03 December, 1984 – Gas leak in Bhopal, India

On this day in 1984, a gas leak from a Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India, spread over a populated area, resulting ultimately in 15,000 to 20,000 deaths and leaving some half million survivors with chronic medical ailments.

04 December, 1970 – American rapper Jay-Z was born

American rapper and entrepreneur Jay-Z, one of the most influential figures in hip-hop in the 1990s and early 2000s, was born.

05 December, 2013 – South African nationalist Nelson Mandela died

South African nationalist and statesman Nelson Mandela, who helped end the country's apartheid system of racial segregation and ushered in a peaceful transition to majority rule, died at age 95.

06 December, 1921 – Irish Free State established

The British government and Irish leaders Arthur Griffith, Michael Collins, and others signed the Anglo-Irish Treaty, establishing the Irish Free State as an independent member of the British Commonwealth this day in 1921.

07 December, 2004 - Hamid Karzai become first elected President

Afghan politician Hamid Karzai was sworn in as Afghanistan's first popularly elected president.

08 December, 1980 – John Lennon fatally shot by fan

On this day in 1980, British musician John Lennon – who rose to fame with the Beatles and had a successful solo career – was fatally shot by Mark David Chapman in New York City, causing a global outpouring of grief.

09 December, 1990- Lech Wa³êsa elected president of Poland

On this day in 1990, Lech Wa³êsa – f0 who had led Solidarity, Poland's first independent trade union, and had received the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1983 – f0 won Poland's first direct presidential election by a landslide.