1558 – Calais, which was the last of England’s continental possessions, was taken by France.
1785 – Jean-Pierre Blanchard from France and John Jeffries from American used a hot air balloon to travel from Dover, England, to Calais, France.
1797 – Italy first used the modern Italian flag design.
1940 – On this day during the Winter War, the Finnish army has a major victory along the Raate-Suomussalmi road against the Soviets.
1941 – Richard Widmark, who would go on to be a renowned Broadway actor and film star, made his debut on the radio on this date in the program “The Home of the Brave.”
1945 – The Battle of the Bulge, one of the major battles in World War II, ended on this date with combined casualties on both sides reaching more than 200,000 soldiers.
2010 – The Apple company releases the first version of its iPad tablet.
1800 – Millard Fillmore, 18th United States President
1831 – Zora Neale Hurston, American folklorist anthropologist and author (Their Eyes Were Watching God)
1844 – Bernadette Soubirous, Christian mystic and Saint in the Catholic Church
1945 – Raila Odinga, Kenyan politician who became Prime Minister of Kenya
1948 – Kenny Loggins, American singer and songwriter (Footloose, Danger Zone)
1952 – Sammo Hung, Hong Kong actor martial artist film producer and director
1957 – Katie Couric, American journalist author and talk show host (20/20, Good Morning America, CBS Evening News)
1963 – Rand Paul, American politician, junior US Senator for Kentucky
1964 – Nicolas Cage, American actor (National Treasure, Leaving Las Vegas, Gone in 60 Seconds)
1966 – Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy, wife of John F. Kennedy, Jr.