Following are some of the major events to have occurred on December 1:
1918 – Iceland was proclaimed a sovereign state in full agreement with Denmark.
1925 – The Locarno Treaties, guaranteeing peace and frontiers in Europe, were signed by France, Belgium and Germany and their terms guaranteed by Britain and Italy.
1934 – Sergei Kirov, Communist Party leader and associate of Josef Stalin, was murdered in Leningrad.
1959 – Twelve nations signed the Antarctic Treaty preserving the area for peaceful purposes and scientific research.
1973 – David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, died. He was in office from 1948-53 and again from 1955-63.
1988 – Benazir Bhutto became the first woman elected to govern a Muslim nation when Pakistan’s acting President Ghulam Ishaq Khan named her next prime minister.
1989 – Mikhail Gorbachev became the first Soviet leader to visit the Vatican and meet the Pope, 72 years after the atheist Bolsheviks took power in Moscow.
1995 – Former Barings Bank trader Nick Leeson pleaded guilty in a Singapore court to two fraud charges linked to some $1.4 billion in losses that broke the bank.
1997 – Stephane Grappelli, French jazz violinist, died aged 89.
1998 – Exxon Corp agreed to acquire Mobil Corp for $76.6 billion, creating the world’s biggest oil company.
2003 – World AIDS Day brought the launch of a $5.5 billion World Health Organization plan to rush life-saving anti-retroviral medicine to 3 million of the world’s poor, many of them in Africa.