On This Day … 05 December 2020

Events

  • 1492 – Christopher Columbus becomes the first European to set foot on the island of Hispaniola (now Haiti and the Dominican Republic).
  • 1757 – Seven Years’ War: Battle of Leuthen: Frederick II of Prussia leads Prussian forces to a decisive victory over Austrian forces under Prince Charles Alexander of Lorraine.
  • 1775 – At Fort Ticonderoga, Henry Knox begins his historic transport of artillery to Cambridge, Massachusetts.
  • 1847 – Jefferson Davis is elected to the US Senate.
  • 1865 – Chincha Islands War: Peru allies with Chile against Spain.
  • 1934 – Abyssinia Crisis: Italian troops attack Wal Wal in Abyssinia, taking four days to capture the city.
  • 1936 – The Soviet Union adopts a new constitution and the Kirghiz Soviet Socialist Republic is established as a full Union Republic of the USSR.
  • 1941 – World War II: In the Battle of Moscow, Georgy Zhukov launches a massive Soviet counter-attack against the German army.
  • 1941 – World War II: Great Britain declares war on Finland, Hungary and Romania.
  • 1943 – World War II: Allied air forces begin attacking Germany’s secret weapons bases in Operation Crossbow.
  • 1945 – Flight 19, a group of TBF Avengers, disappears in the Bermuda Triangle.
  • 1964 – Vietnam War: For his heroism in battle earlier in the year, Captain Roger Donlon is awarded the first Medal of Honour of the war.
  • 1971 – Battle of Gazipur: Pakistani forces stand defeated as India cedes Gazipur to Bangladesh.
  • 1983 – Dissolution of the Military Junta in Argentina.
  • 1995 – Sri Lankan Civil War: Sri Lanka’s government announces the conquest of the Tamil stronghold of Jaffna.
  • 2006 – Commodore Frank Bainimarama overthrows the government in Fiji.
  • 2013 – Militants attack a Defence Ministry compound in Sana’a, Yemen, killing at least 56 people and injuring 200 others.
  • Day of Military Honour – Battle of Moscow (Russia).

People (Births)

  • 1537 – Ashikaga Yoshiaki, Japanese shōgun (d. 1597).
  • 1839 – George Armstrong Custer, American general (d. 1876).
  • 1859 – John Jellicoe, 1st Earl Jellicoe, English admiral and politician, 2nd Governor-General of New Zealand (d. 1935).
  • 1867 – Józef Piłsudski, Polish field marshal and politician, 15th Prime Minister of Poland (d. 1935).
  • 1875 – Arthur Currie, Canadian general (d. 1933).
  • 1879 – Clyde Vernon Cessna, American pilot and businessman, founded the Cessna Aircraft Corporation (d. 1954).
  • 1902 – Strom Thurmond, American educator, general, and politician, 103rd Governor of South Carolina (d. 2003).
  • 1905 – Francisco Javier Arana, Guatemalan Army colonel and briefly Guatemalan head of state (d.1949).
  • 1907 – Lin Biao, Chinese general and politician, 2nd Vice Premier of the People’s Republic of China (d. 1971).
  • 1914 – Hans Hellmut Kirst, German lieutenant and author (d. 1989).
  • 1916 – Hilary Koprowski, Polish-American virologist and immunologist, created the world’s first effective live polio vaccine (d. 2013).
  • 1918 – Charity Adams Earley, Black American Army officer (d. 2002).
  • 1933 – Gennadiy Agapov, Russian race walker (d. 1999).
  • 1955 – Juha Tiainen, Finnish hammer thrower (d. 2003).
  • 1962 – Pablo Morales, American swimmer and coach.
  • 1968 – Falilat Ogunkoya, Nigerian sprinter.
  • 1971 – Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, German businessman and politician, German Federal Minister of Defence.
  • 1971 – Ashia Hansen, American-English triple jumper.
  • 1988 – Joanna Rowsell, English cyclist.

People (Deaths)

  • 1749 – Pierre Gaultier de Varennes, sieur de La Vérendrye, Canadian commander and explorer (b. 1685).
  • 1918 – Schalk Willem Burger, South African commander, lawyer, and politician, 6th President of the South African Republic (b. 1852).
  • 1942 – Jock Delves Broughton, English captain (b. 1883).
  • 1953 – William Sterling Parsons, American admiral (b. 1901).
  • 1973 – Robert Watson-Watt, Scottish engineer, invented the radar (b. 1892).
  • 1977 – Aleksandr Vasilevsky, Russian marshal and politician, Minister of Defence for the Soviet Union (b. 1895).
  • 2002 – Ne Win, Burmese general and politician, 4th President of Burma (b. 1911).
  • 2009 – William Lederer, American soldier and author (b. 1912).
  • 2014 – Ernest C. Brace, American captain and pilot (b. 1931).
  • 2014 – Jackie Healy-Rae, Irish hurdler and politician (b. 1931).
  • 2015 – Tibor Rubin, Hungarian-American soldier, Medal of Honour recipient (b. 1929).
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