December 2, 1823 - President James Monroe introduced his "Monroe Doctrine" during his annual message to the Congress, prohibiting any further colonization of the American continents by European powers, stating, "we should consider any attempt on their part to extend their system to any portion of this hemisphere as dangerous to our peace and safety..."
December 5, 1933 - The 18th Amendment (Prohibition Amendment) to the U.S. Constitution was repealed. For nearly 14 years, since January 29, 1920, it had outlawed the manufacture, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages in the U.S.
December 6, 1865 - The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, abolishing slavery.
December 7, 1941 - The U.S. Naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, was attacked by nearly 200 Japanese aircraft in a raid that lasted just over one hour and left nearly 3,000 Americans dead.
December 8, 1941 - A day after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States and Britain declared war on Japan.
December 9, 1941 - During World War II, China issued a formal declaration of war against Japan, Germany and Italy.
December 10,1830 - Poet Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) was born in Amherst, Massachusetts. Her poetry became known only after her death when her sister discovered nearly 2,000 poems locked in her bureau, written on the backs of envelopes and scraps of paper. They were published gradually over the next 50 years, beginning in 1890.
December 11, 1941 - A major turning point in World War II occurred as Japan's Axis partners, Italy and Germany, both declared war on the United States. The U.S. Congress immediately declared war on them. President Roosevelt then made the defeat of Hitler the top priority, devoting nearly 90 percent of U.S. military resources to the war in Europe.
December 12, 1998 - The House Judiciary Committee approved a fourth and final article of impeachment against President William (Bill) Jefferson Clinton, 42nd President of the United States, charging him with making false statements in his answers to written questions from Congress.
December 13, 1862 - During the American Civil War, the Battle of Fredericksburg occurred in Virginia as the Union Army of the Potomac under General Burnside suffered a costly defeat, losing 12,653 men after 14 frontal assaults on well-entrenched Rebels on Marye's Heights. "We might as well have tried to take hell," a Union soldier remarked. Confederate losses were 5,309. "It is well that war is so terrible - we should grow too fond of it," stated Confederate General Robert E. Lee during the fighting.
December 14, 1799 - George Washington died at Mount Vernon.
December 15, 1791 - The Bill of Rights (first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution) became effective following ratification by Virginia.
December 16, 1773 - The Boston Tea Party occurred as colonial activists disguised as Mohawk Indians boarded British ships anchored in Boston Harbor and dumped 342 containers of expensive tea into the water.
December 17, 1903 - After three years of experimentation, Orville and Wilbur Wright achieved the first powered, controlled airplane flights. They made four flights near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, the longest lasting about a minute.
December 20, 1860 - South Carolina became the first state to secede from the Union in a prelude to the American Civil War. Within two months Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas seceded. In April 1861, Virginia seceded, followed within five weeks by Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina, thus forming an eleven state Confederacy with a population of 9 million, including nearly 4 million slaves. The Union had 21 states and a population of over 20 million.
December 21, 1988 - Pan American Flight 103 exploded in midair as the result of a Muslim terrorist bomb and crashed into Lockerbie, Scotland. All 259 passengers and crew members along with 11 persons on the ground were killed.
December 23, 1947 - The transistor was invented at Bell Laboratories by John Bardeen, Walter Brattain and William Shockley, who shared the Nobel Prize for their invention which sparked a worldwide revolution in electronics.
December 24, 1745 - American patriot Benjamin Rush (1745-1813) was born on a plantation in Byberry, Pennsylvania. He was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, a doctor and humanitarian, whose writings on mental illness earned him the title "Father of Psychiatry." He also countered the prevailing notion that alcohol was generally good for people and was one of the first to describe alcoholism as a chronic disease.
December 25th - Christmas Day, commemorating the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!!!
December 28, 1856 - Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) the 28th U.S. President was born in Staunton, Virginia (as Thomas Woodrow Wilson). He served two terms from 1912 through 1921. Best remembered for stating, "The world must be made safe for democracy," while asking Congress for a declaration of war against Germany in 1917. Following the death of his first wife, he married Edith Bolling Galt in 1915. He had suffered a paralytic stroke in 1919 and never regained his health, leading to speculation that his wife was actually running the White House during his illness.
December 29, 1875 - Andrew Johnson (1808-1875) the 17th U.S. President was born in Raleigh, North Carolina. He was Abraham Lincoln's vice president and became President upon Lincoln's assassination in 1865. He went on to become the first President impeached by the House of Representatives. He was acquitted in the Senate by a single vote. He later served briefly as a Senator from Tennessee until his death on July 31, 1875.
December 30, 1803 - The Stars and Stripes flag was raised over New Orleans as the United States took formal possession of the territory of Louisiana, an area of 885,000 square miles, nearly doubling the size of the U.S. The territory had been purchased from France for approximately $15 million.