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Russian military defence plane crashes after takeoff

Tupolev Tu-154 jetliner of the Russian Defence Ministry crashed into the Black Sea shortly after taking off from Sochi International Airport, Russia, while en route to Khmeimim Air Base, Syria. All 92 passengers and crew on board, including 64 members of the Alexandrov Ensemble choir of the Russian Armed Forces, were killed.

'Big Eyes' premieres in the US

Big Eyes is a 2014 American biographical drama film directed by Tim Burton. The movie is about the life of American artist Margaret Keane, famous for drawing portraits and paintings with big eyes. Big Eyes had its world premiere in New York City. The film was met with positive reviews, praising the performances of both Adams and Waltz.

'The Wolf of Wall Street' is released

The Wolf of Wall Street is a biographical black comedy crime film directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Terence Winter. It is based on the memoir of the same name by Jordan Belfort. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie and Kyle Chandler.


Jackson becomes the sixth coach in NBA to win 1,000 games

With the Los Angeles Lakers defeating the Boston Celtics, Phil Jackson became the 6th coach to win 1,000 games. He was also the fastest to win 1,000 games, surpassing Pat Riley, who had taken 11 more games than Jackson. In 2007, he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.

James Brown, the "Godfather of Soul", dies at the age of 73

James Brown was a major figure of popular music and dance in 20th-century. He is 7th on the magazine Rolling Stone's list of 100 greatest artists of all time. Brown died from congestive heart failure, which resulted from complications of pneumonia.

Musical drama 'Dreamgirls' premieres in the US

Dreamgirls is a 2006 American romantic musical comedy-drama film written and directed by Bill Condon. Adapted from Broadway musical of the same name, Dreamgirls is a film à clef, a work of fiction taking strong inspiration from the history of the Motown record label and one of its acts, The Supremes.

Hubble is repaired

Astronauts from the space shuttle Discovery replaced the gyroscopes on the Hubble Space Telescope. Hubble has six gyroscopes. Four of them were non-operational. The last of them broke just a few weeks before the mission. To point at a certain location in space, Hubble needs at least three working gyroscopes.

Mariah Carey is at #1 on the US singles chart with 'Hero'

"Hero" is a song by American singer and songwriter Mariah Carey. It was released via Columbia Records as the second single from Carey's third studio album, Music Box. Lyrically, the song is regarded as one of Carey's most inspirational and personal ballads. The song received mixed reviews from contemporary music critics for its lyrical content.

Mikhail Gorbachev formally resigns as President of USSR

On the night of this day, Mikhail Gorbachev announces that he is resigning as president of the Soviet Union. He said in a televised speech, "I hereby discontinue my activities at the post of President of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics." He declared the office extinct and handed over its functions, including control of the Soviet nuclear codes, to Yeltsin.

The World Wide Web is first tested

The World Wide Web was invented by an English scientist Tim Berners-Lee. He used a NeXT Computer as the world's 1st web server and to write the World Wide Web. It is an information space, where documents and other web sources are identified by URLs and interlinked by hypertext links.

'The Godfather Part III' premieres

The Godfather Part III is a crime film written by Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola. It is a sequel to The Godfather and The Godfather Part II. The 3rd part completes the story of Michael Corleone, a Mafia kingpin, who attempts to legitimize his criminal empire. It was nominated for 7 Academy Awards.

British actor and comedian Charlie Chaplin dies at 88

Charlie Chaplin rose to fame in the era of silent film. He died at home after suffering a stroke in his sleep. According to his wished, the funeral was a small and private Anglican ceremony. He was then buried in the Corsier-sur-Vevey cemetery.

'The Sting' premieres in Los Angeles and New York

The Sting is an American caper film set in September 1936, involving a complicated plot by two professional grifters, Paul Newman, and Robert Redford, to con a mob boss, Robert Shaw. The film was directed by George Roy Hill. The Sting was hugely successful at the 46th Academy Awards, being nominated for ten Oscars and winning seven.

Walt Disney's 'The Sword in the Stone' is released

The Sword in the Stone is an American animated musical fantasy comedy film produced by Walt Disney. The 18th Disney animated feature film, it was the final Disney animated film to be released before Walt Disney's death. The film is based on the novel of the same name, which was first published in 1938 as a single novel.

'To Kill a Mockingbird' premieres in LA

To Kill a Mockingbird is an American drama film directed by Robert Mulligan. To Kill a Mockingbird marked the film debuts of Robert Duvall, William Windom, and Alice Ghostley. The film won three Academy Awards, including Best Actor for Peck, and was nominated for eight, including Best Picture. In 1995, the film was listed in the National Film Registry.

The Queen's first televised Christmas Broadcast

The Queen's Christmas Message is a broadcast made by the sovereign of the Commonwealth realms to the Commonwealth of Nations each Christmas. The tradition began in 1932 with a radio broadcast by King George V. Since 1952, the message has been read by Elizabeth II; today, it is broadcast on television, radio, and the Internet via various providers.

The first Royal Christmas Message

Royal Christmas Message is a broadcast made by the sovereign of the Commonwealth realms to the Commonwealth of Nations each Christmas. The tradition began in 1932 with a radio broadcast by King George V. Since 1952, the message has been read by Elizabeth II; today, it is broadcast on television, radio, and the Internet via various providers.

'Stop! Look! Listen!' premieres in NYC

Stop! Look! Listen! is a musical revue in three acts with music and lyrics by Irving Berlin and book by Harry B. Smith. It opened on Broadway at the Globe Theatre and ran for 105 performances. The music director of the revue was Robert Hood Bowers, and the sets and costumes were designed by Robert McQuinn.

The Christmas Truce

The Christmas truce was a series of widespread but unofficial ceasefires along the Western Front of World War I around Christmas 1914.

'Stars & Stripes Forever' written by John Philip Sousa

The Stars and Stripes Forever by Phillip Sousa is a patriotic American march. By an act of the U.S. Congress, it is the official National March of the United States of America. It was first performed at Willow Grove Park and was immediately greeted with enthusiasm.

Return of Halley's comet is first sighted by Palitzsch

Halley's Comet is a short-period comet visible from Earth every 75–76 years. Halley is the only known short-period comet that is regularly visible to the naked eye from Earth, and the only naked-eye comet that might appear twice in a human lifetime. Halley last appeared in the inner parts of the Solar System in 1986 and will next appear in mid-2061.

Australian Christmas Island is discovered

Captain William Mynors of the Royal Mary, an English East India Company vessel, named the island when he sailed past it on Christmas Day but only settled in the late 19th century. Christmas Island is located in the Indian Ocean and has an area of 135 square kilometers.

Columbus' flagship the Santa María sinks

The largest of the three ships of Christopher Columbus run aground and sunk at Cap-Haïtien, Haiti. The ship's boy was at the helm because both Columbus and steersman went to get some sleep. Seeing that the ship's condition is beyond repair, Columbus ordered to strip the timbers from her. They were used to build a fort called La Navidad (Christmass).

Anniversaries of the (in)famous