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2014–Meteorologist, Robert Simpson, dies from a stroke in Washington, D.C., at age 102. He was co-developer of the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

BC 218–In the Second Punic War, Hannibal's Carthaginian forces defeat those of the Roman Republic.

1271–Kublai Khan renames his empire "Yuan," officially marking the start of the Yuan Dynasty of Mongolia and China.

1495–Alfonso II of Naples dies in a Sicilian monastery in Messina, Italy, at age 47.

1622–Portuguese forces score a military victory over the Kingdom of Kongo at the Battle of Mbumbi, in present-day Angola.

1626–Christina, Queen of Sweden, is born Christina Alexandra in Stockholm, Sweden. She held the titles of Queen of the Swedes, Goths, and Wends; Grand Princess of Finland; and Duchess of Estonia, Livonia, and Karelia; Princess of Rugia, and Lady of Ingria and of Wismar.

1655–The Whitehall Conference ends with the determination that there was no law preventing Jews from re-entering England after the Edict of Expulsion of 1290.

1777–The United States celebrates its first Thanksgiving, marking the recent victory by the Americans over British General John Burgoyne in the Battle of Saratoga in October.

1787–New Jersey becomes the 3rd state of the United States of America.

1793–Surrender of The frigate, La Lutine, is surrendered by French Royalists to Lord Samuel Hood. Renamed HMS Lutine, she later becomes a famous treasure wreck.

1811–Actress, Elizabeth Arnold Poe, dies. Her two-year-old son, Edgar, is sent to live with a Richmond couple whose last name he will take for his middle name (Edgar Allan Poe).

1833–The national anthem of the Russian Empire, God Save the Tsar!, is performed for the first time.

1865–U.S. Secretary of State, William Seward, proclaims the adoption of the Thirteenth Amendment, prohibiting slavery throughout America.

1878–The Al-Thani family become the rulers of the state of Qatar.

1879–Artist, Paul Klee, is born in Münchenbuchsee near Bern, Switzerland. His highly individual style was influenced by movements in art that included Expressionism, Cubism, and Surrealism. Klee was a natural draftsman who experimented with and eventually deeply explored color theory, writing about it extensively. He and his colleague, Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky, both taught at the Bauhaus school of art, design, and architecture.

1892–Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s ballet, The Nutcracker Suite, premieres in St. Petersburg, Russia.

1897–Jazz arranger and bandleader, Fletcher Henderson, is born in Cuthbert, Georgia. He accompanied dozens of blues singers, including Bessie Smith, on their recordings, and soon put together his own band, which came to include Louis Armstrong, Coleman Hawkins, and Roy Eldridge. Nicknamed "Smack," he was one of the first arrangers to adapt jazz to a big-band format, with his style becoming the standard. He never had much financial success as a bandleader, but his arrangements for Benny Goodman made him one of the prime shapers of Swing music.

1898–Gaston de Chasseloup-Laubat sets the first officially recognized land speed record of 39.245 mph in a Jeantaud electric car.

1900–The Upper Ferntree Gully to Gembrook, Victoria Narrow-gauge Railway (present-day Puffing Billy Railway) in Victoria, Australia, is opened for traffic.

1912–The U.S. Congress prohibits the immigration of illiterate persons.

1916–In World War I, the Battle of Verdun ends when German forces, under Chief of staff Erich von Falkenhayn, are defeated by the French, suffering 337,000 casualties.

1916–Actress, Betty Grable, is born Elizabeth Ruth Grable in St. Louis, Missouri. She was a dancer, singer, and popular contract star for 20th Century-Fox during the 1940s and 1950s. She was a famous pin-up girl during World War II. She appeared in the films The Gay Divorcee, Follow the Fleet, Pigskin Parade, Million Dollar Legs, Moon Over Miami, Four Jills in a Jeep, Pin Up Girl, The Dolly Sisters, Mother Wore Tights, The Beautiful Blonde from Bashful Bend, and How to Marry a Millionaire. She was married to actor, Jackie Coogan, and bandleader, Harry James.

1917–The resolution containing the language of the Eighteenth Amendment, to enact Prohibition, is passed by the U.S. Congress.

1931–Allen Klein, who managed both The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, is born in Newark, New Jersey.

1932–The Chicago Bears defeat the Portsmouth Spartans in the first NFL Championship Game.

1935–The Lanka Sama Samaja Party is founded in Ceylon.

1936–Gary (Ross) Dahl, inventor of the Pet Rock, is born in Bottineau, North Dakota. In 1975, he came up with the idea of selling rocks to people as pets, complete with instructions. The instruction book was the real product, which was full of gags and puns. The fad only lasted about six months, but that was long enough to make Dahl a millionaire.

