0871 – England’s King Alfred defeated the Danes at the Battle of Ashdown.
1205 – Philip of Swabia was crowned as King of the Romans.
1453 – Frederick III erected Austria into an Archduchy.
1540 – King Henry VIII of England was married to Anne of Cleves, his fourth wife.
1720 – The Committee of Inquiry on the South Sea Bubble published its findings.
1759 – George Washington and Martha Dandridge Custis were married.
1838 – Samuel Morse publicly demonstrated the telegraph for the first time.
1896 – The first American women’s six-day bicycle race was held at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
1900 – In India, it was reported that millions of people were dying from starvation.
1900 – Off of South Africa, the British seized the German steamer Herzog. The boat was released on January 22, 1900.
1912 – New Mexico became the 47th U.S. state.
1930 – The first diesel-engine automobile trip was completed after a run of 792 miles from Indianapolis, IN, to New York City, NY.
1931 – Thomas Edison executed his last patent application.
1941 – Richard Widmark made his debut on radio in “The Home of the Brave.”
1941 – Alice Marble made her professional tennis debut when she defeated Ruth Hardwick of Great Britain at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
1942 – The first commercial around-the-world airline flight took place. Pan American Airlines was the company that made history with the feat.
1942 – The National Collegiate Football Rules Committee abolished the Y formation.
1945 – The Battle of the Bulge ended with 130,000 German and 77,000 Allied casualties.
1950 – Britain recognized the Communist government of China.
1952 – “Peanuts” debuted in Sunday papers across the United States.
1963 – “Wild Kingdom” premiered on NBC.
1967 – U.S. and South Vietnamese forces launched a major offensive, known as Operation “Deckhouse V”, in the Mekong River delta.
1974 – CBS radio debuted “Radio Mystery Theatre.”
1975 – ABC-TV debuted “A.M. America.”
1982 – William G. Bonin was convicted in Los Angeles, CA, of being the “freeway killer” who had murdered 14 young men and boys.
1987 – After a 29-year lapse, the Ford Thunderbird was presented with the Motor Trend Car of the Year Award. It was the first occurrence of a repeat winner of the award.
1994 – Figure skater Nancy Kerrigan was clubbed on the right leg by an assailant at Cobo Arena in Detroit, MI. Four men were later sentenced to prison for the attack, including Tonya Harding’s ex-husband.
1998 – The spacecraft Lunar Prospect was launched into orbit around the moon. The craft was crashed into the moon, in an effort to find water under the lunar surface, on July 31, 1999.
1999 – The 106th U.S. Congress opened. The first item on the agenda was the impeachment proceedings of U.S. President Bill Clinton. The trial was set to begin January 7, 1999.
1999 – Bob Newhart received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.