1140 – Conrad III of Germany besieged Weinsberg.
1598 – Battle of Curalaba: The revolting Mapuche, led by cacique Pelentaru, inflict a major defeat on Spanish troops in southern Chile.
1620 – Plymouth Colony: William Bradford and the Mayflower Pilgrims land on what is now known as Plymouth Rock in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
1832 – Egyptian–Ottoman War: Egyptian forces decisively defeat Ottoman troops at the Battle of Konya.
1844 – The Rochdale Pioneers commence business at their cooperative in Rochdale, England, starting the Cooperative movement.
1861 – Medal of Honor: Public Resolution 82, containing a provision for a Navy Medal of Valor, is signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln.
1872 – Challenger expedition: HMS Challenger, commanded by Captain George Nares, sails from Portsmouth.
1879 – World première of Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House at the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen.
1883 – The first Permanent Force cavalry and infantry regiments of the Canadian Army are formed: The Royal Canadian Dragoons and The Royal Canadian Regiment.
1913 – Arthur Wynne's "word-cross", the first crossword puzzle, is published in the New York World.
1937 – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the world's first full-length animated feature, premieres at the Carthay Circle Theater.
1941 – World War II: A formal treaty of alliance between Thailand and Japan is signed in the presence of the Emerald Buddha in Wat Phra Kaew.
1962 – Rondane National Park is established as Norway's first national park.
1967 – Louis Washkansky, the first man to undergo a heart transplant, dies in Cape Town, South Africa, after living for 18 days after the transplant.
1968 – Apollo program: Apollo 8 launched from the Kennedy Space Center, placing its crew on a lunar trajectory for the first visit to another celestial body by humans.
1969 – The Gay Activists Alliance is formed in New York City.
1969 – The United Nations adopts the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.
1973 – The Geneva Conference on the Arab-Israeli conflict opens.
1979 – Lancaster House Agreement: An independence agreement for Rhodesia is signed in London by Lord Carrington, Sir Ian Gilmour, Robert Mugabe, Joshua Nkomo, Bishop Abel Muzorewa and S.C. Mundawarara.
1988 – A bomb explodes on board Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland, killing 270.
1992 – A Dutch DC-10, flight Martinair MP 495, crashes at Faro Airport, killing 56 people.
1994 – Mexican volcano Popocatepetl, dormant for 47 years, erupts gases and ash.
1995 – The city of Bethlehem passes from Israeli to Palestinian control.
1999 – The Spanish Civil Guard intercepts a van loaded with 950 kg of explosives that ETA intended to use to blow up Torre Picasso in Madrid.
2004 – Iraq War: A suicide bomber killed 22 at the forward operating base next to the main U.S. military airfield at Mosul, the single deadliest suicide attack on American soldiers.
2009 – Northwest Airlines Flight 253 was almost bombed by Al Qaida but the bomber was later apprehended. It is also known as the Christmas Day bombing attempt.