leader Adolf Eichmann was sentenced to death after being found guilty on fifteen criminal charges, including war crimes and crimes against humanity.
- 1761 – Seven Years' War: Russian forces captured Kolberg, Prussia's last port on the Baltic coast, after a four-month siege.
- 1811 – The first two in a series of four severe earthquakes struck the Midwestern United States and made the Mississippi River appear to run backward.
- 1893 – Czech composer Antonín Dvořák's New World Symphony (audio featured) premiered at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
- 1930 – Herman Lamm, "the father of modern bank robbery", killed himself during a botched robbery attempt in Clinton, Indiana, US, rather than be captured by police.
- 1938 – Adolf Hitler instituted the Cross of Honour of the German Mother as an order of merit for Imperial German women.
- 1986 – Dinmukhamed Konayev was dismissed from the post of First Secretary of the Communist Party of Kazakhstan, sparking riots throughout the country.
- 2014 – Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan militants attacked an Army Public School in Peshawar, Pakistan, killing 145 people, mostly schoolchildren.