536: Having captured Naples earlier in the year, Belisarius takes Rome.
1861: The U.S. Senate approves establishment of a committee that would become the Joint Committee on the Conduct of War.
1863: Maj. Gen. John G. Foster replaces Maj. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside as commander of the Department of Ohio.
1867: The capital of Colorado Territory is moved from Golden to Denver.
1872: P.B.S. Pinchback becomes the first African-American governor of Louisiana.
1900: The Russian czar rejects Boer Paul Kruger’s pleas for aid in South Africa against the British.
1908: A child labor bill passes in the German Reichstag, forbidding work for children under age 13.
1917: The new Finnish Republic demands the withdrawal of Russian troops.
1940: The British army seizes 1,000 Italians in a sudden thrust in Egypt.
1941: Franklin D. Roosevelt tells Americans to plan for a long war.
1948: The United States abandons a plan to de-concentrate industry in Japan.
1949: The United Nations takes trusteeship over Jerusalem.
1950: Harry Gold gets 30 years imprisonment for passing atomic bomb secrets to the Soviet Union during World War II.
1950: President Harry Truman bans U.S. exports to Communist China.
1955: Sugar Ray Robinson knocks out Carl Olson to regain the world middleweight boxing title.
1960: The Laos government flees to Cambodia as the capital city of Vientiane is engulfed in war.
1990: Lech Walesa is elected president of Poland.
1992: U.S. Marines land in Somalia to ensure food and medicine reaches the deprived areas of that country.
2008: Governor of Illinois Rod Blagojevich is arrested on federal charges, including an attempt to sell the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by President-elect Barack Obama.
Born on December 9
1608: John Milton, British writer and poet (“Paradise Lost”).
1809: William Barret Travis, commander of the Texas troops at the battle of the Alamo.
1848: Joel Chandler Harris, writer, creator of the Uncle Remus tales.
1899: Jean de Brunhoff, illustrator and author, creator of the Babar series of books.
1906: Grace Hopper, mathematician and computer pioneer.
1912: Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill, speaker of the House of Representatives.
1918: Kirk Douglas, American actor (“Spartacus”).
1919: William Lipscomb, chemist; awarded Nobel Prize in 1976.
1922: Redd Foxx (John Sanford), comedian, actor; best known for his starring role in the TV series “Sanford and Son.”
1926: Henry Kendall, particle physicist; shared Nobel Prize in 1990.
1928: Dick Van Patten, actor; best known for his role on the TV series “Eight is Enough.”
1929: John Cassavetes, actor (“The Dirty Dozen”), film director, screenwriter (“Faces”).
1932: Billy Edd Wheeler, singer, songwriter (“Jackson,” “Coward of the County”).
1934: Judi Dench (Dame Judith Dench), actress; known to James Bond fans for her role as M in Bond films beginning with “Golden Eye” (1997), her many awards include an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress (“Chocolat,” 2000).
1942: Dick Butkus, pro football player; inducted into Pro Football Hall of Fame, 1979.
1953: John Malkovich, actor (“Places in the Heart”), producer (“Juno”), director, fashion designer.
Masako, crown princess of Japan, wife of Crown Prince Naruhito, heir apparent to the Chrysanthemum Throne.