1583 - The first life insurance policy was taken out, on the life of William Gibbons. William died before the end of the year, by the insurers refused to pay, by redefining a year as 12 months of four weeks, thus only 336 days, which William had exceeded.
1812 - The U.S. Congress declared war on Great Britain, Canada, and Ireland.
1815 - Napolean was defeated at Waterloo.
1917 - London’s Waterloo Bridge, designed by John Rennie, opened over the River Thames.
1922 - American scientists announced exposure to the sun produced Vitamin D in the body.
1923 - the German currency suffered from such severe inflation that £1 was worth 600,000 marks.
1928 - American aviator Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly across the Atlantic, She completed a flight from Newfoundland to Wales as a passenger.
1942 - Former Beatle Paul McCartney was born
1965 - The government announced it was to introduce a drink drive limit. In January 1966 the new Road Safety Bill was introduced in January 1966, which set a limit of 80mg of alcohol in 100cc of blood and it became an offence to drive when over this limit. The breathalyser was introduced in 1967.
1972 - Staines air disaster: 118 people were killed when a BEA H.S. Trident crashed two minutes after take off from London Heathrow Airport.
1975 - Britain pumped ashore the first North Sea oil.
1983 - Dr. Sally Ride became the first American woman in space, aboard the space shuttle Challenger.
1990 - Princess Diana and Mother Teresa walked hand in hand through the Bronx, to publicise the work of the mission there.
1998 - Margaret Beckett announced plans for a new minimum wage - £3.60 per hour, with a £3 minimum limit for 18 to 21 year olds.
2009 - Greenland assumed control over its law enforcement, judicial affairs, and natural resources from the Kingdom of Denmark. Greenlandic became the official language.