An international team of scientists announced that they had mapped an entire human chromosome. (All chromosomes were mapped by April 2003)
Channel Tunnel excavation teams meet in the middle
Mikhail Gorbachev became the first Soviet leader to visit the Vatican and meet the Pope
A cyclone in Bangladesh killed thousands of people and left five million homeless.
US President Jimmy Carter designated 56 million acres of Alaska as national monuments, doubling the size of the US national park system.
The US Government held its first draft lottery since WWII to determine the order in which men were selected for war service in Vietnam
12 countries, including the UK and the USA, signed the Antarctic Treaty, setting aside Antarctica as a scientific preserve free from military activity
The Central African Republic became independent from France .
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer made his first ever appearance in a childrens colouring book given away by Montgomery Ward stores in the USA. (Date is approximate; it was launched for the 1939 Christmas season)
Soviet leader Josef Stalin began a massive purge (i.e. assassination) of his real and perceived enemies and opponents in the Communist Party, government, armed forces, and intelligentsia
Birth of Lou Rawls, American soul, jazz and blues singer .
Iceland gained its independence from Denmark, but retained the King of Denmark as its monarch.
The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (later known as Yugoslavia) was proclaimed.
Proclamation of the uniting of Transylvania with Romania .
Hans Christian Andersen publishes his first book of fairy tales
1 Jeremiah Clarke, shot himself 1707 while mentally deranged (born c 1673). Organist and composer. Best known for the so-called 'trumpet voluntary', once thought to have been written by Purcell
Henry V of England enters Paris
Death of Henry I; Stephen seizes the throne of England amid a confusion of Matildas