1620: Peregrine White is born aboard the Mayflower in Massachusetts Bay, making him the first child to be born of English parents in present-day New England.
1789: New Jersey becomes the first U.S. state to ratify the Bill of Rights. On Dec. 15, 1791, ten of these proposals would become the First through 10th Amendments of the U.S. Constitution when they are ratified by the Virginia legislature.
1805: Beethoven's only opera, "Fidelio," premieres at the Theater an der Wien in Vienna, Austria.
1820: An 80-ton sperm whale attacks and sinks the Nantucket, Mass., based whaling ship Essex in the southern Pacific Ocean 2,000 miles from the western coast of South America. Herman Melville's 1851 novel Moby-Dick is in part inspired by this incident.
1866: Kenesaw Mountain Landis, an American federal judge who became baseball's first commissioner in 1920, is born in Millville, Ohio.
1889: Astronomer Edwin Hubble, who discovered and developed the concept of an expanding universe, is born in Marshfield, Mo. In 1924, Hubble would prove the existence of galaxies other than our own. The orbital Hubble Space Telescope is named after him.
1889: Composer Gustav Mahler premiers his first symphony at the Vigadó Concert Hall in Budapest. Now known as Symphony No. 1 in D major, it was not well received and Mahler would make major revisions for the second performance, given at Hamburg in October 1893, and even further alterations before its first publication in late 1898.
1910: Russian novelist Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy, best known for "War and Peace" and "Anna Karenina," dies of pneumonia at the age of 82 in Astapovo, Russian Empire.
1917: Robert Byrd, who would become the longest serving member of the U.S. Senate, is born under the birth name Cornelius Calvin Sale Jr. in North Wilkesboro, N.C. Byrd served as a U.S. representative from 1953 until 1959 and as a U.S. senator from 1959 to 2010. Besides being the longest-serving senator at the time of his death at age 92 on June 28, 2010, he was also the longest-serving member of the U.S. Congress, but the latter record was surpassed by U.S. Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., in June 2013.
1925: Robert F. Kennedy, who would go on to become U.S. attorney general under his brother, President John F. Kennedy, and a Democratic U.S. senator from New York, is born in Brookline, Mass. Kennedy would be assassinated while running for U.S. president in June 1968.
1927: Actress and director Estelle Parsons, who won an Oscar for her role in "Bonnie and Clyde" and received another nomination for "Rachel, Rachel," is born in Lynn, Mass. Parsons is also known for her recurring role as Roseanne Barr's character's mother on the sitcom "Roseanne" and has acted and directed on Broadway, earning four Tony nominations.
1932: Actor and game show host Richard Dawson, best known for playing Corporal Peter Newkirk on "Hogan's Heroes" (pictured) and being the original host of the "Family Feud" game show, is born in Gosport, Hampshire, England.
1939: Comedian Dick Smothers (right), best known for being half of the musical comedy team the Smothers Brothers, with his older brother Tom (left), is born in New York City.
1942: Joe Biden, who would go on to become a U.S. senator and the 47th vice president of the United States, is born in Scranton, Pa.
1942: Singer-songwriter Norman Greenbaum, best known for writing and performing the 1969 song "Spirit in the Sky," is born in Malden, Mass.
1945: The Nuremberg Trials against 24 Nazi war criminals start at the Palace of Justice at Nuremberg, Germany.
1946: Guitarist Duane Allman, who would go on to form The Allman Brothers Band with his brother Gregg Allman until his death in a motorcycle accident in 1971, is born in Nashville, Tenn.
1947: Princess Elizabeth of England marries Lt. Philip Mountbatten at Westminster Abbey in London. The couple is seen here in 1953 at Elizabeth's coronation as Queen Elizabeth II.
1947: Guitarist and singer-songwriter Joe Walsh, best known for his work with the bands the Eagles and James Gang as well as his solo work, is born in Wichita, Kan.
1956: Actress Bo Derek, who would become a sex symbol after starring in the 1979 film "10," is born in Long Beach, Calif.
1959: Actress Sean Young, best known for her roles in movies such as "Blade Runner," "Dune," "No Way Out," "Wall Street" and "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective," is born in Louisville, Ky.
1962: In response to the Soviet Union agreeing to remove its missiles from Cuba following the Cuban Missile Crisis, U.S. President John F. Kennedy ends the quarantine of the Caribbean nation.
1965: Rapper Mike D (center), a founding member of the Beastie Boys, is born Michael Diamond in New York City.
1969: The Nixon administration announces a halt to residential use of the pesticide DDT as part of a total phase out of the substance.
1971: Actor and comedian Joel McHale, best known as the host of the TV satire show "The Soup" and a star of the sitcom "Community," is born in Rome, Italy.
