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14th December

1503 * Nostrodamus, French astrologer who published a celebrated book on prophecies in 1555.

1799 The first President of The United States, George Washington died aged 67.

1819 Alabama became the 22nd US state.

1895 * King George VI, second son of George V and Mary.

1900 Professor Max Planck of Berlin University announced his Quantum Theory.

1911 Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen became the first man to reach the South Pole.

1918 Women over thirty were allowed to vote in a British General election, for the first time.

1935 * Lee Remick, US actress who starred in the film The Long Hot Summer (1959).

1946 * Stan Smith, US tennis player, winner of Wimbledon in 1972.

1955 Hugh Gaitskell succeeded Clement Attlee as the new Labour party leader.

1959 Archbishop Makarios was elected the first president of Cyprus.

1962 US spacecraft Mariner II relayed the first pictures of the planet Venus back to Earth.

1972 Apollo 17, the last manned space mission to the Moon, returned to Earth, ending America's programme of lunar exploration.

1973 John Paul Getty II set free from his Italian kidnappers after a $750,000 ransom was paid.

1987 21 crewmen from a Norwegian tanker were killed in the worst attack on merchant shipping in the Gulf War.

1995 Leaders of Bosnia, Serbia and Croatia signed the Dayton Accord in Paris to end more than three years of bitter conflict.

2003 Ex President of Iraq, Saddam Hussein, was arrested after being found by US soldiers hiding in a cellar.

xxxx * = Date of birth

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