On December 10:
1041 – Empress Zoe of Byzantium elevated her adopted son to the throne of the Eastern Roman Empire as Michael V.
1508 – The League of Cambrai was formed by Pope Julius II, Louis XII of France, Maximilian 1, Holy Roman Emperor and Ferdinand II of Aragon as an alliance against Venice.
1394 King James I of Scotland was born (d. 1437).
1520 Martin Luther burned his copy of the papal bull Exsurge Domine outside Wittenberg‘s Elster Gate.
1655 The Royal Netherlands Marine Corps was founded by Michiel de Ruyter.
1684 Isaac Newton‘s derivation of Kepler’s laws from his theory of gravity, contained in the paper De motu corporum in gyrum, was read to the Royal Society by Edmund Halley.
1830 Emily Dickinson, American poet, was born (d. 1886).
1868 The first traffic lights were installed outside the Palace of Westminster in London. Resembling railway signals, they used semaphore arms and were illuminated at night by red and green gas lamps.
1878 Rajaji, India’s freedom fighter and the first Governor General of independent India was born (d. 1972).
1901 The first Nobel Prizes were awarded.
The committee room of the Norwegian Nobel Committee
1902 Women were given the right to vote in Tasmania.
1906 U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt won the Nobel Peace Prize, becoming the first American to do so.
1907 The worst night of the Brown Dog riots in London, when 1,000 medical students clashed with 400 police officers over the existence of a memorial for animals which had been vivisected.
1907 Rumer Godden, English writer, was born (d. 1998).
1908 Ernest Rutherford won the Nobel Prize in chemistry.
1914 Dorothy Lamour, American actress, was born (d. 1996).
1927 The Grand Ole Opry premiered on radio.
1932 Thailand adopted a Constitution and became a constitutional monarchy.
1936 Abdication Crisis: Edward VIII signed the Instrument of Abdication.
The Instrument of Abdication signed by Edward VIII and his three brothers.
1948 The UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Eleanor Roosevelt with the Spanish version of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
1949 Chinese Civil War: The People’s Liberation Army began its siege of Chengdu, the last Kuomintang-held city in mainland China, forcing President of the Republic of China Chiang Kai-shek and his government to retreat to Taiwan.
1952 Susan Dey, American actress, was born.
1955 Jacquelyn Mitchard, American novelist, was born.
1960 Kenneth Branagh, Northern Irish actor and director, was born.
1962 New Zealand born Maurice Wilkins won the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine. His colleagues James Watson and Francis Crick shared the prize for their studies on the structure of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), the genetic molecule found in all organisms. Watson used X-rays to show the shape of the double helix.
1978 Arab-Israeli conflict: Prime Minister of Israel Menachem Begin and President of Egypt Anwar Sadat were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
1983 Democracy was restored in Argentina with the assumption of President Raúl Alfonsín.
1989 Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj announced the establishment of Mongolia‘s democratic movement that peacefully changed the second oldest communist country into a democratic society.
1993 The last shift left Wearmouth Colliery in Sunderland. The closure of the 156-year-old pit marked the end of the old County Durham coalfield, which had been in operation since the Middle Ages.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.