1814 – Destruction of schooner Carolina, the last of Commodore Daniel Patterson’s make-shift fleet that fought a series of delaying actions that contributed to Andrew Jackson’s victory at the Battle of New Orleans.

1825 – 1st public railway using steam locomotive completed in England between Stockton and Darlington

1918 – The Great Poland Uprising against the Germans begins.

1934 – Shah of Persia declares Persia now Iran

1968 – Apollo 8 returns to Earth

1978 – King Juan Carlos ratifies Spain’s 1st democratic constitution. Spain becomes a democracy after 40 years of dictatorship.

1979 – Soviet troops invade Afghanistan, Pres Hafizullah Amin overthrown

2001 – The People’s Republic of China is granted permanent normal trade relations with the United States.

2004 – Radiation from an explosion on the magnetar SGR 1806-20 reaches Earth. It is the brightest extrasolar event known to have been witnessed on the planet.

2007 – Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto is assassinated by a suicide bomber.

2012 – NASA unveils plans to capture a 500 ton asteroid in 2025