1460: The Duke of York is defeated and killed by Lancastrians at the Battle of Wakefield.
1803: The United States takes possession of the Louisiana area from France at New Orleans with a simple ceremony, the simultaneous lowering and raising of the national flags.
1861: Banks in the United States suspend the practice of redeeming paper money for metal currency, a practice that would continue until 1879.
1862: The draft of the Emancipation Proclamation is finished and circulated among President Abraham Lincoln’s cabinet for comment.
1905: Gov. Frank Steunenberg of Idaho is killed by an assassin’s bomb.
1922: Soviet Russia is renamed the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
1932: The Soviet Union bars food handouts for housewives under 36 years of age. They must now work to eat.
1947: Romania’s King Michael is forced to abdicate by Soviet-backed Communists. Communists now control all of Eastern Europe.
1965: Ferdinand E. Marcos is sworn in as the Philippine Republic’s sixth president.
1972: After two weeks of heavy bombing raids on North Vietnam, President Richard Nixon halts the air offensive and agrees to resume peace negotiations with Hanoi representative Le Duc Tho.
1976: Gov. Hugh Carey of New York pardons seven inmates, closing the book on the Attica uprising.
2006: Saddam Hussein, former Iraq dictator, is executed by hanging for crimes committed against his own people during his rule.
Born on December 30
1865: Rudyard Kipling, British author (“The Jungle Book,” “Soldiers Three”).
1867: Simon Guggenheim, philanthropist and U.S. senator for Colorado.
1884: Tojo Hideki, Japanese prime minister during World War II.
1928: Bo Diddley, blues composer and singer.
1935: Sandy Koufax, Hall of Fame left-handed pitcher with the L.A. Dodgers.