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1955–The Montgomery Bus Boycott begins in Alabama. At that time, buses were segregated: the front of the bus was for whites and the back was for blacks. Blacks were required to give up their seats if the bus was crowded. On December 1, 1955, seamstress Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat. Minutes later, she was arrested and sent to jail. The following day, Martin Luther King, Jr. (and other prominent blacks) declared a boycott of the bus system. It began December 5th and lasted for more than a year. In the end, the segregation laws were declared unconstitutional.



BC 63–Cicero gives the fourth and final of the Catiline Orations.

633–The Fourth Council of Toledo takes place at the church of Saint Leocadia in Toledo.

852–Chinese Emperor, Zhu Wen, also known as Emperor Taizu of Later Liang, is born in China.

1082–Ramon Berenguer II, Count of Barcelona, is killed by his twin brother while hunting in the woods, at age 29.

1360–The French “franc” is created.

1377–Jianwen Emperor of China is born Zhu Yunwen in China.

1408–Emir Edigu of Golden Horde reaches Moscow.

1443–Pope Julius II is born Giuliano della Rovere in Albisola, Republic of Genoa. Nicknamed "The Fearsome Pope" and "The Warrior Pope,", his papacy was marked by an active foreign policy, ambitious building projects, and patronage for the arts. He commissioned the destruction and rebuilding of St. Peter's Basilica and Michelangelo's decoration of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

1484–Pope Innocent VIII issues the Summis desiderantes affectibus, a papal bull that deputizes Heinrich Kramer and Jacob Sprenger as inquisitors to root out alleged witchcraft in Germany.

1492–Christopher Columbus becomes the first European to set foot on the island of Hispaniola (present-day Haiti and the Dominican Republic).

1496–King Manuel I of Portugal issues a decree of expulsion of "heretics" from the country.

1560–Francis II of France dies from an ear condition in Orléans, Loiret, France, at age 16.

1757–In the Seven Years' War, Frederick II of Prussia leads Prussian forces to a victory over Austrian forces under Prince Charles Alexander of Lorraine.

1766–The auction house, Christie’s, holds their first sale in London, England.

1775–At Fort Ticonderoga, Henry Knox begins his historic transport of artillery to Cambridge, Massachusetts.

1782–Politician, Martin Van Buren, is born Maarten van Buren in Kinderhook, New York. He was the eighth President of the United States.

1791–Composer, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, dies in Vienna, Austria, at age 35. Researchers have posited at least 118 causes of his death, including acute rheumatic fever, streptococcal infection, trichinosis, influenza, mercury poisoning, and a rare kidney ailment. Mozart was a child prodigy, and by the time of his death, he had written 41 symphonies and a string of great operas, including The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, Cosi fan tutte, and The Magic Flute.

1792–George Washington is re-elected for a second term as the 1st President of the United States.

1804–Thomas Jefferson is re-elected for a second term as the 3rd President of the United States.

1822–Philosopher and academic, Elizabeth Cabot Agassiz, is born Elizabeth Cary in Boston, Massachusetts. She was co-founder and the first President of Radcliffe College.

1829–Politician, Henri-Gustave Joly de Lotbinière, is born Henry-Gustave Joly in Épernay, France. He was the fourth Premier of Quebec, Canada.

1831–Former U.S. President, John Quincy Adams, takes his seat in the House of Representatives.

1839–George Armstrong Custer is born in New Rumley, Ohio. He was a U.S. Army officer and cavalry commander in the American Civil War and the American Indian Wars. He was appointed lieutenant colonel of the U.S. 7th Cavalry Regiment, and he and all his men were killed at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876, fighting against a coalition of Native American tribes. The battle is popularly known in American history as "Custer's Last Stand."

1847–Jefferson Davis is elected to the U.S. Senate.

1848–In a message to the U.S. Congress, President James K. Polk confirms that large amounts of gold had been discovered in California.

1865–In the Chincha Islands War, Peru allies with Chile against Spain.

1870–Rodeo performer, Bill Pickett, is born Willie M. Pickett in Jenks-Branch, Texas. Pickett left school in the fifth grade to become a ranch hand. He soon began to ride horses and watch the longhorn steers of his native Texas. He invented the technique of bulldogging, the skill of grabbing cattle by the horns and wrestling them to the ground. Pickett soon became known for his tricks and stunts at local country fairs. With his four brothers, he established The Pickett Brothers Bronco Busters and Rough Riders Association. In 1971, he was inducted into the National Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame.

