764 – Tibetan troops occupy Chang’an for 15 days, capital of the Chinese Tang Dynasty
1927 – Leon Trotsky is expelled from the Soviet Communist Party, paving the way for Joseph Stalin to consolidate complete power
1942 – WWII Naval Battle of Guadalcanal begins between Allied and Japanese forces in Solomon Islands
1954 – The immigration reception centre at Ellis Island, New York, which processed more than 12 million immigrants, was closed.
1968 – US Supreme Court: Epperson v. Arkansas, court declares unconstitutional Arkansas law banning teaching evolution in public schools
1970 – Cyclone Bhola makes landfall in East Pakistan (Bangladesh) killing up to 500,000, making it the deadliest tropical cyclone ever recorded
1971 – Arches National Park—a desert area of sandstone formations in eastern Utah—was established; the region had been designated a national monument in 1929.
1980 – The U.S. space probe Voyager 1 reached the planet Saturn.
1990 – Japanese Emperor Akihito—according to tradition, the 125th direct descendant of Jimmu, Japan’s legendary first emperor—was formally enthroned on this day in 1990, nearly two years after the death of his father, Hirohito.
2001 – Taliban forces abandon Afghanistan’s capital Kabul, ahead of advancing Afghan Northern Alliance troops
2003 – With 501 km/h (311 mph) Shanghai Transrapid sets up a new world record for commercial railway systems.
2011 – As Italy struggled amid the euro-zone debt crisis, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi submitted his letter of resignation; four days later he was succeeded by Mario Monti.
2014 – European Space Agency’s Rosetta lands the Philae probe on the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko
2015 – Out Magazine names Barack Obama ‘Ally of the Year’, Obama becomes 1st sitting US President to pose for cover of a gay magazine
2017 – For the first time Prince Charles lays the wreath to Great Britain’s war dead, replacing Queen Elizabeth
2018 – Former US First lady Michelle Obama publishes her memoir “Becoming”
2019 – Disney launches its streaming service Disney+
2019 – Former Bolivian President Evo Morales takes asylum in Mexico
2019 – 550th anniversary of the birth of Guru Nanak – the founder of Sikhism celebrated in India and Pakistan
2019 – Israeli forces kill senior commander of Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group in the Gaza Strip with Palestinian militants setting off retaliatory rockets at Israel
2020 – US President-elect Joe Biden announces Ron Klain will be his White House Chief of Staff
Births & Deaths:
1994 – Sprinter Wilma Rudolph, who overcame crippling childhood illnesses to become the first American woman to win three track-and-field gold medals in a single Olympics, died in Tennessee.
2018 – American comic book writer Stan Lee—who helped create such iconic characters and teams as the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, the Avengers, and the X-Men for Marvel Comics—died at age 95.
Film & TV:
1910 – 1st possible movie stunt: man jumps into the Hudson river from a burning balloon
1989 – George Forrest’s musical “Grand Hotel” opens at Martin Beck Theater NYC for 1018 performances (5 Tony wins)
1991 “Full House” 100th episode, the twins are born
1982 – Zaheer Abbas gets his 100th 100 in Test Cricket for Pakistan v India, goes to 215
Via Britannica / On This Day