1945 - United States troops land on the Bataan Peninsula, Philippines in the bid to recapture the former American colony during World War II; the Southeast Asian country, colonized by America at the turn of the 19th century, was invaded by Japan in 1941.
1964 - Gen. Emilio F. Aguinaldo, President of the first Philippine Republic, dies of coronary thrombosis at the very old age of 94; a controversial figure, Aguinaldo figured in the second phase of the Philippine Revolution against Spain, declared Philippine Independence on June 12, 1898, and led the Filipinos during the Philippine-American War (1899-1914) until his capture and prompt pledge of allegiance to the enemy imperialist United States in 1901; Aguinaldo's death falls nearly 43 years after the birthday of Supremo Andres Bonifacio, whom he had ordered killed after having wrested the revolutionary leadership, was declared a national holiday (Araw ni Bonifacio) under Act . No. 2964.
1923 - The tomb of Egyptian pharaoh, King Tutankhamen, is opened by English archaeologist Howard Carter; the team of Carter had discovered the steps leading to the ancient tomb in November the previous year and which would lead to the sealed chamber containing great riches, including Tut's solid gold coffin, golden shrines and the mummified body of the boy pharaoh.
1959 - Fidel Castro, the revolutionary leader of Cuba, is sworn in as prime minister after the sudden, unexplained resignation of PM Jose Miro Cordoba and his cabinet; Castro has led the guerilla force that toppled the military rule of United States-supported President Fulgeneio Batista.
2005 - The Kyoto Protocol that aims to lower the levels of air pollution in the bid to address global warming takes effect; however, the United States, which is ironically the top polluter of the world, has refused to join the 141 countries that had earlier ratified the treaty.