2010 – The repeal of the Don't ask, don't tell policy, the 17-year-old policy banning homosexuals serving openly in the United States military, is signed into law by President Barack Obama.
2001 – Richard Reid attempts to destroy a passenger airliner by igniting explosives hidden in his shoes aboard American Airlines Flight 63.
1997 – Hussein Farrah Aidid relinquishes the disputed title of President of Somalia by signing the Cairo Declaration, in Cairo, Egypt. It is the first major step towards reconciliation in Somalia since 1991.
1965 – In the United Kingdom, a 70 mph speed limit is applied to all rural roads including motorways for the first time.
1964 – The first test flight of the SR-71 (Blackbird) took place at Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale, California.
1951 – The Selangor Labour Party is founded in Selangor, Malaya.
1944 – World War II: Battle of the Bulge: German troops demand the surrender of United States troops at Bastogne, Belgium, prompting the famous one word reply by General Anthony McAuliffe: "Nuts!"
1891 – Asteroid 323 Brucia becomes the first asteroid discovered using photography.
1885 – Itō Hirobumi, a samurai, became the first Prime Minister of Japan.
1851 – India's first freight train is operated in Roorkee, India.
1622 – Bucaramanga, Colombia is founded.
609 – Muhammad claims to receive his first revelation.
1998 – G Hannelius, American actress and singer. Prior to this, she had recurring roles in the Disney Channel series Sonny with a Chance and Good Luck Charlie.
1993 – Meghan Trainor, American singer-songwriter and producer. Interested in music from a young age, she wrote, recorded, and produced three independently released albums between 2009 and 2011.
1990 – Josef Newgarden, American race car driver, was born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee.
1989 – Jordin Sparks, American singer-songwriter and actress. Her self-titled debut studio album, released later that year, was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and has sold over two million copies worldwide.
1983 – Drew Hankinson, American wrestler. Andrew William Hankinson (born December 22, 1983) is an American professional wrestler and promoter, He is currently signed with WWE on the Raw brand under the ring name Luke Gallows as part of The O.C.
1976 – Jason Lane, American baseball player and coach. He played in the MLB for the Houston Astros and San Diego Padres.
1970 – Ted Cruz, American lawyer and politician. Rafael Edward Cruz (/kruːz/; born December 22, 1970) is an American politician and attorney serving as the junior United States Senator for Texas since 2013.
1968 – Dina Meyer, American actress. She began her career appearing in a recurring role on the Fox teen drama series Beverly Hills, 90210 (1993–94), before landing a female leading role opposite Keanu Reeves in the 1995 film Johnny Mnemonic.
1965 – David S. Goyer, American screenwriter. David Samuel Goyer (born December 22, 1965) is an American screenwriter, film director, novelist, producer, and comic book writer.
1963 – Luna H. Mitani, Japanese-American painter and illustrator. Mitani (born December 22, 1963, in Kushiro, Hokkaido, Japan) is a Japanese-American artist.
1961 – Andrew Fastow, American businessman, was the chief financial officer of Enron Corporation, an energy trading company based in Houston, Texas, until he was fired shortly before the company declared bankruptcy. Fastow was one of the key figures behind the complex web of off-balance-sheet special purpose entities (limited partnerships which Enron controlled) used to conceal Enron's massive losses in their quarterly balance sheets.
1960 – Jean-Michel Basquiat, American painter and poet (d. 1988), was an American artist of Haitian and Puerto Rican descent. Basquiat first achieved fame as part of SAMO, an informal graffiti duo who wrote enigmatic epigrams in the cultural hotbed of the Lower East Side of Manhattan during the late 1970s, where rap, punk, and street art coalesced into early hip-hop music culture.
1960 – Luther Campbell, American rapper and actor. Luther Roderick Campbell (born December 22, 1960), also known as Luke Skyywalker, Uncle Luke and simply Luke, is an American rapper, promoter, record executive, and actor.
1958 – David Heavener, American singer-songwriter, producer, actor, and director. David Heavener (born December 22, 1958) is an American singer, songwriter, director, actor, composer, producer and writer, specialising in low-budget features and direct-to-video action films.
1955 – Lonnie Smith, American baseball player. Louis Cardinals, Kansas City Royals, Atlanta Braves, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Baltimore Orioles.
1955 – Thomas C. Südhof, German-American biochemist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate. Currently, he is a professor in the School of Medicine in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology, and by courtesy in Neurology, and in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University.
1953 – Tom Underwood, American baseball player (d. 2010), was a pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies (1974–77), St. Louis Cardinals (1977), Toronto Blue Jays (1978–79), New York Yankees (1980–81), Oakland Athletics (1981–83) and Baltimore Orioles (1984).
