A chronological timetable of historical events that occurred on this day in history. Historical facts of the day in the areas of military, politics, science, music, sports, arts, entertainment and more. Discover what happened today in history.
1484 Pope Innocent VIII issues a bill deploring the spread of witchcraft and heresy in Germany.
1776 Phi Beta Kappa is organized as the first American college Greek letter-fraternity, at William and Mary College, Williamsburg, Va.
1791 Composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart dies in Vienna.
1861 In the U.S. Congress, petitions and bills calling for the abolition of slavery are introduced.
1862 Union General Ulysses S. Grant’s cavalry receives a setback in an engagement on the Mississippi Central Railroad at Coffeeville, Mississippi.
1864 Confederate General John Bell Hood sends Nathan Bedford Forrest’s cavalry and a division of infantry toward Murfreesboro, Tenn.
1904 The Japanese destroy a Russian fleet at Port Arthur in Korea.
1909 George Taylor makes the first manned glider flight in Australia in a glider that he designed himself.
1912 Italy, Austria and Germany renew the Triple Alliance for six years.
1916 David Lloyd George replaces Herbert Asquith as the British prime minister.
1921 The British empire reaches an accord with the Irish revolutionary group the Sinn Fein; Ireland is to become a free state.
1933 The 21st Amendment ends Prohibition in the United States, which had begun 13 years earlier.
1934 Italian and Ethiopian troops clash at the Ualual on disputed the Somali-Ethiopian border.
1936 The New Constitution in the Soviet Union promises universal suffrage, but the Communist Party remains the only legal political party.
1937 The Lindberghs arrive in New York on a holiday visit after a two-year voluntary exile.
1945 Four TBM Avenger bombers disappear approximately 100 miles off the coast of Florida.
1950 Pyongyang in Korea falls to the invading Chinese army.
1953 Italy and Yugoslavia agree to pull troops out of the disputed Trieste border.
1955 A bus boycott begins under the leadership of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., in Montgomery, Alabama.
1966 Comedian and political activist Dick Gregory heads for Hanoi, North Vietnam, despite federal warnings against it.
1978 The Soviet Union signs a 20-year friendship pact with Afghanistan.
1983 Military Junta dissolves in Argentina.
2006 Commodore Frank Bainimarama overthrows the government in Fiji.
2007 A gunman armed with a semi-automatic rifle kills 8 people at Westroads Mall, Omaha, Neb., before taking his own life.
Those Born on December 5 :
1782 Martin Van Buren, 8th president in the United States–and the first born in the United States.
1839 George Armstrong Custer, Union cavalry leader who met his fate at the Battle of the Little Bighorn.
1890 Fritz Lang, film director (Metropolis, M).
1901 Walt Disney, animator and creator of an entertainment empire.
1931 James Cleveland, considered the “King of Gospel.”
1932 Richard Wayne Penniman [Little Richard], singer, musician; important influence on rock ‘n’ roll.
1934 Joan Didion, essayist and novelist (Slouching Towards Bethlehem, Play it as it Lays).
1935 Calvin Trillin, journalist and writer.
1947 Jim Plunkett, pro football quarterback.
1963 Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards, first to represent Great Britain in Olympic ski jumping.
1969 Morgan J. Freeman, film director; his Hurricane Streets (1997) was the first narrative film to win three awards at the Sundance Film Festival; produced MTV reality shows .>