627 – Battle of Nineveh: A Byzantine army under Emperor Heraclius defeats Emperor Khosrau II's Persian forces, commanded by General Rhahzadh.
1098 – First Crusade: Massacre of Ma'arrat al-Numan – Crusaders breach the town's walls and massacre about 20,000 inhabitants. After finding themselves with insufficient food, they resort to cannibalism.
1408 – The Order of the Dragon a monarchical chivalric order is created by Sigismund of Luxembourg, then King of Hungary.
1781 – American Revolutionary War: Second Battle of Ushant – A Royal Navy squadron, commanded by Rear Admiral Richard Kempenfelt in HMS Victory, defeats a French fleet.
1787 – Pennsylvania becomes the second state to ratify the United States Constitution five days after Delaware became the first.
1862 – USS Cairo sinks on the Yazoo River, becoming the first armored ship to be sunk by an electrically detonated mine.
1870 – Joseph H. Rainey of South Carolina becomes the second black U.S. congressman, the first one being Hiram Revels.
1897 – Belo Horizonte, the first planned city in Brazil, is founded.
1901 – Guglielmo Marconi receives the first transatlantic radio signal at Signal Hill in St John's, Newfoundland.
1911 – Delhi replaces Calcutta as the capital of India.
1911 – King George V of the United Kingdom and Mary of Teck are enthroned as Emperor and Empress of India.
1915 – President of the Republic of China, Yuan Shikai announces his intention to reinstate the monarchy and proclaim himself Emperor of China.
1917 – In Nebraska, Father Edward J. Flanagan founds Boys Town as a farm village for wayward boys.
1918 – Flag of Estonia is raised atop the Pikk Hermann for the first time.
1925 – The Majlis of Iran votes to crown Reza Khan as the new Shah of Persia.
1935 – Lebensborn Project, a Nazi reproduction program, is founded by Heinrich Himmler.
1936 – Xi'an Incident: The Generalissimo of the Republic of China, Chiang Kai-shek is kidnapped by Zhang Xueliang.
1937 – Panay incident: Japanese aircraft bomb and sink US gunboat Panay on the Yangtze River in China.
1939 – Winter War: Battle of Tolvajärvi – Finnish forces defeat those of the Soviet Union in their first major victory of the conflict.
1939 – HMS Duchess (H64) sinks after a collision with HMS Barham off the coast of Scotland with the loss of 124 men
1940 – World War II: Approximately 70 people are killed in the Marples Hotel, Fitzalan Square, Sheffield as a result of a German air raid.
1941 – World War II: Fifty four Japanese A6M Zero fighters raid Batangas Field, Philippines. Jesús Villamor and four Filipino fighter pilots fend them off; César Basa is killed.
1941 – World War II: USMC F4F "Wildcats" sink the first 4 major Japanese ships off Wake Island.
1941 – World War II: UK declares war on Bulgaria. Hungary and Romania declare war on the United States. India declares war on Japan.
1941 – Adolf Hitler announces extermination of the Jews at a meeting in the Reich Chancellery
1942 – World War II: German troops begin Operation Winter Storm, an attempt to relieve encircled Axis forces during the Battle of Stalingrad.
1942 – A fire in a hostel in St. John's, Newfoundland kills 100 people.
1946 – A fire at a New York City ice plant spreads to a nearby tenement killing 37 people.
1948 – Malayan Emergency: Batang Kali Massacre – 14 members of the Scots Guards stationed in Malaysia allegedly massacre 24 unarmed civilians and set fire to the village.
1950 – Paula Ackerman, the first woman appointed to perform rabbinical functions in the United States, leads the congregation in her first services.
1956 – Beginning of the Irish Republican Army's "Border Campaign".
1958 – Guinea joins the United Nations.
1963 – Kenya gains its independence from the United Kingdom.
1964 – Prime Minister Jomo Kenyatta becomes the first President of the Republic of Kenya.
1969 – Strategy of tension: Piazza Fontana bombing – The offices of Banca Nazionale dell'Agricoltura in Piazza Fontana, Milan, are bombed.
1979 – Coup d'état of December Twelfth: South Korean Army Major General Chun Doo-hwan orders the arrest of Army Chief of Staff General Jeong Seung-hwa without authorization from President Choi Kyu-ha, alleging involvement in the assassination of ex-President Park Chung Hee.
1979 – President of Pakistan, Zia-ul-Haq, confers Nishan-e-Imtiaz on Nobel laureate Dr Abdus Salam.
1979 – The unrecognised state of Zimbabwe Rhodesia returns to British control and resumes using the name Southern Rhodesia.
1979 – A major earthquake and tsunami kill 259 people in Colombia.
1982 – Women's peace protest at Greenham Common – 30,000 women hold hands and form a human chain around the 14.5 kilometres (9.0 mi) perimeter fence.
1984 – Maaouiya Ould Sid'Ahmed Taya becomes the third president of Mauritania after a coup d'état against Mohamed Khouna Ould Haidalla while the latter is attending a summit.
1985 – Arrow Air Flight 1285 crashes after takeoff in Gander, Newfoundland killing 256, including 236 members of the United States Army's 101st Airborne Division.
1988 – The Clapham Junction rail crash kills thirty-five and injures hundreds after two collisions of three commuter trains – one of the worst train crashes in the United Kingdom.
1991 – Russian Federation gains independence from the USSR.
2000 – The United States Supreme Court releases its decision in Bush v. Gore
2005 – Gebran Tueni, Lebanese journalist and politician, is assassinated.