627 Battle of Nineveh: A Byzantine army under Emperor Heraclius defeated Emperor Khosrau II‘s Persian forces, commanded by General Rhahzadh.
1769 French explorer Jean François Marie de Surville first sighted New Zealand near Hokianga.
1779 Madeleine Sophie Barat, French saint was born (d. 1865).
1805 Henry Wells, Founder of American Express, was born (d. 1878).
1812 The French invasion of Russia ended.
1821 Gustave Flaubert, French writer, was born (d. 1880).
1862 USS Cairo sank on the Yazoo River, becoming the first armored ship to be sunk by an electrically detonated mine.
1863 Edvard Munch, Norwegian painter, was born (d. 1944).
1893 Edward G. Robinson, American actor, was born (d. 1973).
1870 Joseph H. Rainey of South Carolina became the first black U.S. congressman.
1881 – Harry Warner, Polish-American businessman, co-founded Warner Bros. was born (d. 1958).
1900 Sammy Davis, Sr., American dancer, was born (d. 1988).
1901 Guglielmo Marconi received the first transatlantic radio signal at Signal Hill in St John’s, Newfoundland.
1911 – Boun Oum, Laotian politician, 5th Prime Minister of Laos, was born(d. 1980).
1911 Delhi replaced Calcutta as the capital of India.
1915 Frank Sinatra, American singer and actor, was born (d. 1998).
1927 Robert Noyce, American inventor of the microchip, was born (d. 1990) .
1929 John Osborne, English dramatist, was born (d. 1994).
1935 Lebensborn Project, a Nazi reproduction programme, was founded by Heinrich Himmler.
1936 Xi’an Incident: The Generalissimo of the Republic of China, Chiang Kai-shek was kidnapped by Zhang Xueliang.
1937 – Michael Jeffery, Australian general and politician, 24th Governor-General of Australia, was born.
1938 Connie Francis, American singer, was born .
1940 – Dionne Warwick, American singer, was born.
1941 Adolf Hitler announced the extermination of the Jews at a meeting in the Reich Chancellery.
1948 Batang Kali Massacre – 14 members of the Scots Guards stationed in Malaysia allegedly massacred 24 unarmed civilians and set fire to the village.
1949 – Bill Nighy, English actor, was born.
1950 Paula Ackerman, the first woman appointed to perform rabbinical functions in the United States, led the congregation in her first services.
1956 Irish Republican Army‘s “Border Campaign” began.
1961 The first Golden Kiwi draw took place.
1963 Kenya gained its independence from the United Kingdom.
1964 Prime Minister Jomo Kenyatta became the first President of the Republic of Kenya.
1965 Will Carling, English rugby union footballer, was born.
1969 – Sophie Kinsella, English author and educator, was born.
1979 Rhodesia changed its name to Zimbabwe.
1982 Women’s peace protest at Greenham Common – 30,000 women held hands and formed a human chain around the 14.5 kilometres (9.0 mi) perimeter fence.
1988 The Clapham Junction rail crash killed thirty-five and injures hundreds after two collisions of three commuter trains.
1991 Russian Federation gained independence from the USSR.
2000 – The United States Supreme Court released its decision in Bush v. Gore.
2006 Peugeot produced its last car at the Ryton Plant signalling the end of mass car production in Coventry, formerly a major centre of the British motor industry.
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.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.