December 30 is the 364th day of the year (365th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 1 day remaining.
- 1460 - Wars of the Roses: The Duke of York is defeated at the Battle of Wakefield
- 1853 - Gadsden Purchase: The United States buys land from Mexico to facilitate railroad building in the Southwest
- 1853 - 20-strong dinner party held inside life-size model of Iguanodon created by Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins and Sir Richard Owen in south London.
- 1862 - USS Monitor sinks off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina
- 1879 - The Pirates of Penzance is first performed (Paignton, Devon, England)
- 1880 - The Transvaal becomes a republic and Paul Kruger, its first president
- 1896 - Josť Rizal was executed by firing squad in Manila.
- 1897 - Natal annexes Zululand.
- 1903 - A fire at the Iroquois Theater in Chicago kills 600.
- 1919 - Lincoln's Inn in London admits its first female bar student.
- 1922 - The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) is formed.
- 1924 - Edwin Hubble announces the existence of other galaxies.
- 1927 - The Ginza Line, the oldest subway line in Asia, opened in Tokyo.
- 1936 - The United Auto Workers union stages its first sit-down strike.
- 1940 - California opens its first freeway: the Arroyo Seco Parkway.
- 1943 - Chandra Bose raises the flag of Indian independence at Port Blair.
- 1944 - King George II of Greece declares a regency, leaving his throne vacant
- 1947 - King Michael of Romania abdicates
- 1948 - The play Kiss Me, Kate opens for the first of 1,077 performances.
- 1953 - The first color television sets go on sale for about USD $1,175.
- 1965 - Ferdinand Marcos becomes President of the Philippines
- 1972 - Vietnam War: The US halts heavy bombing of North Vietnam.
- 1976 - The Smothers Brothers play their last show (Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas).
- 1980 - After 25 years, the longest-running prime-time TV series The Wonderful World of Disney is cancelled by NBC.
- 1981 - Wayne Gretzky scores his 50th goal in 39 games, an NHL record to this day.
- 1993 - Israel and the Vatican establish diplomatic relations.
- 1996 - In the Indian state of Assam, a passenger train is bombed by Bodo separatists, killing 26.
- 1996 - Proposed budget cuts by Benjamin Netanyahu spark protests from 250,000 workers who shut down services across Israel.
- 1997 - In the worst incident in Algeria's insurgency, the Wilaya of Relizane massacres of December 30, 1997, 400 people are killed from four villages.
- 2000 - Rizal Day Bombings: A series of bombs explode in various places in Metro Manila, Philippines within a span of a few hours, killing 22 and injuring about a hundred.
- 39 - Titus, Roman Emperor (d. 81)
- 1819 - Theodor Fontane, poet (d. 1898)
- 1865 - Rudyard Kipling, writer and recipient of the Nobel Prize in literature 1907 (d. 1936)
- 1873 - Al Smith, U.S. politician (d. 1944)
- 1884 - Hideki Tojo, Prime Minister of Japan (d. 1948)
- 1897 - Alfredo Bracchi, Italian author (d. 1976)
- 1899 - Helge Ingstad, Norwegian explorer, discoverer of the only confirmed Viking settlement in America (d. 2001)
- 1906 - Johann Adolf Graf von Kielmannsegg , general
- 1906 - Carol Reed, film director (d. 1976)
- 1910 - Paul Bowles, composer, author (d. 1999)
- 1911 - Jeanette Nolan , actress (d. 1998)
- 1914 - Bert Parks, television host (d. 1992)
- 1917 - Seymour Melman, industrial engineer (d. 2004)
- 1920 - Jack Lord, actor (d. 1998)
- 1923 - Sara Lidman , Swedish writer (d. 2004)
- 1928 - Bo Diddley, singer, musician
- 1931 - Skeeter Davis, singer (d. 2004)
- 1934 - Del Shannon, singer (d. 1990)
- 1934 - Russ Tamblyn, actor, dancer, singer
- 1934 - Joseph P. Hoar, former commander of U.S. Central Command
- 1935 - Sandy Koufax, Baseball Hall of Famer
- 1935 - Omar Bongo, president of Gabon
- 1937 - John Hartford, musician (d. 2001)
- 1937 - Jim Marshall, American football player
- 1937 - Paul Stookey, folk music singer
- 1938 - Joseph Bologna, actor
- 1941 - Mel Renfro, Pro Football Hall of Famer
- 1942 - Vladimir Bukovsky, author and civil rights activist
- 1942 - Michael Nesmith, singer, musician (The Monkees)
- 1942 - Fred Ward, actor
- 1945 - Davy Jones, singer (The Monkees)
- 1946 - Patti Smith, singer
- 1947 - Jeff Lynne, rock singer-musician (ELO)
- 1956 - Suzy Bogguss, country singer
- 1957 - Matt Lauer, newscaster
- 1959 - Tracey Ullman, actress, singer
- 1961 - Douglas Coupland, author
- 1961 - Sean Hannity, talk radio host, political commentator
- 1961 - Ben Johnson, Canadian athlete
- 1963 - Chandler Burr, author
- 1965 - Heidi Fleiss, celebrity prostitute
- 1969 - Dave England , cast member on MTV show Jackass
- 1969 - Jay Kay, musician, singer (Jamiroquai)
- 1972 - Kerry Collins, American football quarterback
- 1973 - Jason Behr, actor
- 1973 - Ato Boldon, Trinidad and Tobago athlete
- 1975 - Tiger Woods, golfer
- 1976 - Meredith Monroe, actress
- 1977 - Laili Ali , boxer
- 1978 - Tyrese, singer
- 1980 - Eliza Dushku, actress
- 1982 - Kristin Kreuk, actress
- 1984 - LeBron James, basketball player
- 1986 - Mitch Stone, Oasis guitarist
- 1460 - Richard, Duke of York (b. 1411)
- 1591 - Pope Innocent IX (b. 1519)
- 1662 - Archduke Ferdinand Charles of Austria, Regent of the Tyrol and Further Austria
- 1691 - Robert Boyle (b. 1627), Irish philosopher, physicist, and chemist (discovered Boyle's law)
- 1896 - Josť Rizal, national hero, Philippines (b. 1861)
- 1941 - El Lissitzky, Russian artist and architect (b. 1890)
- 1944 - Romain Rolland, French writer
- 1967 - Vincent Massey, Governor General of Canada
- 1968 - Trygve Lie, the first United Nations Secretary General (b. 1896)
- 1970 - Sonny Liston, boxing champion (b. 1932)
- 1971 - Melba Rae, American soap opera actress (b. 1922)
- 1979 - Richard Rodgers, composer (b. 1902)
- 1982 - John Main , Benedictine monk, meditation teacher
- 1995 - Doris Grau, actress, script supivisor and voice actress
- 1996 - Lew Ayres, actor (b. 1908)
- 1998 - Joan Brossa , Catalan poet
- 2001 - Eileen Heckart, American actress
- 2002 - Mary Wesley, novelist (b. 1912)
- 2003 - John Gregory Dunne, American novelist and screenwriter
- 2003 - Anita Mui, singer, actress (b. 1963)
- 2004 - Artie Shaw (Arthur Jacob Arshawsky) American jazz clarinetist, composer and bandleader (b. 1910)
Holidays and observances
December 29 - December 31 - November 30 - January 30 -- listing of all days
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