1972 – Apollo program: Eugene Cernan is the last person to walk on the moon, after he and Harrison Schmitt complete the third and final extravehicular activity (EVA) of the Apollo 17 mission.
1964 – American Civil Rights Movement: Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States: The Supreme Court of the United States rules that Congress can use the Constitution's Commerce Clause to fight discrimination.
1963 – The dam containing the Baldwin Hills Reservoir bursts, killing five people and damaging hundreds of homes in Los Angeles, California.
1962 – NASA's Mariner 2 becomes the first spacecraft to fly by Venus.
1960 – Convention against Discrimination in Education of UNESCO is adopted.
1958 – The 3rd Soviet Antarctic Expedition becomes the first to reach the southern pole of inaccessibility.
1940 – Plutonium (specifically Pu-238) is first isolated at Berkeley, California.
1911 – Roald Amundsen's team, comprising himself, Olav Bjaaland, Helmer Hanssen, Sverre Hassel, and Oscar Wisting, becomes the first to reach the South Pole.
1903 – The Wright brothers make their first attempt to fly with the Wright Flyer at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
1902 – The Commercial Pacific Cable Company lays the first Pacific telegraph cable, from San Francisco to Honolulu.
1896 – The Glasgow Underground Railway is opened by the Glasgow District Subway Company.
1836 – The Toledo War unofficially ends.
1819 – Alabama becomes the 22nd U.S. state.
1814 – War of 1812: The Royal Navy seizes control of Lake Borgne, Louisiana.
1782 – The Montgolfier brothers first test fly a hot air balloon in France; it floats nearly 2 km (1.2 mi).
1751 – The Theresian Military Academy is founded in Wiener Neustadt, Austria.
1992 – Tori Kelly, American singer-songwriter. Thereafter, she independently released her self-produced debut EP in 2012, Handmade Songs by Tori Kelly.
1988 – Nate Ebner, American football player. Nathan Ebner (born December 14, 1988) is an American football safety and special teamer for the New England Patriots of the National Football League (NFL), and a rugby sevens player for the United States national rugby sevens team.
1988 – Vanessa Hudgens, American actress and singer. The success of the first film led to Hudgens' acquiring a recording contract with Hollywood Records, with whom she released two studio albums, V (2006) and Identified (2008).
1987 – Kenneth Medwood, Belizean-American hurdler. Kenneth Medwood (born December 14, 1987 in Belize City) is a Belizean track and field athlete, specializing in the 400 metres hurdles.
1985 – Paul Rabil, American lacrosse player. Paul Rabil (born December 14, 1985), is an American professional lacrosse player with the Atlas Lacrosse Club of the Premier Lacrosse League, which he co-founded.
1982 – Josh Fields, American baseball player. Josh Fields is the name of:
1981 – Johnny Jeter, American wrestler. He is best known for his appearances with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) in 2006 as Johnny, a member of The Spirit Squad.
1981 – Rebecca Jarvis, American journalist. She was a finalist on Season 4 of The Apprentice.
1981 – Shaun Marcum, American baseball player. Shaun Michal Marcum (born December 14, 1981) is an American former professional baseball pitcher, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Toronto Blue Jays, Milwaukee Brewers, New York Mets, and Cleveland Indians.
1976 – Leland Chapman, American bounty hunter. Leland Blane Chapman (born December 14, 1976) is an American bail bondsman and bounty hunter, known as one of the stars of the A&E Network reality television program Dog the Bounty Hunter.
1976 – Tammy Blanchard, American actress and singer. Her other notable film roles were in The Good Shepherd (2006), Sybil (2007), Into the Woods (2014) and The Invitation (2015).
1975 – Justin Furstenfeld, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer. Justin Steward Furstenfeld (born December 14, 1975) is a record producer, artist, author, and the lead singer, guitarist, and lyricist of the rock band Blue October.
1974 – Billy Koch, American baseball player. William Koch (born December 14, 1974) is a former Major League Baseball relief pitcher.
1972 – Marcus Jensen, American baseball player and coach. Louis Cardinals, Minnesota Twins, Boston Red Sox and Texas Rangers in Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1996 through 2002.
1969 – Archie Kao, American actor and producer. He is best known to American audiences for series regulars roles on Chicago P.D., Power Rangers Lost Galaxy as well as long-running hit CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.
1969 – Scott Hatteberg, American baseball player and sportscaster. Scott Allen Hatteberg (born December 14, 1969) is an American former professional first baseman and catcher.
1965 – Craig Biggio, American baseball player and coach. Craig Alan Biggio (/ˈbɪdʒioʊ/; born December 14, 1965) is an American former second baseman, outfielder and catcher in Major League Baseball who played his entire Hall of Fame career from 1988 through 2007 for the Houston Astros.
1965 – Ted Raimi, American actor, director, and screenwriter. He later reprised his role as Henrietta in the television series Ash vs.
1960 – Don Franklin, American actor. Don Franklin (born December 14, 1960) is an American actor, best known for his roles in seaQuest DSV as Commander Jonathan Ford, Seven Days as Captain Craig Donovan, and as one of The Young Riders (Noah Dixon).
1959 – Bob Paris, American-Canadian bodybuilder and actor. Bob Paris (born Robert Clark Paris on December 14, 1959) is a Canadian-American writer, actor, public speaker, civil rights activist, and former professional bodybuilder.
1955 – Jill Pipher, American mathematician and academic. Jill Catherine Pipher (born December 14, 1955, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) is the president of the American Mathematical Society.
1954 – Alan Kulwicki, American race car driver (d. 1993). Named one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998
1952 – John Lurie, American actor, saxophonist, painter, director, and producer. In 1996 his soundtrack for Get Shorty was nominated for a Grammy Award, and his album The Legendary Marvin Pontiac: Greatest Hits has been praised by both critics and fellow musicians.
1949 – Bill Buckner, American baseball player and manager, was an American professional baseball first baseman and left fielder, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for five teams from 1969 through 1990, including the Chicago Cubs, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Boston Red Sox. Beginning his career as an outfielder with the Dodgers, he helped the team to the 1974 pennant with a .314 batting average, but a serious ankle injury the next year eventually led to his trade to the Cubs prior to the 1977 season.
1947 – Christopher Parkening, American guitarist and educator. He holds the Chair of Classical Guitar at Pepperdine University under the title Distinguished Professor of Music.
1946 – Joyce Vincent Wilson, American singer. Joyce Vincent Wilson (born December 14, 1946 in Detroit, Michigan) is an American singer, most famous as part of the group Tony Orlando and Dawn.
1946 – Michael Ovitz, American talent agent, co-founded Creative Artists Agency. Michael Steven Ovitz (born December 14, 1946) is an American businessman, investor, and philanthropist.
1946 – Patty Duke, American actress (d. 2016), was an American actress who appeared on stage, film, and television.
1946 – Stan Smith, American tennis player and coach. Stanley Roger Smith (born December 14, 1946) is a former world No. 1 American tennis player and two-time Grand Slam singles champion who also, with his partner Bob Lutz, formed one of the most successful doubles teams of all time.
1944 – Graham Kirkham, Baron Kirkham, English businessman, founded DFS. Graham Kirkham, Baron Kirkham, CVO (born 14 December 1944) is an English businessman, the founder and chairman of sofa retailer DFS.
1943 – Emmett Tyrrell, American journalist, author, and publisher, founded The American Spectator. Robert Emmett Tyrrell Jr. (born December 14, 1943) is an American conservative magazine editor, book author and columnist.
1942 – Dick Wagner, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (d. 2014), was an American rock music guitarist, songwriter and author best known for his work with Alice Cooper, Lou Reed, and KISS. He also fronted his own Michigan-based bands, The Frost and The Bossmen.
1941 – Ellen Willis, American journalist, critic, and academic (d. 2006), was an American left-wing political essayist, journalist, activist, feminist, and pop music critic. A 2014 collection of her essays, The Essential Ellen Willis, received the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism.
1941 – Karan Armstrong, American soprano and actress. Karan Armstrong (born December 14, 1941, Havre, Montana) is an American operatic soprano, who is celebrated as a singing-actress.
1939 – Ernie Davis, American football player (d. 1963), was an American football player, a halfback who won the Heisman Trophy in 1961 and was its first African-American recipient.
1935 – Lee Remick, American actress (d. 1991). She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for the 1962 film Days of Wine and Roses, and for the 1966 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her Broadway theatre performance in Wait Until Dark.
1935 – Lewis Arquette, American actor, producer, and screenwriter (d. 2001), was an American film actor, writer and producer. Arquette was known for playing J.D.
1932 – Abbe Lane, American actress, singer, and dancer. Abbe Lane (born Abigail Francine Lassman; December 14, 1932) is an American singer and actress.
1932 – Charlie Rich, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (d. 1995), was an American country music singer, songwriter, and musician. His eclectic style of music was often difficult to classify, encompassing the rockabilly, jazz, blues, country, soul, and gospel genres.
1932 – George Furth, American actor and playwright (d. 2008), was an American librettist, playwright, and actor.
1927 – Richard Cassilly, American tenor and actor (d. 1998), was an American operatic tenor who had a major international opera career between 1954–90. Cassilly "was a mainstay in the heldentenor repertory in opera houses around the world for 30 years", and particularly excelled in Wagnerian roles like Tristan, Siegmund and Tannhäuser, and in dramatic parts that required both stamina and vocal weight, such as Giuseppe Verdi's Otello and Camille Saint-Saëns's Samson.
1922 – Don Hewitt, American journalist and producer, created 60 Minutes (d. 2009), was an American television news producer and executive, best known for creating the CBS television news magazine 60 Minutes in 1968, which at the time of his death was the longest-running prime-time broadcast on American television. Under Hewitt's leadership, 60 Minutes was the only news program ever rated the nation's top-ranked television program, an achievement it accomplished five times.
1922 – Junior J. Spurrier, American sergeant, Medal of Honor recipient (d. 1984), was a United States Army soldier who received the United States' two highest military decorations for valor—the Medal of Honor and Distinguished Service Cross—for his heroic actions in World War II.
1920 – Clark Terry, American trumpet player, composer, and educator (d. 2015), was an American swing and bebop trumpeter, a pioneer of the flugelhorn in jazz, and a composer and educator.
1918 – B. K. S. Iyengar, Indian yoga instructor and author, founded Iyengar Yoga (d. 2014). Bellur Krishnamachar Sundararaja Iyengar (14 December 1918 – 20 August 2014), better known as B.K.S.
1918 – James T. Aubrey, American broadcaster (d. 1994), was an American television and film executive. As president of the CBS television network from 1959 to 1965, he, with his "smell for the blue-collar", put some of television's most enduring series on the air, including Gilligan's Island and The Beverly Hillbillies.
1917 – Elyse Knox, American actress and fashion designer (d. 2012), was an American actress, model, and fashion designer.
1917 – June Taylor, American dancer and choreographer (d. 2004), was an American choreographer, best known as the founder of the June Taylor Dancers, who were featured on Jackie Gleason's various television variety programs.
1916 – Shirley Jackson, American novelist and short story writer (d. 1965), was an American writer, known primarily for her works of horror and mystery. Over the duration of her writing career, which spanned over two decades, she composed six novels, two memoirs, and more than 200 short stories.
1915 – Dan Dailey, American dancer and actor (d. 1978). He is best remembered for a series of popular musicals he made at 20th Century Fox such as Mother Wore Tights (1947).
1914 – Rosalyn Tureck, American pianist and harpsichord player (d. 2003), was an American pianist and harpsichordist who was particularly associated with the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. However, she had a wide-ranging repertoire that included works by composers including Ludwig van Beethoven, Johannes Brahms and Frédéric Chopin, as well as more modern composers such as David Diamond, Luigi Dallapiccola and William Schuman.
1911 – Hans von Ohain, German-American physicist and engineer (d. 1998), was a German physicist, and the designer of the first operational jet engine. His first design ran in March 1937, and it was one of his engines that powered the world's first flyable all-jet aircraft, the prototype of the Heinkel He 178 (He 178 V1) in late August 1939.
1911 – Spike Jones, American singer and bandleader (d. 1965), was an American musician and bandleader specializing in satirical arrangements of popular songs and classical music. Ballads receiving the Jones treatment were punctuated with gunshots, whistles, cowbells and outlandish and comedic vocals.
1909 – Edward Lawrie Tatum, American geneticist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1975). He shared half of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1958 with George Beadle for showing that genes control individual steps in metabolism.
1908 – Morey Amsterdam, American actor, singer, and screenwriter (d. 1996), was an American actor and comedian. He was known for the role of Buddy Sorrell on CBS's The Dick Van Dyke Show from 1961 to 1966.
1902 – Frances Bavier, American actress (d. 1989), was an American stage and television actress. Originally from New York theatre, she worked in film and television from the 1950s until the 1970s.
1897 – Margaret Chase Smith, American educator and politician (d. 1995), was a United States politician. A member of the Republican Party, she served as a U.S Representative (1940–49) and a U.S.
1896 – Jimmy Doolittle, American general and pilot, Medal of Honor recipient (d. 1993), was an American general and aviation pioneer. He made early coast-to-coast flights, won many flying races, and helped develop instrument flying.
1894 – Alexander Nelke, Estonian-American painter and carpenter (d. 1974), was an Estonian-American artist in the mid to late 20th century. He is primarily known as marine and landscape artist specializing in square rigged sailing vessels.
1884 – Jane Cowl, American actress and playwright (d. 1950), was an American film and stage actress and playwright "notorious for playing lachrymose parts". Actress Jane Russell was named in Cowl's honor.