1938–Chas Chandler, bass player for The Animals, is born Bryan James Chandler in Heaton, Newcastle upon Tyne, England. After The Animals underwent personnel changes in 1966, Chandler turned to becoming a talent scout, artist manager, and record producer. During his final tour with The Animals, Chandler saw a then-unknown Jimi Hendrix play in Cafe Wha?, a nightclub in Greenwich Village, New York. Chandler was a key figure in Hendrix's rise to critical and commercial success.

1939–The first major air battle of World War II, the Battle of the Heligoland Bight, takes place.

1941–Sam Andrew, of Big Brother & the Holding Company, is born Sam Houston Andrew III in Taft, California.

1943–Saxophonist, Bobby Keys, is born Robert Henry Keys in Slaton, Texas. He appeared on albums by the Rolling Stones, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Who, Harry Nilsson, John Lennon, Leon Russell, Delaney & Bonnie and Friends, George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Joe Cocker, and many other prominent musicians.

1943–Guitarist, Keith Richards, is born in Dartford, Kent, England. He is one of the original members of The Rolling Stones. Richards plays the only guitar tracks on some of their most famous songs including Paint It Black, Ruby Tuesday, Sympathy for the Devil, and Gimme Shelter. Rolling Stone magazine credits Richards for "rock's greatest single body of riffs" on guitar and ranked him fourth on its list of 100 best guitarists. He was married to model, Patti Hansen.

1944–During World War II, 77 B-29 Superfortress and 200 other aircraft of the U.S. Fourteenth Air Force bomb Hankow, China, a Japanese supply base.

1947–A chart topper: White Christmas by Bing Crosby.

1956–Japan joins the United Nations.

1957–Shippingport Atomic Power Station in Pennsylvania is the first commercial central electric-generating station in the U.S. to use nuclear energy.

1958–Project SCORE, the world's first communications satellite, is launched.

1962–The Beatles perform at the Star-Club, Hamburg, West Germany. This is the first night of their fifth visit to Hamburg, another two-week engagement. They play 13 nights (having Christmas night, December 25th, off), three hours each night. The Beatles’ combined experience in Hamburg, consisting of 800 hours on stage, honed their skills and their endurance to the level that enabled them to achieve world wide fame and to endure the demanding years of Beatlemania.

1963–A chart topper: Since I Fell For You by Lenny Welch.

1964–Release of The Beatles second Christmas record, “Another Beatles Christmas Record,” to members of their fan club in the U.K. and the U.S. (this is the first Beatles Christmas record issued to U.S. fans).

1966–Saturn's moon, Epimetheus, is discovered by Richard Walker.

1966–The film, The Family Way, with a musical score composed by Paul McCartney, premieres in London, England.

1966–Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas airs for first time on CBS-TV.

1969–Home Secretary James Callaghan's motion is made to make permanent the Murder (Abolition of Death Penalty) Act 1965, which had temporarily suspended capital punishment in England, Wales, and Scotland for murder (but not for all crimes) for a period of five years.

1969–The New York Times contains one of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s full-page advertisements reading, “War is Over! If You Want It.”

1969–An article in The New York Times estimates that the youth audience in America accounts for 75% of the $1 billion spent annually on recorded music.

1969–While staying on Ronnie Hawkins’ farm outside Toronto, Canada, John Lennon signs 3,000 lithographs from his collection “Bag One.”

1970–The Beatles Christmas Album is released on the Apple label. It contains all seven Beatles Christmas records from 1963-1969. It is issued to fan club members, and not sold commercially. It went on to become a popular bootleg LP for collectors.

1971–Capitol Reef National Park is established in Utah.

1972–The United States begins the heaviest bombing of North Vietnam during the Vietnam War. The attack ended 12 days later.

1973–Soyuz 13, crewed by cosmonauts Valentin Lebedev and Pyotr Klimuk, is launched from Baikonur in the Soviet Union.

1973–The Islamic Development Bank is founded.

1977–Actor, Cyril Ritchard, dies of a heart attack in Chicago, Illinois, at age 80. He is best known for the role of Captain Hook in the Mary Martin musical production of Peter Pan.

1978–Dominica joins the United Nations.

1981–The first flight of the Russian heavy strategic bomber Tu-160 takes place. It is the largest combat aircraft, largest supersonic aircraft, and largest variable-sweep wing aircraft built.

1983–Rocker, Keith Richards, marries model, Patti Hansen.

1984–Actor, Christopher Guest, marries actress, Jamie Lee Curtis, in the home of actor, Rob Reiner, in Los Angeles, California.

1987–Larry Wall releases the first version of the Perl programming language.

1989–The European Economic Community and the Soviet Union sign an agreement on trade and commercial and economic cooperation.

1990–The International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families is adopted.

