1606 - On this day in history, the "Susan Constant," "Godspeed" and "Discovery" set sail from London. Their landing at Jamestown, Virginia, was the start of the first permanent English settlement in the USA.
1803 - The Senate ratified a treaty that included the Louisiana Territories from France for $15 million.
1820 - Today in history, the state of Missouri enacted legislation to tax bachelors between the ages of 21-50 for being unmarried. The tax was $1 a year.
1860 - South Carolina became the first state to secede from the American Union.
1880 - On this day in history, New York's Broadway became known as the "Great White Way" when it was lighted by electricity.
1928 - Mail delivery by dog sled began in Lewiston, Maine.
1946 - Today in history, the Frank Capra film "It's A Wonderful Life" had a preview showing for charity at New York City's Globe Theatre, a day before its "official" world premiere.
1954 - Buick Motor Company signed Jackie Gleason to one of the largest contracts ever entered into with an entertainer. Gleason agreed to produce 78 half-hour shows over a two-year period for $6,142,500.
1963 - On this day in history, the Berlin Wall was opened for the first time to West Berliners. It was only for the holiday season.
1989 - General Noriega, Panama's former dictator, was overthrown by a US invasion force invited by the new civilian government. The project was known as Operation Just Cause.
1999 - Today in history, the Vermont Supreme Court ruled that homosexual couples were entitled to the same benefits and protections as wedded couples of the opposite sex.
2001 - Congress passed a $20 billion package to finance the war against terrorism taking place in Afghanistan.
SCIENCE, INVENTIONS, PATENTS - Today in History, December 20th
1879 - On this day in history, Thomas A. Edison privately demonstrated his incandescent light at Menlo Park, New Jersey.
1892 - Alexander T. Brown and George Stillman patented the pneumatic tire.
1938 - Today in history, Vladimir Kosma Zworykin patented the iconoscope television system.
SPORTS - Today in History, December 20th
1962 - A world indoor pole-vault record was set by Don Meyers when he cleared 16 feet, 1-1/4 inches.
MUSIC HISTORY - Today in History, December 20th
1962 - On this day in history, The Osmond Brothers appeared on NBC-TV's "Andy Williams Show" for the first time.
1967 - Jethro Tull was formed.
1975 - Today in history, Joe Walsh joined the Eagles, replacing original member Bernie Leadon.