1975 – Tu-144, the world's first commercial supersonic aircraft, surpassing Mach 2, went into service.
1972 – Vietnam War: As part of Operation Linebacker II, 120 American B-52 Stratofortress bombers attacked Hanoi, including 78 launched from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam, the largest single combat launch in Strategic Air Command history.
1966 – The first Kwanzaa is celebrated by Maulana Karenga, the chair of Black Studies at California State University, Long Beach.
1963 – The Beatles' "I Want to Hold Your Hand" and "I Saw Her Standing There" are released in the United States, marking the beginning of Beatlemania on an international level.
1941 – U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs a bill establishing the fourth Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day in the United States.
1871 – Gilbert and Sullivan collaborate for the first time, on their lost opera, Thespis. It does modestly well, but the two would not collaborate again for four years.
1862 – American Civil War: The Battle of Chickasaw Bayou begins.
1862 – Four nuns serving as volunteer nurses on board USS Red Rover are the first female nurses on a U.S. Navy hospital ship.
1862 – The largest mass-hanging in U.S. history took place in Mankato, Minnesota, 38 Native Americans died.
1861 – American Civil War: The Trent Affair: Confederate diplomatic envoys James Murray Mason and John Slidell are freed by the United States government, thus heading off a possible war between the United States and the United Kingdom.
1860 – The first ever inter-club English association football match takes place between Hallam and Sheffield football clubs in Sheffield.
1811 – A theater fire in Richmond, Virginia kills the Governor of Virginia George William Smith and the president of the First National Bank of Virginia Abraham B. Venable.
1799 – Henry Lee III's eulogy to George Washington in congress declares him as "first in war, first in peace and first in the hearts of his countrymen". (This is not to confused with Washington's funeral on December 18th.
1776 – American Revolutionary War: In the Battle of Trenton, the Continental Army attacks and successfully defeats a garrison of Hessian forces .
1991 – Eden Sher, American actress. Eden Rebecca Sher (born December 26, 1991) is an American actress, best known for her role as Sue Heck on the ABC comedy series The Middle (2009–2018).
1990 – Andy Biersack, American singer-songwriter. Andrew Dennis Biersack (born December 26, 1990), formerly known as Andy Six, is an American singer and pianist.
1990 – Jon Bellion, American rapper, singer, songwriter and record producer. He is known for his single "All Time Low".
1985 – Beth Behrs, American actress. Elizabeth Ann Behrs (born December 26, 1985) is an American actress and writer best known for her starring role as Caroline Channing in the CBS comedy series 2 Broke Girls.
1982 – Kenneth Darby, American football player. Darby has been a member of the Atlanta Falcons and St.
1980 – Todd Dunivant, American soccer player. Todd Dunivant (born December 26, 1980) is a retired American soccer player who played 13 years in Major League Soccer winning 5 MLS Cup trophies.
1979 – Chris Daughtry, American singer-songwriter and guitarist. After Idol, he was given a record deal by RCA Records and formed a band called Daughtry.
1974 – Joshua John Miller, American actor, director, and screenwriter. Fortin; the two wrote the screenplay for the 2015 horror comedy The Final Girls, and the USA Network drama series Queen of the South.
1971 – Jared Leto, American actor and musician. He made his film debut in How to Make an American Quilt (1995) and received critical praise for his performance in Prefontaine (1997).
1971 – Tatiana Sorokko, Russian-American model and journalist. Tatiana Sorokko (Russian: Татьяна Николаевна Сорокко, pronunciation Tatyana Nikolayevna Sorokko; born 26 December 1971; née Ilyushkina) is a Russian-born American model, fashion journalist and haute couture collector.
1966 – Jay Farrar, American singer-songwriter and guitarist. Jay Farrar (born December 26, 1966) is an American songwriter and musician currently based in St.
1966 – Jay Yuenger, American guitarist and producer. Jay Noel Yuenger (born December 26, 1966), also known by the stage name "J.", is a rock guitarist best known for his work with Grammy-nominated heavy metal band White Zombie.
