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1997–The founder of Sony Corporation, Masaru Ibuka, dies of heart failure at age 89. Ibuka, one of the leading engineer-entrepreneurs of post-World War II Japan, helped transform modern culture with the world’s first pocket transistor radio.

211–Publius Septimius Geta, co-Emperor of Rome, is lured to come without his bodyguards to meet his brother, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (Caracalla), to discuss a possible reconciliation. When he arrives, the Praetorian Guard murders him and he dies in the arms of his mother, Julia Domna.

1154–Henry II of England is crowned at Westminster Abbey in London, England.

1187–Pope Clement III is elected.

1490–Anne, Duchess of Brittany, is married to Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor by proxy.

1554–Philip William, Prince of Orange, is born in Buren, Guelders, Seventeen Provinces.

1562–The Battle of Dreux takes place during the French Wars of Religion.

1606–The Susan Constant, the Godspeed, and the Discovery, depart England, carrying settlers who found at Jamestown, Virginia, the first of the thirteen colonies that will become the United States.

1675–The Great Swamp Fight, a pivotal battle in King Philip's War, gives the English settlers a bitterly won victory.

1776–Thomas Paine publishes his first “American Crisis” essay, in which he wrote, “These are the times that try men’s souls.”

1777–General George Washington settles his troops at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, for the winter.

1796–During the French Revolutionary Wars, two British frigates, under Commodore Horatio Nelson, and two Spanish frigates, under Commodore Don Jacobo Stuart, engage in battle off the coast of Murcia.

1828–U.S. Vice President John C. Calhoun pens the South Carolina Exposition and Protest, protesting the Tariff of 1828.

1843–Charles Dickens publishes A Christmas Carol in England.

1900–The first Governor-General of Australia, John Hope, 7th Earl of Hopetoun, appoints Sir William Lyne premier of the new state of New South Wales, but he is unable to persuade other colonial politicians to join his government and is forced to resign.

1902–Actor, Ralph Richardson, is born in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England.

1903–The Williamsburg suspension bridge opens between Brooklyn and Manhattan, New York.

1907–Two hundred thirty-nine coal miners die in the Darr Mine Disaster in Jacobs Creek, Pennsylvania.

1912–William Van Schaick, captain of the steamship, General Slocum, which caught fire and killed over 1,000 people, is pardoned by U.S. President William Howard Taft, after three-and-a-half years in Sing Sing prison.

1915–Alois Alzheimer, psychiatrist and neuropathologist, dies of heart failure in Breslau, Silesia (present-day Wroclaw, Poland) at age 51. He discovered Alzheimer’s disease.

1915–Chanteuse, Edith Piaf, is born Edith Giovanna Gassion in Paris, France. She was abandoned at birth by her mother, a cafe singer, and raised by her grandmother. She started touring with her father, a circus acrobat, and left him at age 15, to pursue a career. Her debut was in a high-toned Paris cabaret whose owner dressed her in a costume like the shabby clothes she had worn singing in the streets, and changed her last name to "Piaf," or "sparrow," to go with her birdlike appearance. She sang about factory girls, faithless lovers, lost dreams and small hopes, in a throaty voice that never failed to move audiences. Her signature songs were La Vie en Rose and Non, Je Regrette Rien (No, I Regret Nothing).

1917–Actor, Paul (Alden) Brinegar, is born in Tucumcari, New Mexico. He is best known for the role of Wishbone on the Western TV series Rawhide. He appeared in the films Young Man with a Horn, Journey Into Light, The Captive City, Pat and Mike, Dawn at Socorro, Ransom!, World Without End, The Spirit of St. Louis, The Vampire, Cattle Empire, How to Make a Monster, Charro!, High Plains Drifter, Life Stinks, and Maverick.

1918–Robert Ripley begins his “Believe It or Not” column in The New York Globe.

1918–Professor Longhair, “King of New Orleans Music,” is born Henry Roeland Byrd in Bogalusa, Louisiana. Professor Longhair was active in two distinct periods: the heyday of early rhythm and blues and in the resurgence of interest in traditional jazz after the founding of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.

1920–King Constantine I is restored as King of the Hellenes after the death of his son, Alexander of Greece, and a plebiscite.

1922–British television personality, Eamonn Andrews, is born in Dublin, Ireland. He hosted a chat show on ITV, The Eamonn Andrews Show, for five years in the 1960s. He is best known as the presenter of the England’s version of This Is Your Life from 1955 to 1987.

