1653 – Oliver Cromwell became lord protector of England, Scotland and Ireland.
1773 – Nearly 350 chests of tea were dumped into Boston Harbor off of British ships by Colonial patriots. The patriots were disguised as Indians. The act was to protest taxation without representation and the monopoly the government granted to the East India Company.
1912 – The first postage stamp to depict an airplane was issued was a 20-cent parcel-post stamp.
1995 – NATO launched a military operation in support of the Bosnia peace agreement.
2000 – Researchers announced that information from NASA’s Galileo spacecraft indicated that Ganymede appeared to have a liquid saltwater ocean beneath a surface of solid ice. Ganymede, a moon of Jupiter, is the solar system’s largest moon. The discovery is considered important since water is a key ingredient for life.
2000 – U.S. President-elect George W. Bush selected Colin Powell to be the first African-American secretary of state. Powell was sworn in January 20, 2001.
2001 – In Tora Bora, Afghanistan, tribal fighters announced that they had taken the last al-Quaida positions. More than 200 fighters were killed and 25 captured. They also announced that they had found no sign of Osama bin Laden.