1688 – As part of the Glorious Revolution, King James II of England fled from England to Paris, France after being deposed in favor of his son-in-law and nephew, William of Orange and his daughter Mary.
1783 – George Washington resigned as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army at the Maryland State House in Annapolis, Maryland.
1815 – The novel Emma by Jane Austen was first published.
1893 – The opera Hansel and Gretel by Engelbert Humperdinck was first performed.
1913 – The Federal Reserve Act was signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson, thus creating the Federal Reserve System.
1914 – World War I: During the Battle of Sarikamish, Ottoman forces mistook one another for Russian troops. The following friendly fire incident left 2,000 Ottomans dead and many more wounded.
1941 – World War II: After 15 days of fighting, the Imperial Japanese Army occupied Wake Island.
1947 – The transistor was first demonstrated at Bell Laboratories.
1948 – Seven Japanese military and political leaders convicted of war crimes by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East were executed by Allied occupation authorities at Sugamo Prison in Tokyo, Japan.
1950 – General Walton Walker died in a jeep accident and was replaced by General Matthew Ridgway in the Eighth United States Army.
1954 – First successful kidney transplant was performed by J. Hartwell Harrison and Joseph Murray.
1959 – Chuck Berry was arrested for transporting a minor across a state line for an immoral purpose.
1959 – The Drifters recorded “This Magic Moment.”
1964 – Brian Wilson (Beach Boys) suffered a nervous breakdown on a flight from L.A. to Houston. The event led Wilson to stop touring with the group. 1964 – The Beach Boys made their first appearance on Shingdig! The show had been taped on December 14.
1968 – The 82 sailors from the USS Pueblo were released after eleven months of internment in North Korea.
1970 – The North Tower of the World Trade Center in Manhattan, New York, New York was topped out at 417 metres (1,368 ft), which made it the tallest building in the world.
1972 – The 16 survivors of the Andes flight disaster were rescued after 73 days, surviving by cannibalism.
1977 – Cat Stevens converted to Islam. He later changed his name to Yusuf Islam.
1986 – Voyager, piloted by Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager, landed at Edwards Air Force Base in California becoming the first aircraft to fly non-stop around the world without aerial or ground refueling.
1991 – James Brown sued the producers of the movie The Commitments. Brown claimed that one of the characters too closely resembled him. He lost the case.
2002 – A U.S. MQ-1 Predator was shot down by an Iraqi MiG-25 in the first combat engagement between a drone and conventional aircraft.
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