1966 – Tim Legler, American basketball player and sportscaster. Timothy Eugene Legler (born December 26, 1966) is an American retired professional basketball player who played in the National Basketball Association (NBA).
1964 – Elizabeth Kostova, American author. Elizabeth Johnson Kostova (born December 26, 1964) is an American author best known for her debut novel The Historian.
1963 – Lars Ulrich, Danish-American drummer, songwriter, and producer. The son of tennis player Torben Ulrich and grandson of tennis player Einer Ulrich, he also played tennis in his youth and moved to Los Angeles at age 16 to train professionally.
1960 – Jim Toomey, American cartoonist. James Patrick Toomey (born December 26, 1960) is an American cartoonist famous for his comic Sherman's Lagoon.
1960 – Keith Martin Ball, American mathematician and academic. He was scientific director of the International Centre for Mathematical Sciences (ICMS) from 2010 to 2014.
1956 – David Sedaris, American comedian, author, and radio host. He published his first collection of essays and short stories, Barrel Fever, in 1994.
1955 – Evan Bayh, American lawyer and politician, 46th Governor of Indiana. Birch Evans Bayh III (/baɪ/; born December 26, 1955) is an American lawyer, lobbyist, and politician of the Democratic Party who served as the junior United States Senator from Indiana from 1999 to 2011 and the 46th Governor of Indiana from 1989 to 1997.
1954 – Ozzie Smith, American baseball player and sportscaster. Osborne Earl "Ozzie" Smith (born December 26, 1954) is an American former baseball shortstop who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the San Diego Padres and St.
1948 – Candy Crowley, American journalist, was employed as CNN's chief political correspondent, specializing in USA national and state elections. She was based in CNN's Washington bureau and was the anchor of their Sunday morning talk show State of the Union.
1947 – Carlton Fisk, American baseball player. Carlton Ernest Fisk (born December 26, 1947), nicknamed "Pudge" and "The Commander", is an American former professional baseball player.
1947 – James T. Conway, American general. James Terry Conway (born December 26, 1947) is a retired United States Marine Corps general who served as the 34th Commandant of the Marine Corps.
1947 – Richard Levis McCormick, American historian and academic. Richard Levis McCormick (born December 26, 1947) is a historian, professor and president emeritus of Rutgers University.
1946 – Alan Frumin, American lawyer and politician. Frumin (/ˈfruːmɪn/; born December 26, 1946) is a former Parliamentarian of the United States Senate.
1944 – William Ayers, American academic and activist. William Charles Ayers (/ɛərz/; born December 26, 1944) is a former leader of the Weather Underground and American elementary education theorist.
1942 – Catherine Coulter, American author. Jean Catherine Coulter (born December 26, 1942) is an American author of romantic suspense thrillers and historical romances who currently resides in northern California.
1942 – Gray Davis, American captain, lawyer, and politician, 37th Governor of California. Prior to serving as governor, Davis was chief of staff to Governor Jerry Brown (1975–81), a California State Assemblyman (1983–87), California State Controller (1987–95) and the 44th Lieutenant Governor of California (1995–99).
1940 – Edward C. Prescott, American economist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate. Kydland, "for their contributions to dynamic macroeconomics: the time consistency of economic policy and the driving forces behind business cycles".
1940 – Ray Sadecki, American baseball player (d. 2014), was a Major League Baseball pitcher. He is best remembered as the left-handed complement to Bob Gibson, who in 1964, won twenty games to lead the St.
1939 – Phil Spector, American singer-songwriter and producer. Phillip Harvey Spector (born Harvey Phillip Spector, December 26, 1939) is an American record producer, musician, and songwriter who developed the Wall of Sound, a music production formula he described as a Wagnerian approach to rock and roll.
1938 – Robert Hamerton-Kelly, South African-American pastor, scholar, and author (d. 2013), was a Christian theologian, ordained United Methodist pastor, ethics scholar, and author and editor of several books on religion and violence. He served as Dean of the Chapel at Stanford Memorial Church at Stanford University for 14 years and was on the faculty of the university for more than 30 years.
1933 – Caroll Spinney, American puppeteer and voice actor, was an American puppeteer, cartoonist, author and speaker most famous for playing Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch on Sesame Street from its inception in 1969 until 2018.
1930 – Donald Moffat, English-American actor, was an English actor with a decades-long career in film and stage in the United States. He began his acting career on- and off-Broadway, which included appearances in The Wild Duck and Right You Are If You Think You Are, earning a Tony Award nomination for both, as well as Painting Churches, for which he received an Obie Award.
1930 – Harry Gamble, American football player, coach, and manager (d. 2014). He was the head coach for the Lafayette College Leopards from 1967 to 1970, compiling a 21−19 record, before moving on to become the head coach for the University of Pennsylvania Quakers from 1971 yo 1980, earning a 34−55−2 record.
1929 – Kathleen Crowley, American actress (d. 2017), was an American actress who starred in a number of TV shows and films throughout the 1950s and 1960s, ending her career in 1970 at age 40.
1927 – Alan King, American actor, producer, and screenwriter (d. 2004), was an American actor and comedian known for his biting wit and often angry humorous rants. King became well known as a Jewish comedian and satirist.
1927 – Stu Miller, American baseball player (d. 2015), was a pitcher in Major League Baseball who played for the St. Louis Cardinals (1952–56), Philadelphia Phillies (1956), New York/San Francisco Giants (1957–62), Baltimore Orioles (1963–67) and Atlanta Braves (1968).
1926 – Earle Brown, American composer (d. 2002), was an American composer who established his own formal and notational systems. Brown was the creator of open form, a style of musical construction that has influenced many composers since—notably the downtown New York scene of the 1980s (see John Zorn) and generations of younger composers.
1924 – Frank Broyles, American football player, coach, and sportscaster, was an American football player and coach, athletics administrator, and broadcaster. He is known for his career at the University of Arkansas.
1923 – Richard Artschwager, American painter, illustrator, and sculptor (d. 2013). While known for stylistic independence, his work has associations with Pop Art, Conceptual art and Minimalism.
1921 – John Severin, American illustrator (d. 2012), was an American comics artist noted for his distinctive work with EC Comics, primarily on the war comics Two-Fisted Tales and Frontline Combat; for Marvel Comics, especially its war and Western comics; and for his 45-year stint with the satiric magazine Cracked. He was one of the founding cartoonists of Mad in 1952.
1921 – Steve Allen, American actor, singer, talk show host, and screenwriter (d. 2000), was an American television personality, radio personality, musician, composer, actor, comedian, writer, and advocate of scientific skepticism. In 1954, he achieved national fame as the co-creator and first host of The Tonight Show, which was the first late night television talk show.
1914 – Richard Widmark, American actor (d. 2008), was an American film, stage, and television actor and producer.
1910 – Marguerite Churchill, American actress (d. 2000), was an American film actress with a film career spanning from 1929 to 1952. She is best known today as John Wayne's first leading lady, in The Big Trail (1930).
1909 – Matt Gordy, American pole vaulter (d. 1989). In 1933 Gordy shared first place at both the NCAA championships and the national championships and helped Louisiana State University win the NCAA team title.
1908 – Ralph Hill, American runner (d. 1994). He set an American record over the mile in 1930 and won a silver medal in the 5000 m event at the 1932 Olympics.
1907 – Albert Gore, Sr., American lawyer and politician (d. 1998). Albert Arnold Gore Jr. (born March 31, 1948) is an American politician and environmentalist who served as the 45th vice president of the United States from 1993 to 2001.
1905 – William Loeb III, American publisher (d. 1981), was publisher of the Manchester Union Leader newspaper (later The New Hampshire Union Leader) in Manchester, New Hampshire, for thirty-five years from 1946 until his death. His unyieldingly conservative political views helped to make The Union Leader one of the best-known small papers in the country.
1903 – Elisha Cook, Jr., American actor (d. 1995), was an American stage, film and television character actor who often specialized in roles as "cowardly villains and neurotics". He is perhaps best remembered for his portrayal of Wilmer in the 1941 version of The Maltese Falcon and the futile efforts made by his character to intimidate Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart) in the film.
