In 1839, Charles John Seghers, who became the Catholic Bishop of Vancouver Island, was born in Belgium.
In 1935, William Monroe, Klondike gold rusher and builder of a railroad from Nome to Anvil Creek, died at the age of 94. (He was also the founder of the city of Monrovia, Calif.)
In 1967, 157 technicians and clerks went on strike at the Ballistic Missile Early Warning Center site at Clear. (The center remained in operation.)
In the nation
In 1799, former President George Washington was eulogized by Col. Henry Lee as "first in war, first in peace and first in the hearts of his countrymen."
In 1917, during World War I, the U.S. government took over operation of the nation's railroads.
In 1944, in the World War II Battle of the Bulge, the embattled U.S. 101st Airborne Division was relieved by units of the 4th Armored Division.
In 2000, Michael McDermott, an employee at an Internet firm in Wakefield, Mass., shot and killed seven co-workers. (McDermott was later convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole.)
In the world
In 1776, the British suffered a major defeat in the Battle of Trenton during the Revolutionary War.
In 1941, Winston Churchill became the first British prime minister to address a joint meeting of the U.S. Congress.
In 1975, the Soviet Union inaugurated the world's first supersonic transport service with a flight of its Tupolev-144 airliner from Moscow to Alma-Ata.
In 1980, Iranian television footage was broadcast in the United States, showing a dozen of the American hostages sending messages to their families.
In 1995, Israel turned dozens of West Bank villages over to the Palestinian Authority in a smooth transfer of power.
In 2003, an earthquake struck the historic Iranian city of Bam, killing at least 26,000 people.
In 2004, more than 200,000 people, mostly in southern Asia, were killed by a tsunami triggered by the world's most powerful earthquake in 40 years beneath the Indian Ocean. An unmanned cargo ship docked at the international space station, ending a shortage that forced astronauts to ration supplies.