1870–Author and playwright, Alexandre Dumas, dies in Puys, near Dieppe, Seine-Maritime, France, at age 68. His works have been translated into nearly 100 languages, and he is one of the most widely read French authors. Many of his historical novels of high adventure were originally published as serials, including The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers.

1872–Chess player, Harry Nelson Pillsbury, is born in Somerville, Massachusetts. Pillsbury's rise was meteoric, and there was soon no one to challenge him in the New York chess scene. At the age of 22, he went to Europe and won The Hastings 1895 chess tournament, one of the strongest tournaments of the time. In spite of his ill health, Pillsbury beat American champion, Jackson Showalter, in 1897, to win the U.S. Chess Championship, a title he held until his death in 1906.

1876–The Brooklyn Theater Fire kills at least 278 people in Brooklyn, New York.

1879–Pilot, Clyde (Vernon) Cessna, is born in Hawthorne, Iowa. He was an aircraft designer, aviator, and founder of the Cessna Aircraft Corporation.

1890–Film producer and director, Fritz Lang, is born Friedrich Christian Anton Lang in Vienna, Austria-Hungary. His most famous films include the groundbreaking Metropolis (the world's most expensive film at the time of its release), and M, made before he moved to the United States, which is considered a precursor to the film noir genre. His other films include Fury, The Return of Frank James, Moontide, Rancho Notorious, The Blue Gardenia, The Big Heat, and While the City Sleeps.

1891–Dom Pedro II of Brazil dies of pneumonia while in exile in Paris, France, at age 66. He was the second and last ruler of the Empire of Brazil, reigning for over 58 years.

1894–Politician, Charles Robberts Swart, is born in Winburg, Orange Free State. He was the first State President of the Republic of South Africa.

1897–Film director and producer, Nunnally (Hunter) Johnson, is born in Columbus, Georgia. His films include Jesse James, The Grapes of Wrath, Tobacco Road, Along Came Jones, The Dark Mirror, Phone Call from a Stranger, My Cousin Rachel, How to Marry a Millionaire, The Three Faces of Eve, Flaming Star, and The World of Henry Orient.

1901–Visionary and movie producer, Walt Disney, is born in Chicago, Illinois. He was an entrepreneur, cartoonist, animator, and voice actor. Disney was a prominent figure within the American animation industry and throughout the world, and is regarded as a cultural icon, known for his influence and contributions to mainstream entertainment during the 20th century. He and his brother, Roy O. Disney, co-founded The Walt Disney Company. Disney and his staff created numerous famous fictional characters including Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy. He was also the creator of the original Disneyland Theme Park in Anaheim, California. Other such parks, around the world, would follow.

1902–U.S. Senator, (James) Strom Thurmond, is born in Edgefield, South Carolina. He was an eight-term Senator of South Carolina (December 1954-April 1956 and November 1956-January 2003).

1906–Film director and producer, Otto (Ludwig) Preminger, is born in Wiznitz, Austria-Hungary (present-day Vyzhnytsia, Ukraine). His films include Laura, Forever Amber, Daisy Kenyon, Stalag 17, The Moon Is Blue, Carmen Jones, River of No Return, The Man with the Golden Arm, Porgy and Bess, Anatomy of a Murder, Exodus, and In Harm’s Way.

1916–British Premier, H.H. Asquith, resigns from his post.

1920–Dimitrios Rallis forms a government in Greece.

1926–French impressionist painter, Claude Monet, dies after a long illness. During the last few years of his life, Monet was working on a series of mural-sized paintings of his garden, which he donated to France upon his death. Basically, he refused to die until he felt they were finished. As he painted, the bombs of World War I were falling within a few miles of where he worked. His neighbors fled, but Monet was determined to finish the work, which is magnificent, hanging in a special gallery constructed specifically for the paintings.

1927–King of Thailand, Bhumibol Adulyadej, is born in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He was the world's longest currently serving monarch. During his reign, he was served by a total of 30 prime ministers, beginning with Pridi Banomyong and ending with Prayut Chan-o-cha. They are otherwise known as Bhumibol's Thirty.

1931–The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow, Russia, is destroyed by an order from Joseph Stalin.

1932–German physicist, Albert Einstein, is granted a visa, making it possible for him to travel to the United States.

