1492 – 1st Spanish settlement La Navidad in the New World is founded by Christopher Columbus (modern Môle-Saint-Nicolas in Haiti).
1792 – Trial of French King Louis XVI, court hears the kings defense brought by Raymond Desèze.
1825 – Decembrist uprising in Russia against Tsar Nicholas I begins.
1943 – the German battle cruiser Scharnhorst is sunk by British warships in the Arctic after decoded German naval signals reveal that the Scharnhorst is on a mission to attack an Anglo-American convoy to Russia.
1985 – The slain body of American zoologist Dian Fossey—the world’s leading authority on the mountain gorilla—was found in Rwanda; it was widely suspected that she was killed by poachers.
2004 – 9.3 magnitude earthquake creates a tsunami causing devastation in Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, the Maldives and edges of the Indian Ocean, killing 230,000 people.
2018 – American Colin O’Brady is the first person to cross Antarctica solo and unassisted after 54 days at the Ross Ice Shelf.
Film: 1940 – ”The Philadelphia Story” film directed by George Cukor, based on the Broadway play of the same name and starring Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn, is released (Academy Awards Best Actor 1941).
1973 – Horror film “The Exorcist” based on book and screenplay by William Peter Blatty, starring Linda Blair, rated X, premieres – 1st horror film to be nominated for Best Picture.
Music: 1966 – Jimi Hendrix writes “Purple Haze” backstage at the Upper Cut Club, London.
Sport: 1908 – American boxer Jack Johnson defeated Tommy Burns in Sydney to become the first black fighter to win the world heavyweight championship.
Via Britannica / On This Day