1991 – Pan American World Airways ceases its operations after 64 years.
1991 – Terry A. Anderson is released after seven years in captivity as a hostage in Beirut; he is the last and longest-held American hostage in Lebanon.
1978 – Following the murder of Mayor George Moscone, Dianne Feinstein becomes San Francisco's first female mayor.
1965 – The Grateful Dead's first concert performance under this new name.
1956 – The Million Dollar Quartet (Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash) get together at Sun Studio for the first and last time.
1954 – The first Burger King is opened in Miami.
1945 – By a vote of 65–7, the United States Senate approves United States participation in the United Nations. (The UN had been established on October 24, 1945.)
1943 – World War II: U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt closes down the Works Progress Administration, because of the high levels of wartime employment in the United States.
1918 – U.S. President Woodrow Wilson sails for the World War I peace talks in Versailles, becoming the first US president to travel to Europe while in office.
1909 – In Canadian football, the First Grey Cup game is played. The University of Toronto Varsity Blues defeat the Toronto Parkdale Canoe Club, 26–6.
1909 – The Montreal Canadiens ice hockey club, the oldest surviving professional hockey franchise in the world, is founded as a charter member of the National Hockey Association.
1906 – Alpha Phi Alpha the first black intercollegiate Greek lettered fraternity was founded at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.
1893 – First Matabele War: A patrol of 34 British South Africa Company soldiers is ambushed and annihilated by more than 3,000 Matabele warriors on the Shangani River in Matabeleland.
1881 – The first edition of the Los Angeles Times is published.
1872 – The crewless American ship Mary Celeste is found by the Canadian brig Dei Gratia. The ship had been abandoned for nine days but was only slightly damaged.
1864 – American Civil War: Sherman's March to the Sea: At Waynesboro, Georgia, forces under Union General Judson Kilpatrick prevent troops led by Confederate General Joseph Wheeler from interfering with Union General William T. Sherman's campaign destroying a wide swath of the South on his march to the Atlantic Ocean from Atlanta.
1791 – The first edition of The Observer, the world's first Sunday newspaper, is published.
1986 – Martell Webster, American basketball player. Martell Webster (born December 4, 1986) is a former American professional basketball player who played 10 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA).
1985 – Andrew Brackman, American baseball player. Brackman is represented by sports agent Scott Boras.
1979 – Jay DeMerit, American soccer player. Jay Michael DeMerit (born December 4, 1979) is an American retired soccer player who played as a center back.
1979 – Ysabella Brave, American singer-songwriter. Ysabella Brave is an American YouTube personality, artist, vocalist, singer and songwriter signed by Cordless Recordings, a division of the Warner Music Group.
1977 – Darvis Patton, American sprinter. Darvis "Doc" Darell Patton (born December 4, 1977) is a retired American track and field athlete who competed in sprinting events.
1973 – Tyra Banks, American model, actress, and producer. Tyra Lynne Banks (born December 4, 1973), also known as BanX, is an American television personality, producer, businesswoman, actress, author, model, and occasional singer.
1971 – Shannon Briggs, American boxer and actor. Briggs is known for his formidable punching power, possessing an 88.3% knockout-to-win ratio, with 37 knockout wins in the first round.
1969 – Jay Z, American rapper, producer, and actor, co-founded Roc-A-Fella Records. Shawn Corey Carter (born December 4, 1969), known professionally as Jay-Z (stylized as JAY-Z), is an American rapper, songwriter, producer, entrepreneur, and record executive.
1968 – Dionne Farris, American singer-songwriter, producer and actress. In the early 1990s, she was featured on the hip hop group Arrested Development (1992) hit single "Tennessee".
1966 – Andy Hess, American bass player. Andy Hess (born December 4, 1966 in Washington, D.C.) is an American bassist and former member of Gov't Mule, having joined the band in 2003.
1966 – Fred Armisen, American actor and musician. Fereydun Robert "Fred" Armisen (born December 4, 1966) is an American actor, comedian, writer, producer and musician best known as a cast member on Saturday Night Live from 2002 until 2013.
1966 – Suzanne Malveaux, American journalist. Malveaux also served as CNN White House correspondent and as primary substitute to Wolf Blitzer on The Situation Room.
1966 – Suzette M. Malveaux, American lawyer and academic. Malveaux (born December 4, 1966) is professor of law and former associate dean of academic affairs at the Columbus School of Law, Catholic University of America.
1964 – Marisa Tomei, American actress. She is the recipient of various accolades including an Academy Award and nominations for a BAFTA Award, two Golden Globe Awards, and three Screen Actors Guild Awards.
1961 – Frank Reich, American football player and coach. Frank Michael Reich Jr. (/raɪk/; RYK; born December 4, 1961) is an American football coach and former player who is the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts of the National Football League (NFL).
1957 – Eric S. Raymond, American computer programmer and author. Eric Steven Raymond (born December 4, 1957), often referred to as ESR, is an American software developer, open-source software advocate, and author of the 1997 essay and 1999 book The Cathedral and the Bazaar.
1956 – Bernard King, American basketball player and sportscaster. Bernard King (born December 4, 1956) is an American retired professional basketball player at the small forward position in the National Basketball Association (NBA).
1955 – Cassandra Wilson, American singer-songwriter and producer. Described by critic Gary Giddins as "a singer blessed with an unmistakable timbre and attack expanded the playing field" by incorporating blues, country, and folk music into her work.
1951 – Gary Rossington, American guitarist. Gary Robert Rossington (born December 4, 1951) is an American musician, best known as a founding member of southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd, in which he plays lead and rhythm guitar.
1951 – Patricia Wettig, American actress and playwright. She is best known for her role as Nancy Weston in the television series Thirtysomething (1987–1991), for which she received a Golden Globe Award and three Primetime Emmy Awards.
1949 – Jeff Bridges, American actor. He won numerous accolades, including the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role as Otis "Bad" Blake in the 2009 film Crazy Heart, and earned Academy Award nominations for his roles in The Last Picture Show (1971), Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974), Starman (1984), The Contender (2000), True Grit (2010), and Hell or High Water (2016).
1948 – Southside Johnny, American singer-songwriter. John Lyon (born December 4, 1948), better known by his stage name Southside Johnny, is an American singer-songwriter who usually fronts his band Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes.
1947 – Jane Lubchenco, American ecologist, academic, and diplomat. Jane Lubchenco (born December 4, 1947) is an American environmental scientist and marine ecologist who teaches and does research at Oregon State University.
1944 – Chris Hillman, American singer-songwriter and guitarist. Christopher "Chris" Hillman (born December 4, 1944) is an American musician.
1944 – Dennis Wilson, American singer-songwriter, producer, and drummer (d. 1983), was an American musician, singer, and songwriter who co-founded the Beach Boys. He is best remembered as their drummer and as the middle brother of bandmates Brian and Carl Wilson.
1942 – Bob Mosley, American singer-songwriter and bass player. James Robert "Bob" Mosley (born December 4, 1942, Paradise Valley, California) is principally known as the bass player and one of the songwriters and vocalists for the band Moby Grape.
1941 – Marty Riessen, American tennis player and coach. Renowned for his doubles play, Riessen was also a regular doubles partner of Australian tennis great Margaret Court, winning six of his seven major mixed titles and a career Grand Slam alongside her.
1939 – Freddy Cannon, American singer and guitarist. Frederick Anthony Picariello Jr. (born December 4, 1936), known as Freddy Cannon, is an American rock and roll singer, whose biggest international hits included "Tallahassee Lassie", "Way Down Yonder in New Orleans", and "Palisades Park".
1939 – Stephen W. Bosworth, American academic and diplomat, United States Ambassador to South Korea (d. 2016). He served as Dean of The Fletcher School at Tufts University and served as United States Special Representative for North Korea Policy from March 2009 to October 2011.
1938 – Andre Marrou, American lawyer and politician, was the first Libertarian elected to a state legislature with his election to the Alaska House of Representatives in 1984. He later served as the Libertarian Party's vice presidential nominee in 1988 presidential election and its presidential nominee in 1992 presidential election.
1936 – John Giorno, American poet and performance artist. He founded the not-for-profit production company Giorno Poetry Systems and organized a number of early multimedia poetry experiments and events, including Dial-A-Poem.
1934 – Victor French, American actor and director (d. 1989). He is remembered for roles on the television programs Little House on the Prairie, Highway to Heaven and Carter Country.
1933 – Wink Martindale, American game show host and producer. In his six-decade career, he is best known for hosting Tic-Tac-Dough from 1978 to 1985, Gambit from 1972 to 1976 (and again from 1980 to 1981), High Rollers from 1987 to 1988, and Debt from 1996 to 1998.
1931 – Wally George, American radio and television host (d. 2003), was an American conservative radio and television commentator. Calling himself the "Father of Combat TV," he was a fixture on Southern California television for three decades (1950s-80s) as the host of Hot Seat, which began as a local show on KDOC Channel 56, a local Southern California based UHF TV station in Anaheim, Orange County, California in 1983.
