1032 Emperor Yingzong of China, was born (d. 1067).
1646 Battle of Great Torrington, Devon – the last major battle of the first English Civil War.
1770 Captain James Cook sighted what he called Banks Island but later discovered was a peninsula.
1804 First Barbary War: Stephen Decatur led a raid to burn the pirate-held frigate USS Philadelphia (1799).
1838 Weenen Massacre: Hundreds of Voortrekkers along the Blaukraans River, Natal were killed by Zulus.
1852 Studebaker Brothers wagon company, precursor of the automobile manufacturer, is established.
1859 The French Government passed a law to set the A-note above middle C to a frequency of 435 Hz, in an attempt to standardize the pitch.
1899 President Félix Faure of France died in office.
1899 – Knattspyrnufélag Reykjavíkur Iceland‘s first football club was founded.
1918 The Council of Lithuania unanimously adopted the Act of Independence, declaring Lithuania an independent state.
1923 – Howard Carter unsealed the burial chamber of Pharoh Tutankhamun.
1926 Margot Frank, German-born Dutch Jewish holocaust victim, was born (d. 1945).
1934 – Austrian Civil War ended with the defeat of the Social Democrats and the Republican Schutzbund.
1934 – Commission of Government was sworn in as form of direct rule for the Dominion of Newfoundland.
1936 – Elections brought the Popular Front to power in Spain.
1937 – Wallace H. Carothers received a patent for nylon.
1940 Altmark Incident: The German tanker Altmark was boarded by sailors from the British destroyer HMS Cossack. 299 British prisoners were freed.
1941 –Kim Jong-il, North Korean leader, was born.
1947 – Canadians were granted Canadian citizenship after 80 years of being British subjects. Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King became the first Canadian citizen.
1954 – Iain Banks, Scottish author, was born.
1956 Vincent Ward, New Zealand director and screenwriter, was born.
1957 The “Toddlers’ Truce“, a controversial television close down between 6.00pm and 7.00pm was abolished in the United Kingdom.
1959 John McEnroe, American tennis player, was born.
1959 Fidel Castro becomes Premier of Cuba after dictator Fulgencio Batista was overthrown on January 1.
1960 Pete Willis, English guitarist (Def Leppard), was born.
1961 Andy Taylor, English musician (Duran Duran, The Power Station), was born.
1961 – Explorer program: Explorer 9 (S-56a) was launched.
1968 – In Haleyville, Alabama, the first 9-1-1 emergency telephone system went into service.
1973 Cathy Freeman, Australian athlete, was born.
1978 – The first computer bulletin board system was created (CBBS in Chicago, Illinois).
1983 – The Ash Wednesday bushfires in Victoria and South Australia claimed the lives of 75 people.
1985 – The founding of Hezbollah.
1986 – The Soviet liner Mikhail Lermontov ran aground in the Marlborough Sounds.
1987 – The trial of John Demjanjuk, accused of being a Nazi guard dubbed “Ivan the Terrible” in Treblinka extermination camp, started in Jerusalem.
1991 – Nicaraguan Contras leader Enrique Bermúdez was assassinated in Managua.
1999 – Across Europe Kurdish rebels took over embassies and hold hostages after Turkey arrested one of their rebel leaders, Abdullah Öcalan.
2005 – The Kyoto Protocol came into force, following its ratification by Russia.
2005 – The National Hockey League cancelled the entire 2004-2005 regular season and playoffs, becoming the first major sports league in North America to do so over a labour dispute.
2006 – The last Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) was decommissioned by the United States Army.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia