Yalda Night (شب يلدا Shab-e Yalda, Shab-e Chelle - Persian festival held on the longest and darkest night of the year. Celebrated in Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan)
Yule in Iceland (date for 2020. Medieval winter solstice of the ancient Germanic peoples)
2004 – Iraq War: A suicide bomber killed 22 at the forward operating base next to the main U.S. military airfield at Mosul, Iraq, the single deadliest suicide attack on American soldiers.
1988 – The first flight of Antonov An-225 Mriya, the largest aircraft in the world.
1970 – First flight of F-14 multi-role combat aircraft.
1968 – Apollo program: Apollo 8 is launched from the Kennedy Space Center, placing its crew on a lunar trajectory for the first visit to another celestial body by humans.
1967 – Louis Washkansky, the first man to undergo a heart transplant, dies in Cape Town, South Africa, having lived for 18 days after the transplant.
1937 – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the world's first full-length animated feature, premieres at the Carthay Circle Theatre.
1936 – First flight of the Junkers Ju 88 multi-role combat aircraft.
1919 – American anarchist Emma Goldman is deported to Russia.
1913 – Arthur Wynne's "word-cross", the first crossword puzzle, is published in the New York World.
1883 – The Royal Canadian Dragoons and The Royal Canadian Regiment, the first Permanent Force cavalry and infantry regiments of the Canadian Army, are formed.
1826 – American settlers in Nacogdoches, Mexican Texas, declare their independence, starting the Fredonian Rebellion.
1989 – Mark Ingram Jr., American football player. Mark Valentino Ingram Jr. (born December 21, 1989) is an American football running back for the Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League (NFL).
1982 – Philip Humber, American baseball player. Although he debuted in the major leagues in 2006 and had worked mostly as a starter in the minor leagues, he did not become a regular MLB starter until 2011.
1965 – Andy Dick, American comedian, actor, producer, and screenwriter. Andrew Roane Dick (born Andrew Thomlinson, December 21, 1965) is an American comedian, actor, musician, and television and film producer.
1960 – Sherry Rehman, Pakistani journalist, politician, and diplomat, 25th Pakistan Ambassador to the United States. She was the first woman Leader of the Opposition in the Senate from March 2018 to August 2018 and served as the Pakistan's Ambassador to the United States from 2011 to 2013.
1959 – Florence Griffith Joyner, American sprinter and actress (d. 1998), was an American track and field athlete.
1957 – Ray Romano, American actor, producer, and screenwriter. He created and starred in the TNT comedy-drama Men of a Certain Age (2009–2011).
1956 – Dave Laut, American shot putter (d. 2009). He was born in Findlay, Ohio and grew up in Oxnard, California.
1955 – Jane Kaczmarek, American actress. Kaczmarek is a three-time Golden Globe and seven-time Emmy Award nominee.
1954 – Chris Evert, American tennis player and coach. Christine Marie Evert (born December 21, 1954), known as Chris Evert Lloyd from 1979 to 1987, is a retired American World No. 1 tennis player.
1953 – Betty Wright, American singer-songwriter. Bessie Regina Norris (born December 21, 1953), better known by her stage name Betty Wright, is an American soul and R&B singer, songwriter and background vocalist, who rose to fame in the 1970s with hits such as "Clean Up Woman" and "Tonight is the Night".
1952 – Steve Furniss, American swimmer. Steven Charles Furniss (born December 21, 1952) is an American former swimmer, Olympic medalist and former world record-holder.
1950 – Jeffrey Katzenberg, American screenwriter and producer, co-founded DreamWorks Animation. Jeffrey Katzenberg (/ˈkætsənbɜːrɡ/; born December 21, 1950) is an American film producer and media proprietor.
1950 – Max Maven, American magician and mentalist. Max Maven (born Philip Goldstein, 21 December 1950) is an American magician and mentalist whose performances are considered erudite and intelligent.
1948 – Barry Gordon, American actor and voice artist; longest-serving president of the Screen Actors Guild (1988–95). Barry Gordon (born December 21, 1948) is an American actor and voice actor, and political talk show host and producer.
1948 – Dave Kingman, American baseball player, was a 3 time MLB All-Star with 442 career home runs and 1,210 RBI in 16 seasons. In his career, Kingman averaged a home run every 15.11 at bats, tied for 14th best all-time.
1948 – Samuel L. Jackson, American actor and producer. Jackson has won critical acclaim and numerous accolades and awards, and is the highest-grossing actor of all time (when cameo appearances are excluded).
1946 – Carl Wilson, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (d. 1998), was an American musician, singer, and songwriter who co-founded the Beach Boys. He is best remembered as their lead guitarist, as the youngest brother of bandmates Brian and Dennis Wilson, and as the group's de facto leader in the early 1970s.
1946 – Roy Karch, American director, producer, and screenwriter. The AVN (Adult Video News) Hall of Fame has honored people for their work in the adult entertainment industry since 1995.
1944 – Michael Tilson Thomas, American pianist, composer, and conductor. He is currently music director of the San Francisco Symphony and artistic director of the New World Symphony, an American orchestral academy based in Miami Beach, Florida.
1940 – Frank Zappa, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer (d. 1993), was an American multi-instrumentalist musician, composer, and bandleader. His work is characterized by nonconformity, free-form improvisation, sound experiments, musical virtuosity, and satire of American culture.
1937 – Jane Fonda, American actress, producer, and activist. She is the recipient of various accolades including two Academy Awards, two BAFTA Awards, seven Golden Globe Awards, a Primetime Emmy Award, the AFI Life Achievement Award, and the Honorary Golden Lion.
1935 – John G. Avildsen, American director, producer, and cinematographer (d. 2017), was an American film director. He is perhaps best known for directing Rocky (1976), which earned him the Academy Award for Best Director.
1935 – Phil Donahue, American talk show host and producer. Phillip John Donahue (born December 21, 1935) is an American media personality, writer, film producer and the creator and host of The Phil Donahue Show.
1933 – Robert Worcester, American businessman and academic, founded MORI. Sir Robert Milton Worcester, KBE, DL (born 21 December 1933) is an American-born British pollster who is the founder of MORI (Market & Opinion Research International Ltd.) and a member and contributor to many voluntary organisations.
1932 – Edward Hoagland, American author and critic. Edward Hoagland (born December 21, 1932) is an American author best known for his nature and travel writing.
1926 – Joe Paterno, American football player and coach (d. 2012), was an American college football player, athletic director, and coach. He was the head coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions from 1966 to 2011.
1922 – Paul Winchell, American actor, voice artist, and ventriloquist (d. 2005), was an American ventriloquist, comedian, actor, voice artist, humanitarian, and inventor whose career flourished in the 1950s and 1960s. From 1950 to 1954, he hosted The Paul Winchell Show, which also used two other titles during its prime time run on NBC: The Speidel Show, and What's My Name?.
1920 – Adele Goldstine, American computer programmer (d. 1964), was an American mathematician and computer programmer. She wrote the manual for the first electronic digital computer, ENIAC.
1920 – Alicia Alonso, Cuban ballerina and choreographer, founded the Cuban National Ballet, was a Cuban prima ballerina assoluta and choreographer whose company became the Ballet Nacional de Cuba in 1955. She is best known for her portrayals of Giselle and the ballet version of Carmen.
1918 – Donald Regan, American colonel and politician, 11th White House Chief of Staff (d. 2003), was the 66th United States Secretary of the Treasury from 1981 to 1985 and the White House Chief of Staff from 1985 to 1987 under Ronald Reagan. In the Reagan administration, he advocated "Reaganomics" and tax cuts as a means to create jobs and to stimulate production.
1915 – Werner von Trapp, Austrian-American singer (d. 2007), was an Austrian singer and the second-oldest son of Georg von Trapp and his first wife, Agatha Whitehead von Trapp. He was a member of the Trapp Family Singers, whose lives were the inspiration for the play and movie The Sound of Music.
1913 – Arnold Friberg, American illustrator and painter (d. 2010), was an American illustrator and painter noted for his religious and patriotic works. He is perhaps best known for his 1975 painting The Prayer at Valley Forge, a depiction of George Washington praying at Valley Forge.
