1973 – The Endangered Species Act is passed in the United States.
1958 – "Greatest Game Ever Played": Baltimore Colts defeat the New York Giants in the first ever National Football League sudden death overtime game at New York's Yankee Stadium.
1944 – Maurice Richard becomes the first player to score eight points in one game of NHL ice hockey.
1918 – Constance Markievicz, while detained in Holloway prison, became the first woman to be elected MP to the British House of Commons.
1912 – The first municipally owned streetcars take to the streets in San Francisco.
1902 – The Syracuse Athletic Club defeated the New York Philadelphians, 5–0, in the first indoor professional football game, which was held at Madison Square Garden.
1895 – The Lumière brothers perform for their first paying audience at the Grand Cafe in Boulevard des Capucines.
1895 – Wilhelm Röntgen publishes a paper detailing his discovery of a new type of radiation, which later will be known as x-rays.
1885 – Indian National Congress, a political party of India is founded in Bombay Presidency, British India.
1867 – United States claims Midway Atoll, the first territory annexed outside Continental limits.
1836 – South Australia and Adelaide are founded.
1835 – Osceola leads his Seminole warriors in Florida into the Second Seminole War against the United States Army.
1832 – John C. Calhoun becomes the first Vice President of the United States to resign.
1990 – David Archuleta, American singer-songwriter. When he was twelve years old, Archuleta became the Junior Vocal Champion on "Star Search 2".
1985 – Kamani Hill, American soccer player. Kamani Helekunihi Hill (born December 28, 1985) is an American former professional soccer player.
1984 – Duane Solomon, American runner. Duane Solomon (born December 28, 1984) is an American Olympic track athlete, primarily known for racing the 800 meters.
1982 – Cedric Benson, American football player. Cedric Myron Benson (December 28, 1982 – August 17, 2019) was an American professional football player who was a running back in the National Football League (NFL).
1981 – Elizabeth Jordan Carr, American journalist. Elizabeth Jordan Carr (born December 28, 1981 at 7:46 am) is the United States' first baby born from the in-vitro fertilization procedure and the 15th in the world.
1981 – Sienna Miller, American-born British actress and fashion designer. In 2006 Miller portrayed the lead role of Edie Sedgwick in Factory Girl, followed by a supporting role in Stardust (2007).
1978 – John Legend, American singer-songwriter, pianist, and actor. Legend has sung on Jay-Z's "Encore", Alicia Keys's "You Don't Know My Name", Dilated Peoples' "This Way", Slum Village's "Selfish", Fort Minor's "High Road", and played piano on Lauryn Hill's "Everything Is Everything".
1977 – Derrick Brew, American sprinter. Derrick Keith Brew (born December 28, 1977) is a 2004 Olympic Gold medalist in the Men's 4x400 meter relay for the United States.
1975 – B. J. Ryan, American baseball player. J." Ryan Jr. (born December 28, 1975) is an American baseball coach and former relief pitcher.
1973 – Seth Meyers, American actor, producer, screenwriter, and talk show host. Prior to that, he was a cast member and head writer for NBC's Saturday Night Live (2001–2014) and hosted the show's news parody segment, Weekend Update.
1972 – Adam Vinatieri, American football player. Adam Matthew Vinatieri (born December 28, 1972) is an American football placekicker for the Indianapolis Colts of the National Football League (NFL).
1971 – Benny Agbayani, American baseball player. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the New York Mets, Colorado Rockies and Boston Red Sox and Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) for the Chiba Lotte Marines.
1971 – William Gates, American basketball player. Bill Gates (William Henry Gates III, born 1955) is an American business magnate and co-founder of Microsoft Corporation.
1970 – Elaine Hendrix, American actress. Katherine Elaine Hendrix (born December 28, 1970) is an American actress, model, producer, singer, dancer, and activist. She is known for her roles in the 1998 remake of The Parent Trap, Inspector Gadget 2, and the 2004 documentary film What the Bleep Do We Know!?
1970 – James Jett, American sprinter and football player. James Sherman Jett (born December 28, 1970), is a former American football wide receiver and Olympic sprinter who played nine seasons for the Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders from 1993 to 2002, in the National Football League.
1969 – Linus Torvalds, Finnish-American computer programmer, developed Linux kernel. Linus Benedict Torvalds (/ˈliːnəs ˈtɔːrvɔːldz/ LEE-nəs TOR-vawldz, Finland Swedish: (listen); born December 28, 1969) is a Finnish-American software engineer who is the creator and, historically, the principal developer of the Linux kernel, which is the kernel for Linux operating systems (distributions) and other operating systems such as Android and Chrome OS.
1967 – Chris Ware, American illustrator. Harvey Award: 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2013 National Cartoonists Society Award: 1999, 2013 Guardian First Book Award: 2001
1960 – Melvin Turpin, American basketball player (d. 2010), was an American professional basketball player.
1959 – Daniel Léo Simpson, American composer. Daniel Léo Simpson (born 28 December 1959) is an American composer.
1958 – Curt Byrum, American golfer. Curt Allen Byrum (born December 28, 1958) is an American professional golfer who has played on the PGA Tour and the Nationwide Tour.
1954 – Denzel Washington, American actor, director, and producer. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest actors of his generation, and is considered an American cultural icon.
1954 – Gayle King, American television journalist. Gayle King (born December 28, 1954) is an American television personality, journalist, and author, who is a chief anchor for CBS News and co-host of its flagship morning program CBS This Morning, a position she has held since its debut in 2012.
1953 – Charlie Pierce, American journalist and author. Charles Patrick Pierce (born December 28, 1953) is an American sportswriter, political blogger, liberal pundit author, and game show panelist.
1953 – Martha Wash, American singer-songwriter. After gaining their own record deal, they released three consecutive commercially successful songs which all peaked at number 2 in the dance charts.
1953 – Tatsumi Fujinami, Japanese wrestler and promoter, founded Dradition wrestling promotion. Tatsumi Fujinami (藤波 辰巳, Fujinami Tatsumi, ring name: 藤波 辰爾) (born December 28, 1953) is a Japanese professional wrestler, who famously used the nickname "The Dragon".
1950 – Alex Chilton, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (d. 2010), was an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and record producer, best known as the lead singer of the Box Tops and Big Star. Chilton's early commercial success in the 1960s as a teen vocalist for the Box Tops was never repeated in later years with Big Star and in his subsequent indie music solo career on small labels, but he drew an intense following among indie and alternative music musicians.
1950 – Rainer Maria Latzke, German-American painter and academic. Rainer Maria Latzke (born 28 December 1950) is a German artist working in the field of Trompe l'oeil and mural painting.
1948 – Ziggy Modeliste, American drummer. Joseph "Ziggy" Modeliste (born December 28, 1948, also known as Zigaboo) is an American drummer best known as a founding member of the funk band The Meters.
1946 – Edgar Winter, American singer-songwriter, keyboard player, and producer. His success peaked in the 1970s with his band The Edgar Winter Group and their popular songs "Frankenstein" and "Free Ride".
1946 – Hubert Green, American golfer, was an American professional golfer who won 29 professional golf tournaments, including two major championships: the 1977 U.S. Open and the 1985 PGA Championship.
1946 – Mike Beebe, American lawyer and politician, 45th Governor of Arkansas. Mickey Dale Beebe (born December 28, 1946) is an American politician and attorney who served as the 45th Governor of Arkansas from 2007 to 2015.
1944 – Johnny Isakson, American sergeant and politician. John Hardy Isakson (born December 28, 1944) is an American politician who served as a United States Senator from Georgia from 2005 to 2019.
1944 – Kary Mullis, American biochemist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate. In recognition of his invention of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique, he shared the 1993 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Michael Smith and was awarded the Japan Prize in the same year.
1944 – Sandra Faber, American astronomer and academic. Sandra Moore Faber (born December 28, 1944) is an astrophysicist known for her research on the evolution of galaxies.
1939 – Michelle Urry, American journalist and illustrator (d. 2006), was the cartoon editor of Playboy magazine for over 30 years. Together with Hugh Hefner, she edited the retrospective Playboy: 50 Years The Cartoons.
1939 – Philip Anschutz, American businessman, founded Anschutz Entertainment Group. Philip Frederick Anschutz (/ˈænʃuːts/ AN-shoots; born December 28, 1939) is an American billionaire businessman who owns or controls many companies in a variety of businesses, including energy, railroads, real estate, sports, newspapers, movies, theaters, arenas and music.
1938 – Dick Sudhalter, American trumpet player, scholar, and critic (d. 2008), was an American jazz trumpeter and writer.
1936 – Lawrence Schiller, American journalist, director, and producer. Lawrence Julian Schiller (born December 28, 1936) is a noted American photojournalist, film producer, director and screenwriter.