1925 – Albert Bandura, Canadian-American psychologist and academic. Albert Bandura OC (/bænˈdʊərə/; born December 4, 1925) is a Canadian-American psychologist who is the David Starr Jordan Professor Emeritus of Social Science in Psychology at Stanford University.
1924 – John C. Portman, Jr., American architect, designed the Renaissance Center and Tomorrow Square, was an American neofuturistic architect and real estate developer widely known for popularizing hotels and office buildings with multi-storied interior atria. Portman also had a particularly large impact on the cityscape of his hometown of Atlanta, with the Peachtree Center complex serving as downtown's business and tourism anchor from the 1970s onward.
1923 – Charles Keating, American lawyer and financier (d. 2014), was an American athlete, lawyer, real estate developer, banker, financier, and activist best known for his role in the savings and loan scandal of the late 1980s.
1923 – Eagle Keys, American-Canadian football player and coach (d. 2012). He is currently fifth all-time in regular season wins with 131 as a head coach in the Canadian Football League.
1920 – Jeanne Manford, American educator and activist, co-founded PFLAG (d. 2013), was an American schoolteacher and activist. She co-founded the support group organization, Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), for which she was awarded the 2012 Presidential Citizens Medal.
1916 – Ely Jacques Kahn, Jr., American journalist and author (d. 1994), was an American commercial architect who designed numerous skyscrapers in New York City in the twentieth century. In addition to buildings intended for commercial use, Kahn's designs ranged throughout the possibilities of architectural programs, including facilities for the film industry.
1915 – Eddie Heywood, American pianist and composer (d. 1989), was an American jazz pianist, popular in the 1940s and 1950s.
1912 – Pappy Boyington, American colonel and pilot, Medal of Honor recipient (d. 1988), was an American combat pilot who was a United States Marine Corps fighter ace during World War II. He received the Medal of Honor and the Navy Cross.
1910 – Alex North, American composer and conductor (d. 1991), was an American composer best known for his many film scores, including A Streetcar Named Desire (one of the first jazz-based film scores), Viva Zapata!, Spartacus, Cleopatra, and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? He was the first composer to receive an Honorary Academy Award but never won a competitive Oscar despite fourteen nominations.
1908 – Alfred Hershey, American bacteriologist and geneticist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1997), was an American Nobel Prize–winning bacteriologist and geneticist.
1903 – Cornell Woolrich, American author (d. 1968), was an American novelist and short story writer who wrote using the name Cornell Woolrich, and sometimes the pseudonyms William Irish and George Hopley.
1897 – Robert Redfield, American anthropologist of Mexico (d. 1958), was an American anthropologist and ethnolinguist, whose ethnographic work in Tepoztlán, Mexico is considered a landmark of Latin American ethnography. He was associated with the University of Chicago for his entire career: all of his higher education took place at Chicago, and he then joined Chicago as faculty in 1927 and remained there until his death in 1958, serving as Dean of Social Sciences from 1934–1946.
1875 – Joe Corbett, American baseball player and coach (d. 1945), was a Major League Baseball starting pitcher who played in the National League. He was born in San Francisco, California.
1868 – Jesse Burkett, American baseball player, coach, and manager (d. 1953), was an American professional baseball left fielder. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1890 to 1905 for the New York Giants, Cleveland Spiders, St.
2015 – Robert Loggia, American actor and director (b. 1930)
2014 – Claudia Emerson, American poet and academic (b. 1957)
2014 – Vincent L. McKusick, American lawyer and judge (b. 1921)
2012 – Carroll E. Lanier, American sailor and politician (b. 1926)
2011 – Hubert Sumlin, American singer and guitarist (b. 1931)
2010 – King Curtis Iaukea, American wrestler (b. 1937)
2006 – Ross A. McGinnis, American soldier, Medal of Honor recipient (b. 1987)
2005 – Gregg Hoffman, American film producer (b. 1963)
2003 – Iggy Katona, American race car driver (b. 1916)
1999 – Rose Bird, American academic and judge, 25th Chief Justice of California (b. 1936)
1993 – Frank Zappa, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer (b. 1940)
1993 – Margaret Landon, American missionary and author (b. 1903)
1992 – Henry Clausen, American lawyer and author (b. 1905)
1987 – Arnold Lobel, American author and illustrator (b. 1933)
1987 – Rouben Mamoulian, Georgian-American director and screenwriter (b. 1897)
1984 – Jack Mercer, American animator, screenwriter, voice actor, and singer (b. 1910)
1981 – Jeanne Block, American psychologist (b. 1923)
1980 – Stanisława Walasiewicz, Polish-American runner (b. 1911)
1976 – Tommy Bolin, American guitarist and songwriter (b. 1951)