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On December 19th...

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1370 Pope Urban V died.

1683 King Philip V of Spain was born.

1776 Thomas Paine published his first "Common Sense" essay.

Valley Forge1777 The Continental Army set up winter headquarters at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.

Juan Bautista de Anza1788 Juan Bautista de Anza, Mexican explorer of the American Southwest, died.

Edwin McMasters Stanton1814 Edwin McMasters Stanton, lawyer, Attorney General, and Secretary of War, was born.
Joseph Bramah1814 Inventor Joseph Bramah died.

1823 Georgia passed the first birth registration law in the United States.

1842 The United States recognized the independence of the Kingdom of Hawaii.

1848 Novelist Emily Brontė died.

1849 Businessman Henry Clay Frick was born.

1852 Physicist Albert Michelson was born.

1852 Allen Wilson patented a sewing machine to sew curving seams.

1871 Albert Jones patented corrugated paper.

Bayard Taylor1878 Bayard Taylor, journalist, traveler, poet and lecturer, died.

1906 Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev was born.

1918 Robert Ripley began his "Believe It or Not" feature in the New York Globe.

1919 The American Meteorological Society was founded.

1933 Actress Cicely Tyson was born.

1941 Adolf Hitler became Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the German Army.

1944 Anthropologist Richard Leakey was born.
1944 Actor Tim Reid was born.

Arthur Capper1951 Arthur Capper, publisher and U.S. Senator, died.

1959 Walter Williams, thought to be the last surviving veteran of the US Civil War, died in Houston, Texas at the age of 117.

1963 Actress Jennifer Beals was born.

1967 Magician Criss Angel was born.

Norman Thomas1968 Socialist Party author and presidential candidate Norman Thomas died.

1972 Apollo 17, the last manned Moon landing, returned to Earth.

1974 The Altair, the world's first do-it-yourself computer kit, went on sale; its price tag was $397.

Nellie Tayloe Ross1977 Nellie Tayloe Ross, the first woman to serve as Governor of a state and as Director of the U.S. Mint, died.

1978 Venera 12 deployed a probe that descended to the surface of Venus.

1986 Author V.C. Andrews died.

1997 The movie Titanic opened in American theaters.

1998 President Bill Clinton was impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives for perjury and obstruction of justice.

2003 Actress Hope Lange died.

2006 Joseph Barbera, of Hanna-Barbera cartoon fame, died.

2011 Swedish car maker Saab filed for bankruptcy.

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This page was last updated on September 21, 2017.