2004 – The Civil Partnership Act comes into effect in the United Kingdom, and the first civil partnership is registered there.
1964 – Lloyd J. Old discovered the first linkage between the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) and disease—mouse leukemia—opening the way for the recognition of the importance of the MHC in the immune response.
1964 – Vietnam War: For his heroism in battle earlier in the year, Captain Roger Donlon is awarded the first Medal of Honor of the war.
1958 – The Preston By-pass, the UK's first stretch of motorway, opens to traffic for the first time. (It is now part of the M6 and M55 motorways.)
1955 – The American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations merge and form the AFL–CIO.
1933 – The Twenty-first Amendment to the United States Constitution is ratified.
1932 – German-born Swiss physicist Albert Einstein is granted an American visa.
1848 – California Gold Rush: In a message to the United States Congress, U.S. President James K. Polk confirms that large amounts of gold had been discovered in California.
1766 – In London, auctioneer James Christie holds his first sale.
1492 – Christopher Columbus becomes the first European to set foot on the island of Hispaniola (now Haiti and the Dominican Republic).
1990 – Montee Ball, American football player. He played college football at Wisconsin, where he was twice recognized as the best running back in the Big Ten Conference and a consensus first-team All-American.
1986 – Justin Smoak, American baseball player. Justin Kyle Smoak (born December 5, 1986) is an American professional baseball first baseman for the Milwaukee Brewers of Major League Baseball (MLB).
1986 – LeGarrette Blount, American football player. LeGarrette Montez Blount (/ˈlʌɡærɛt ˈblʌnt/; born December 5, 1986), nicknamed "The Train", is an American football running back who is currently a free agent.
1985 – Frankie Muniz, American actor, drummer, and race car driver. At the height of his fame, he was considered as one of most popular young actors and in 2003, he was considered "one of Hollywood's most bankable young actors" In 2008, he put his acting career on hold to pursue an open-wheel racing career, and competed in the Atlantic Championship.
1982 – Eddy Curry, American basketball player. Eddy Curry (born December 5, 1982) is an American professional basketball player for the Zhuhai Wolf Warriors of the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL).
1982 – Trai Essex, American football player. Trai Jamar Essex (born December 5, 1982) is a former American football offensive guard who played eight seasons in the National Football League (NFL) with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Indianapolis Colts.
1979 – Nick Stahl, American actor and producer. Nicolas Kent Stahl (born December 5, 1979) is an American actor known for The Man Without a Face, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Sin City and Carnivàle.
1978 – Neil Druckmann, American video game designer and author. Neil Druckmann (born December 5, 1978) is an Israeli-American writer, creative director, and programmer, and Vice President of Naughty Dog, known for his work in the video games The Last of Us and Uncharted 4: A Thief's End.
1976 – Amy Acker, American actress. From 2017 to 2019 she starred as Caitlin Strucker on the superhero drama series The Gifted, based on Marvel Comics' X-Men.
1976 – Rachel Komisarz, American swimmer and coach. Rachel Komisarz (born December 5, 1976), also known by her married name Rachel Komisarz-Baugh, is an American former competition swimmer, Olympic gold medalist, and former world record-holder.
1975 – Paula Patton, American actress. Patton made her feature film debut in the 2005 comedy Hitch, and had starring roles in the films Déjà Vu (2006), Precious (2009), Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011), 2 Guns (2013), and Warcraft (2016).
1974 – Charlie Batch, American football player and sportscaster. He played college football at Eastern Michigan.
1972 – Cliff Floyd, American baseball player and sportscaster. Cornelius Clifford Floyd Jr. (born December 5, 1972) is a former Major League Baseball left fielder who played for 17 seasons, most notably for the Montreal Expos, Florida Marlins and New York Mets.
1972 – Duane Ross, American hurdler and coach. Randolph Duane Ross (born December 5, 1972 in Shelby, North Carolina) is an American collegiate track and field coach, and former athlete, specializing in the 110 meters hurdles.
1971 – Ashia Hansen, American-English triple jumper. Her British records of 15.15 metres (1997 outdoors) and 15.16 metres (1998 indoors), still stand.
1970 – Michel'le, American singer-songwriter. Her most notable songs were two Billboard R&B chart toppers "No More Lies" (a top 10 hit on the Hot 100) and "Something in My Heart".
1969 – Eric Etebari, American actor, director, and producer. He is also known for his portrayal of Dallas in the video game PAYDAY 2.
1969 – Morgan J. Freeman, American director, producer, and screenwriter. Freeman (born December 5, 1969) is an American film director.
1968 – Lydia Millet, American novelist. Salon wrote of Millet's work, "The writing is always flawlessly beautiful, reaching for an experience that precedes language itself."
1968 – Margaret Cho, American comedian, actress, producer, and screenwriter. She rose to prominence after creating and starring in the ABC sitcom All-American Girl (1994–95), and became an established stand-up comic in the subsequent years.
1967 – Gary Allan, American singer-songwriter and guitarist. Gary Allan Herzberg (born December 5, 1967) is an American country music artist.
1965 – John Rzeznik, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer. He became known as the guitarist and frontman of the rock band the Goo Goo Dolls, of which he is a founding member and with whom he has recorded eleven studio albums.
