1515: Thomas Wolsey is appointed Lord Chancellor of England.
1524: Death of Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama
1777: James Cook discovers Christmas Island (Kiritimati).
1814: The Treaty of Ghent is signed, ending the War of 1812 between the United States, the United Kingdom and its allies.
1818: The Christmas carol “Silent Night” is sung for the first time at St Nicholas parish church in Oberndorf, Austria.
1851: Fire devastates the US Library of Congress in Washington.
1863: Death of novelist William Makepeace Thackeray aged 52.
1865: Several Confederate veterans form the Ku Klux Klan in Pulaski, Tennessee.
1871: Giusseppi Verdi’s opera “Aida” premieres in Cairo.
1877: Thomas Edison files a patent for the phonograph.
1914: A German plane drops bombs on Dover.
1924: Albania becomes a republic.
1943: US President Franklin D Roosevelt appoints General Dwight D Eisenhower Supreme Commander of the Allied forces.
1954: Laos gains its independence.
1966: Soviet unmanned spacecraft Luna 13 lands on the Moon.
1968: George Best wins the Ballon d’Or.
1975: Film soundtrack composer Bernard Hermann dies aged 64.
1989: Charles Taylor enters Liberia to unseat President Samuel K Doe.
1994: Playwright John Osbourne dies aged 65
2008: Death of playwright Harold Pinter aged 78..
2016: Status Quo guitarist Rick Parfitt dies in hospital in Marbella, Spain aged 68. On the same day, author Richard Adams dies aged 96.
BIRTHDAYS: Jan Akkerman, guitarist (Focus) 73; Carol Vorderman, TV personality, 59; Ed Milliband, former politician, 50; Ricky Martin, singer, 48; Stephenie Meyer, author, 46; Ryan Seacrest, broadcaster, 45; Louis Tomlinson, singer (One Direction) 28.