1932–Rock and roller, Little Richard, is born Richard Wayne Penniman in Macon, Georgia. His most celebrated work dates from the mid-1950s, when his dynamic music and charismatic showmanship laid the foundation for rock and roll. His hits include Tutti-Frutti, Long Tall Sally, Slippin’ and Slidin’, Rip It Up, Ready Teddy, Lucille, and Good Golly, Miss Molly.

1933–Prohibition ends in the United States, as Utah becomes the 36th state to ratify the 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, establishing the required 75% of states needed to enact the amendment. (This overturns the 18th Amendment, which had made the manufacture, sale, or transportation of alcohol illegal in the United States.)

1934–Novelist, essayist, and screenwriter, Joan Didion, is born in Sacramento, California. Her novels include Play It As It Lays; her non-fiction includes Salvador and Miami; and her screenplays include Panic in Needle Park, A Star Is Born, True Confessions, and Up Close and Personal.

1935–Novelist and author, Calvin (Marshall) Trillin, is born in Kansas City, Missouri. He won the Thurber Prize for American Humor in 2013.

1936–The Soviet Union adopts a new constitution, and the Kirghiz Soviet Socialist Republic is established as a full Union Republic of the USSR.

1938–Guitarist, JJ Cale, is born John Weldon Cale in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He is considered to be one of the originators of the Tulsa Sound, a loose genre drawing on blues, rockabilly, country, and jazz. He is best known for writing some of Eric Clapton's most notable hits, including After Midnight and Cocaine.

1941–Great Britain declares war on Finland, Hungary, and Romania.

1943–Allied air forces begin attacking Germany's secret weapons bases in Operation Crossbow.

1945–Flight 19 is lost in the Bermuda Triangle.

1945–Politician, Moshe Katsav, is born Musa Qasab in Yazd, Iran. He was the eighth President of Israel.

1947–Politician, (Orette) Bruce Golding, is born in Chapelton, Jamaica. He was the eighth Prime Minister of Jamaica.

1947–Jim Messina, of Loggins and Messina and Poco, is born James Melvin Messina in Maywood, California. The duo’s hits include Your Mama Don’t Dance and Danny’s Song.

1947–Rick Wills, bass player for Foreigner, Small Faces, and Bad Company, is born Richard William Wills in London, England.

1950–Indian guru, Sri Aurobindo, dies in Pondicherry, French India (present-day Puducherry), at age 78. Around 60,000 people attended his funeral. During his stay in Pondicherry, Aurobindo developed a method of spiritual practice he called Integral Yoga. The central theme of his vision was the evolution of human life into a life divine. He believed in a spiritual realisation that not only liberated man, but transformed his nature, enabling a divine life on Earth. In 1926, with the help of his spiritual collaborator, Mirra Alfassa ("The Mother"), he founded the Sri Aurobindo Ashram.

1951–Actress, Morgan Brittany, is born Suzanne Cupito in Hollywood, California. She was seen in dozens of TV shows, including Sea Hunt, Thriller, Rawhide, The Twilight Zone, My Three Sons, The Andy Griffith Show, The Love Boat, and Dallas. She appeared in the films Gypsy, The Birds, Yours Mine and Ours, Gable and Lombard, and The Initiation of Sarah.

1951–Baseball player and manager, “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, dies of a heart attack in Greenville, South Carolina, at age 64. He was an outfielder who played Major League Baseball in the early part of the 20th century. He is remembered for his performance on the field and for his alleged association with the Black Sox Scandal, in which members of the 1919 Chicago White Sox participated in a conspiracy to fix the World Series. As a result of Jackson's association with the scandal, he was banned from playing after the 1920 season.

1952–A cold fog descends upon London, England, combining with air pollution: it kills at least 12,000 people in the weeks and months that follow.

1955–The Montgomery Bus Boycott begins in Alabama. At that time, buses were segregated: the front of the bus was for whites and the back was for blacks. Blacks were required to give up their seats if the bus was crowded. On December 1, 1955, seamstress Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat. Minutes later, she was arrested and sent to jail. The following day, Martin Luther King, Jr. (and other prominent blacks) declared a boycott of the bus system. It began December 5th and lasted for more than a year. In the end, the segregation laws were declared unconstitutional.

1955–The American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations merge to form the AFL-CIO.

1957–Sukarno expels all Dutch people from Indonesia.

1958–Subscriber Trunk Dialing (STD) is inaugurated in the United Kingdom by Queen Elizabeth II, when she speaks to the Lord Provost in a call from Bristol to Edinburgh.

1958–The Preston bypass, the Britain’s first stretch of motorway, opens to traffic for the first time. It is now part of the M6 and M55 motorways.

