1. England bans the use of tinsel, mince pies, going to church on Christmas day, amongst other things, in 1653.
2. The Boston Tea Party in 1773.
3. Britain decides to ban the death penalty permanently in 1969. It had been temporarily banned from 1965.
4. Rasputin, the monk who had wielded powerful influence over the Russian royal family, is murdered by a group of noblemen led by Prince Felix Yusupov and the Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich.
5. English author Jane Austen is born in 1775.
6. The Battle of the Bulge takes place during the Second World War, in 1944. The German army launched a surprise attack against the Allies in Belgium. It proved to be one of the bloodiest battles of the war.
7. In 1880 the outbreak of the first Boer War between the South African Republic and the British Empire.
8. Ludwig van Beethoven, composer, is born in 1770.
9. Henry VI of England is also crowned as King of France in 1431 during the Hundred Years' War, where England's House of Plantagenet fought against France's House of Valois over who should rule France.
10. The florist company Interflora carried out research which suggests that the 16 December is the unhappiest birthday of the year, with folk complaining about the weather, proximity to Christmas and just plain old being forgotten. And with tinsel being banned I suggest everyone should have an official birthday in July.