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On December 2nd...

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1409 The University of Leipzig opened.

Hernando Cortes1547 Hernando Cortés, Spanish conqueror of Mexico, died.

Gerard Mercator1594 Cartographer Gerard Mercator died.

1697 St. Paul's Cathedral, in London, was consecrated for use.

1736 Revolutionary War General Richard Montgomery was born.

1755 The Eddystone Lighthouse was destroyed by fire.

1763 Touro shul was dedicated in Newport, Rhode Island, making it the first synagogue in America.

1787 Pennsylvania became the 2nd state to ratify the Constitution.

1802 Great Britain sold Suriname to the Netherlands.

Napoleon Bonaparte1804 Napoleon Bonaparte assumed the imperial crown of France in a ceremony in the Cathedral of Notre-Dame.

1805 The Battle of Austerlitz was fought between France and the combined forces of Austria and Russia.

1814 Author Marquis de Sade died.

1816 Philadelphia Savings Fund Society opened as the first savings bank in the United States.

James Monroe's Administration1823 U.S. President James Monroe proclaimed the Monroe Doctrine in his message to Congress.

1825 Pedro II, Emperor of Brazil, was born.

1848 Franz Josef I became Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary.

1851 French President Charles Louis Bonaparte overthrew the Second Republic and established himself as Emperor.

John Brown1859 Abolitionist John Brown was executed for staging a raid on the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia.
Georges Seurat1859 French painter Georges Seurat was born.

1863 Jane Pierce, wife of U.S. President Franklin Pierce, died.

1892 Railroad baron Jay Gould died.

1899 The United States and Germany agreed to divide the Samoan Islands.

1914 Actor Ray Walston was born.

1919 Businessman Henry Clay Frick died.

1923 Opera singer Maria Callas was born.

Alexander Haig1924 Alexander Haig, U.S. Secretary of State, was born.

1929 The first "Peking Man" skull was found.

1931 Ed Meese, political advisor and U.S. Secretary of State, was born.

1932 "Adventures of Charlie Chan" debuted on NBC-Blue Radio.

1936 John Ringling, co-founder of Ringling Bros. Circus, died.

1919 New York City's La Guardia Airport officially opened.
1919 Businessman Henry Clay Frick died.

1924 Alexander Haig, political advisor and U.S. Secretary of State, was born.

1939 An airliner from Chicago, Illinois, became the first to land at La Guardia Airport in New York City, New York.

1942 Scientists achieved the first controlled atomic chain reaction, in Chicago.

1944 Actress Cathy Lee Crosby was born.

1946 Fashion designer Gianni Versace was born.

1948 Vern Carsten made the first flight of the Beech T-34 prototype.

1951 Don Hutton's #14 became the first ever jersey number to be retired by the Green Bay Packers.

Joseph McCarthy1954 The U.S. Senate censured Joseph McCarthy for "conduct that tends to bring the Senate into dishonor and disrepute."
1954 Television journalist Stone Phillips was born.

Shippingport1957 The first full-scale civilian nuclear power plant went into operation on a test basis at Shippingport, Pennsylvania.
1957 Figure skater Randy Gardner was born.

Frejus, France1959 A flash flood caused by the collapse of Malpasset Dam all but wiped out the 2,000-year-old town of Fréjus, France, and killed at least 350 persons.

1963 The Commonwealth Pacific Cable, linking Australia with Canada, was inaugurated.

Kennedy Center1964 President Lyndon Johnson broke ground for construction of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

1967 Francis Cardinal Spellman, Archbishop of New York, died.

1968 Actress Lucy Liu was born.

William HowardTaft National Historic Site1969 The William Howard Taft National Historic Site was established.

United Arab Emirates1971 The governments of six Arabian Peninsula emirates formally merged to form the United Arab Emirates.

1973 Tennis player Monica Seles was born.

1975 The Lao People's Democratic Republic was founded.

Fidel Castro1976 Fidel Castro became President of Cuba.

1981 The Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco officially opened.
1981 Singer Britney Spears was born.

1982 Barney Clark became the first person to be implanted with a permanent artificial heart.
1982 Actor Marty Feldman died.

1983 Football player Aaron Rodgers was born.

1986 Actor Desi Arnaz died.

1990 The newlry reunified Germany held its first parliamentary elections.
Aaron Copland1990 American composer Aaron Copland died.

1993 Pablo Escobar, leader of the Colombian drug cartel, was killed during a police operation.

2012 Nine persons died after 30 cars were trapped in Japan's Sasago Tunnel.

2015 Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik killed 14 persons and wounded another 17 at a social services center in San Bernardino, California.

2016 A fire during a dance party at an Oakland, California, warehouse, killed 36 persons.

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The Robinson Library >> On This Day

This page was last updated on October 27, 2018.