1973: Comedian Allan Sherman, a famous song parodist in the early 1960s best known for the summer camp parody "Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh," dies of emphysema at the age of 48 in West Hollywood, Calif. His first album, 1962's "My Son, the Folk Singer," became the fastest-selling record album up to that time. Sherman's seen here during a 1965 guest-starring role on the TV show "The Loner."
1975: After nearly 40 years of absolute rule, Spain's Gen. Francisco Franco dies.
1975: Country music singer-songwriter Dierks Bentley, known for No. 1 hits like "What was I Thinkin'," "Come a Little Closer," "Feel That Fire," "Home" and "Am I the Only One," is born in Phoenix, Ariz.
1976: Three-time Olympian gymnast Dominique Dawes, a member of the gold-medal winning U.S. women's gymnastics team at the 1996 Summer Olympics, is born in Silver Spring, Md. Dawes also won bronze medals at the 1992, 1996 and 2000 Olympic games.
1977: Egyptian President Anwar Sadat becomes the first Arab leader to officially visit Israel when he meets Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and speaks before the Knesset in Jerusalem, seeking a permanent peace settlement. Sadat and Begin are seen here in September 1978 following the announcement of the Camp David Accords.
1977: Country music singer-songwriter Josh Turner, whose No. 1 hits include "Your Man," "Why Don't We Just Dance" and "Time Is Love," is born in Hannah, S.C.
1979: About 200 Sunni Muslims revolt in Saudi Arabia at the site of the Kaaba in Mecca during the pilgrimage and take about 6,000 hostages. The Saudi government received help from French special forces to put down the uprising after more than two weeks, with 255 people killed and 560 injured during the siege.
1982: Actress Drew Barrymore, then starring in the movie "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial," hosts "Saturday Night Live" at the age of 7.
1983: An estimated 100 million people watch the controversial made-for-TV movie "The Day After," depicting American families in the aftermath of a nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union.
1983: The drama "Terms of Endearment," starring Shirley MacLaine, Debra Winger, and Jack Nicholson, and directed by James L. Brooks, premieres in New York City. The movie would go on to win five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Direction, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actress for MacLaine and Best Supporting Actor for Nicholson, and four Golden Globes.
1985: The first version of Microsoft's Windows operating system, Windows 1.0, is released.
1985: Singer Carly Rae Jepsen, whose No. 1 hit "Call Me Maybe" proved to be one of the biggest hits of 2012, is born in Mission, British Columbia, Canada.
1992: In England, a fire breaks out in Windsor Castle, badly damaging the castle and destroying some of the most historic parts of the building. The $64 million restoration would take five years.
1994: Singer David Crosby, best known as part of the band Crosby, Stills and Nash, receives a liver transplant at Dumont-UCLA Liver Transplant Center in Los Angeles. Crosby's liver was deteriorated from extensive alcohol and drug abuse, as well as hepatitis C.
1995: A new Beatles recording, "Free As a Bird," begins airing on radio stations. The song, which was originally composed and recorded in 1977 as a home demo by John Lennon and finished in the studio 18 years later with contributions from Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, had debuted with the first part of the documentary "The Beatles Anthology" the night before.
1997: Basketball player A.C. Green of the Dallas Mavericks sets an NBA record of 907 consecutive games played, surpassing Randy Smith's mark of 906 games. Green would go on to play in a total of 1,192 straight games before missing a game in 2001.
1998: A court in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan declares accused terrorist Osama bin Laden "a man without a sin" in regard to the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.
1998: Forty-six states agree to a $206 billion settlement of health claims against the tobacco industry. The industry also agrees to give up billboard advertising of cigarettes.
1998: The first module of the international space station is launched on a Russian Proton rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. This $240 million Zarya functional cargo block would be followed two weeks later by the Unity connecting module from the U.S.
1999: The People's Republic of China launches Shenzhou 1, the first of its Shenzhou spacecraft, in an unmanned test flight. The spacecraft would orbit the Earth 14 times before returning after 21 hours in space.
2001: In Washington, D.C., U.S. President George W. Bush dedicates the United States Department of Justice headquarters building as the Robert F. Kennedy Justice Building, honoring the late Robert F. Kennedy on what would have been his 76th birthday.
2001: Federal health officials approve the sale of the world's first contraceptive patch, Ortho Evra.
2003: In Santa Barbara, Calif., Michael Jackson is booked on suspicion of child molestation. Jackson immediately posted the $3 million bail and then flew back to Las Vegas, where he had been filming a video. Jackson would eventually be acquitted of all charges in June 2005.
2006: Film director Robert Altman, best known for movies such as "MASH," "McCabe and Mrs. Miller," "Nashville," "The Player," "Short Cuts" and "Gosford Park," dies of leukemia at the age of 81 in West Hollywood, Calif. Altman (second from right) is seen here with Woody Harrelson, Meryl Streep and Lindsay Lohan at the premiere of his film "A Prairie Home Companion" on Feb. 12, 2006.
2009: Oprah Winfrey announces she would end her TV talk show after its 25th season in September 2011.