1894 – Jean Toomer, American author and poet (d. 1967), was an American poet and novelist commonly associated with the Harlem Renaissance, though he actively resisted the association, and modernism. His reputation stems from his only book, the novel Cane (1923), which Toomer wrote during and after a stint as a school principal at a black school in rural Sparta, Georgia.
1891 – Henry Miller, American author and painter (d. 1980), was an American writer. He was known for breaking with existing literary forms and developing a new type of semi-autobiographical novel that blended character study, social criticism, philosophical reflection, stream of consciousness, explicit language, sex, surrealist free association, and mysticism.
1863 – Charles Pathé, French record producer, co-founded Pathé Records (d. 1957), was an important pioneer of the French film and recording industries. As the founder of Pathé Frères, its roots lie in 1896 Paris, France, when Pathé and his brothers, pioneered the development of the moving image.
1859 – William Stephens, American lawyer and politician, 24th Governor of California (d. 1944), was an American federal and state politician. A three-term member of the U.S.
1837 – George Dewey, American admiral (d. 1917). George Dewey (December 26, 1837 – January 16, 1917) was Admiral of the Navy, the only person in United States history to have attained the rank.
1837 – Morgan Bulkeley, American soldier and politician, 54th Governor of Connecticut (d. 1922), was an American politician, businessman, and sports executive. A Republican, he served in the American Civil War, and became a Hartford bank president before becoming the third president of the Aetna Life Insurance Company, a post he held for 43 years.
1819 – E. D. E. N. Southworth, American author and educator (d. 1899), was an American writer of more than 60 novels in the latter part of the 19th century. She was the most popular American novelist of her day.
1791 – Charles Babbage, English mathematician and engineer, invented the Difference engine (d. 1871), was an English polymath. A mathematician, philosopher, inventor and mechanical engineer, Babbage originated the concept of a digital programmable computer.
1646 – Robert Bolling, English-American merchant and planter (d. 1709), was a wealthy early American settler planter and merchant.
2016 – George S. Irving, American actor, singer and dancer (b. 1922)
2016 – Ricky Harris, American comedian, actor (b. 1962)
2015 – Jim O'Toole, American baseball player (b. 1937)
2015 – Sidney Mintz, American anthropologist and academic (b. 1922)
2014 – James B. Edwards, American dentist, soldier, and politician, 3rd United States Secretary of Energy (b. 1927)
2014 – Stanisław Barańczak, Polish-American poet, critic, and scholar (b. 1946)
2013 – Marta Eggerth, Hungarian-American actress and singer (b. 1912)
2013 – Paul Blair, American baseball player and coach (b. 1944)
2012 – Gerald McDermott, American author and illustrator (b. 1941)
2011 – Houston Antwine, American football player (b. 1939)
2011 – James Rizzi, American painter and illustrator (b. 1950)
2011 – Joe Bodolai, American screenwriter and producer (b. 1948)
2010 – Teena Marie, American singer-songwriter and producer (b. 1956)
2009 – Felix Wurman, American cellist and composer (b. 1958)
2006 – Gerald Ford, American commander, lawyer, and politician, 38th President of the United States (b. 1913)
2005 – Muriel Costa-Greenspon, American soprano (b. 1937)
2005 – Vincent Schiavelli, American actor (b. 1948)
2004 – Reggie White, American football player and wrestler (b. 1961)
2002 – Armand Zildjian, American businessman, founded the Avedis Zildjian Company (b. 1921)
2002 – Herb Ritts, American photographer and director (b. 1952)
2000 – Jason Robards, American actor (b. 1922)
1999 – Curtis Mayfield, American singer-songwriter and producer (b. 1942)
1996 – JonBenét Ramsey, American child beauty queen and prominent unsolved murder victim (b. 1990)
1990 – Gene Callahan, American art director and production designer (b. 1923)
1988 – Glenn McCarthy, American businessman, founded the Shamrock Hotel (b. 1907)