1170 – Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, was assassinated inside Canterbury Cathedral by followers of King Henry II; he subsequently became a saint and martyr in the Anglican Communion and the Catholic Church.
1607 – Pocahantas saved captain John Smith from murder.
1778 – American Revolutionary War: Three thousand British soldiers under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Archibald Campbell captured Savannah, Georgia.
1812 – USS Constitution, under the command of Captain William Bainbridge, captured HMS Java off the coast of Brazil after a three-hour battle.
1835 – The Treaty of New Echota was signed which ceded all the lands of the Cherokee east of the Mississippi River to the United States.
1845 – The United States annexed the Republic of Texas.
1860 – The launch of HMS Warrior, with her combination of screw propeller, iron hull and iron armour, rendered all previous warships obsolete.
1876 – The Ashtabula River railroad disaster occurred which left 64 injured and killed 92 at Ashtabula, Ohio.
1890 – Wounded Knee Massacre on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, 300 Lakota were killed by the United States 7th Cavalry Regiment.
1902 – “The Entertainer” was one of several piano rag compositions copyrighted for Scott Joplin by the US Copyright Office.
1913 – Cecil B. DeMille began filming Hollywood’s first feature film, The Squaw Man.
1932 – Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers’ first joint movie “Flying Down to Rio,” directed by Thornton Freeland, premiered in New York City.
1933 – “Sons of the Desert” film, directed by William A. Seiter starring Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, was released.
1940 – World War II: In the Second Great Fire of London, the Luftwaffe fire-bombed London, England, which killed almost 200 civilians.
1949 – KC2XAK of Bridgeport, Connecticut became the first Ultra high frequency (UHF) television station to operate a daily schedule.
1965 – “Thunderball”, the forth James Bond film, starring Sean Connery and Claudine Auger, premiered in Tokyo.
1965 – The Supremes released the single entitled “My World is Empty Without You”.
1967 – Star Trek’s “Trouble With Tribbles” episode was aired for the first time.
1972 – Eastern Air Lines Flight 401 (a Lockheed L-1011 TriStar) crashed in the Florida Everglades on approach to Miami International Airport, Florida, killing 101 of the 176 people on board.
1972 – Life magazine ceased publication.
1975 – A bomb exploded at LaGuardia Airport in New York City, which killed 11 people and injured 74.
1991 – “A Christmas Carol”, starring Patrick Stewart, in a one-man show, closed at Eugene O’Neill Theater in New York City after a limited run of 14 performances.
1997 – Hong Kong began to kill all the city’s 1.25 million chickens to stop the spread of a potentially deadly influenza strain.
1998 – Leaders of the Khmer Rouge apologized for the 1970s genocide in Cambodia that claimed over one million lives.
2003 – The last known speaker of Akkala Sami died and rendered the language extinct.
2006 – The UK settled its Anglo-American loan, post-WWII loan debt.
2013 – Seven-time Formula One champion Michael Schumacher suffered a massive head injury while skiing in the French Alps.
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