Today in History, 7 December: What Happened on this Day

What happened today in history (7 December): The surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the death of Hyder Ali, the birth of Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the premiere of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, and more.
This Day in History (7 Dec): US Naval Base Pearl Harbor Attacked By The Imperial Japanese Navy
This Day in History (7 Dec): US Naval Base Pearl Harbor Attacked By The Imperial Japanese Navy

Today in History: Less than a month is left before 2022 ends and another wonderful year arrives. Today is 7 December. It appears to be an average day at first glance but holds a key place in world history. Many pivotal events took place on this day (7 Dec).

From the surprise attack on US naval base Pearl Harbor by the Imperial Japanese Navy, resulting in the entry of the US in World War II and the birth of Pramukh Swami Maharaj to the death of the Sultan of Mysore Hyder Ali, December 7 is a significant day in history.

Keep reading to learn what happened on this day (Dec. 7) in Indian and world history in sports, politics, music, and cinema, along with some famous birthdays and demises.

Historical Events Today

  • In 1856, a Hindu widow was lawfully remarried for the first time in India in Calcutta.
  • In 1909, Belgian chemist Leo Baekeland obtained the patent for the first thermo-setting plastic, Bakelite, and founded the plastics industry.
  • In 1917, the United States declared war on the Austro-Hungarian Empire during World War I.
  • In 1934, famed American aviator Wiley Post discovered the jet stream.
  • In 1941, the Imperial Japanese Navy with 353 bombers launched a devastating and surprise attack on the U.S. Naval base Pearl Harbor in Oahu, Hawaii, killing over 2,000 US military personnel and destroying several battleships. The attack triggered the US entry into World War II and the eventual revenge with the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings.
  • In 1941, German dictator Adolf Hitler issued his Night and Fog Decree, a secret order calling for the arrest and execution of "persons endangering German security."
  • In 1988, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) under the leadership of Yasser Arafat recognized the existence of the State of Israel for the first time.
  • In 2004, Hamid Karzai was sworn in as Afghanistan’s first popularly elected president.
  • In 2017, former US gymnastics physician Larry Nasser was sentenced to 60 years in prison on charges of abuse and child pornography.

Sports Events On This Day

  • In 1907, former English boxer Eugene Corri officiated a boxing fight as a referee from inside the ring for the first time.
  • In 2017, Portugal and Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo won his fifth Ballon d’Or trophy, tying rival Lionel Messi’s record.
  • In 2020, Breaking, a competitive form of breakdancing was announced as an official sport in the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Art Events On This Day

  • In 1979, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, the first film based on the acclaimed television series created by Gene Roddenberry, premiered.
  • In 2020, legendary singer Bob Dylan sold his entire song catalogue of over 600 songs to the Universal Music Publishing Group for $300 million.
  • In 2015, iconic rock star David Bowie made his last public appearance at the premiere of his theatre show Lazarus, a month before he passed away from cancer.

Important Days

  • International Civil Aviation Day
  • Armed Forces Flag Day (India)

Notable Deaths Today

Sr No

Death Year



43 BC

Cicero, Roman statesman, philosopher, and master orator was killed at the orders of Mark Antony



Hyder Ali, Indian ruler of Mysore, who fought fought many important battles in the 18th century



William Bligh, English Navy officer who along with his loyal men survived a famous mutiny on ship HMS Bounty



Rube Goldberg, American cartoonist and the inspiration behind the Rube Goldberg contests



Harry Morgan, American actor known for his riles in December Bride and M*A*S*H



Chuck Yeager, American test pilot who was the first man to cross the speed of sound

Famous Birthdays Today

Sr No

Birth Year




Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Italian sculptor, painter and architect, now regarded as one of the greatest artists of all time and the developer of the baroque style of sculpting



Eli Wallach, American actor known for playing the role of “Ugly” in Sergio Leone’s Spaghetti Western classic The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly



Pramukh Swami Maharaj, Indian guru and the fifth spiritual successor of Swaminarayan



Noam Chomsky, American linguist and philosopher who is one of the founders of cognitive science



Ellen Burstyn, American actress known for her roles in Exorcist



Tom Waits, American singer known for versatile and genre-spanning music



Larry Bird, former American basketball player who led the Boston Celtics to three NBA victories and later turned coach



Nicholas Hoult, English actor known for his roles in films X-Men: First Class and Tolkien

Also Read: Today in History (6 December)

Also Read: Today in History (5 December)

Also Read: Today in History (8 December)


What happened today in history (7 December)?

The Pearl Harbor attack which triggered the US entry in World War II happened on this day in history.

Which famous personality was born on this day, 7 December?

Indian spiritual guru Pramukh Swami Maharaj, English actor Nicholas Hoult and American singer Tom Waits were born today (7 Dec).

What major sports event happened on 7 December?

A boxing match was officially refereed for the first time and Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo won his fifth Ballon d’Or trophy on this day.
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