Events, birthdays and anniversaries on 5 December
National day of Thailand.
771: Charlemagne became king of the Franks following the death of his brother Carloman.
1360: The franc was introuduced to the French currency.
1456: An earthquake in central Italy caused 35,000 deaths.
1492: Christopher Columbus discovered the island of Hispaniola.
1717: The pirate Blackbeard ransacked the mechant ship “Margaret” and took her captain, Henry Bostock, prisoner. Upon his release, Bostock provided the first record of Blackbeard’s appearance.
1766: James Christie, founder of the auctioneers, held his first sale in London.
1848: US president James Polk confirmed that gold had been discovered in California, thereby triggering the gold rush of 1849.
1893: The world’s first electric car was built in Toronto. It could go 15 miles between charges.
1922: Irish Free State came into existence as the Irish Constitution Bill became law.
1933: Prohibition in America was repealed after 12 years by the 21st amendment.
1945: Five United States Navy bombers took off from Fort Lauderdale on a training flight. No trace of them, or of an aircraft sent to look for them, or their 27 crew members, was ever found. The area where they were lost became known as the Bermuda Triangle.
1955: African Americans began the bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama, to protest over segregated seating, four days after Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white man, for which she was arrested and fined. The boycott lasted for 381 days and, ultimately, the US Supreme Court ordered Montgomery to integrate its bus system.
1956: Miss Rose Heilbron, QC, was appointed Recorder of Burnley to become Britain’s first woman judge.
1956: British and French forces began withdrawal from Egypt in Suez War.
1958: The Queen dialled Edinburgh’s lord provost from Bristol to inaugurate the first direct dialled trunk call (STD).
1962: United States and Soviet Union agreed to co-operate in peaceful uses of outer space.
1977: Egypt broke diplomatic relations with five Arab nations which were hostile to president Anwar Sadat’s peace overtures to Israel.
1985: United Kingdom withdrew from membership of Unesco.
1994: A 1904 Steiff teddy bear fetched a world record price of £110,000 at Christie’s in London.
2005: The Civil Partnerships Acts, allowing same-sex weddings in Britain, came into force.
2005: The Lake Tanganyika earthquake caused significant damage, mostly in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
2007: A gunman opened fired with a semi-automatic rifle at the Westroads Mall in Omaha, Nebraska, killing eight people before taking his own life.
2008: Former American Football player and actor OJ Simpson was sentenced to a maximum of 33 years imprisonment for armed robbery and kidnapping.
2013: Conservative chancellor George Osborne announced that the tax disc to show motorists have paid vehicle excise duty was to be replaced with an electronic system.
Births: 1377 Jianwen, emperor of China; 1443 Pope Julius II; 1839 George Custer, American cavalry commander (died in battle at Little Big Horn); 1890 Fritz Lang, film director; 1901 Walt Disney, cartoonist, film producer; 1903 Cecil Powell, British Nobel laureate in physics; 1916 Margaret Hayes, actress; 1924 George Savalas, Greek-American actor; 1938 JJ Cale OBE, musician (The Velvet Underground).
Deaths: 1770 James Stirling, Scottish mathematician; 1791 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Austrian composer; 1870 Alexandre Dumas pére, French novelist; 1899 Sir Henry Tate, philanthropist, founder of the Tate Gallery in London; 1926 Claude Monet, French painter, one of founders of Impressionist movement; 1973 Sir Robert Watson Watt, physicist, Brechin-born inventor of radar; 2012 Dave Brubeck, American jazz pianist and composer; 2013 Nelson Mandela, president of South Africa 1994-99.