1949 – Ray Guy, American football player, was a punter for the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders of the National Football League (NFL). Guy was a unanimous All-American selection in 1972 as a senior at the University of Southern Mississippi, and was the first pure punter ever to be drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft, when the Oakland Raiders selected him with the 23rd overall pick in 1973.
1948 – Don Kardong, American runner, journalist, and author. Donald ("Don") Franklin Kardong (born December 22, 1948) is a noted runner and author from the United States; he finished a close fourth in the marathon at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, just three seconds behind the bronze medal winner.
1948 – Lynne Thigpen, American actress and singer (d. 2003), was an American actress who voiced "Luna" (The Moon) in children's series Bear In The Big Blue House and portrayed "The Chief" of ACME in various Carmen Sandiego television series and computer games from 1991 to 1997. For her varied television work, Thigpen was nominated for six Daytime Emmy Awards; she won a Tony Award in 1997 for portraying Dr.
1948 – Rick Nielsen, American singer-songwriter and guitarist. Richard Alan Nielsen (born December 22, 1948) is the lead guitarist, backing vocalist, and primary songwriter of american rock band Cheap Trick.
1948 – Steve Garvey, American baseball player and sportscaster. Nicknamed "Mr.
1947 – Brian Daley, American author and screenwriter (d. 1996). The Adventures of Hobart Floyt and Alacrity Fitzhugh series; Robotech series;
1946 – C. Eugene Steuerle, American economist and author. Fisher chair and Institute Fellow at the Urban Institute in Washington, DC, and a columnist under the title The Government We Deserve.
1945 – Diane Sawyer, American journalist. Lila Diane Sawyer (/ˈsɔːjər/; born December 22, 1945) is an American television journalist.
1944 – Steve Carlton, American baseball player. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1994.
1943 – Paul Wolfowitz, American banker and politician, 25th United States Deputy Secretary of Defense. Paul Dundes Wolfowitz (/ˈwʊlfəvɪts/; born December 22, 1943) is an American political scientist and diplomat who served as the 10th President of the World Bank, U.S.
1942 – Jerry Koosman, American baseball player. Koosman is best known as a member of the Miracle Mets team that won the 1969 World Series.
1938 – Matty Alou, Dominican-American baseball player and scout (d. 2011), was a Dominican outfielder who spent fifteen seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) with the San Francisco Giants (1960–1965), Pittsburgh Pirates (1966–1970), St. Louis Cardinals (1971–1972, 1973), Oakland Athletics (1972), New York Yankees (1973) and San Diego Padres (1974).
1938 – Red Steagall, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, actor, and poet. Russell "Red" Steagall (born December 22, 1938) is an American actor, musician, poet, and stage performer who focuses on American Western and country music genres.
1936 – Héctor Elizondo, American actor and director. Phillip Watters on Chicago Hope and Ed Alzate on Last Man Standing, and movie roles like Mr.
1925 – Lewis Glucksman, American businessman and philanthropist (d. 2006). Glucksman (December 22, 1925 — July 5, 2006) was a former Lehman Brothers trader and former chief executive officer and chairman of Lehman Brothers, Kuhn, Loeb Inc.
1924 – Frank Corsaro, American actor and director, was one of America's foremost stage directors of opera and theatre. His Broadway productions include The Night of the Iguana (1961).
1922 – Jim Wright, American soldier, lawyer, and politician, 56th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives (d. 2015), was an American politician who served as the 48th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 1987 to 1989. He represented Texas's 12th congressional district as a Democrat from 1955 to 1989.
1922 – Ruth Roman, American actress (d. 1999), was an American actress of film, stage, and television.
1921 – Hawkshaw Hawkins, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (d. 1963), was an American country music singer popular from the 1950s into the early 1960s known for his rich, smooth vocals and music drawn from blues, boogie and honky tonk. At 6 ft 5 inches tall, he had an imposing stage presence, and he dressed more conservatively than some other male country singers.
1917 – Gene Rayburn, American game show host and actor (d. 1999), was an American radio and television personality. He is best known as the host of various editions of the American television game show Match Game for over two decades.
1915 – Barbara Billingsley, American actress (d. 2010), was an American film, television, voice, and stage actress. She began her career with uncredited roles in Three Guys Named Mike (1951), The Bad and the Beautiful (1952), Invaders from Mars (1953) and was featured in the 1957 movie The Careless Years, opposite Natalie Trundy before appearing in recurring TV roles such as The Brothers.
1912 – Lady Bird Johnson, American beautification activist; 38th First Lady of the United States (d. 2007), was an American socialite and the First Lady of the United States (1963–1969) as the wife of the 36th President of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson.
1905 – Kenneth Rexroth, American poet, translator, and academic (d. 1982), was an American poet, translator and critical essayist. He is regarded as a central figure in the San Francisco Renaissance, and paved the groundwork for the movement.