1883 – Morihei Ueshiba, Japanese martial artist, developed aikido (d. 1969), was a Japanese martial artist and founder of the martial art of aikido. He is often referred to as "the founder" Kaiso (開祖) or Ōsensei (大先生/翁先生), "Great Teacher".
1881 – Katherine MacDonald, American actress and producer (d. 1956), was an American actress and film producer. She was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
1852 – Daniel De Leon, Curaçaoan-American journalist and politician (d. 1914). Anti-war and civil rights movements
1851 – Mary Tappan Wright, American novelist and short story writer (d. 1916), was an American novelist and short story writer best known for her acute characterizations and depictions of academic life. She was the wife of classical scholar John Henry Wright and the mother of legal scholar and utopian novelist Austin Tappan Wright and geographer John Kirtland Wright.
1832 – Daniel H. Reynolds, American general, lawyer, and politician (d. 1902), was a Confederate States Army brigadier general during the American Civil War. He was born at Centerburg, Ohio but moved to Iowa, Tennessee and finally to Arkansas before the Civil War.
1794 – Erastus Corning, American businessman and politician (d. 1872). Corning was born in Norwich, Connecticut, the son of Bliss Corning.
1775 – Philander Chase, American bishop and educator, founded Kenyon College (d. 1852), was an Episcopal Church bishop, educator, and pioneer of the United States western frontier, especially in Ohio and Illinois.
2015 – Lillian Vernon, German-American businesswoman and philanthropist, founded the Lillian Vernon Company (b. 1927)
2015 – Terry Backer, American soldier and politician (b. 1954)
2014 – Bess Myerson, American model, activist, game show panelist and television personality; Miss America 1945 (b. 1924)
2014 – Fred Thurston, American football player (b. 1933)
2014 – Irene Dalis, American soprano and pianist (b. 1925)
2014 – Theo Colborn, American zoologist and academic (b. 1927)
2013 – George Rodrigue, American painter (b. 1944)
2013 – Janet Dailey, American author (b. 1944)
2012 – Edward Jones, American police officer and politician (b. 1950)
2012 – Victoria Leigh Soto, American educator (b. 1985)
2011 – Billie Jo Spears, American singer-songwriter (b. 1937)
2011 – Joe Simon, American author and illustrator (b. 1913)
2010 – Neva Patterson, American actress (b. 1920)
2010 – Timothy Davlin, American politician, Mayor of Springfield (b. 1957)
2006 – Ahmet Ertegün, Turkish-American composer and producer, co-founded Atlantic Records (b. 1923)
2004 – Rod Kanehl, American baseball player (b. 1934)
2003 – Frank Sheeran, American union leader and mobster (b. 1920)
2003 – Jeanne Crain, American actress (b. 1925)
1998 – A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr., American lawyer, judge, and activist (b. 1928)
1998 – Annette Strauss, American philanthropist and politician, Mayor of Dallas (b. 1924)
1998 – Norman Fell, American actor and comedian (b. 1924)
1997 – Emily Cheney Neville, American author (b. 1919)
1997 – Stubby Kaye, American actor and comedian (b. 1918)
1995 – G. C. Edmondson, American soldier and author (b. 1922)
1994 – Orval Faubus, American soldier and politician, 36th Governor of Arkansas (b. 1910)
1993 – Jeff Alm, American football player (b. 1968)
1993 – Myrna Loy, American actress (b. 1905)
1989 – Jock Mahoney, American actor and stuntman (b. 1919)
1985 – Catherine Doherty, Russian-Canadian activist, founded the Madonna House Apostolate (b. 1896)
1985 – Roger Maris, American baseball player and coach (b. 1934)
1980 – Elston Howard, American baseball player and coach (b. 1929)
1978 – Salvador de Madariaga, Spanish historian and diplomat, co-founded the College of Europe (b. 1886)
1975 – Arthur Treacher, English-American entertainer (b. 1894)
1974 – Walter Lippmann, American journalist and author (b. 1889)
1964 – William Bendix, American actor (b. 1906)
1963 – Dinah Washington, American singer and pianist (b. 1924)
1953 – Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, American author and academic (b. 1896)
1947 – Edward Higgins, English-American 3rd General of The Salvation Army (b. 1864)
1943 – John Harvey Kellogg, American physician and businessman, co-invented corn flakes (b. 1852)
1935 – Stanley G. Weinbaum, American author (b. 1902)
1920 – George Gipp, American football player (b. 1895)
1873 – Louis Agassiz, Swiss-American zoologist and geologist (b. 1807)
1831 – Martin Baum, American businessman and politician, 5th Mayor of Cincinnati (b. 1765)
1799 – George Washington, American general and politician, 1st President of the United States (b. 1732)