1963 – Carrie Hamilton, American actress and playwright (d. 2002), was an American actress, singer, and playwright. She was the daughter of comedian Carol Burnett and producer Joe Hamilton.
1963 – Doctor Dré, American television and radio host. Dré" Brown (born December 5, 1963) is an American radio personality and former MTV VJ.
1962 – Pablo Morales, American swimmer and coach. Pedro Pablo Morales Jr. (born December 5, 1964) is an American former competition swimmer, Olympic gold medalist, world champion, and former world record-holder.
1960 – Osvaldo Golijov, Argentinian-American composer and educator. Osvaldo Noé Golijov (Spanish pronunciation: ; born December 5, 1960) is an Argentine composer of classical music and music professor, known for his vocal and orchestral work.
1954 – Gary Roenicke, American baseball player and scout. Gary Steven Roenicke (born December 5, 1954 in Covina, California) is a former Major League Baseball outfielder for the Montreal Expos (1976), Baltimore Orioles (1978–85), New York Yankees (1986) and Atlanta Braves (1987–88).
1949 – David Manning, English civil servant and diplomat, British Ambassador to the United States, was the British Ambassador to the United States from 2003 to 2007. He authored the so-called "Manning Memo" summarising the details of a January 2003 meeting between American president George W.
1947 – Jim Plunkett, American football player and radio host. James William Plunkett (born December 5, 1947) is a former American football quarterback who played in the National Football League (NFL) for sixteen seasons.
1936 – James Lee Burke, American journalist, author, and academic. James Lee Burke (born December 5, 1936) is an American author, best known for his Dave Robicheaux series.
1935 – Calvin Trillin, American novelist, humorist, and journalist. Calvin Marshall Trillin (born 5 December 1935) is an American journalist, humorist, food writer, poet, memoirist and novelist.
1934 – Joan Didion, American novelist and screenwriter. Her political writing often concentrated on the subtext of rhetoric.
1932 – Jim Hurtubise, American race car driver (d. 1989), was an American race car driver who raced in USAC Champ Cars (including the Indianapolis 500), as well as sprint cars and stock cars (USAC and NASCAR). He was from North Tonawanda, New York.
1932 – Little Richard, American singer-songwriter, pianist, and actor. His music also played a key role in the formation of other popular music genres, including soul and funk.
1932 – Sheldon Lee Glashow, American physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate. Sheldon Lee Glashow (US: /ˈɡlæʃoʊ/, UK: /ˈɡlæʃaʊ/; born December 5, 1932) is a Nobel Prize winning American theoretical physicist.
1922 – Casey Ribicoff, American philanthropist (d. 2011), was an American philanthropist, socialite and the second wife and widow of United States Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare and later United States Senator from Connecticut, Abraham Ribicoff. Ribicoff was the President of the ladies auxiliary of Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, Florida and in 1963 became the first woman to be selected to serve on the hospital's board of trustees.
1921 – Alvy Moore, American actor and producer (d. 1997), was an American actor best known for his role as scatterbrained county agricultural agent Hank Kimball on the CBS television series Green Acres. His character would often make a statement, only to immediately negate the statement himself and then negate the corrected statement until his stream of statements was interrupted by a frustrated Oliver Wendell Douglas portrayed by Eddie Albert.
1916 – Hilary Koprowski, Polish-American virologist and immunologist, created the world's first effective live polio vaccine (d. 2013), was a Polish virologist and immunologist active in the United States; inventor of the world's first effective live polio vaccine. He authored or co-authored over 875 scientific papers and co-edited several scientific journals.
1916 – Walt McPherson, American basketball player and coach (d. 2013), was an American basketball coach and was regarded as one of the best at San Jose State University, and former West Coast Athletic Conference commissioner. McPherson graduated from San Jose State in 1939 and played as a fullback through 1936 and 1938 trained by Dudley DeGroot.
1912 – Sonny Boy Williamson II, American singer-songwriter and harmonica player (d. 1965), was an American blues harmonica player, singer and songwriter. He was an early and influential blues harp stylist who recorded successfully in the 1950s and 1960s.
1910 – Abraham Polonsky, American director and screenwriter (d. 1999), was an American film director, screenwriter, essayist and novelist. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for Body and Soul but in the early 1950s was blacklisted by the Hollywood movie studios, after refusing to testify at congressional hearings of the House Un-American Activities Committee, in the midst of the McCarthy era.
1905 – Gus Mancuso, American baseball player, coach, and sportscaster (d. 1984), was an American professional baseball player, coach, scout and radio sports commentator. He played as a catcher in Major League Baseball with the St.
1905 – Otto Preminger, Austrian-American actor, director, and producer (d. 1986), was an American theatre and film director, originally from Austria-Hungary.
1902 – Strom Thurmond, American educator, general, and politician, 103rd Governor of South Carolina (d. 2003). Senator from South Carolina
1901 – Milton H. Erickson, American psychiatrist and author (d. 1980), was an American psychiatrist and psychologist specializing in medical hypnosis and family therapy. He was founding president of the American Society for Clinical Hypnosis and a fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, and the American Psychopathological Association.