1911 – Josh Gibson, American baseball player (d. 1947), was the night I gotta go play basketball and I have a nice dinner at the lunch dinner and dinner with you guys tomorrow night night I can talk with y’all tomorrow night night and I’ll be there at like the night I have a dinner dinner or something like that we have dinner and I have to go back and eat dinner or something like that I’m going to stop and then I gotta was a nice night and then I got to get back in my house I wanna is a nice day and then we can go get back to my mom I was just so sorry I wanna do you think you could get a hold of them because they have a the phone
1892 – Walter Hagen, American golfer (d. 1969), was an American professional golfer and a major figure in golf in the first half of the 20th century. His tally of 11 professional majors is third behind Jack Nicklaus (18) and Tiger Woods (15).
1891 – John William McCormack, American lawyer and politician, 53rd Speaker of the United States House of Representatives (d. 1980), was an American politician from Boston, Massachusetts. An attorney and a Democrat, McCormack served in the United States Army during World War I, and afterwards won terms in both the Massachusetts House of Representatives and Massachusetts State Senate before winning election to the United States House of Representatives.
1890 – Hermann Joseph Muller, American geneticist and biologist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1967), was an American geneticist, educator, and Nobel laureate best known for his work on the physiological and genetic effects of radiation (mutagenesis), as well as his outspoken political beliefs. Muller frequently warned of long-term dangers of radioactive fallout from nuclear war and nuclear testing, which resulted in greater public scrutiny of these practices.
1889 – Sewall Wright, American geneticist and biologist (d. 1988), was an American geneticist known for his influential work on evolutionary theory and also for his work on path analysis. He was a founder of population genetics alongside Ronald Fisher and J.
1872 – Albert Payson Terhune, American journalist and author (d. 1942), was an American author, dog breeder, and journalist. He was popular for his novels relating the adventures of his beloved collies and as a breeder of collies at his Sunnybank Kennels, the lines of which still exist in today's Rough Collies.
1872 – Trevor Kincaid, Canadian-American zoologist and academic (d. 1970), was a Canadian-American scientist and professor at the University of Washington who achieved national acclaim for his scientific achievements while an undergraduate student. Kincaid's interests ranged from insect life to marine biology to mollusks, though he once described himself as an "omniologist" (one who studies everything).
1868 – George W. Fuller, American chemist and engineer (d. 1934), was a sanitary engineer who was also trained in bacteriology and chemistry. His career extended from 1890 to 1934 and he was responsible for important innovations in water and wastewater treatment.
1851 – Thomas Chipman McRae, American lawyer and politician, 26th Governor of Arkansas (d. 1929), was an American attorney and politician from Arkansas. He served as a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives (1885 to 1903) and the 26th Governor of Arkansas, from 1921 to 1925.
1832 – John H. Ketcham, American general and politician (d. 1906), was a United States Representative from New York for over 33 years. He also served as a general in the Union Army during the American Civil War.
1820 – William H. Osborn, American businessman (d. 1894), was a 19th-century American railroad tycoon who became one of the most prominent railroad leaders in the United States.
2013 – John Eisenhower, American historian, general, and diplomat, 45th United States Ambassador to Belgium (b. 1922)
2009 – Edwin G. Krebs, American biochemist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1918)
1992 – Albert King, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer (b. 1924)
1992 – Nathan Milstein, Russian-American violinist and composer (b. 1903)
1992 – Stella Adler, American actress and educator (b. 1901)
1964 – Carl Van Vechten, American author and photographer (b. 1880)
1958 – Lion Feuchtwanger, German-American author and playwright (b. 1884)
1957 – Eric Coates, English-American viola player and composer (b. 1886)
1953 – Kaarlo Koskelo, Finnish-American wrestler and businessman (b. 1888)
1952 – Kenneth Edwards, American golfer (b. 1886)
1945 – George S. Patton, American general (b. 1885)
1940 – F. Scott Fitzgerald, American novelist and short story writer (b. 1896)
1937 – Frank B. Kellogg, American lawyer and politician, 45th United States Secretary of State, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1856)
1937 – Ted Healy, American comedian and actor (b. 1896)
1929 – I. L. Patterson, American politician, 18th Governor of Oregon (b. 1859)
1920 – Mohammed Abdullah Hassan, Somalian general, founded the Dervish state (b. 1856)