1924–The last Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost is sold in London, England.

1927–Three Indian revolutionaries, Ram Prasad Bismil, Roshan Singh, and Ashfaqulla Khan, are executed by the British Empire.

1932–BBC World Service begins broadcasting as the BBC Empire Service.

1940–Singer-songwriter, Phil Ochs, is born Philip David Ochs in El Paso, Texas. Ochs was one of the most popular folk artists of the 1960s, known for his adamantly left-wing folk songs. After years of recording protest songs in America, he moved to Europe, where he wandered the continent for years.

1941–Adolf Hitler appoints himself as head of the Oberkommando des Heeres.

1941–In World War II, Limpet mines placed by Italian divers heavily damage the HMS Valiant and HMS Queen Elizabeth in Alexandria harbor.

1941–Maurice White, of Earth, Wind & Fire, is born in Memphis, Tennessee.

1944–Alvin Lee, of Ten Years After, is born in Nottingham, England.

1944–Zal Yanovsky, of The Lovin’ Spoonful, is born Zalman Yanovsky in Toronto, Canada. In 1967, he was arrested in the U.S. on a marijuana-related charge. In exchange for not being deported, he gave up the name of his dealer, and as a consequence, was ostracized by the music community and he returned to Canada. His father was political cartoonist, Avrom Yanovsky. He was married to actress, Jackie Burroughs.

1946–The First Indochina War begins.

1946–Actor, Robert (Michael) Urich, is born in Toronto, Ohio. He is best known for his starring role in the action TV series Vega$. He also starred in in TV series Spenser: For Hire. He appeared in the films Magnum Force, Endangered Species, The Ice Pirates, Turk 182!, and Lonesome Dove. He was married to actress, Heather Menzies.

1956–Irish-born physician, John Bodkin Adams, is arrested in connection with the suspicious deaths of more than 160 patients.

1957–At Graceland, Elvis Presley receives his draft notice from Milton Bowers, chairman of the Memphis, Tennessee, draft board, despite protests from the teen community.

1958–A chart topper: The Chipmunk Song by The Chipmunks with David Seville.

1961–India annexes Daman and Diu, part of Portuguese India.

1964–The South Vietnamese military junta of Nguyen Khanh dissolve the High National Council and arrest some of the members.

1967–Harold Holt, the Prime Minister of Australia, is officially presumed dead.

1971–Stanley Kubrick’s X-rated film, A Clockwork Orange, premieres.

1972–The last manned lunar flight, Apollo 17, crewed by Eugene Cernan, Ronald Evans, and Harrison Schmitt, returns to Earth.

1972–A chart topper: Me and Mrs. Jones by Billy Paul.

1974–Nelson Rockefeller is sworn in as Vice President of the United States under President Gerald Ford through the provisions of the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

1974–On his first ever solo world tour, George Harrison performs the first of two nights at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

1975–John Paul Stevens is appointed a justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

1975–Musician, Ron Wood, joins The Rolling Stones.

1981–Sixteen people are killed when the Penlee lifeboat goes to the aid of the stricken coaster Union Star in heavy seas off Cornwall, England.

1983–The original FIFA World Cup trophy, the Jules Rimet Trophy, is stolen from the headquarters of the Brazilian Football Confederation in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

1984–The Sino-British Joint Declaration, stating that China would resume the exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong and the United Kingdom would restore Hong Kong to China, is signed in Beijing, China, by Deng Xiaoping and Margaret Thatcher.

1986–Mikhail Gorbachev, leader of the Soviet Union, releases Andrei Sakharov and his wife from exile in Gorky, Russia.

1986–Writer, V.C. Andrews, dies of breast cancer in Virginia Beach, Virginia, at age 63. She is best known for the best-seller Flowers in the Attic. Her novels combine Gothic horror and family saga, revolving around family secrets and forbidden love (frequently involving themes of consensual incest, most often between siblings), and they often include a rags-to-riches story. They were so successful, that after her death her estate hired a ghost writer, Andrew Neiderman, to write more stories to be published under her name.

1990–Frannie’s Teddy Bear Museum opens in Naples, Florida. Housing the personal collection of Frances Pew Hayes, over 1,500 Teddy Bears were on display. After Hayes’ death in 2004, the musesum was closed and the collection was sold.

1993–Michael Clarke, the original drummer for The Byrds, dies of liver failure in Treasure Island, Florida, at age 47.

1995–The U.S. Government restores federal recognition to the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi Native American tribe.

