On This Day … 09 December [2022]


  • 536 – Gothic War: The Byzantine general Belisarius enters Rome unopposed; the Gothic garrison flees the capital.
  • 730 – Battle of Marj Ardabil: The Khazars annihilate an Umayyad army and kill its commander, al-Jarrah ibn Abdallah al-Hakami.
  • 1688 – Glorious Revolution: Williamite forces defeat Jacobites at Battle of Reading, forcing James II to flee England.
    • Date is Old Style; the date in the New Style modern calendar is 19 December.
  • 1775 – American Revolutionary War: British troops and Loyalists, misinformed about Patriot militia strength, lose the Battle of Great Bridge, ending British rule in Virginia.
  • 1824 – Patriot forces led by General Antonio José de Sucre defeat a Royalist army in the Battle of Ayacucho, putting an end to the Peruvian War of Independence.
  • 1835 – Texas Revolution: The Texian Army captures San Antonio following the Siege of Béxar.
  • 1856 – The Iranian city of Bushehr surrenders to occupying British forces.
  • 1861 – American Civil War: The Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War is established by Congress.
  • 1868 – The first traffic lights are installed, outside the Palace of Westminster in London. Resembling railway signals, they use semaphore arms and are illuminated at night by red and green gas lamps.
  • 1917 – World War I: Field Marshal Allenby captures Jerusalem from the Ottoman Empire.
  • 1937 – Second Sino-Japanese War: Battle of Nanking: Japanese troops under the command of Lt. Gen. Yasuhiko Asaka launch an assault on the Chinese city of Nanking.
  • 1940 – World War II: Operation Compass: British and Indian troops under the command of Major-General Richard O’Connor attack Italian forces near Sidi Barrani in Egypt.
  • 1941 – World War II: China, Cuba, Guatemala, and the Philippine Commonwealth declare war on Germany and Japan.
  • 1941 – World War II: The American 19th Bombardment Group attacks Japanese ships off the coast of Vigan, Luzon.
  • 1946 – The subsequent Nuremberg trials begin with the Doctors’ Trial, prosecuting physicians and officers alleged to be involved in Nazi human experimentation and mass murder under the guise of euthanasia.
  • 1948 – The Genocide Convention is adopted.
  • 1950 – Cold War: Harry Gold is sentenced to 30 years in jail for helping Klaus Fuchs pass information about the Manhattan Project to the Soviet Union.
    • His testimony is later instrumental in the prosecution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.
  • 1961 – Tanganyika becomes independent from Britain.
  • 1965 – Kecksburg UFO incident: A fireball is seen from Michigan to Pennsylvania; with witnesses reporting something crashing in the woods near Pittsburgh.
  • 1969 – US Secretary of State William P. Rogers proposes his plan for a ceasefire in the War of Attrition; Egypt and Jordan accept it over the objections of the PLO, which leads to civil war in Jordan in September 1970.
  • 1971 – Indo-Pakistani War: The Indian Air Force executes an airdrop of Indian Army units, bypassing Pakistani defences.
  • 1973 – British and Irish authorities sign the Sunningdale Agreement in an attempt to establish a power-sharing Northern Ireland Executive and a cross-border Council of Ireland (refer to The Troubles).
  • 1987 – Israeli-Palestinian conflict: The First Intifada begins in the Gaza Strip and West Bank.
  • 1992 – American troops land in Somalia for Operation Restore Hope.
  • Armed Forces Day (Peru).
  • Fatherland’s Heroes Day (Russia).
  • Independence Day, celebrates the independence of Tanganyika from Britain in 1961 (Tanzania).
  • National Heroes Day, formerly V.C. Bird Day (Antigua and Barbuda).
  • Navy Day (Sri Lanka).

People (Births)

  • 1752 – Antoine Étienne de Tousard, French general and engineer (d. 1813).
  • 1883 – Alexander Papagos, Greek general and politician, 152nd Prime Minister of Greece (d. 1955).
  • 1883 – Joseph Pilates, German-American fitness expert, developed Pilates (d. 1967).
  • 1909 – Douglas Fairbanks Jr., American captain, actor, and producer (d. 2000).
  • 1911 – Ryūzō Sejima, Japanese colonel and businessman (d. 2007).
  • 1914 – Max Manus, Norwegian lieutenant (d. 1996).
  • 1916 – Jerome Beatty Jr., American soldier, journalist, and author (d. 2002).
  • 1926 – Lorenzo Wright, American sprinter and coach (d. 1972).
  • 1930 – Óscar Humberto Mejía Víctores, Guatemalan soldier and politician, 27th President of Guatemala (d. 2016).
  • 1947 – Tom Daschle, American soldier, academic, and politician.
  • 1947 – Jaak Jõerüüt, Estonian politician, 24th Estonian Minister of Defence.
  • 1973 – Vénuste Niyongabo, Burundian runner.
  • 1980 – Ryder Hesjedal, Canadian cyclist.
  • 1982 – Tamilla Abassova, Russian cyclist.
  • 1982 – Nathalie De Vos, Belgian runner.
  • 1982 – Bastian Swillims, German sprinter.
  • 1993 – Laura Smulders, Dutch cyclist.

People (Deaths)

  • 730 – Al-Jarrah ibn Abdallah, Arab general.
  • 748 – Nasr ibn Sayyar, Umayyad general and politician (b. 663).
  • 1957 – Ali İhsan Sâbis, Turkish general (b. 1882).
  • 1970 – Artem Mikoyan, Armenian-Russian engineer and businessman, co-founded the Mikoyan Company (b. 1905).
  • 2001 – Michael Carver, Baron Carver, English field marshal (b. 1915).
  • 2003 – Paul Simon, American soldier, journalist, and politician, 39th Lieutenant Governor of Illinois (b. 1928).
  • 2008 – Yury Glazkov, Russian general, pilot, and astronaut (b. 1939).
  • 2013 – John Gabbert, American soldier, lawyer, and judge (b. 1909).

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