1492 Christopher Columbus lands on the island of Santo Domingo in search of gold.

    1774 Austria became the first nation to introduce a state education system.

    1790 The United States Capitol moves from New York City to Philadelphia where it stays as the capitol until 1800 when the District of Columbia is completed and becomes the capitol.

    1812 The majority of Napoleon Bonaparte’s Grand Armeé staggers into Vilna, Lithuania, ending the failed Russian campaign.

    1884 Construction of the Washington Monument was completed.

    1862 President Abraham Lincoln orders the hanging of 39 of the 303 convicted Indians who participated in the Sioux Uprising in Minnesota. They are to be hanged on December 26.

    1865 The 13th Amendment is ratified, abolishing slavery.

    1876 Jack McCall is convicted for the murder of Wild Bill Hickok and sentenced to hang.

    1877 Thomas A. Edison makes the first sound recording when he recites “Mary had a Little Lamb” into his phonograph machine.

    1889 Jefferson Davis, the first and only president of the Confederate States of America, died in New Orleans.

    1917 The Bolsheviks imprison Czar Nicholas II and his family in Tobolsk.

    1922 Benito Mussolini threatens Italian newspapers with censorship if they keep reporting “false” information.

    1923 A presidential address was broadcast on the radio for the first time when Calvin Coolidge spoke before Congress.

    1926 In Italy, Benito Mussolini introduced a tax on bachelors.

    1938 France and Germany sign a treaty of friendship.

    1941 President Franklin D. Roosevelt issues a personal appeal to Emperor Hirohito to use his influence to avoid war.

    1945 The United States extends a $3 billion loan to Great Britain to help compensate for the termination of the Lend-Lease agreement.

    1947 Florida’s Everglades National Park is established.

    1948 The “Pumpkin Spy Papers” are found on the Maryland farm of Whittaker Chambers. They become evidence that State Department employee Alger Hiss is spying for the Soviet Union.

    1967 Adrian Kantrowitz performs first human heart transplant in the US.

    1969 Hells Angels, hired to provide security at a Rolling Stones concert at the Altamont Speedway in California, beat to death concert-goer Meredith Hunter.

    1973 US House of Representatives confirms Gerald Ford as Vice-President of the United States, 387–35.

    1975 Four armed men believed to be members of an IRA hit squad accused of shooting dead TV presenter Ross McWhirter on the run from police burst into a flat in in Balcombe Street, central London and take two hostages, The siege lasts six days and ends when the men surrendered themselves to detectives.

    1976 Democrat Tip O’Neill is elected speaker of the House of Representatives. He will serve the longest consecutive term as speaker.

    1979 Israel was hoping that the Iranian hostage crisis would propel Jimmy Carter’s government towards a more pro-Israel mode. For quite some time Israel had accused the president of leaning towards a pro-Arab stance.

    1982 11 soldiers and 6 civilians were killed when a bomb exploded in a pub in Ballykelly, Northern Ireland. The Irish National Liberation Army was responsible for planting the bomb.

    1983 In Jerusalem, a bomb planted on a bus exploded killing six Israelis and wounding 44.

    1985 Congressional negotiators reached an agreement on a deficit-cutting proposal that later became the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings law.

    1989 The worst mass shooting in Canadian history occurred when a man gunned down 14 women at the University of Montreal’s school of engineering. The man then killed himself.

    1990 Although sanctions and diplomacy were tried with Iraq its dictator, Saddam Hussein, remained defiant. Therefore, the Bush government threatened to forcibly throw Iraq out of Kuwait by January 15 if it did not leave peacefully.

    1992 The Babri Mosque in Ayodhya, India, is destroyed during a riot that started as a political protest.

    1993 Former priest James R. Porter was sentenced to 18 to 20 years in prison. Porter had admitted molesting 28 children in the 1960s.

    2004 Al Qaida struck the U.S. Consulate in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, with explosives and machine guns, killing nine people

    2007 The Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has sought to dispel public scepticism about his Mormon faith by promising to defend religious freedom. Speaking only twenty-eight days before the first nominating race, he says that he would serve ‘no one religion, no one group, no one cause, and no one interest’ if elected.

    2013 Six men who had reportedly suffered symptoms of radiation poisoning were detained by authorities in Mexico only a few days after a truck carrying radioactive medical waste was hijacked outside of Mexico City. The
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