The Battle of the Bulge began. (1944) This battle marked the beginning of the last major German offensive of World War II. It was the largest battle fought on the Western front and lasted for three weeks.
The Boston Tea Party took place. (1773) Massachusetts colonists calling themselves the "Sons of Liberty" dumped 342 chests of tea into Boston Harbor in response to the British tea tax. This was one of the biggest acts of rebellion before the American Revolution started. It led to the meeting of the First Continental Congress to discuss the possibility of the American colonies uniting against Britain.
Einstein published his General Theory of Relativity. (1915) The theory, which states that gravitational attraction between objects is a result of them warping space and time, would become a keystone of modern quantum mathematics and physics.
Vasco de Gama passed the Great Fish River, the furthest point ever reached by previous European explorers. (1497) de Gama went on to become the first European to arrive in India by sea, opening up an extremely profitable trade route between Europe and India.
The first landing on Venus took place. (1970) USSR spacecraft Venera 7 was the first spacecraft to successfully land on Venus, as well as the first spacecraft to land on a planet and then transmit information back to Earth.
President Truman declared a state of emergency due to Communism. (1950) As hundreds of thousands of Chinese soldiers poured into Korea in response to MacArthur's short-lived invasion of China, Truman declared the US to be in a state of emergency. Preparations began for what many thought would become World War III.
The death penalty for murder was abolished in the UK. (1969) This was one of the first steps taken towards the total abolishment of the death penalty in the UK, which happened two years later.
Rasputin was murdered. (1916) Prince Yusupov decided to kill the controversial monk and faith healer because of his influence over the Tsarina. Legend has it that Rasputin was poisoned, shot, clubbed and stabbed before Yusupov and his companions were finally able to kill him by drowning him.
The Tale of Peter Rabbit was first published. (1901) Author Beatrix Potter printed the book privately after being rejected by several publishers. The book became wildly popular because of its plot and whimsical illustrations, painted by Potter herself. It was printed commercially the following year.
The first White House press conference took place. (1953) Though previous Presidents had made official statements to the press, President Eisenhower's press conference on communism and America's activities abroad was the first ever White House press conference in which the press was allowed to ask questions.