- 43 B.C. – Cicero (Marcus Tullius) died. He was a writer, statesman, and was considered ancient Rome’s greatest orator.
- 1732 – Royal Opera House opens its doors. The popular performing arts venue in Covent Garden, London houses the Royal Opera and the Royal Ballet.
- 1787 – Delaware becomes the first state to ratify the United States Constitution.
- 1941 – Pearl Harbor is attacked by the Japanese Navy. This causes the US to enter WWII.
- 1982 – December Murders in Suriname. Fifteen prominent Surinamese men were kidnapped and subsequently murdered over 3 days by the military government. The men were known to have criticized the military dictatorship.
- 1988 – Yasser Arafat recognizes the right of Israel to exist.
- 1995 – The Galileo spacecraft arrives at Jupiter, a little more than six years after it was launched
- 2004 – Hamid Karzai takes office. The Afghan politician took office as the President of the Islamic Republic in Afghanistan’s first direct democratic elections in history.
- 1761 – Wax modeler Marie Tussaud (1761-1850) was born in Bern, Switzerland. She established Madame Tussaud’s waxworks in London in 1802 and later added a Chamber of Horrors.
- 1928 – Noam Chomsky (American linguist, philosopher)
- 1947 – Johnny Bench (Baseball Player)
- 1949 – Tom Waits (American singer-songwriter, guitarist, actor)
- 1956 – Larry Bird (Basketball Player)
- 1966 – C. Thomas Howell (Actor)
- 1973 – Terrell Owens (Football Player)
- 1980 – John Terry (English footballer)
- 1984 – Robert Kubica (Polish race car driver)
- 1987 – Aaron Carter (Singer)
- 1988 – Emily Browning (Actress)
- 983 – Otto II, Holy Roman Emperor (Swiss businessman, politician)
- 1817 – William Bligh (English Admiral, statesmen, 4th Governor of New South Wales)
- 1917 – Ludwig Minkus (Austrian violinist, composer)
- 1985 – Robert Graves (English author)
- 1993 – Félix Houphouët-Boigny (Ivorian politician, 1st President of Côte d’Ivoire)