Congress passes the Embargo Act, which halts all trading completely. It is hoped that the act will keep the United States out of the European Wars.
The last of the food restrictions, enforced because of the shortages during World War I, are lifted.
Soviet troops leave Manchuria after a truce is reached with the Chinese over the Eastern Railway dispute.
Japanese troops make an amphibious landing on the coast of Lingayen Gulf on Luzon, the Philippines.
During the Battle of the Bulge, General Anthony McAuliffe responds to a German surrender request with a one word answer: "Nuts!"
The EF-105F Wild Weasel makes its first kill over Vietnam.
The United States announces the allocation of 900,000 tons of grain to fight the famine in India.
The division of East and West Germany effectively ends when the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin reopens for the first time in nearly 30 years.
What became known as the Archives of Terror are discovered in a police station near the capital of Paraguay. The records detail tens of thousands of Latin Americans who had been secretly imprisoned, tortured and / or killed by the security services of several South American governments.
Hussein Farrah Aidid relinquishes his disputed title of President of Somalia, an important step toward reconciliation in the country.
A passenger on American Airlines Flight 63 from Paris, Richard Reid, unsuccessfully attempts to destroy the plane in flight by igniting explosives he'd hidden in his shoes.
Some 1.1 billion gallons of coal fly ash slurry flood part of Tennessee after an ash dike breaks at a solid waste containment area in Roane County, in the eastern part of the state.
US President Barack Obama signs a law officially repealing the 17-year-old policy known as "Don't ask, don't tell"; the new law permits homosexuals to serve openly in the US military.