1431 Henry VI of England was crowned King of France at Notre Dame in Paris.
1485 Catherine of Aragon, Queen of England, was born (d. 1536).
1497 Vasco da Gama rounded the Cape of Good Hope, the point where Bartolomeu Dias had previously turned back to Portugal.
1653 Oliver Cromwell became Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland.
1707 Last recorded eruption of Mount Fuji in Japan.
1770 Ludwig van Beethoven, German composer was born (d. 1827).
1773 Boston Tea Party – Members of the Sons of Liberty disguised as Mohawks dump crates of tea into Boston harbor as a protest against the Tea Act.
1775 Jane Austen, English writer, was born (d. 1817).
1787 – Mary Russell Mitford, English writer, was born (d. 1855)
1790 King Léopold I of Belgium, was born (d. 1865).
1850 The Charlotte-Jane and the Randolph brought the first settlers to Lyttelton.
1882 Sir Jack Hobbs, English cricketer, was born (d. 1963).
1883 Max Linder, French pioneer of silent film, was born (d. 1925).
1888 King Alexander I of Yugoslavia, was born (d. 1934).
1893 Antonín Dvořák‘s Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95, “From The New World” was given its world première at Carnegie Hall.
1899 Sir Noel Coward, English playwright, actor and composer, was born (d. 1973).
1905 Piet Hein, Danish mathematician and inventor was born (d. 1996).
1905 A great rugby rivalry was born when a last-minute try to All Black Bob Deans was disallowed, handing the Welsh victory.
1907 The Great White Fleet (US Naval Battle fleet) began its circumnavigation of the world.
1915 – Turk Murphy, American trombonist, was born (d. 1987).
1917 Sir Arthur C. Clarke, English writer, was born (d. 2008).
1920 The Haiyuan earthquake, magnitude 8.5, in Gansu province killed an estimated 200,000.
1938 Adolf Hitler instituted the Cross of Honor of the German Mother.
1943 Tony Hicks, English guitarist (The Hollies), was born.
1944 The Battle of the Bulge began with the surprise offensive of three German armies through the Ardennes forest.
1946 Benny Andersson, Swedish musician, singer and songwriter (ABBA), was born.
1947 Ben Cross, English actor, was born.
1947 William Shockley, John Bardeen and Walter Brattain built the first practical point-contact transistor.
1949 Svenska Aeroplan Aktiebolaget, later knons as SAAB, was founded in Sweden.
1952 Joel Garner, Barbadian West Indies cricketer, was born.
1955 – Prince Lorenz of Belgium, Archduke of Austria-Este, was born.
1960 1960 New York air disaster: While approaching New York’s Idlewild Airport, a United Airlines Douglas DC-8 collided with a TWA Lockheed Super Constellation in a blinding snowstorm over Staten Island, killing 134.
1971 Bangladesh War of Independence and Indo-Pakistani War of 1971: The surrender of the Pakistan army brings an end to both conflicts.
1971 – Independence Day of the State of Bahrain from British Protectorate Status.
1972 Angela Bloomfield, New Zealand actress, was born.
1991 Independence of The Republic of Kazakhstan.
1997 Dennō Senshi Porygonan episode of Pokémon, was aired in Japan, inducing seizures in hundreds of Japanese children.
2003 President George W. Bush signed the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 into law. The law established the United States’ first national standards for the sending of commercial e-mail.
2009 – Avatar (2009 film) was released internationally. It became the first film to gross $2 billion and the highest grossing movie of all time.
2012 – 2012 Delhi gang rape – A 23 year old woman was viciously gang raped on a bus in Delhi.
2013 – A bus fell from an elevated highway in Manila, Philippines, killing at least 18 people and injuring 20 others.
2014 – Militants belonging to Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan attacked an Army Public School in the Pakistani city of Peshawar killing 145 people.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.