1933 – John Y. Brown Jr., American soldier, lawyer, and politician, 55th Governor of Kentucky. John Young Brown Jr. (born December 28, 1933) is an American politician, entrepreneur, and businessman from the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
1932 – Dhirubhai Ambani, Indian businessman, founded Reliance Industries (d. 2002), was an Indian business tycoon who founded Reliance Industries in Bombay and appeared in The Sunday Times top 50 businessmen in Asia. Ambani took Reliance public in 1977 and was worth $25.6 billion upon his death on 6 July 2002.
1932 – Dorsey Burnette, American singer-songwriter (d. 1979), was an American early rockabilly singer. With his younger brother Johnny Burnette and a friend named Paul Burlison, he was a founder member of The Rock and Roll Trio.
1932 – Nichelle Nichols, American actress. Nichols played Nyota Uhura in the Star Trek television series, as well as the succeeding motion pictures.
1931 – Martin Milner, American actor (d. 2015), was an American film, stage, radio, and television actor. Milner is known for his performances on two television series: Route 66, which aired on CBS from 1960 to 1964, and Adam-12, which aired on NBC from 1968 to 1975.
1929 – Terry Sawchuk, Canadian-American ice hockey player (d. 1970), was a Canadian professional ice hockey goaltender who played 21 seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL) for the Detroit Red Wings, Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, Los Angeles Kings and the New York Rangers. He won the Calder Trophy, earned the Vezina Trophy in four different seasons, was a four-time Stanley Cup champion, and was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame the year after his final season, one of only ten players ever for whom the three year waiting period was waived.
1922 – Stan Lee, American publisher, producer, and actor, was an American comic book writer, editor, publisher, and producer. He rose through the ranks of a family-run business to become Marvel Comics' primary creative leader for two decades, leading its expansion from a small division of a publishing house to a multimedia corporation that dominated the comics industry.
1921 – Johnny Otis, American singer-songwriter and producer (d. 2012), was an American singer, musician, composer, arranger, bandleader, talent scout, disc jockey, record producer, television show host, artist, author, journalist, minister, and impresario. He was a seminal influence on American R&B and rock and roll.
1920 – Al Wistert, American football player and coach (d. 2016), was an American football tackle in the National Football League (NFL) for the Philadelphia Eagles. He played his entire nine-year NFL career for the Eagles and became their team captain.
1920 – Bruce McCarty, American architect, designed the Knoxville City-County Building (d. 2013), was an American architect, founder and senior designer (retired 2010) at McCarty Holsaple McCarty Architects of Knoxville, Tennessee. During a career that has spanned more than a half-century, he designed some of the city's iconic landmarks, and was the city's most dedicated champion of Modern architecture.
1920 – Steve Van Buren, Honduran-American football player (d. 2012), was an Honduran professional football player who was a halfback for the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League (NFL) from 1944 to 1951. Regarded as a powerful and punishing runner with excellent speed, through eight NFL seasons he won four league rushing titles, including three straight from 1947 to 1949.
1919 – Emily Cheney Neville, American author (d. 1997). She was born in Manchester, Connecticut and graduated from Bryn Mawr College in 1940.
1914 – Pops Staples, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (d. 2000), was an American gospel and R&B musician. A "pivotal figure in gospel in the 1960s and 1970s," he was an accomplished songwriter, guitarist and singer.
1913 – Lou Jacobi, Canadian-American actor (d. 2009), was a Canadian character actor.
1908 – Lew Ayres, American actor (d. 1996), was an American actor whose film and television career spanned 65 years. He is best known for starring as German soldier Paul Bäumer in the film All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) and for playing Dr.
1903 – Earl Hines, American pianist and bandleader (d. 1983), was an American jazz pianist and bandleader. He was one of the most influential figures in the development of jazz piano and, according to one source, "one of a small number of pianists whose playing shaped the history of jazz".
1903 – John von Neumann, Hungarian-American mathematician and physicist (d. 1957). Affiliated operator Amenable group Arithmetic logic unit Artificial viscosity Axiom of regularity Axiom of limitation of size Backward induction Blast wave (fluid dynamics) Bounded set (topological vector space) Carry-save adder Cellular automata Class (set theory) Computer virus Commutation theorem Continuous geometry Coupling constants Decoherence theory (quantum mechanics)
1902 – Mortimer J. Adler, American philosopher and author (d. 2001), was an American philosopher, educator, and popular author. As a philosopher he worked within the Aristotelian and Thomistic traditions.