1996–Actor, Marcello Mastroianni, dies of pancreatic cancer in Paris, France, at age 72. He appeared in the films Marionette, La Dolce Vita, Divorce Italian Style, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, 8-1/2, A Special Day, Casanova 70, City of Women, The Pizza Triangle, The Priest’s Wife, Henry IV, Used People, and Prêt-à-Porter.

1997–SilkAir Flight 185 crashes into the Musi River, near Palembang in Indonesia, killing 104 people.

1998–President Bill Clinton is impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives.

1997–The founder of Sony Corporation, Masaru Ibuka, dies of heart failure at age 89. Ibuka, one of the leading engineer-entrepreneurs of post-World War II Japan, helped transform modern culture with the world’s first pocket transistor radio.

1997–Blues guitarist, Jimmy Rogers, dies of colon cancer in Chicago, Illinois, at age 73. He is best known for his work as a member of Muddy Waters' band in the 1950s. In the early 1960s, Rogers briefly worked as a member of Howling Wolf's band, before quitting the music business altogether for almost a decade.

2000–The Leninist Guerrilla Units wing of the Communist Labour Party of Turkey/Leninist attack a Nationalist Movement Party office in Istanbul, Turkey, killing one person and injuring three others.

2000–Rob Buck, of 10,000 Maniacs, dies of acute liver disease in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, at age 42.

2000–Politician, John Lindsay, dies of Parkinson's disease in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, at age 79. He was the 103rd Mayor of New York City. During his political career, he served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives (1959-1965).

2000–Pops Staples, patriarch of the R&B group The Staple Singers, dies in Dalton, Illinois, at age 84. He had recently suffered a concussion from taking a fall. The group’s hits include Respect Yourself and I’ll Take You There.

2001–A record high barometric pressure of 1085.6 hPa (32.06 inHg) is recorded at Tosontsengel, Khövsgöl, Mongolia.

2001–Riots erupt in Buenos Aires, Argentina, due to the country’s economic crisis.

2003–Actress, Hope Lange, dies of an ischemic colitis infection in Santa Monica, California, at age 70. She starred in the TV sitcoms The Ghost & Mrs. Muir and The New Dick Van Dyke Show. She appeared in the films Bus Stop, Peyton Place, The Young Lions, The Best of Everything, Wild in the Country, Pocketful of Miracles, Death Wish, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Blue Velvet, and Clear and Present Danger.

2003–Actor, Les Tremayne, dies of heart failure in Santa Monica, California, at age 90. His radio career began in 1931, and during the 1930s and 1940s Tremayne was heard in as many as 45 shows a week. He appeared in the films A Man Called Peter, The Racket, The Angry Red Planet, The War of The Worlds, Say One for Me, North by Northwest, The Monolith Monsters, The Monster of Piedras Blancas, and The Fortune Cookie.

2012–Park Geun-hye is elected the first female President of South Korea.

2013–The spacecraft Gaia is launched by the European Space Agency.

2014–Film and TV producer, Arthur Gardner, dies in Beverly Hills, California, at age 104. His work includes the TV shows The Rifleman and The Big Valley.

2016–President-elect Donald Trump earns the required Electoral College votes (at a total of 304) to be selected as the next President of the United States. However, four Democratic Party electors in Washington, break ranks and do not vote for the party’s candidate, Hillary Clinton, who won the state in November. Three vote for former Secretary of State Colin Powell, and one cast a vote for Faith Spotted Eagle. It is the first time in four decades that the state’s electors have broken from the popular vote for president. One democratic elector in Hawaii votes for Bernie Sanders. Another democratic elector in Maine also casts a vote for Sanders. Two Republican electors break ranks: one votes for John Kasich, the other for Ron Paul.

2016–Russian Ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, is assassinated while at an art exhibition in Ankara, Turkey, at age 62. The assassin, Mevlüt Mert Alt&Mac245;ntas, a 22-year old police officer and terrorist, is shot and killed by Turkish guards.

2016–At least 12 people are killed and more than 50 others are injured in a terrorist attack, as a truck rams into a packed Christmas market in Breitscheidplatz, Berlin, Germany.

PHOTOS TOP TO BOTTOM: Publius Septimius Geta; Ralph Richardson; Paul Brinegar; a Rolls Royce Silver Ghost; Robert Urich; a promo for A Clockwork Orange; The Rolling Stones; Marcello Mastroianni; Jimmy Rogers; and Hope Lange.

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