On this day:
- B.C. 42: Roman philosopher and senator Marcus Tullius Cicero is assasinated on the Appian Way outside Formiae.
- A.D. 1732: Opening of the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, London.
- A.D. 1917: The United States declares war on Austria-Hungary.
- A.D. 1941: The infamous Japanese surprise attack on the U.S. port and airfield facilities at Pearl Harbor.
- A.D. 1949: The government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) flees from Nanking to Taipei.
- A.D. 1965: Paul VI, Bishop of Rome, and Athenagoras I, Archbishop of Constantinople, lift mutual excommunications extant since A.D. 1054.
- A.D. 1972: The final American manned lunar mission, Apollo 17, is launched from Cape Canaveral.
- A.D. 1995: The Galileo spacecraft arrives at Jupiter, six years after its launch by space shuttle Atlantis (STS-34).