1569 - England's first state lottery was held.
1770 - The first shipment of rhubarb was sent to the United States from London.
1805 - The Michigan Territory was created.
1815 - U.S. General Andrew Jackson achieved victory at the Battle of New Orleans. The War of 1812 had officially ended on December 24, 1814, with the signing of the Treaty of Ghent. The news of the signing had not reached British troops in time to prevent their attack on New Orleans.
1861 - Alabama seceded from the United States.
1867 - Benito Juarez returned to the Mexican presidency, following the withdrawal of French troops and the execution of Emperor Maximilian.
1878 - In New York, milk was delivered in glass bottles for the first time by Alexander Campbell.
1902 - "Popular Mechanics" magazine was published for the first time.
1913 - The first sedan-type car was unveiled at the National Automobile Show in New York City. The car was manufactured by the Hudson Motor Company.
1922 - At Toronto General Hospital, Leonard Thompson became the first person to be successfully treated with insulin.
1935 - Amelia Earhart Putnam became the first woman to fly solo from Hawaii to California.
1938 - In Limerick, ME, Frances Moulton assumed her duties as the first woman bank president.
1942 - Japan declared war against the Netherlands. The same day, Japanese forces invaded the Dutch East Indies.
1943 - The United States and Britain signed treaties relinquishing extraterritorial rights in China.
1947 - "Murder and Mrs. Malone" debuted on ABC radio.
1958 - "Seahunt" debuted on CBS-TV. The show was aired on the network for four years.
1964 - U.S. Surgeon General Luther Terry released a report that said that smoking cigarettes was a definite health hazard.
1973 - The Open University awarded its first degrees.
1973 - Owners of American League baseball teams voted to adopt the designated-hitter rule on a trial basis.
1977 - France released Abu Daoud, a Palestinian suspected of involvement in the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics.
1978 - Two Soviet cosmonauts aboard the Soyuz 27 capsule linked up with the Salyut 6 orbiting space station, where the Soyuz 26 capsule was already docked.
1980 - Nigel Short, age 14, from Bolton in Britain, became the youngest International Master in the history of chess.
1986 - Author James Clavell signed a 5$ million deal with Morrow/Avon Publishing for the book "Whirlwind". The book is a 2,000 page novel.
1988 - U.S. Vice President George Bush met with representatives of independent counsel Lawrence E. Walsh to answer questions about the Iran-Contra affair.
1991 - An auction of silver and paintings that had been acquired by the late Ferdinand Marcos and his wife, Imelda, brought in a total of $20.29 million at Christie's in New York.
1996 - Ryutaro Hashimoto become Japan's prime minister. He replaced Tomiichi Murayama who had resigned on January 5, 1996.
2000 - The merger between AOL and Time Warner was approved by the U.S. government with restrictions.
2000 - The U.S. Postal Service unveiled the second Vietnam Veterans Memorial commemorative stamp in a ceremony at The Wall.
2001 - The Texas Board of Criminal Justice released a review of the escape of the "Texas 7." It stated that prison staff missed critical opportunities to prevent the escape by ignoring a fire alarm, not reporting unsupervised inmates and not demanding proper identification from inmates.
2002 - Thomas Junta, 44, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for beating another man to death at their son's hockey practice. The incident occurred on July 5, 2000.