December 3, 1962: Edith Sampson is sworn in as the first African American female judge after being elected associate judge of the Municipal Court in Chicago.
December 3, 1967: The first successful heart transplant is performed by Dr. Christiaan Barnard at Cape Town, South Africa, on Louis Washkansky, who lived for 18 days.
December 7, 1941: The U.S. Naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, is attacked by nearly 200 Japanese aircraft in a raid that lasted just over one hour and left nearly 3,000 Americans dead.
December 8, 1987: President Ronald Reagan and Soviet Russia’s General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev sign the INF Treaty, eliminating all intermediate-range and shorter-range nuclear missiles.
December 8, 1991: The USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) ceases to exist, as the leaders of Russia, Byelorussia, and the Ukraine sign an agreement creating the Commonwealth of Independent States. The remaining republics of the former USSR, with the exception of Georgia, join the new Commonwealth.