627 – Battle of Nineveh: A Byzantine army under Emperor Heraclius defeats Emperor Khosrau II's Persian forces, commanded by General Rhahzadh.
1098 – First Crusade: Siege of Ma'arrat al-Numan – Crusaders breach the town's walls and massacre about 20,000 inhabitants. After finding themselves with insufficient food, they reportedly resort to cannibalism.
1388 – Mary of Enghien sells the lordship of Argos and Nauplia to the Republic of Venice.
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 British fleet led by 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 – American Civil War: 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 being Hiram Revels.
1897 – Belo Horizonte, the first planned city in Brazil, is founded.
1901 – Guglielmo Marconi receives the first transatlantic radio signal (the letter "S" [***] in Morse Code), 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 – The 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 Iran, starting the Pahlavi dynasty.
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 – Second Sino-Japanese War: USS Panay incident – Japanese aircraft bomb and sink U.S. gunboat USS 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 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: The United Kingdom declares war on Bulgaria. Hungary and Romania declare war on the United States. India declares war on Japan.
1941 – Adolf Hitler declares the imminent 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 Malaya 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 – Years of Lead: 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 Muhammad 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.
1983 – The Australian Labor government led by Prime Minister Bob Hawke and Treasurer Paul Keating floats the Australian dollar.
1984 – Maaouya 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, a McDonnell Douglas DC-8, crashes after takeoff in Gander, Newfoundland, killing all 256 people on board, 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 – The Russian Federation gains independence from the USSR.
2000 – The United States Supreme Court releases its decision in Bush v. Gore.
2001 – Prime Minister of Vietnam Phan Văn Khải announces the decision on upgrading Phong Nha–Kẻ Bàng to the Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park, providing information on projects for the conservation and development of the park and revised maps.
2012 – North Korea successfully launches its first satellite, Kwangmyŏngsŏng-3 Unit 2, using an Unha-3 carrier rocket.
2012 – 12-12-12: The Concert for Sandy Relief took place at Madison Square Garden and was broadcast on 20 international television networks to raise money for the victims of Hurricane Sandy.