1898 – Carl-Gustaf Rossby, Swedish-American meteorologist and academic (d. 1957), was a Swedish-born American meteorologist who first explained the large-scale motions of the atmosphere in terms of fluid mechanics. He identified and characterized both the jet stream and the long waves in the westerlies that were later named Rossby waves.
1895 – Carol Ryrie Brink, American author and playwright (d. 1981), was an American author of over thirty juvenile and adult books. Her novel Caddie Woodlawn won the 1936 Newbery Medal and a Lewis Carroll Shelf Award in 1958.
1890 – Quincy Wright, American political scientist, historian, and academic (d. 1970), was an American political scientist based at the University of Chicago known for his pioneering work and expertise in international law and international relations. Daniel Gorman argues that Wright played a major role in transforming international law "from a set of guidelines by which states governed their interactions to a tool for enacting peaceful change in international relations."
1888 – F. W. Murnau, German-American director, producer, and screenwriter (d. 1931), was a German film director. He was greatly influenced by Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Shakespeare and Ibsen plays he had seen at the age of 12, and became a friend of director Max Reinhardt.
1856 – Woodrow Wilson, American historian and politician, 28th President of the United States, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1924), was an American politician, lawyer, and academic who served as the 28th president of the United States from 1913 to 1921. A member of the Democratic Party, Wilson served as the president of Princeton University and as the 34th governor of New Jersey before winning the 1912 presidential election.
1842 – Calixa Lavallée, Canadian-American lieutenant and composer (d. 1891), was a French-Canadian-American musician and Union Army band musician during the American Civil War. He is best known for composing the music for "O Canada," which officially became the national anthem of Canada in 1980, after a vote in the Senate and the House of Commons.
1763 – John Molson, English-Canadian brewer, founded the Molson Brewery (d. 1836), was an English-born brewer and entrepreneur in colonial Quebec and Lower Canada. In addition to founding Molson Brewery, he built the first steamship and the first public railway in Canada, was a president of the Bank of Montreal, and established a hospital, a hotel, and a theatre in Montreal.
1722 – Eliza Lucas, Caribbean-American agriculturalist (d. 1793). Elizabeth Lucas Pinckney (nickname, "Eliza"; December 28, 1722 – May 26, 1793) changed agriculture in colonial South Carolina, where she developed indigo as one of its most important cash crops.
2016 – Debbie Reynolds, American actress, singer and dancer (b. 1932)
2014 – Frankie Randall, American singer-songwriter (b. 1938)
2013 – Alfred Marshall, American businessman, founded Marshalls (b. 1919)
2013 – Andrew Jacobs, Jr., American soldier, lawyer, and politician (b. 1932)
2013 – Halton Arp, American-German astronomer and critic (b. 1927)
2013 – Harry C. Goode Jr., American soldier and politician, 51st Mayor of Melbourne, Florida (b. 1938)
2013 – Joseph Ruskin, American actor and producer (b. 1924)
2012 – Mark Crispin, American computer scientist and academic, designed the IMAP (b. 1956)
2010 – Billy Taylor, American pianist and composer (b. 1921)
2009 – Jimmy Sullivan, American musician, composer and songwriter. Known by his stage name The Rev (b. 1981)
2008 – Irene Lieblich, Polish-American painter and illustrator (b. 1923)
2004 – Jerry Orbach, American actor and singer (b. 1935)
2004 – Susan Sontag, American novelist, essayist, critic, and playwright (b. 1933)
2003 – Benjamin Thurman Hacker, American admiral (b. 1935)
2001 – Samuel Abraham Goldblith, American lieutenant, biologist, and engineer (b. 1919)
2001 – William X. Kienzle, American priest and author (b. 1928)
1999 – Clayton Moore, American actor (b. 1914)
1993 – William L. Shirer, American journalist and historian (b. 1904)
1992 – Sal Maglie, American baseball player and coach (b. 1917)
1990 – Warren Skaaren, American screenwriter and producer (b. 1946)
1986 – John D. MacDonald, American colonel and author (b. 1916)
1984 – Sam Peckinpah, American director, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1925)
1983 – Dennis Wilson, American drummer, songwriter, and producer (b. 1944)
1983 – William Demarest, American actor (b. 1892)
1981 – Allan Dwan, Canadian-American director, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1885)
1976 – Katharine Byron, American politician (b. 1903)
1971 – Max Steiner, Austrian-American pianist, composer, and conductor (b. 1888)
1967 – Katharine McCormick, American biologist and philanthropist (b. 1875)