1959–Rocker, Gene Vincent, meets TV producer, Jack Good, upon his arrival in England. Good convinces Vincent to adopt an outlaw image and clothes him completely in black leather, creating an enduring rock ‘n’ roll icon.

1963–Radio personality and former MTV VJ, Doctor Dré, is born André Brown in Westbury, New York. He is best known for being the co-host of MTV's hip hop music specialty program Yo! MTV Raps with Ed Lover.

1963–Actress, Carrie (Louise) Hamilton, is born in New York, New York. She appeared in the films Love Lives On, Hostage, Tokyo Pop, Shag, A Mother’s Justice, and Cool World. Her parents are comedienne, Carol Burnett, and television producer, Joe Hamilton.

1963–Politician, Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy, dies of a heart attack in Beirut, Lebanon, at age 71. He was the fifth Prime Minister of Pakistan.

1964–For his heroism in battle earlier in the year, Captain Roger Donlon is awarded the first Medal of Honor of the Vietnam War.

1964–Lloyd J. Old discovers the first linkage between the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) and disease, mouse leukemia, opening the way for the recognition of the importance of the MHC in the immune response.

1965–John Rzeznik, of the Goo Goo Dolls, is born John Joseph Theodore Rzeznik in Buffalo, New York.

1968–Graham Nash quits The Hollies. He announces the formation of Crosby, Stills & Nash three days later.

1968–Comedienne, Margaret (Moran) Cho, is born in San Francisco, California. She is best known for her stand-up routines, in which she critiques social and political problems, especially race and sexuality. She appeared in the films Angie, It’s My Party, Face/Off, and 17 Again.

1969–The four node ARPANET network is established.

1969–The Badfinger single, Come and Get It, is released in the U.K. Come and Get It was written and produced by Paul McCartney.

1969–Princess Alice of Battenberg dies at Buckingham Palace, London, England, at age 84. She was the mother of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and mother-in-law of Queen Elizabeth II. She was a great-grandaughter of Queen Victoria.

1973–The Paul McCartney and Wings LP, Band on the Run, is released in the U.S.

1974–Monty Python’s Flying Circus is shown for the last time on the BBC.

1977–Egypt breaks diplomatic relations with Syria, Libya, Algeria, Iraq, and South Yemen. The move is in retaliation for the Declaration of Tripoli against Egypt.

1978–The Soviet Union signs a "friendship treaty" with the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan.

1983–Dissolution of the Military Junta in Argentina takes place.

1983–Film director and producer, Robert Aldrich, dies of kidney failure in Los Angeles, California, at age 65. His films include Story of G.I. Joe, Apache, Vera Cruz, The Big Knife, Autumn Leaves, The Garment Jungle, The Last Sunset, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, The Flight of the Phoenix, The Dirty Dozen, The Longesat Yard, and The Frisco Kid.

1993–Helmut Zilk, the Mayor of Vienna, is injured by a letter bomb.

1993–Doug Hopkins, of the Gin Blossoms, dies of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in Tempe, Arizona, at age 32. He had suffered from chronic depression since childhood, and had been battling alcoholism for several years.

1995–The Sri Lankan government announces the conquest of the Tamil stronghold of Jaffna.

1998–Politician, Albert Gore, Sr., dies in Carthage, Tennessee, at age 90. He served as a Democrat U.S. Representative and a U.S. Senator from Tennessee.

2004–The Civil Partnership Act comes into effect in the United Kingdom, and the first civil partnership is registered.

2005–The Lake Tanganyika earthquake causes significant damage, mostly in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

2006–Commodore Frank Bainimarama overthrows the government in Fiji.

2007–A gunman opens fire with a semi-automatic rifle at the Westroads Mall in Omaha, Nebraska, killing eight people before taking his own life.

2008–Actress, Nina Foch, dies from the blood disorder myelodysplasia in Los Angeles, California, at age 84. She appeared in the films Cry of the Werewolf, Strange Affair, The Dark Past, An American in Paris, Scaramouche, Executive Suite, The Ten Commandments, Spartacus, Such Good Friends, Mahogany, Rich and Famous, and Hush.

2008–Actress, Beverly Garland, dies at her home in the Hollywood Hills, Hollywood, California, at age 82. She appeared in the films D.O.A., The Neanderthal Man, Swamp Women, Gunslinger, It Conquered the World, Not of This Earth, The Joker Is Wild, The Alligator People, Pretty Poison, and It’s My Turn.

