On Dec. 2, 1697, London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral, designed by Sir Christopher Wren, was consecrated for use even though the building was still under construction.
In 1823, President James Monroe outlined his doctrine opposing European expansion in the Western Hemisphere.
In 1859, militant abolitionist John Brown was hanged for his raid on Harpers Ferry the previous October.
In 1942, an artificially created, self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction was demonstrated for the first time at the University of Chicago.
In 1954, the U.S. Senate passed, 67-22, a resolution condemning Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy, R-Wis., saying he had “acted contrary to senatorial ethics and tended to bring the Senate into dishonor and disrepute.”
In 1957, the Shippingport Atomic Power Station in Pennsylvania, the first full-scale commercial nuclear facility in the U.S., began operations. (The reactor ceased operating in 1982.)
In 1970, the newly created Environmental Protection Agency opened its doors under its first director, William D. Ruckelshaus.
In 1980, four American churchwomen were raped and murdered in El Salvador. (Five national guardsmen were convicted in the killings.)
In 1982, in the first operation of its kind, doctors at the University of Utah Medical Center implanted a permanent artificial heart in the chest of retired dentist Dr. Barney Clark, who lived 112 days with the device.
In 1993, Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar was shot to death by security forces in Medellin (meh-deh-YEEN’).
In 2000, Al Gore sought a recount in South Florida, while George W. Bush flatly asserted, “I’m soon to be the president” and met with GOP congressional leaders.
In 2001, in one of the largest corporate bankruptcies in U.S. history, Enron filed for Chapter 11 protection.
In 2015, a couple loyal to the Islamic State group opened fire at a holiday banquet for public employees in San Bernardino, California, killing 14 people and wounding 21 others before dying in a shootout with police.