Pope Celestine V, who had attempted to flee in order to avoid becoming pope, resigned the papacy after only five months in 1294. Abel Tasman became the first European to set foot on New Zealand in 1642. Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt began the last moonwalk of the Apollo 17 mission in 1972. To date, it is the last time that humans have walked on the moon. The baiji (Chinese river dolphin) was declared functionally extinct in 2006.
Born today: Heinrich Heine (1797-1856), Curd Jürgens (1915-1982), Dick VanDyke (1925), Christopher Plummer (1929), and Ted Nugent (1948).
It is Saint Lucia Day. Beware of Swedish girls with candles on their heads.