1707 – Queen Anne’s War: The second Siege of Pensacola came to end with the failure of the British Empire and their Creek allies to capture Pensacola, Spanish Florida.
1782 – American Revolutionary War: Treaty of Paris: In Paris, representatives from the United States and Great Britain signed preliminary peace articles (later formalized as the 1783 Treaty of Paris).
1786 – The Grand Duchy of Tuscany, under Pietro Leopoldo I, became the first modern state to abolish the death penalty (later commemorated as Cities for Life Day).
1803 – In New Orleans, Spanish representatives officially transferred the Louisiana Territory to an official from the French First Republic. Just 20 days later, France transferred the same land to the United States as the Louisiana Purchase.
1804 – The Democratic-Republican-controlled United States Senate began an impeachment trial of Federalist Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase.
1864 – American Civil War: The Confederate Army of Tennessee suffered heavy losses in an attack on the Union Army of the Ohio in the Battle of Franklin.
1900 – A German engineer patented front-wheel drive for automobiles.
1934 – The LNER Class A3 4472 Flying Scotsman became the first steam locomotive to be authenticated as reaching 100 mph.
1941 – The Holocaust: The SS-Einsatzgruppen rounded up 11,000 Jews from the Riga Ghetto and killed them in the Rumbula massacre.
1942 – World War II: Battle of Tassafaronga; A smaller squadron of Imperial Japanese Navy destroyers led by Raizō Tanaka defeated a U.S. Navy cruiser force under Carleton H. Wright.
1954 – In Sylacauga, Alabama, United States, the Hodges meteorite crashed through a roof and hit a woman taking an afternoon nap; this is the only documented case in the Western Hemisphere of a human being hit by a rock from space.
1965 – The Colorado State government declared this day to be Rolling Stones Day.
1968 – Sly & The Family Stone’s “Everyday People” was released.
1972 – Vietnam War: White House Press Secretary Ron Ziegler told the press that there would be no more public announcements concerning American troop withdrawals from Vietnam because troop levels are now down to 27,000.
1981 – Cold War: In Geneva, representatives from the United States and the Soviet Union began to negotiate intermediate-range nuclear weapon reductions in Europe. (The meetings ended inconclusively on December 17.)
1982 – Michael Jackson’s sixth solo studio album, Thriller, was released worldwide. It ultimately became the best-selling record album in history.
1982 – Metallica played their final concert with Ron McGovney. McGovney left the band on December 10.
1988 – LL Cool J performed the first rap concert held in Africa.
1995 – Official end of Operation Desert Storm.
1995 – U.S. President Bill Clinton visited Northern Ireland and spoke in favor of the “Northern Ireland peace process” to a huge rally at Belfast City Hall; he called IRA fighters “yesterday’s men”.
1999 – Exxon and Mobil signed a US$73.7 billion agreement to merge and created ExxonMobil, the world’s largest company.
1999 – In Seattle, United States, demonstrations against a World Trade Organization meeting by anti-globalization protesters caught police unprepared and forced the cancellation of opening ceremonies.
2000 – NASA launched STS-97, the 101st Space Shuttle mission.
2001 – Gary Ridgway, also known as the Green River Killer, was apprehended and charged with four murders. He was eventually convicted of a total of 49 murders.
2018 – A magnitude 7.1 earthquake with its epicenter only 15 miles from Anchorage, Alaska caused significant property damage but no deaths.
To report an issue or typo with this article – CLICK HERE