December 2 events in history

1409 The University of Leipzig opens
1697 St Paul's Cathedral is consecrated in London
1755 The second Eddystone Lighthouse is destroyed by fire
1763 Dedication of the Touro Synagogue, in Newport, Rhode Island, the first synagogue in what will become the United States
1775 The USS Alfred becomes the first vessel to fly the Grand Union Flag (the precursor to the Stars and Stripes); the flag is hoisted by John Paul Jones
1804 At Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, Napoleon Bonaparte crowns himself Emperor of the French, the first French Emperor in a thousand years
1805 Napoleonic Wars: Battle of Austerlitz – French troops under Napoleon Bonaparte defeat a joint Russo-Austrian force
1823 Monroe Doctrine: In a State of the Union message, U.S. President James Monroe proclaims American neutrality in future European conflicts, and warns European powers not to interfere in the Americas
1845 Manifest Destiny: In a State of the Union message, U.S. President James K. Polk proposes that the United States should aggressively expand into the West
1848 Franz Josef I becomes Emperor of Austria
1851 French President Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte overthrows the Second Republic
1852 Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte becomes Emperor of the French as Napoleon III
1859 Militant abolitionist leader John Brown is hanged for his October 16 raid on Harpers Ferry, West Virginia
1867 At Tremont Temple in Boston, British author Charles Dickens gives his first public reading in the United States
1899 Philippine–American War: The Battle of Tirad Pass, termed "The Filipino Thermopylae", is fought
1908 Puyi becomes Emperor of China at the age of two
1917 World War I: Russia and the Central Powers sign an armistice at Brest-Litovsk, and peace talks leading to the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk begin
1920 Following more than a month of Turkish–Armenian War, the Turkish dictated Treaty of Alexandropol is concluded
1927 Following 19 years of Ford Model T production, the Ford Motor Company unveils the Ford Model A as its new automobile
1930 Great Depression: In a State of the Union message, U.S. President Herbert Hoover proposes a US$150 million public works program to help generate jobs and stimulate the economy
1939 New York City's LaGuardia Airport opens
1942 World War II: During the Manhattan Project, a team led by Enrico Fermi initiates the first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction
1943 World War II: A Luftwaffe bombing raid on the harbour of Bari, Italy, sinks numerous cargo and transport ships, including the American SS John Harvey, which is carrying a stockpile of World War I-era mustard gas
1947 Jerusalem Riots of 1947: Riots break out in Jerusalem in response to the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine
1954 Cold War: The United States Senate votes 65 to 22 to censure Joseph McCarthy for "conduct that tends to bring the Senate into dishonor and disrepute"
1954 The Sino-American Mutual Defense Treaty, between the United States and Taiwan, is signed in Washington, D.C
1956 The Granma reaches the shores of Cuba's Oriente Province. Fidel Castro, Che Guevara and 80 other members of the 26th of July Movement disembark to initiate the Cuban Revolution
1961 In a nationally broadcast speech, Cuban leader Fidel Castro declares that he is a Marxist–Leninist and that Cuba is going to adopt Communism
1962 Vietnam War: After a trip to Vietnam at the request of U.S. President John F. Kennedy, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield becomes the first American official to comment adversely on the war's progress
1970 The United States Environmental Protection Agency begins operations
1971 Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Fujairah, Sharjah, Dubai, and Umm al-Quwain form the United Arab Emirates
1975 Laotian Civil War: The Pathet Lao seizes the Laotian capital of Vientiane, forces the abdication of King Sisavang Vatthana, and proclaims the Lao People's Democratic Republic
1976 Fidel Castro becomes President of Cuba, replacing Osvaldo Dorticós Torrado
1980 Salvadoran Civil War: Four U.S. nuns and churchwomen, Ita Ford, Maura Clarke, Jean Donovan, and Dorothy Kazel, are murdered by a military death squad
1982 At the University of Utah, Barney Clark becomes the first person to receive a permanent artificial heart
1988 Benazir Bhutto is sworn in as Prime Minister of Pakistan, becoming the first woman to head the government of an Islam-dominated state
1991 Canada and Poland become the first nations on earth to recognize the independence of Ukraine from the Soviet Union
1993 Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar is shot and killed in Medellín
1993 Space Shuttle program: STS-61 – NASA launches the Space Shuttle Endeavour on a mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope
1999 Glenbrook rail accident: Seven passengers are killed when two trains collide near Sydney, New South Wales
1999 The United Kingdom devolves political power in Northern Ireland to the Northern Ireland Executive
2001 Enron files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy