On December 18:
Kublai Khan renamed his empire “Yuan” (元 yuán), officially marking the start of the Yuan Dynasty of Mongolia and China.
1620 – The Mayflower landed in present-day Plymouth, Massachusetts with 102 Pilgrims on board.
Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor by William Halsall (1882)
1642 Abel Tasman and his men had the
first known European encounter with Maori.
Charles Wesley, English Methodist hymnist, was born.
United States celebrated its first Thanksgiving, marking the recent victory by the Americans over General John Burgoyne in the Battle of Saratoga in October.
Joseph Grimaldi, English clown, was born.
Henrietta Edwards, Canadian women’s rights activist, was born.
Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria, was born.
1878 Joseph Stalin, leader of the Soviet Union, was born.
1888 – Richard Wetherill and his brother in-law discovered the ancient Indian ruins of Mesa Verde.
Edwin Armstrong, American inventor (FM radio) was born.
1898 Gaston de Chasseloup-Laubat set the new land speed record going 39.245 mph (63.159 km/h), in a Jeantaud electric car. This is the first recognized land speed record.
1900 The Upper Ferntree Gully to Gembrook Narrow-gauge (2 ft 6 in or 762 mm) Railway (now the
Puffing Billy Railway) in Victoria, Australia opened.
The Monbulk Creek Trestle Bridge.
Irving Kahn, American financial analyst and investor, was born.
Celia Johnson, English actress, was born.
Eric Tindill, New Zealand cricketer and rugby player, was born.
Piltdown Man, later discovered to be a hoax, was found in the Piltdown Gravel Pit, by Charles Dawson.
Willy Brandt, Chancellor of Germany, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, was born.
Betty Grable, American actress, was born.
Jacques Pépin, French chef, was born.
Chas Chandler, English musician ( The Animals), was born.
1943 Keith Richards, English guitarist ( The Rolling Stones), was born.
Steve Biko, South African anti-apartheid activist, was born.
Steven Spielberg, American film director, was born.
Brad Pitt, American actor, was born.
Saturn‘s moon Epimetheus is discovered by Richard L. Walker.
Home Secretary James Callaghan‘s motion to make permanent the Murder (Abolition of Death Penalty) Act 1965, which had temporarily suspended capital punishment in England, Wales and Scotland for murder (but not for all crimes) for a period of five years, was carried by both the House of Commons and the House of Lords.
, crewed by cosmonauts Soyuz 13 Valentin Lebedev and Pyotr Klimuk, was launched from Baikonur in the Soviet Union.
Larry Wall released the first version of the Perl programming language.
HTML 4.0 was published by the World Wide Web Consortium.
NASA launched into orbit the Terra platform carrying five Earth Observation instruments, including ASTER, CERES, MISR, MODIS and MOPITT.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.