On December 20:
1192 Richard the Lion-Heart was captured and imprisoned by Leopold V of Austria on his way home to England after signing a treaty with Saladin ending the Third crusade.
1522 – Suleiman the Magnificent accepted the surrender of the surviving Knights of Rhodes, who were allowed to evacuate. They eventually settled on Malta and became known as the Knights of Malta.
1803 – The Louisiana Purchase was completed at a ceremony in New Orleans.
1865 Elsie De Wolfe
, American socialite and interior decorator, was born.
1894 Sir Robert Menzies
, twelfth Prime Minister of Australia was born.
1927 Kim Young-sam
, first civilian President of South Korea after a series of dictatorships, was born.
1948 Alan Parsons
, British music producer and artist, was born.
1951 The EBR-1 in Arco, Idaho becomes the first nuclear power plant to generate electricy. The electricity powered four light bulbs.
Experimental Breeder Reactor Number 1 in Idaho, the first power reactor.
1955 – Cardiff was proclaimed the capital city of Wales.
Cardiff City Hall
1957 Billy Bragg, English singer and songwriter, was born.
1973 Spanish Prime Minister, Admiral Luis Carrero Blanco, was assassinated by a car bomb attack in Madrid.
1984 The Summit tunnel fire, the largest underground fire in history, as a freight train carrying over 1 million litres of petrol derails near the town of Todmorden in the Pennines.
1987 History’s worst peacetime sea disaster, when the passenger ferry Doña Paz sank after colliding with the oil tanker Vector 1 in the Tablas Strait in the Philippines killing an estimated 4,000 people (1,749 official).
1988 The United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances was signed in Vienna
1989 United States invasion of Panama: The United States sent troops into Panama to overthrow government of Manuel Noriega.
1995 NATO began peacekeeping in Bosnia.
1996 NeXT merged with Apple Computer, starting the path to Mac OS X.
1999 Macau was handed over to the People’s Republic of China by Portugal.
2007 Queen Elizabeth II becomes the oldest ever monarch of the United Kingdom, surpassing Queen Victoria, who lived for 81 years, 7 months and 29 days.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia