Born on December 5

852 Zhu Wen a Jiedushi at the end of the Chinese dynasty Tang Dynasty, who previously served as a general under the rebel Huang Chao's state of Qi and overthrew Tang in 907, established the Later Liang as its emperor, and ushered in the era of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms.
1377 Jianwen Emperor the second emperor of the Ming Dynasty in China. His personal name was Zhu Yunwen. The era name Jianwen meant "Establishing Civility" and represented a sharp change in tone from his grandfather's era of "Great Martiality". His reign did not last long: an attempt to restrain his powerful uncles led to the Jingnan rebellion and usurpation by the Yongle Emperor. Although the new emperor presented a charred body as Zhu Yunwen's, rumors circulated for decades that the young emperor had escaped his burning palace in a monk's robe. This rumor is credited by some as having prompted Zheng He's voyages of exploration to the Indian Ocean. Some historians believe that Jianwen Emperor did indeed escape Nanjing and the Ming official history texts were altered by officials in the Qing dynasty to please their emperor
1389 Zbigniew Oleśnicki (cardinal) a high-ranking Roman Catholic clergyman and an influential Polish statesman and diplomat. He served as Bishop of Kraków from 1423 until his death in 1455. He took part in the management of the country's most important affairs, initially as a royal secretary under King Władysław II Jagiełło and later as the effective regent during King Władysław III's minority. In 1449 he became the first native Polish cardinal
1443 Pope Julius II Pope from 1 November 1503 to his death in 1513. His papacy was marked by an active foreign policy, ambitious building projects, and patronage for the arts—he commissioned the destruction and rebuilding of Peter's Basilica, plus Michelangelo's decoration of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel
1470 Willibald Pirckheimer a German Renaissance lawyer, author and Renaissance humanist, a wealthy and prominent figure in Nuremberg in the 16th century, and a member of the governing City Council for two periods. He was the closest friend of the artist Albrecht Dürer, who made a number of portraits of him, and a close friend of the great humanist and theologian Erasmus
1479 Ayşe Hafsa Sultan the first "Valide Sultan" of the Ottoman Empire, the daughter of Abd'ûl-Muin, wife of Selim I and mother of Suleiman the Magnificent. During the period between her son's enthronement in 1520 and her death in 1534, she was one of the most influential persons in the Empire, as her son's de facto co-regent during these fourteen years, coming second only to the sovereign, which is a point remarked also by the ambassadors of European powers at the Ottoman court
1495 Nicolas Cleynaerts born at Diest, in Brabant.
1530 Nikolaus Selnecker a German musician and theologian. He is now known mainly as a hymn writer. He is also known as one of the principal authors of the Formula of Concord along with Jakob Andreä and Martin Chemnitz
1537 Ashikaga Yoshiaki the 15th shogun of the Ashikaga shogunate in Japan who reigned from 1568 to 1573. His father, Ashikaga Yoshiharu was the twelfth shogun, and his brother, Ashikaga Yoshiteru was the thirteenth shogun
1539 Fausto Sozzini an Italian theologian and founder of the school of Christian thought known as Socinianism and the main theologian of Polish Brethren.
1547 Ubbo Emmius a German historian and geographer.
1595 Henry Lawes an English musician and composer.
1661 Robert Harley 1st Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer a British politician and statesman of the late Stuart and early Georgian periods. He began his career as a Whig, before defecting to a new Tory Ministry. Between 1711 and 1714 he served as Lord High Treasurer, effectively Queen Anne's chief minister. He has been called a Prime Minister, though it is generally accepted that the position was first held by Sir Robert Walpole in 1721
1666 Francesco Scarlatti an Italian Baroque composer and musician and brother of the better known Alessandro Scarlatti.
1671 Joseph Clemens of Bavaria a member of the Wittelsbach dynasty of Bavaria and Archbishop-Elector of Cologne from 1688 to 1723.
1687 Francesco Geminiani an Italian violinist, composer, and music theorist.
1697 Giuseppe de Majo an Italian composer and organist. He was the father of the composer Gian Francesco de Majo. His compositional output consists of 10 operas, an oratorio, a concerto for 2 violins, and a considerable amount of sacred music
1730 José Nicolás de Azara a Spanish diplomat.
1769 Johann Christian Mikan an Austrian-Czech botanist, zoologist and entomologist. He was the son of Joseph Gottfried Mikan
1774 Anna Ivanovna Baryatinskaya Tolstoy Countess Anna Ivanovna Baryatinskaya Tolstoy - the sister of prince Ivan Baryatinsky, wife of Marshal Nikolai Alexandrovich Tolstoy , a close friend of the Empress Elizabeth Alexeyevna and memoirist Countess Varvara Golovina.
1782 Martin Van Buren the eighth President of the United States. Before his presidency, he was the eighth Vice President and the tenth secretary of state , both under Andrew Jackson
1792 James Guthrie (Kentucky) a U.S. Senator from Kentucky and served as Secretary of the Treasury in the administration of President Franklin Pierce
1792 Andrés de Santa Cruz President of Peru and Bolivia. He also served as Supreme Protector of the short-lived Peru-Bolivian Confederation , a political entity created mainly by his personal endeavors
1803 Fyodor Tyutchev generally considered the last of three great Romantic poets of Russia, following Alexander Pushkin and Mikhail Lermontov.
1803 Thomas Jefferson Rusk an early political and military leader of the Republic of Texas, serving as its first Secretary of War as well as a general at the Battle of San Jacinto. He was later a US politician and served as a Senator from Texas from 1846 until his suicide. He served as the President pro tempore of the United States Senate in 1857
1804 Princess Agnes of Hohenlohe-Langenburg a member of the House of Hohenlohe-Langenburg and a Princess of Hohenlohe-Langenburg by birth. Through her marriage to Constantine, Hereditary Prince of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg, Agnes was also a member of the House of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg and Hereditary Princess of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg. Through her daughter Adelaide of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg, Agnes is an ancestor to numerous Roman Catholic European royal families
1812 Ambrose of Optina a starets and a hieroschemamonk in Optina Monastery, canonized in 1988 by the Local Council of the Russian Orthodox Church.
1813 Gennady Nevelskoy a Russian navigator.
1820 Afanasy Fet a Russian poet regarded as one of the finest lyricists in Russian literature.
1822 Elizabeth Cabot Agassiz an American educator, and the co-founder and first president of Radcliffe College. A researcher of natural history, she was a contributing author to many scientific published works with her husband, Louis Agassiz
1824 Vilém Dušan Lambl a Czech physician from Letina, Kreis Pilsen, Bohemia.
1825 Charles Du Cane a British Conservative Party politician and colonial administrator who was a Member of Parliament from 1852–1854 and Governor of Tasmania from 1868 to 1874.
1825 E. Marlitt the pseudonym of Eugenie John , a popular German novelist.
1827 Marie Henri d'Arbois de Jubainville a French historian and philologist.
1829 Henri-Gustave Joly de Lotbinière Sir Henri-Gustave Joly de Lotbinière, PC KCMG served as the fourth Premier of the Canadian province of Quebec, a federal Cabinet minister, and the seventh Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia.
1830 Christina Rossetti an English poet who wrote a variety of romantic, devotional, and children's poems. She is perhaps best known for her long poem Goblin Market, her love poem Remember, and for the words of the Christmas carol In the Bleak Midwinter
1831 Hans Heinrich Landolt the Swiss chemist who discovered iodine clock reaction. He is also one of the founders of Landolt-Börnstein database
1832 Charles Yriarte a French writer and draughtsman from a family originally from Spain. He studied architecture in the École des Beaux-Arts and became in 1856 inspector of government buildings. Later, he joined the Spanish army as reporter for Le Monde Illustré on their campaign in Morocco. For this journal, he travelled in Spain and Italy and became its editor after his return in 1862. In 1871, he quit his post to devote his time to travels, whose impressions he used in his works
1832 Ernst Oppert a Jewish businessman from Germany best known for his unsuccessful attempt in 1867 to remove the remains of the father of regent Yi Ha-eung from their grave in order to use them to blackmail the regent into removing the Korean trade barriers.
1836 Vincenzo Vannutelli an Italian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church for over forty years.
1839 George Armstrong Custer a United States Army officer and cavalry commander in the American Civil War and the American Indian Wars. Raised in Michigan and Ohio, Custer was admitted to West Point in 1858, where he graduated last in his class. With the outbreak of the Civil War, Custer was called to serve with the Union Army
1840 John Edward Jones (governor) an American politician. He was the eighth Governor of Nevada. He was a member of the Silver Party
1841 Marcus Daly an Irish-born American businessman known as one of the three "Copper Kings" of Butte, Montana, United States.
1849 Kazimierz Zalewski a Polish dramatist, literary and theatre critic, one of the leading author of middle-class positivistic drama.
1850 Alexander Girardi an Austrian actor and tenor singer in operettas.
1852 Max Carl Wilhelm Weber a German-Dutch zoologist and biogeographer.
1855 Clinton Hart Merriam an American zoologist, ornithologist, entomologist, ethnographer, and naturalist.
1859 John Jellicoe 1st Earl Jellicoe a Royal Navy officer. He fought in the Egyptian war and the Boxer Rebellion and commanded the Grand Fleet at the Battle of Jutland in May 1916 during World War His handling of the fleet at that battle was controversial: he made no serious mistakes and the German High Seas Fleet retreated to port – at a time when defeat would have been catastrophic for Britain – but at the time the British public were disappointed that the Royal Navy had not won a victory on the scale of the Battle of Trafalgar. Jellicoe later served as First Sea Lord, overseeing the expansion of the Naval Staff at the Admiralty and the introduction of convoy, but was removed at the end of 1917. He also served as the Governor-General of New Zealand in the early 1920s
1859 Charles Henry Gilbert a pioneer ichthyologist and fishery biologist of particular significance to natural history of the western United States. He collected and studied fishes from Central America north to Alaska and described many new species. Later he became an expert on Pacific salmon and was a noted conservationist of the Pacific Northwest. He is considered by many as the intellectual founder of American fisheries biology. He was one of the 22 "pioneer professors" of Stanford University
1861 Armando Diaz an Italian general of Spanish descent and a Marshal of Italy.