1492 - Christopher Columbus discovered Hispaniola (now Haiti).
1560 - Charles IX succeeded as King of France on the death of Francis II.
1766 - James Christie, founder of the famous auctioneers, held his first sale in London.
1792 - The trial of France's King Louis XVI began.
1797 - Napoleon Bonaparte arrived in Paris to command forces for the invasion of England.
1812 - Napoleon Bonaparte left his army as they were retreating from Russia.
1901 - Movie producer Walt Disney was born in Chicago. He created his first Mickey Mouse cartoon at the age of 27.
1904 - The Russian fleet was destroyed by the Japanese at Port Arthur, during the Russo-Japanese War.
1913 - Britain outlawed the sending of arms to Ireland.
1934 - Fighting broke out between Italian and Ethiopian troops on the Somalian border.
1934 - The Soviet Union executed 66 people charged with plotting against Joseph Stalin's government.
1936 - The Soviet Union adopted a new Constitution under a Supreme Council.
1944 - During World War II, Allied troops took Ravenna, Italy.
1956 - British and French forces began a withdrawal from Egypt during the Suez War.
1958 - Britain's first motorway, the Preston by-pass, was opened by Prime Minister Macmillan.
1962 - The U.S. and the Soviet Union agreed to cooperate in the peaceful uses of outer space.
1971 - The Soviet Union, at United Nations Security Council, vetoed a resolution calling for a cease-fire in hostilities between India and Pakistan over Kashmir.
1984 - Iran's official news agency quoted the hijackers of a Kuwaiti jetliner parked at Tehran airport as saying they would blow up the plane unless Kuwait released 14 imprisoned extremists.
1989 - East Germany's former leaders were placed under house arrest.
2001 - In Germany, Afghan leaders signed a pact to create a temporary administration for post-Taliban Afghanistan. Two women were included in the cabinet structure. Hamid Karzai and his Cabinet were planned to take over power in Afghanistan on December 22.