Five historical events that happened on 14 December
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This listicle delves into five significant events that took place on this day, each representing a unique moment in history.
These events not only changed the course of their respective fields but also left an enduring impact on the world as we know it.
1911 – Roald Amundsen Reaches the South Pole
On 14 December 1911, Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen and his team became the first to reach the South Pole, triumphing over the harsh Antarctic environment.
This achievement was the culmination of a meticulously planned expedition, marked by a race against the British team led by Robert Falcon Scott. Amundsen’s success set a precedent in polar exploration and added a significant chapter to the annals of human endurance and exploration.
1962 – Mariner 2’s Flyby of Venus
NASA’s Mariner 2 spacecraft made history on this day in 1962 by becoming the first spacecraft to successfully fly by another planet, Venus.
This groundbreaking mission provided the first close-up data of Venus, significantly advancing our understanding of the planet and demonstrating the vast potential of robotic space exploration.
Mariner 2’s journey paved the way for future interplanetary missions and marked a significant milestone in the Space Age.
1981 – Israel Annexes the Golan Heights
On 14 December 1981, Israel officially annexed the Golan Heights, a strategic plateau captured from Syria during the 1967 Six-Day War. This unilateral move, not recognised internationally, significantly impacted the geopolitical dynamics of the Middle East, further complicating the Israeli-Arab conflict.
The annexation has been a point of contention in international relations and peace negotiations in the region.
2004 – The Millau Viaduct Opens in France
The Millau Viaduct, the world’s tallest bridge, was officially opened in France on 14 December 2004. This engineering marvel, spanning the Tarn River valley, is a testament to modern construction techniques and design.
The bridge not only serves as a vital transportation link but also stands as an architectural symbol, blending functionality with aesthetic appeal.
2012 – Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting
The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, one of the deadliest school shootings in US history, occurred on this day in 2012. This tragic event in Newtown, Connecticut, resulted in the deaths of 26 people, including 20 children.
The shooting sparked a nationwide conversation on gun control, school safety, and mental health, highlighting the urgent need for policy reform and societal change in addressing gun violence.