A chronological timetable of historical events that occurred
on this day in history. Historical facts of the day in the
areas of military, politics, science, music, sports, arts,
entertainment and more. Discover what happened today in
Today in History
1789 The National Guard is created in France.
1812 The last remnants of Napoleon Bonaparte’s Grand
Armeé reach the safety of Kovno, Poland, after the failed
Russian campaign. Napoleon’s costly retreat from Moscow
1814 General Andrew Jackson announces martial law in
New Orleans, Louisiana, as British troops disembark at Lake
Borne, 40 miles east of the city. The Battle of New Orleans
1862 The Battle of Fredericksburg ends with the bloody
slaughter of onrushing Union troops at Marye’s Heights.
Maine’s Colonel Chamberlain at Marye’s Heights.
1902 The Committee of Imperial Defense holds its first
meeting in London.
1908 The Dutch take two Venezuelan Coast Guard ships.
1937 The Japanese army occupies Nanking, China. Boeing’s
Trailblazing P-26 Peashooters.
1940 Adolf Hitler issues preparations for Operation Martita,
the German invasion of Greece.
1941 British forces launch an offensive in Libya.
1945 France and Britain agree to quit Syria and Lebanon.
1951 After meeting with FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover,
President Harry S Truman vows to purge all disloyal
1968 President Lyndon B. Johnson and Mexico’s President
Gustavo Diaz Ordaz meet on a bridge at El Paso, Texas, to
officiate at ceremonies returning the long-disputed El
Chamizal area to the Mexican side of the border.
1972 Astronaut Gene Cernan climbs into his lunar lander on
the moon and prepares to lift off. He is the last man to set
foot on the moon.
1973 Great Britain cuts the work week to three days to save
1981 Polish labor leader Lech Walesa is arrested and the
government decrees martial law, restricting civil rights and
suspending operation of the independent trade union
1985 France sues the United States over the discovery of an
2001 Terrorists attach the Parliament of India Sansad; 15
people are killed, including the terrorists
2003 Deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein captured; he
is found hiding in near his home town of Tikrit.
Born on December 13
1585 William Drummond, Scottish poet.
1797 Heinrich Heine, German poet, satirist and journalist.
1818 Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of President Abraham Lincoln.
1835 Phillips Brooks, Episcopal clergyman who wrote the
lyrics for “O Little Town of Bethlehem.”
1838 Alexis Millardet, botanist who developed the first
1890 Marc Connelly, playwright, actor, director and journalist
(The Green Pastures).
1911 Kenneth Patchen, American poet and author (Before
the Brave, Hurrah for Anything).
1923 Sir Terence Beckett, director-general of the
Confederation of British Industry (1980–1987).
1923 Phillip Anderson, physicist.
1925 Dick Van Dyke, actor, singer, producer; (The Dick Van
Dyke TV series, Mary Poppins).
1934 Richard D. Zanuck, film producer; won Academy
Award for Best Picture in 1989 (Driving Miss Daisy).
1948 Jeff Baxter, musician with Steely Dan and The Doobie
1948 Ted Nugent, singer, songwriter, musician, actor.
1954 John Anderson, country singer, musician.
1967 Jamie Foxx, actor, singer.
1989 Taylor Swift, multiple award-winning crossover country
singer, actress; youngest-ever Country Music Association
Entertainer of the Year and youngest artist ever to win an
Album of the Year Grammy.