On This Day … 02 December [2022]


  • 1804 – At Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, Napoleon Bonaparte crowns himself Emperor of the French (refer to French Revolutionary Wars and Napoleonic Wars).
  • 1805 – War of the Third Coalition: Battle of Austerlitz: French troops under Napoleon decisively defeat a joint Russo-Austrian force.
  • 1823 – Monroe Doctrine: In a State of the Union message, US President James Monroe proclaims American neutrality in future European conflicts, and warns European powers not to interfere in the Americas.
  • 1845 – Manifest Destiny: In a State of the Union message, US President James K. Polk proposes that the United States should aggressively expand into the West.
  • 1851 – French President Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte overthrows the Second Republic.
  • 1859 – Militant abolitionist leader John Brown is hanged for his 16 October raid on Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.
  • 1899 – Philippine-American War: The Battle of Tirad Pass, known as the “Filipino Thermopylae”, is fought.
  • 1917 – World War I: Russia and the Central Powers sign an armistice at Brest-Litovsk, and peace talks leading to the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk begin.
  • 1942 – World War II: During the Manhattan Project, a team led by Enrico Fermi initiates the first artificial self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction.
  • 1943 – World War II: A Luftwaffe bombing raid on the harbour of Bari, Italy, sinks numerous cargo and transport ships, including the American SS John Harvey, which is carrying a stockpile of World War I-era mustard gas.
  • 1947 – Jerusalem Riots of 1947: Arabs riot in Jerusalem in response to the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine.
  • 1950 – Korean War: The Battle of the Ch’ongch’on River ends with a decisive Chinese victory and UN forces are completely expelled from North Korea.
  • 1954 – The Sino-American Mutual Defence Treaty, between the United States and Taiwan, is signed in Washington, D.C.
  • 1956 – The Granma reaches the shores of Cuba’s Oriente Province. Fidel Castro, Che Guevara and 80 other members of the 26th of July Movement disembark to initiate the Cuban Revolution.
  • 1957 – United Nations Security Council Resolution 126 relating to the Kashmir conflict is adopted.
  • 1961 – In a nationally broadcast speech, Cuban leader Fidel Castro declares that he is a Marxist-Leninist and that Cuba will adopt Communism.
  • 1962 – Vietnam War: After a trip to Vietnam at the request of US President John F. Kennedy, US Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield becomes the first American official to comment adversely on the war’s progress.
  • 1971 – Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Fujairah, Sharjah, Dubai, and Umm al-Quwain form the United Arab Emirates.
  • 1975 – Laotian Civil War: The Pathet Lao seizes the Laotian capital of Vientiane, forces the abdication of King Sisavang Vatthana, and proclaims the Lao People’s Democratic Republic.
  • 1976 – Fidel Castro becomes President of Cuba, replacing Osvaldo Dorticós Torrado.
  • 1980 – Salvadoran Civil War: Four American missionaries are raped and murdered by a death squad.
  • 1989 – The Peace Agreement of Hat Yai is signed and ratified by the Malayan Communist Party (MCP) and the governments of Malaysia and Thailand, ending the over two-decade-long communist insurgency in Malaysia.
  • 1991 – Canada and Poland become the first nations to recognise the independence of Ukraine from the Soviet Union.
  • 1999 – The United Kingdom devolves political power in Northern Ireland to the Northern Ireland Executive following the Good Friday Agreement (refer to The Troubles).
  • 2020 – Cannabis is removed from the list of most dangerous drugs of the international drug control treaty by the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (refer to The War on Drugs).
  • Armed Forces Day (Cuba).
  • National Day (United Arab Emirates).

People (Births)

  • 1738 – Richard Montgomery, Irish-American general (d. 1775).
  • 1760 – John Breckinridge, American soldier, lawyer, and politician, 5th United States Attorney General (d. 1806).
  • 1884 – Erima Harvey Northcroft, New Zealand soldier, lawyer, and judge (d. 1953).
  • 1897 – Ivan Bagramyan, Russian general (d. 1982).
  • 1898 – Indra Lal Roy, Indian lieutenant and first Indian fighter aircraft pilot (d. 1918).
  • 1910 – Taisto Mäki, Finnish runner (d. 1979).
  • 1924 – Alexander Haig, American general and politician, 59th United States Secretary of State (d. 2010).
  • 1931 – Masaaki Hatsumi, Japanese martial artist and educator, founded Bujinkan.
  • 1933 – Peter Robin Harding, English marshal and pilot.
  • 1933 – Mike Larrabee, American sprinter and educator (d. 2003).
  • 1959 – Kelefa Diallo, Guinean general (d. 2013).
  • 1969 – Pavel Loskutov, Estonian runner.
  • 1973 – Jan Ullrich, German cyclist.
  • 1980 – Adam Kreek, Canadian rower.
  • 1985 – Amaury Leveaux, French swimmer.

People (Deaths)

  • 930 – Ma Yin, Chinese warlord, king of Chu (Ten Kingdoms) (b. 853).
  • 1515 – Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba, Spanish general (b. 1453).
  • 1547 – Hernán Cortés, Spanish general and explorer (b. 1485).
  • 1615 – Louis des Balbes de Berton de Crillon, French general (b. 1541).
  • 1844 – Eustachy Erazm Sanguszko, Polish general and politician (b. 1768).
  • 1885 – Allen Wright, Principal chief of the Choctaw Nation (1866-1870); proposed the name “Oklahoma”, from Choctaw words okra and umma, meaning “Territory of the Red People.” (b. 1826).
  • 1899 – Gregorio del Pilar, Filipino general and politician, 1st Governor of Bulacan (b. 1875).
  • 1927 – Paul Heinrich von Groth, German scientist who systematically classified minerals and founded the journal Zeitschrift für Krystallographie und Mineralogie (b. 1843).
  • 1969 – Kliment Voroshilov, Ukrainian-Russian marshal and politician, 3rd Head of State of The Soviet Union (b. 1881).
  • 1988 – Karl-Heinz Bürger, German colonel (b. 1904).
  • 2003 – Alan Davidson, British soldier, historian, and author (b. 1924).
  • 2013 – William Allain, American soldier and politician, 58th Governor of Mississippi (b. 1928).
  • 2015 – George T. Sakato, American soldier, Medal of Honour recipient (b. 1921).

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