- 755 An Lushan revolts against Chancellor Yang Guozhong at Fanyang, initiating the An Shi Rebellion during Chinese Tang Dynasty
- 1598 Seven Year War: Battle of Noryang Point - in the final battle of the war Korean navy decisively defeats the Japanese
- 1653 Parliamentarian General Oliver Cromwell appointed as Lord Protector of England, Scotland and Ireland
- 1773 Boston tea party incident - Sons of Liberty protesters throw tea shipments into Boston harbour in protest against British imposed Tea Act
- 1920 8.5 earthquake rocks the Gansu province in China, killing an estimated 200,000
- 1944 Nazi Germany launches a counteroffensive against the Allies in the Ardennes region of Belgium, beginning the 'Battle of the Bulge'
- 1998 Iraq disarmament crisis: Operation Desert Fox - the United States and United Kingdom bomb targets in Iraq
English Parliament passes Bill of Rights establishing limits on crown powers and requirement for regular elections
On December 16, 1689
Theodore Cole and Ralph Roe attempt to escape from American federal prison Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay; neither is ever seen again.
On December 16, 1937