1577 – Sir Francis Drake sets sail from England on a circumnavigation of the world
1642 – Dutch navigator Abel Tasman sighted South Island, New Zealand, and later, mistaking the strait north of the island for a bay, believed he had found the west coast of a hypothetical southern continent.
1920 – League of Nations establishes the International Court of Justice in The Hague
1937 – The Japanese Imperial Army seized Nanjing, China, during the Sino-Japanese War, leading to the Nanjing Massacre, in which up to 300,000 Chinese may have been killed.
1967 – Unsuccessful coup against Greek King Constantine II
1968 – Brazilian President Da Costa e Silva issues Ato Institucional Número Cinco degree
1969 – MLB manager Billy Martin fired by the Minnesota Twins
1974 – Malta becomes a republic
1975 – Australian Federal Election – Liberals with coalition under Malcolm Fraser win largest ever parliamentary majority
1984 – Artificial heart recipient William Schroeder suffers 1st stroke
1990 – South African President F. W. de Klerk meets with Nelson Mandela to talk of end of apartheid
1993 – Deadline for Israeli troop withdrawal from Gaza, they don’t
1996 – Kofi Annan is elected Secretary-General of the United Nations
2002 – Enlargement of the European Union: The European Union announces that Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia will become members from May 1, 2004.
2003 – Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is captured near his home town of Tikrit, during Operation Red Dawn by US forces
2004 – Former Chilean dictator, General Augusto Pinochet is put under house arrest, after being sued under accusations over 9 kidnapping actions and manslaughter. The house arrest is lifted the same day on appeal.
2014 – A civil rights protest march in Washington, D.C. takes place, against the police killing of unarmed black men
2016 – UN claims 82 civilians have been summary executed in Aleppo by pro-government forces
2017 – Prehistoric bones of a penguin as tall as a human (1.77m) found on Otago beach, New Zealand, reported in “Nature Communications”
2017 – Prime Minister Theresa May’s UK Conservative government loses key vote in Parliament for an amendment to allow MPs to vote on Brexit
2017 – Salma Hayek accuses Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment and threatening to kill her
2017 – Online dictionary Merriam-Webster’s most searched word of the year is Feminism
2020 – Germany announces a strict lockdown till Jan 10 after looser restrictions failed to prevent COVID-19 numbers surging
Births & Deaths:
1989 – American country music singer-songwriter Taylor Swift, whose pop-infused tales of young heartache achieved widespread crossover success in the early 21st century, was born.
Film & TV:
1956 – The film drama Anastasia was released in American theatres; it marked the Hollywood comeback of Ingrid Bergman, whose extramarital affair had caused a scandal, and she won an Academy Award for her performance.
1989 – “Driving Miss Daisy” directed by Bruce Beresford and starring Morgan Freeman and Jessica Tandy is released (Best Picture 1990)
1961 – The Beatles sign a formal agreement to be managed by Brian Epstein
2007 – The Mitchell Report is publicly released listing the names of 89 Major League Baseball players that have presumably used anabolic steroids and human growth hormones. Notable players named include Roger Clemens and Miguel Tejada.
2004 – Ballon d’Or: Milan’s Ukrainian striker Andriy Shevchenko is named best football player in Europe ahead of Deco (Porto/FC Barcelona) and Barcelona midfielder Ronaldinho
Via Britannica / On This Day