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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 "American Crisis" essay.
1777 The Continental Army set up winter headquarters at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.
1788 Juan Bautista de Anza, Mexican explorer of the American Southwest, died.
1795 Kentucky became the first state to appropriate money for road building.
1823 Georgia passed the first birth registration law in the United States.
1828 South Carolina declared the right of states to nullify federal laws.
1842 The United States recognized the independence of the Kingdom of Hawaii.
1843 A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens, was published.
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.
1878 Bayard Taylor, journalist, traveler, poet and lecturer, died.
1891 Charles Uncles became the first black Catholic priest to be ordained in the United States, in Baltimore, Maryland.
1903 The Williamsburg Bridge opened between Brooklyn and Manhattan, New York.
1906 Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev was born.
1907 An explosion in a coal mine at Jacobs Creek, Pennsylvania, killed 239 workers.
1910 Rayon was commercially produced for the first time, in Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania.
1917 The first National Hockey League game on artificial ice was played in Toronto, Canada.
1918 Robert Ripley began his "Believe It or Not" feature in the New York Globe.
1919 The American Meteorological Society was founded.
1920 Constantine I was restored as King of the Hellenes.
1933 Actress Cicely Tyson was born.
1941 Adolf Hitler became Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the German Army.
Anthropologist Richard Leakey was born.
1945 Actress Elaine Joyce was born.
1946 Ho Chi Minh attacked French troops in Hanoi, Indochina.
1950 Tibet's Dalai Lama fled a Chinese invasion.
1951 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.
aboard an aircraft carrier under construction at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in New York, New
York, killed 50 workers.
1963 Actress Jennifer Beals was born.
1967 Magician Criss Angel was born.
1968 Socialist Party author and presidential candidate Norman Thomas died.
1971 The movie A Clockwork Orange premiered.
Apollo 17, the last manned Moon landing, returned to
1974 The Altair, the world's first do-it-yourself computer kit, went on sale; its price tag was $397.
1977 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.
1979 The film Kramer vs Kramer was released.
1980 The film Raging
Bull was released in the United States.
1984 The United Kingdom signed an agreement to return Hong Kong to China in 1997.
1986 The film Platoon was released.
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.
2001 The film The Fellowship of the Ring was released.
2003 Actress Hope Lange died.
2006 Joseph Barbera, of Hanna-Barbera cartoon fame, died.
2011 Swedish car maker Saab filed for bankruptcy.
2012 Park Geun-hye became the first woman to be elected President of South Korea.
2013 Part of the ceiling at the Apollo Theatre in London, England, caved in, injuring 81 persons.
2016 A truck was driven
into a Christmas market in Berlin, Germany, killing 12
persons and injuring 48.
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This page was last updated on December 18, 2017.