Today in History, 2 December: What Happened on this Day

What happened today in history (2 December): Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar shot dead by forces, Napoleon Bonaparte crowned Emperor of the French, first successful nuclear reaction, birth of a teen pop sensation, and more.
This Day in History (2 Dec): Colombian Drug Lord Pablo Escobar Was Killed In An Encounter
This Day in History (2 Dec): Colombian Drug Lord Pablo Escobar Was Killed In An Encounter

Today in History: Only 29 days are left before the fateful year of 2022 comes to an end. Today is December 2. The day holds major significance in history, and several pivotal events took place on 2 December.

From the encounter of the most notorious drug lord in history and the crowning of two great leaders of their eras to the world’s first successful self-sustaining, controlled nuclear chain reaction, December 2 is a defining day in history.

Dive in to know what happened on this day (Dec. 2) in terms of sports, politics, art, famous birthdays, and deaths.

Historical Events Today

  • In 1776, the Swedish parliament approved the Swedish Freedom of the Press Act, making Sweden the first country in the world with freedom of speech.
  • In 1804, General Napoleon Bonaparte was crowned Emperor of the French at the Notre Dame de Paris cathedral in a ceremony officiated by Pope Pius VII.
  • In 1823, US President James Monroe declared the "Monroe Doctrine," opposing European colonialism in the Western Hemisphere. The policy argued that any European political intervention in the New World would be seen as a threat to the United States' security.
  • In 1942, Enrico Fermi and a team of scientists conducted the world's first controlled self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction at the University of Chicago. The experiment paved the way for the world’s first atomic bomb.
  • In 1971, six Emirates—Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Fujairah, Sharjah, Dubai, and Umm al-Quwain—merged to form the United Arab Emirates.
  • In 1976, revolutionary and communist leader Fidel Castro became President of Cuba. He reigned until 2008 before retiring due to serious health issues.
  • In 1993, Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar was shot and killed in an encounter in his home city of Medellin. Escobar handled the majority of the drug trade in the world during the height of his power. He later became the subject of the hit Netflix series Narcos.
  • In 2001, Enron Corporation, one of the world's leading energy companies, filed for bankruptcy.
  • In 2020, cannabis was removed from the list of the most dangerous drugs in the international drug control treaty by the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs.

Important Days On 2 December

  • National Pollution Control Day is observed every year in India on December 2 in memory of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy which claimed over 15,000 lives on the night of 2 and 3 December in 1984.

Sports Events On This Day

  • In 1907, Canadian world heavyweight boxing champion Tommy Burns, a future Hall of Famer, defended his title by KOing Englishman Gunner Moir in London.
  • In 1978, Indian cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar scored his second double century (205 runs) in Test cricket to lead India to a draw against the West Indies in the first Test in Bombay.
  • In 2008, Manchester United and Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo beat his counterpart Lionel Messi to win the Ballon d’Or award.
  • In 2019, Barcelona and Argentina forward Lionel Messi won his record 6th Ballon D’Or award while USA’s Megan Rapinoe was declared the Women’s Player of the Year.

Music and Cinema Events Today

  • In 1883, German composer Johannes Brahms' "3rd Symphony in F" premiered with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.
  • In 1952, the first human birth was televised to the public on KOA-TV in Denver, Colorado.
  • In 1993, Cobb, an American film starring Tommy Lee Jones as the legendary baseballer Ty Cobb, was released.

Notable Deaths This Day

Sr No

Death Year




Hernan Cortes, Spanish conquistador known for defeating the Aztec Empire and colonising large parts of Mexico



Marquis de Sade, French philosopher and writer whose works depicted extreme, perverse, and even criminal sexual fantasies. The term “sadism” is attributed to him.



John Brown, American abolitionist and revolutionary



Ip Man, Chinese martial artist and teacher of Bruce Lee, who inventor the Wing Chun style of Kung fu



Phillip Larkin, English poet, novelist, and librarian known for his works North Ship and Jill



Desi Arnaz, Cuban-American singer who starred as Ricky Ricardo on the sitcom I Love Lucy



Pablo Escobar, Colombian drug kingpin and narcoterrorist who led the Medellin cartel

Famous Birthdays This Day

Sr No

Birth Year




Georges Seurat, French post-impressionist artist who developed the painting techniques of chromoluminarism and pointillism



Indra Lal Roy, Indian lieutenant and the first and only Indian fighter pilot ace who served in World War I



Manohar Joshi, Indian lawyer and politician who served as the 15th Chief Minister of Maharashtra



Gianni Versace, Italian fashion designer and founder of the Versace luxury clothing brand.



Lucy Liu, American actress known for her action roles in Charlie’s Angels series and Kill Bill



Britney Spears, American pop sensation and activist known for reviving the teen pop genre in the early 2000s.



Aaron Rodgers, American professional football quarterback, considered one of the greatest players ever in the NFL



Charlie Puth, American singer known for his chart-topping hits “See You Again” and “Marvin Gaye.”

Also Read: Today in History (1 December)

Also Read: Today in History (30 November)

Also Read: Today in History (29 November)


What happened today in history (2 December)?

Many significant events happened on this day on December 2. Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar was shot dead by forces, Napoleon Bonaparte was crowned Emperor of the French, first successful nuclear reaction occurred and teen pop icon Britney Spears was born.

Which famous personality was born on this day, 2 December?

American pop star who was a huge hit in the 2000s, Britney Spears was born today, (2 December). She is known for her songs “You Drive Me Crazy” and “Toxic.”

What major sports event happened on 2 December?

On this day in 2008, Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo won his first Ballon d’Or trophy, beating rival Lionel Messi.
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