1903 – Haldan Keffer Hartline, American physiologist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1983), was an American physiologist who was a co-recipient (with George Wald and Ragnar Granit) of the 1967 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work in analyzing the neurophysiological mechanisms of vision.
1901 – Andre Kostelanetz, Russian-American conductor and composer (d. 1980), was a Russian-born American popular orchestral music conductor and arranger who was one of the major exponents of popular orchestra music.
1888 – J. Arthur Rank, 1st Baron Rank, English businessman, founded Rank Organisation (d. 1972), was a British industrialist who was head and founder of the Rank Organisation.
1885 – Deems Taylor, American conductor and critic (d. 1966), was an American composer, music critic, and promoter of classical music. Nat Benchley, co-editor of The Lost Algonquin Roundtable, referred to him as "the dean of American music."
1884 – St. Elmo Brady, African American chemist and educator (d. 1966), was the first African American to obtain a Ph.D. degree in chemistry in the United States. He received his doctorate at the University of Illinois in 1916.
1883 – Edgard Varèse, French-American composer (d. 1965), was a French-born composer who spent the greater part of his career in the United States.
1883 – Marcus Hurley, American cyclist (d. 1941), was an American cyclist who competed in the early twentieth century. He specialized in sprint cycling and won 4 gold medals in Cycling at the 1904 Summer Olympics and a bronze medal in the 2 mile race.
1878 – Myer Prinstein, Polish-American jumper (d. 1925), was a Polish American track and field athlete and member of the Irish American Athletic Club. He held the world record for the long jump and won gold medals in three Olympic Games for the long jump and triple jump.
1869 – Edwin Arlington Robinson, American poet and playwright (d. 1935). Robinson won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry on three occasions and was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature four times.
1865 – Charles Sands, American golfer and tennis player (d. 1945), was an American golfer, tennis and real tennis player who competed in the 1900 Summer Olympics and in the 1908 Summer Olympics.
1862 – Connie Mack, American baseball player and manager (d. 1956). The longest-serving manager in Major League Baseball history, he holds records for wins (3,731), losses (3,948), and games managed (7,755), with his victory total being almost 1,000 more than any other manager.
1856 – Frank B. Kellogg, American lawyer and politician, 45th United States Secretary of State, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1937), was an American lawyer, politician, and statesman who served in the U.S. Senate and as U.S.
1853 – Teresa Carreño, Venezuelan-American singer-songwriter and pianist (d. 1917), was a Venezuelan pianist, soprano, composer, and conductor. Over the course of her 54-year concert career, she became an internationally renowned virtuoso pianist and was often referred to as the "Valkyrie of the Piano." Carreño was an early adopter of the works of one of her students and friend, American composer and pianist Edward MacDowell (1860–1908) and premiered several of his compositions across the globe.
2014 – Bernard Stone, American lawyer and politician (b. 1927)
2014 – Christine Cavanaugh, American actress (b. 1963)
2014 – John Robert Beyster, American physicist and academic (b. 1924)
2013 – Ed Herrmann, American baseball player, coach, and manager (b. 1946)
2012 – Chuck Cherundolo, American football player and coach (b. 1916)
2012 – Cliff Osmond, American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1937)
2012 – Ryan Freel, American baseball player (b. 1976)
2010 – Fred Foy, American soldier and announcer (b. 1921)
2004 – Doug Ault, American baseball player and manager (b. 1950)
2001 – Walter Newton Read, American lawyer and second chairman of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission (b. 1918)
1997 – Sebastian Arcos Bergnes, Cuban-American dentist and activist (b. 1931)
1996 – Jack Hamm, American cartoonist and television host (b. 1916)
1995 – Butterfly McQueen, American actress and dancer (b. 1911)
1993 – Don DeFore, American actor (b. 1913)
1992 – Frederick William Franz, American religious leader (b. 1893)
1979 – Darryl F. Zanuck, American director and producer (b. 1902)
1974 – Sterling North, American author and critic (b. 1906)
1968 – Raymond Gram Swing, American journalist (b. 1887)
1959 – Gilda Gray, Polish-American actress and dancer (b. 1901)
1944 – Harry Langdon, American actor, comedian, and vaudevillian (b. 1884)
1942 – Franz Boas, German-American anthropologist and linguist (b. 1858)
1940 – Nathanael West, American author and screenwriter (b. 1903)
1939 – Ma Rainey, American singer (b. 1886)
1917 – Frances Xavier Cabrini, Italian-American nun and saint (b. 1850)
1915 – Rose Talbot Bullard, American medical doctor and professor (b. 1864)
1899 – Dwight L. Moody, American evangelist and publisher, founded Moody Publishers (b. 1837)
1806 – William Vernon, English-American merchant (b. 1719)