1992–Game show producer, Mark Goodson, dies of pancreatic cancer in New York, New York, at age 77. Goodson and long-time partner, Bill Todman, produced some of the longest-running game shows in American television history. Goodson-Todman productions include Beat the Clock, To Tell the Truth, I've Got a Secret, What's My Line? Family Feud, The Match Game, Password, and Tattletales.

1993–Michael Clarke, original drummer for The Byrds, dies of liver failure in Treasure Island, Florida.

1993–Actor, Sam Wanamaker, dies of prostate cancer in London, England, at age 74. He was an American film director and actor who moved to Britain after being put on the Hollywood blacklist in the early 1950s. He is credited as the person most responsible for the modern recreation of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London, England, where he is commemorated in the name of the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, the site's second theatre. He appeared in the films The Criminal, Taras Bulba, Man in the Middle, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines, Warning Shot, Death on the Nile, The Competition, Private Benjamin, Irreconcilable Differences, Baby Boom, and Guilty by Suspicion.

1997–HTML 4.0 is published by the World Wide Web Consortium.

1997–Comedian, Chris Farley, dies of a cocaine and morphine overdose at his apartment in Chicago, Illinois, at age 33. In the final years of his life, Farley had sought treatment for obesity and drug abuse on 17 occasions. He is best known as cast member of TV’s Saturday Night Live. He appeared in the films Wayne’s World, Coneheads, Airheads, Billy Madison, and Tommy Boy.

1999–NASA launches into orbit the Terra platform carrying five Earth Observation instruments, including ASTER, CERES, MISR, MODIS, and MOPITT.

2000–The British music magazine, Melody Maker, which began weekly publication in 1926, publishes its last issue.

2002–Then Governor of California, Gray Davis, announces that the state will face a record budget deficit of $35 billion, roughly double the figure reported during his reelection campaign one month earlier.

2005–The Chadian Civil War begins when rebel groups, allegedly backed by neighbouring Sudan, launch an attack in Adré.

2006–The first of a series of floods strikes Malaysia. The death toll of all flooding is at least 118, with over 400,000 people displaced.

2006–United Arab Emirates holds its first-ever elections.

2006–Animator and producer, Joseph Barbera, dies of natural causes in Studio City, California, at age 95. He was the co-founder of Hanna-Barbera, which became the most successful television animation studio of the era, producing the programs The Flintstones, The Huckleberry Hound Show, The Jetsons, Scooby-Doo, The Smurfs, and Yogi Bear.

2014–Record producer, John Fry, dies of cardiac arrest in Memphis, Tennessee, at age 69. He was the founder of Ardent Studios.

2014–Larry Henley, of The Newbeats, dies of Lewy Body Dementia in Nashville, Tennessee, at age 77. The group had a big hit in the 1960s with Bread and Butter. He also co-wrote the song Wind Beneath My Wings with his partner, Jeff Silbar.

2014–Actress, Virna Lisi, dies of cancer in Rome, Italy, at age 78. She appeared in the films How to Murder Your Wife, Not with My Wife, You Don't!, and Assault on a Queen.

2014–Meteorologist, Robert Simpson, dies from a stroke in Washington, D.C., at age 102. He was co-developer of the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

2015–The Vatican announces Mother Teresa's eligibility for canonization after a Vatican spokesman confirmed Pope Francis' recognition of a second miracle attributed to her, involving the healing of a Brazilian man with multiple tumors.

2015–The last deep coal mine in Great Britain, Kellingley Colliery, closes.

2016–At least 49 people die in Irkutsk, Russia, after consuming hawthorn-scented bath essence as if it were alcohol. The product has been found to contain methanol.

2016–An Indonesian military Lockheed C-130 Hercules transport plane crashes in Papua province, killing all 13 people on board.

2016–Actress, Zsa Zsa Gabor, dies of a heart attack in Bel-Air, Los Angeles, California, at age 99. She had been on life support for the previous five years. She appeared in the films Lovely to Look At, Moulin Rouge, Lili, Death of a Scoundrel, Touch of Evil, Queen of Outer Space, Pepe, Boys’ Night Out, Picture Mommy Dead, and The Naked Truth.

2016–Surgeon and medical researcher, Henry Heimlich, dies of a heart attack in Cincinnati, Ohio, at age 96. He is best known as the inventor of the Heimlich maneuver, a technique of abdominal thrusts that can stop choking, which was described in Emergency Medicine in 1974.

2016–Fashion model, China Machado, dies in Stony Brook, New York, at age 86. She was the first non-white person to appear on the cover of a major American fashion magazine, in the February 1959 issue of Harper’s Bazaar.

PHOTOS TOP TO BOTTOM: Kublai Khan; Paul Klee; Betty Grable; White Christmas by Bing Crosby; Another Beatles Christmas Record by The Beatles; a selection from John Lennon's Bag One collection; Cyril Ritchard; Mark Goodson; Chris Farley; and Virna Lisi.

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