Today in History December 21

Earthrise, taken from Apollo 8
by astronaut William Anders on December 24, 1968

69 – The Roman Senate declares Vespasian emperor of Rome, the last in the Year of the Four Emperors. 1361 – The Battle of Linuesa is fought in the context of the Spanish Reconquista between the forces of the Emirate of Granada and the combined army of the Kingdom of Castile and of Jaén resulting […]

Today in History December 19

Washington and Lafayette at Valley Forge

1606 – The ships Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery depart England carrying settlers who founded, at Jamestown, Virginia, the first of the thirteen colonies that became the United States. 1776 – Thomas Paine publishes one of a series of pamphlets in The Pennsylvania Journal entitled “The American Crisis”. 1777 – George Washington’s Continental Army goes […]

Today in History December 18

Kublai Khan on a hunting expedition

1271 – Kublai Khan renames his empire “Yuan”, officially marking the start of the Yuan dynasty of Mongolia and China. 1499 – Rebellion triggers in Alpujarras in response to the forced conversions of Muslims in Spain. 1655 – The Whitehall Conference ends with the determination that there was no law preventing Jews from re-entering England […]

Today in History December 17

La Muerte del Libertador

546 – Siege of Rome: The Ostrogoths under king Totila plunder the city, by bribing the Byzantine garrison. 1538 – Pope Paul III excommunicates Henry VIII of England. 1777 – France formally recognizes the United States. 1790 – The Aztec calendar stone is discovered at El Zócalo, Mexico City. 1812 – War of 1812: U.S. […]

Today in History December 13

Map of Francis Drake's circumnavigation

1294 – Saint Celestine V resigns the papacy after only five months wishing to return to his previous life as an ascetic hermit. No subsequent pope has taken the name Celestine. 1577 – Francis Drake sets sail from Plymouth, England, on his round-the-world voyage. Drake was awarded a knighthood in 1581 and was a hero […]

Today in History December 12

Marconi and associates raise receiving antenna by kite

884 – King Carloman II dies after a hunting accident. He is succeeded by his cousin, emperor Charles the Fat, who for the last time reunites the Frankish Empire. 1787 – Pennsylvania becomes the second state to ratify the United States Constitution, five days after Delaware became the first. 1862 – USS Cairo sinks on […]

Today in History December 11

Apollo 17 rover at final resting place

1789 – The University of North Carolina is chartered by the North Carolina General Assembly. 1792 – King Louis XVI of France is put on trial for treason by the National Convention. 1815 – The U.S. Senate creates a select committee on finance and a uniform national currency, predecessor of the United States Senate Committee […]

Today in History December 10

Newton, by William Blake

1541 – Thomas Culpeper and Francis Dereham are executed for having affairs with Catherine Howard, Queen of England and wife of Henry VIII. 1684 – Isaac Newton‘s derivation of Kepler’s laws from his theory of gravity, contained in the paper De motu corporum in gyrum, is read to the Royal Society by Edmond Halley. 1768 […]

December 7

New York Philharmonic Club in the 1880's

574 – Byzantine Emperor Justin II retires due to recurring seizures of insanity. He abdicates the throne in favor of his general Tiberius, proclaiming him Caesar. 1787 – Delaware becomes the first state to ratify the United States Constitution. 1842 – First concert of the New York Philharmonic. 1930 – W1XAV in Boston, Massachusetts telecasts […]

December 6

Cypress dome with Alligator in the Everglades

1704 – During the Mughal-Sikh Wars, an outnumbered Sikh Khalsa defeats a Mughal army. 1790 – The U.S. Congress moves from New York City to Philadelphia. 1884 – The Washington Monument in Washington, D.C., is completed. 1897 – London becomes the world’s first city to host licensed taxicabs. 1904 – Theodore Roosevelt articulated his “Corollary” […]