2010–Football player and sportscaster, Don Meredith, dies of a brain hemorrhage in Santa Fe, New Mexico, at age 72. He spent all nine seasons of his professional playing career (1960-1968) with the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League (NFL). As an original member of the Monday Night Football broadcast team on ABC-TV, he played the role of Howard Cosell's comic foil.

2012–At least eight people are killed and 12 others are injured, after a 5.6 earthquake strikes Iran's South Khorasan Province.

2012–Jazz pianist, Dave Brubeck, dies of heart failure in Norwalk, Connecticut, at age 91. He was considered to be one of the foremost exponents of cool jazz. Brubeck's style ranged from refined to bombastic. His music is known for employing unusual time signatures, and superimposing contrasting rhythms, meters, and tonalities. His biggest hit, with The Dave Brubeck Quartet, was Take Five. His sons, Daris, Dan, Chris, Matthew, and Michael Brubeck are also musicians.

2012–Ignatius IV of Antioch dies following a stroke in Beirut, Lebanon, at age 92. He was the Patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch and All The East from 1979 to 2012.

2013–Militants attack a Defense Ministry compound in Sana'a, Yemen, killing at least 56 people and injuring 200 others.

2013–Activist, Nelson Mandela, dies from a lung infection at age 95. In 1962, Mandela was arrested for sabotage and conspiracy and sentenced to life in prison for his activism. He served 27 years before being released in 1990. He then served as the first black president of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, and sought to undo the racial tension and inequality that had been fostered by decades of apartheid.

2013–Philosopher and author, Colin Wilson, dies of pneumonia in St. Austell, Cornwall, England, at age 82. He wrote widely on true crime, mysticism, and the paranormal. Wilson called his philosophy "new existentialism" or "phenomenological existentialism." His works include The Outsider, The Mind Parasites, The Philosopher's Stone, The Space Vampires, and Starseekers.

2014–The first flight test of NASA's Orion spacecraft is successfully launched.

2014–Queen Fabiola of Belgium dies after years of ill health at Stuyvenberg Castle, Laeken, Belgium, at age 86. She was Queen consort of the Belgians for 33 years, between her wedding in 1960, and her husband's death in 1993.

2015–Three female suicide bombers kill at least 30 people and injure at least 80 others at a weekly market at Lake Chad.

2015–Scotland Yard says a series of stabbings at the Leytonstone tube station in London, England, is a terrorist incident.

2015–A person blown into the path of a bus by high winds dies in London, England.

2015–A state of emergency is declared in Tripoli, Greece, after the garbage had not been collected for three months.

2015–Thirty-two workers die as a result of fire at the Azerbaijani Gunashli oilfield in the Caspian Sea.

2015–Colombian President, Juan Manuel Santos, announces the discovery of the Spanish galleon San José which sunk off that country’s coast over 300 years ago.

2015–In an auction of personal items owned by Ringo Starr, his Ludwig drum kit sells for $2.2 to the owner of the Indianapolis Colts, Jim Irsay, and his copy of The Beatles “White Album” sells for $790,000. These are just two of the 800 items that Ringo and his wife, Barbara Bach, took out of the many storage spaces they have worldwide for the weekend auction. The couple is downsizing by getting rid of things they haven't laid eyes on in years.

2015–Businessman, Chuck Williams, dies in San Francisco, California, at age 100. He founded Williams-Sonoma, Inc. He was also the author and editor of more than 100 books on the subject of cooking. His estate donated Williams' nearly 4,000-piece collection of cookware to create the Chuck Williams Culinary Arts Museum, operated by the Culinary Institute of America.

2016–For personal reasons, John Key resigns as the Prime Minister of New Zealand and leader of the National Party.

2016–After weeks of protest, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers denies a permit for Energy Transfer Partners planned Dakota Access Pipeline running through North Dakota. They will begin exploring alternative routes for the pipeline.


PHOTOS TOP TO BOTTOM: Cicero; Christopher Columbus; Thomas Jefferson; Bill Pickett; Harry Nelson Pillsbury; Dom Petro II of Brazil; Walt Disney; Claude Monet; Joan Didion; the Bermuda Triangle; Sri Aurobindo; foggy London, England; the Preston bypass in Britain; Band on the Run by Paul McCartney and Wings; Albert Gore, Sr.; Nina Foch; Dave Brubeck; Colin Wilson; and Ringo Starr's Ludwig drum kit.

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