- 1577 Sir Francis Drake sets sail from England on a circumnavigationof the world
- 1774 First incident of American Revolution - 400 attack Fort William and Mary, New Hampshire
- 1920 League of nations establishes International Court of Justice in The Hague
- 2002 Enlargement of the European Union: The European Union announces that Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia will become members from May 1, 2004.
- 2003 Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is captured near his home town of Tikrit, during Operation Red Dawn by US forces
Francis G. Pease's interferometer at Mount Wilson Observatory is the first to measure the diameter of a star - the Betelgeuse
On December 13, 1920
Saint Celestine V abdicates the papacy after only five months; Celestine hoped to return to his previous life as an ascetic hermit.
On December 13, 1294