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Russia and India sign major weapons deals worth $3bn

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh signed arms deals, which say that Russia will sell India military helicopters and equipment worth about $3bn. In that time, India was the world's largest arms importer, and one of Russia's top clients.

Japan approves its biggest budget ever

Because of the consequences of the world's financial crisis, Japan's cabinet approved a record $980.6 billion budget for the next fiscal year starting in April. The stimulus plan boosted spending by 9 percent compared with the previous year's initial budget.

Titan lander

European probe Huygens was released by its mothership Cassini and began a descent to the surface of the Saturn’s moon Titan. The descent took 22 days. It was finished by a successful landing. It was furthest landing from Earth a spacecraft has ever made and the first landing on a moon other than our own.

The IMF and G7 grant $10bn bailout to South Korea

Because of the Asian financial crisis, South Korea received $10bn in loans from the IMF and G7 to avoid a default on its short-term loan. South Korea also agreed to open its domestic financial markets to foreign institutions.

Tom Cruise marries Nicole Kidman

Cruise met his 2nd wife, actress Nicole Kidman, on the set of their film Days of Thunder. The couple married the same year. Cruise and Kidman adopted 2 children, Isabella Jane, and Connor Antony. In February 2001, Cruise filed for divorce from Kidman while she was unknowingly pregnant. The pregnancy ended in a miscarriage.

Nirvana start recording their first album

Nirvana began recording with a 5-hour session. Three of the album's songs – Floyd the Barber, Paper Cuts, and Downer – were recorded during a previous session at Reciprocal Studios, featuring Dale Crover on drums. Despite attempts to re-record them with new drummer Chad Channing, the band ultimately decided to remix the versions recorded with Crover for the final version of Bleach.

Bee Gees are at #1 on the US singles chart

How Deep Is Your Love is a pop ballad written and recorded by the Bee Gees and released as a single in September of that year. It was ultimately used as part of the soundtrack to the film Saturday Night Fever. It was a number 3 hit in the UK and Australia. In the US, it topped the Billboard Hot 100.

1974

Chile and Lazio legend Marcelo Salas is born

José Marcelo Salas Melinao dubbed as El Matador, El Fenómeno, and Shileno is a retired Chilean footballer who played as a striker. He has played in Chile, Argentina, and Italy, winning titles with each club with whom he has played, and was voted South American Footballer of the Year in 1997.

American author Stephenie Meyer is born

Stephenie Meyer is best known for her vampire romance series Twilight, which was translated into 37 different languages and sold over 100 million copies. In 2008, she was ranked 49th on Time magazine's list of the 100 Most Influential People.

Puerto Rican-American singer Ricky Martin is born

Martin began his career at age 12 with the all-boy pop group Menudo. After five years with the group, he released several Spanish-language solo albums throughout the 1990s. He also acted on stage and on TV in Mexico, where he achieved modest stardom. In 1994, he appeared on the US TV soap opera General Hospital, playing a Puerto Rican singer.

Walt Disney's "Aristocats" is released

The Aristocats is an American animated romantic adventure musical comedy movie produced by Walt Disney Productions and released by Buena Vista Distribution. The movie is based on a story by Tom McGowan and Tom Rowe, and revolves around a family of aristocratic cats, and how an alley cat acquaintance helps them after a butler has kidnapped them to gain his mistress's fortune which was intended to go to them.

Genesis from the Moon

American astronauts Frank Bowman, Bill Anders, and Jim Lovell read the beginning of the Book of Genesis from the lunar orbit. They were on the board of the Apollo 8 spacecraft. At the time, the broadcast was the most watched TV program ever. Bowman, Anders, and Lovell were the first humans to trowel beyond Earth’s orbit.

The first night of The Beatles Christmas show in London

Tickets had gone on sale on 21 October 1963, and by 16 November all 100,000 had sold out. There were 30 shows altogether, with two performances on each day, except for 24 and 31 December when the only one took place.

Cuba releases some Bay of Pigs prisoners

Cuban Prime Minister Fidel Castro and James B. Donovan, a US lawyer aided by Milan C. Miskovsky, a CIA legal officer, signed an agreement to exchange 1,113 prisoners for $53 million US dollars in food and medicine. Some prisoners were flown to Miami, others following on the ship African Pilot, plus about 1,000 family members also allowed to leave Cuba.

Sears accidentally launches a tradition of "Santa tracking"

According to the story, Sears department store placed an advertisement in a Colorado Springs newspaper, which told children that they could reach Santa Claus on the number ME 2-6681. As one digit was misprinted, a call came through to Colorado Springs' Continental Air Defense Command.

Tangiwai disaster

The Tangiwai disaster occurred when the Whangaehu River bridge collapsed beneath Wellington-to-Auckland express passenger train № 626 at Tangiwai, in the central North Island of New Zealand. The locomotive and first six carriages derailed into the river, killing 151 people.

The first television opera airs

Amahl and the Night Visitors is an opera in one act by Gian Carlo Menotti with an original English libretto by the composer. It was commissioned by NBC and first performed by the NBC Opera Theatre in New York City at NBC studio 8H in Rockefeller Center, where it was broadcast live on television from that venue as the debut production of the Hallmark Hall of Fame.

British musician Lemmy is born

Lemmy was a British musician and singer-songwriter who founded and fronted the rock band Motörhead. His music was one of the foundations of the heavy metal genre. Lemmy was born on Christmas Eve in the Burslem area of Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire.

Buzzbomb's first powered flight

Early German cruise missile, the V-1 (V stands for Vergeltungswaffe, the vengeance weapon), made its first powered flight in Peenemunde, Germany. The bomb was the only aircraft in history to use the pulsejet. It is an engine type, in which combustion occurs in pulses. It can be made with few or no moving parts and does not need to have air forced into its inlet.

Businessman Howard Hughs is born

Howard Hughes Jr. was an American business magnate, investor, record-setting pilot, engineer, movie director, and philanthropist, known during his lifetime as one of the most financially successful individuals in the world. He first became prominent as a film producer, and then as an influential figure in the aviation industry.

Verdi's "Aida" opens in Cairo

Aida is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Antonio Ghislanzoni. Set in the Old Kingdom of Egypt, it was commissioned by Cairo's Khedivial Opera House where it had its première in a performance conducted by Giovanni Bottesini. Today the work holds a central place in the operatic canon, receiving performances every year around the world.

Ku Klux Klan is founded

The Ku Klux Klan is the name for 3 distinct movements in the USA, which have called for white supremacy, white nationalism or anti-immigration. The 1st Klan intended to bring down the Republican government in the South during the Reconstruction Era by using violence against African American leaders.

English poet Matthew Arnold is born

Matthew Arnold was a poet and cultural critic. He also worked as an inspector of schools. He has been characterized as a sage writer, a type of writer who chastises and instructs the reader on contemporary social issues, often utilizing discourses of philosophy, history, politics, and economics.

The first known Christmas carol is performed

The song was first performed on Christmas Eve at St Nicholas parish church in Oberndorf, a village in the Austrian Empire on the Salzach river in present-day Austria. A young priest, Father Joseph Mohr, had come to Oberndorf the year before. He had written the lyrics of the song "Stille Nacht" at Mariapfarr, the hometown of his father in the Salzburg Lungau region.

Discoverer of the conservation of energy is born

English physicist James Joule discovered the law of the conservation of energy, probably most important natural law ever. His motivation was practical. He studied heat to help engineers build better steam engines. Unit of energy is called after him. Joule was a brewery manager. Science was the only hobby for him.

The Treaty of Ghent is signed

The Treaty of Ghent was the peace treaty that ended the War of 1812 between the United States of America and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Both sides signed in the city of Ghent, United Netherlands. The treaty restored relations between the two nations to status quo ante bellum, restoring the borders of the two countries to the lines before the war started in June 1812.

Comet seeker is born

French astronomer Jean-Louis Pons loved to search the night skies for comets. He discovered five periodic comets, three of which bear his name. Pons had little formal education. He started to work in the observatory in Marseille as a caretaker. He learned to observe the sky himself by helping astronomers.

Portuguese explorer dies

Gama contracted malaria not long after arriving in India and died in the city of Cochin on Christmas Eve, 3 months after his arrival. As per royal instructions, da Gama was succeeded as governor of India by one the captains who had come with him, Henrique de Menezes. Vasco da Gama's body was first buried at St. Francis Church, which was located at Fort Kochi in the city of Kochi, but his remains were returned to Portugal.

Anniversaries of famous

born 1905

Howard Hughes

born 1962

Kate Spade

born 1956

Anil Kapoor