The Statue of Liberty was dedicated in New York Harbor. (1886) US President Grover Cleveland dedicated the statue, which was a gift from France to celebrate America's independence from Britain in 1783. The statue quickly became the US symbol of freedom.
The Volstead Act was passed by the US Congress, enforcing Prohibition. (1919) US President Woodrow Wilson tried to veto the act, which prohibited the use of alcohol in the US, but his veto was overridden. Prohibition ended up having devastating effects on the US economy and its citizens. Ultimately, it resulted in toxic, bootlegged alcohol that killed more people than legal alcohol had. Prohibition ended in 1933.
Italy became a fascist nation. (1922) Benito Mussolini took control of the country during the "March on Rome" and installed his National Fascist Party. He was handed power from King Victor Emmanuel III. Mussolini was removed from power in 1943.
Greece joined the Allied forces in World War II. (1940) Italy invaded Greece in a poorly-conceived military move — even Hitler called the action a "major strategic blunder." Greece solidly defeated Italy, giving the Allies their first victory of the war.
The world's first porcelain toilet was made. (1885) Thomas Twyford, an English manufacturer, built the one-piece toilet using the cutting-edge flushing technology developed by J.G. Jennings in 1852.
The Cuban Missile Crisis officially ended. (1962) Nikita Khrushchev formally agreed to dismantle the Soviet missiles and remove them from Cuba. In exchange, the US agreed not to invade Cuba and respect its sovereignty. The world breathed a sigh of relief as the tense situation that almost caused a nuclear war came to an end.
Argentina elected its first female leader. (2007) Christina Fernandez assumed office on December 10. She previously had been the country's First Lady as well.
The Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri, was completed, becoming the tallest memorial in the US. (1965) The famous arch is 603 feet (about 184 meters) tall and 630 feet (about 192 meters) wide. The memorial symbolizes the US expansion from the East to the West.
The first university in the Americas was established. (1538) Universidad Santo Tomás de Aquino, founded in the Dominican Republic, was the first institution of higher education to open in the New World. Students continue to study there today.
Harvard University opened as the first university in the United States. (1636) Harvard was established by a vote of the Massachusetts Bay Colony Great and General Court. The court initially convened on September 8 to consider the vote, but was adjourned until this day. They voted to provide a £400-English Pound appropriation to start the school.