1901 – Walt Disney, American animator, director, producer, and screenwriter, co-founded The Walt Disney Company (d. 1966), was an American entrepreneur, animator, voice actor and film producer. A pioneer of the American animation industry, he introduced several developments in the production of cartoons.
1898 – Grace Moore, American soprano and actress (d. 1947), was an American operatic soprano and actress in musical theatre and film. She was nicknamed the "Tennessee Nightingale." Her films helped to popularize opera by bringing it to a larger audience.
1897 – Nunnally Johnson, American director, producer, and screenwriter (d. 1977), was an American filmmaker who wrote, produced, and directed motion pictures.
1896 – Ann Nolan Clark, American historian, author, and educator (d. 1995), was an American writer who won the 1953 Newbery Medal.
1896 – Carl Ferdinand Cori, Czech-American biochemist and pharmacologist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1984), was a Czech-American biochemist and pharmacologist born in Prague (then in Austria-Hungary, now Czech Republic) who, together with his wife Gerty Cori and Argentine physiologist Bernardo Houssay, received a Nobel Prize in 1947 for their discovery of how glycogen (animal starch) – a derivative of glucose – is broken down and resynthesized in the body, for use as a store and source of energy. In 2004, both were designated a National Historic Chemical Landmark in recognition of their work that elucidated carbohydrate metabolism.
1895 – Elbert Frank Cox, American mathematician and academic (d. 1969). He was the first African American to receive a Ph.D. in Mathematics.
1890 – Fritz Lang, Austrian-American director, producer, and screenwriter (d. 1976), was an Austrian-German-American filmmaker, screenwriter, and occasional film producer and actor. One of the best-known émigrés from Germany's school of Expressionism, he was dubbed the "Master of Darkness" by the British Film Institute.
1886 – Rose Wilder Lane, American journalist and author (d. 1968), was an American journalist, travel writer, novelist, political theorist and daughter of American writer Laura Ingalls Wilder. Along with two other female writers, Ayn Rand and Isabel Paterson, Lane is noted as one of the founders of the American libertarian movement.
1879 – Clyde Vernon Cessna, American pilot and businessman, founded the Cessna Aircraft Corporation (d. 1954), was an American aircraft designer, aviator, and early aviation entrepreneur. He is best known as the principal founder of the Cessna Aircraft Corporation.
1872 – Harry Nelson Pillsbury, American chess player (d. 1906), was a leading American chess player. At the age of 22, he won one of the strongest tournaments of the time (the Hastings 1895 chess tournament) but his illness and early death prevented him from challenging for the World Chess Championship.
1869 – Ellis Parker Butler, American author and poet (d. 1937). He was the author of more than 30 books and more than 2,000 stories and essays and is most famous for his short story "Pigs Is Pigs", in which a bureaucratic stationmaster insists on levying the livestock rate for a shipment of two pet guinea pigs, which soon start proliferating exponentially.
1855 – Clinton Hart Merriam, American zoologist, ornithologist, entomologist, and ethnographer (d. 1942), was an American zoologist, mammalogist, ornithologist, entomologist, ethnographer, and naturalist.
1841 – Marcus Daly, Irish-American businessman (d. 1900), was an Irish-born American businessman known as one of the three "Copper Kings" of Butte, Montana, United States.
1839 – George Armstrong Custer, American general (d. 1876). George Armstrong Custer (December 5, 1839 – June 25, 1876) was a United States Army officer and cavalry commander in the American Civil War and the American Indian Wars.
1822 – Elizabeth Cabot Agassiz, American philosopher and academic, co-founded Radcliffe College (d. 1907), was an American educator, naturalist, writer, and the co-founder and first president of Radcliffe College. A researcher of natural history, she was an author and illustrator of natural history texts as well as a co-author of natural history texts with her husband, Louis Agassiz, and her stepson Alexander Agassiz.
1782 – Martin Van Buren, American lawyer and politician, 8th President of the United States (d. 1862), was an American statesman who served as the eighth president of the United States from 1837 to 1841. He was the first president born speaking a language other than English (Dutch) and the first born after the United States had declared its independence from Great Britain.
2015 – Tibor Rubin, Hungarian-American soldier, Medal of Honor recipient (b. 1929)
2015 – Vic Eliason, American clergyman and radio host, founded VCY America (b. 1936)
2014 – Ernest C. Brace, American captain and pilot (b. 1931)
2013 – Fred Bassetti, American architect and academic, founded Bassetti Architects (b. 1917)
2013 – William B. Edmondson, American lawyer and diplomat, United States Ambassador to South Africa (b. 1927)
2012 – Dave Brubeck, American pianist and composer (b. 1920)
2012 – Oscar Niemeyer, Brazilian architect, designed the United Nations Headquarters and Cathedral of Brasília (b. 1907)
2010 – Alan Armer, American director, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1922)
2010 – Don Meredith, American football player, sportscaster, and actor (b. 1938)
2009 – William Lederer, American soldier and author (b. 1912)
2008 – Beverly Garland, American actress and businesswoman (b. 1926)
2008 – George Brecht, American chemist and composer (b. 1926)