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21st December

1620 The Pilgrim Fathers in the Mayflower landed at Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts.

1804 * Benjamin Disraeli, British Prime Minister in 1868.

1879 * Joseph Stalin, Russian revolutionary who imposed his ideology on the Russian people.

1898 Pierre and Marie Curie discovered radium.

1913 The New York World printed the first crossword puzzle.

1937 Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was first shown in Los Angeles.

1937 * Jane Fonda, US actress who won an Oscar for the film Klute (1971).

1945 The US General George Patton died in Heidelberg, Germany, in a road accident.

1954 * Chris Evert, US tennis player and winner of numerous Grand Slam events.

1958 General Charles de Gaulle was elected President of France with an overwhelming majority.

1962 America agreed to sell Polaris to Britain to form a multilateral Nato nuclear force.

1986 Over 50,000 students demonstrated in Shanghai's Peoples Square, for democracy and freedom in China.

1988 A US jumbo jet with 259 people aboard blew up above the Scottish town of Lockerbie.

1999 Former UK Conservative MP Neil Hamilton loses his libel action against Mohamed El Fayed, the owner of Harrods, over the "cash for questions" affair.

2001 Police stormed a cargo ship in the English Channel after an intelligence tip-off it may contain terrorist material.

xxxx * = Date of birth

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