1154 - Henry II of England is crowned at Westminster Abbey.
1490 - Anne, Duchess of Brittany, is married to Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor by proxy.
1606 - The Susan Constant, the Godspeed, and the Discovery depart England carrying settlers who found, at Jamestown, Virginia, the first of the thirteen colonies that became the United States.
1776 - Thomas Paine publishes one of a series of pamphlets in the Pennsylvania Journal titled The American Crisis.
1777 - American Revolutionary War: George Washington's Continental Army goes into winter quarters at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.
1828 - Nullification Crisis: Vice President of the United States John C. Calhoun pens the South Carolina Exposition and Protest, protesting the Tariff of 1828.
1835 - The first issue of The Blade newspaper is published in Toledo, Ohio.
1907 - A group of 239 coal miners die during a mine explosion in Jacobs Creek, Pennsylvania.
1912 - William H. Van Schaick, captain of the steamship General Slocum which caught fire and killed over 1,000 people, is pardoned by U.S. President William Howard Taft after three-and-a-half-years in Sing Sing prison.
1916 - World War I: Battle of Verdun – On the Western Front, the French Army successfully holds off the German Army and drives it back to its starting position.
1920 - King Constantine I is restored as King of the Hellenes after the death of his son Alexander I of Greece and a plebiscite.
1924 - The last Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost is sold in London, England.
1932 - BBC World Service begins broadcasting as the BBC Empire Service
1941 - World War II: Adolf Hitler becomes Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the German Army.
1946 - Start of the First Indochina War.
1961 - India annexes Daman and Diu, part of Portuguese India.
1967 - Prime Minister of Australia Harold Holt is officially presumed dead.
1972 - Apollo program: The last manned lunar flight, Apollo 17, crewed by Eugene Cernan, Ron Evans and Harrison Schmitt, returns to Earth.
1975 - John Paul Stevens is appointed a justice of The United States Supreme Court.
1981 - Sixteen lives are lost when the Penlee lifeboat goes to the aid of the stricken coaster Union Star in heavy seas.
1983 - The original FIFA World Cup trophy, the Jules Rimet Trophy, is stolen from the headquarters of the Brazilian Football Confederation in Rio de Janeiro.
1984 - The Sino-British Joint Declaration, stating that the People's Republic of China would resume the exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong and the United Kingdom would restore Hong Kong to China with effect from July 1, 1997 is signed in Beijing by Deng Xiaoping and Margaret Thatcher.
1986 - Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev releases Andrei Sakharov and his wife from internal exile in Gorky.
1994 - Rolls-Royce announces its future cars will feature V12 engine which will be produced by BMW.
1995 - The United States Government restores federal recognition to the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi Indian tribe.
1997 - SilkAir Flight 185 crashes into the Musi River, near Palembang in Indonesia, killing 104.
1997 - Titanic (starring Leonardo Dicaprio and Kate Winslet) is released in theaters. This movie would become the most financially successful movie in history, grossing approximately $600 million domestically and $1.8 billion worldwide.
1998 - Lewinsky scandal: The United States House of Representatives forwards articles I and III of impeachment against President Bill Clinton to the Senate.
2000 - The Leninist Guerrilla Units wing of the Communist Labour Party of Turkey/Leninist attack a Nationalist Movement Party office in Istanbul, killing one person and injuring three.
2001 - A record high barometric pressure of 1085.6 hPa (32.06 inHg) is recorded at Tosontsengel, Khövsgöl Province, Mongolia.
2001 - Argentine economic crisis: December 2001 riots – Riots erupt in Buenos Aires after Domingo Cavallo's corralito measures restrict the withdrawal of cash from bank deposits.