December 5


1884: The Washington Monument was completed.

1897: London became the world’s first city to license taxicabs.

1947: The Everglades National Park in Florida was dedicated.


December 7


1869: Outlaw Jesse James (1847-1882) committed his first confirmed bank robbery, in Gallatin, Mo.

1930: The first television commercial in the United States, an advertisement for I.J. Fox Furriers, was broadcast on W1XAV in Boston, Massachusetts, during a video telecast of the CBS radio orchestra program, The Fox Trappers.

1963: Instant replay was used for the first time, during an Army-Navy football game.

1972: The last Apollo moon mission, Apollo 17, was launched.


December 8


1962: The longest newspaper strike in U.S. history began when workers at four New York City newspapers (Daily News, New York Journal American, The New York Times, New York World-Telegram & Sun) walked off the job. The strike soon expanded to five more papers  (New York Daily Mirror, New York Herald Tribune, New York Post, Long Island Star Journal, Long Island Daily Press. The strike ended 114 days later, on March 31, 1963.)

2010: SpaceX became the first private company to successfully launch, orbit and recover a spacecraft.


December 9


2008: Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, 51, was arrested by federal officials for a number of crimes including attempting to sell the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by President-elect Barack Obama. (He was convicted and sentenced to 14 years in prison.)

1979: The smallpox virus was certified as eradicated, making it the first and to date only human disease driven to extinction.


December 10


1799: France adopted the meter as its official unit of length.

1817: Mississippi became the 20th U.S. state.

1868: The first traffic lights were installed, outside the Palace of Westminster in London. They resembled railway signals and used semaphore arms that were illuminated at night by red and green gas lamps.


December 11


1816: Indiana became the 19th U.S. state.

1816: Indiana became the 19th U.S. state.

1946: The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) was established.

1972: Apollo 17 became the sixth and last Apollo mission to land on the Moon.



December 12


2000: The U.S. Supreme Court released its 5-4 decision in Bush v. Gore, which made George W. Bush the 43rd president.