Here’s a look at some interesting events that took place on this day in history:

1773 – In Boston Harbor, a group of Massachusetts colonists dump 342 chests of tea into the harbor in what would come to be known as the Boston Tea Party (More info)

1920 – The Haiyuan earthquake, magnitude 8.5, rocks the Gansu province in China and kills an estimated 200,000 (More info)

1944 – The Battle of the Bulge begins with the surprise offensive of three German armies through the Ardennes forest (More info)

1985 – In New York City, Paul Castellano and Thomas Bilotti are shot dead on the orders of John Gotti, who assumes leadership of the Gambino crime family (More info)

2000 – Colin Powell is selected to become the first black Secretary of State (More info)