1577 Five ships commanded by Sir Francis Drake embarked on Drake’s circumnavigation of the globe, a journey that took almost three years.
1642 Dutch navigator Abel Tasman discovered present-day New Zealand, but was kept from landing by Maori warriors.
1769 New Hampshire’s Dartmouth College received its charter.
1843 A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens was published.
1956 The Brooklyn Dodgers traded 37-year-old Jackie Robinson to the cross-town rival New York Giants for pitcher Dick Littlefield and $35,000. Robinson, who played his entire 10-year career with the Dodgers after breaking baseball’s color line, retired rather than accept the trade.
1974 “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” by Bachman-Turner Overdrive is certified gold.
1975 “My Little Town” by Simon & Garfunkel peaks at Number Nine on the pop chart.
1975 Chicago IX — Chicago’s Greatest Hits by Chicago hits Number One on the album chart, where it stays for five weeks.
1975 Alive! by Kiss peaks at Number Nine on the album chart.
1975 The government of Chile denies the Rolling Stones permission to play on Easter Island, saying “the whole future of the island” would be jeopardized.
1986 “The Way It Is” by Bruce Hornsby & the Range hits Number One on the pop chart.
1986 Whiplash Smile by Billy Idol peaks at Number Six on the album chart.
1996 The U.N. Security Council chose Kofi Annan of Ghana to become the world body’s seventh Secretary-General.
1997 Former Guess Who guitarist Kurt Winter dies at age 51.
1998 After outfitting the first two pieces of the International Space Station, the shuttle Endeavor‘s astronauts set the seven-story complex loose.
2000 One day after the U.S. Supreme Court ordered vote recounting permanently stopped in Florida, Vice President Al Gore conceded the presidential race to Texas Governor George W. Bush in a televised prime time speech.
2001 The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame announces its newest inductees — the late Chet Atkins, Isaac Hayes, Brenda Lee, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Gene Pitney, the Ramones, Talking Heads, and Stax Records cofounder Jim Stewart.
2002 Lovin’ Spoonful guitarist Zal Yanovsky dies at age 57.