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Date Title & Description Contributors

  9th December 1868: The world’s first traffic lights go into operation outside the Houses of Parliament in London

The signal stood 6 metres (20 feet) high at the junction of Great George Street and Bridge Street, and was manually operated by a policeman stationed at the ...
  Scott Allsop author

  8th December 1912: German Imperial War Council discusses the possibility of a European war

While the Council itself did not trigger the First World War, historians have seen its deliberations as emblematic of the geopolitical tensions that would eventually erupt with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in ...
  Scott Allsop author

  7th December 1837: The Battle of Montgomery’s Tavern during the Upper Canada Rebellion

The defeat marked the end of the armed phase of the Upper Canada Rebellion but, while the rebels’ immediate objectives were not achieved, resistance continued until 1838 and contributed to the eventual establishment of responsible government in ...
  Scott Allsop author

  6th December 1648: “Pride’s Purge” stops MPs sympathetic to King Charles I of England from entering the House of Commons

England’s only recorded military coup d'état resulted in the removal of 140 moderate and Royalist Members of Parliament who backed a negotiated settlement with Charles, of which 45 were ...
  Scott Allsop author

  4th December 1971: A fire during a concert at the Montreux Casino inspires the song “Smoke on the Water” by Deep Purple

The burning Montreux Casino was to leave an indelible mark on music history thanks to Deep Purple, who watched from their hotel as the smoke from the fire spread over Lake ...
  Scott Allsop author

  2nd December 1805: The Battle of Austerlitz sees Napoleon Bonaparte’s Grande Armée defeat Russia and Austria

The vast Moravian plains near the town of Austerlitz became the battleground for one of Napoleon’s finest ...
  Scott Allsop author

  1st December 1919: Lady Nancy Astor becomes the first female Member of Parliament to take her seat in the House of Commons

After a short campaign in which she won the election with 51.9% of the vote she entered the House of Commons on December 1, 1919, as a Unionist or Tory Member of ...
  Scott Allsop author

  30th November 1803: Balmis Expedition sets sail to vaccinate inhabitants of Spanish colonies against smallpox

The expedition systematically infected orphaned boys with cowpox throughout the duration of the voyage so that the live vaccine survived all the way to the ...
  Scott Allsop author

  24th November 1835: Texas Rangers formally instituted by Texan lawmakers

The General Council passed an ordinance that created three companies of 56 Rangers, each commanded by a captain, first and second lieutenants, and with a major in ...
  Scott Allsop author

  23rd November 1876: William “Boss” Tweed delivered to authorities in New York City after being captured in Spain following his escape from prison for corruption

Tweed's corrupt practices were exposed by investigative journalists such as those at The New York Times and he was regularly attacked by Thomas Nast, the political cartoonist for Harper's Weekly whose cartoons helped to identify Tweed in ...
  Scott Allsop author