5 December 1560

Charles IX becomes king of France.

Charles IX (27 June 1550 – 30 May 1574) was a monarch of the House of Valois who ruled as King of France from 1560 until his death from tuberculosis. He ascended the throne of France upon the death of his brother Francis II.

After decades of tension, war broke out between Protestants and Catholics after the massacre of Vassy in 1562. In 1572, after several unsuccessful peace attempts, Charles ordered the marriage of his sister Margaret of Valois to Henry of Navarre, a major Protestant nobleman and the future King Henry IV of France, in a last desperate bid to reconcile his people. Facing popular hostility against this policy of appeasement, Charles allowed the massacre of all Huguenot leaders who gathered in Paris for the royal wedding at the instigation of his mother Catherine de’ Medici. This event, known as the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre, was a significant blow to the Huguenot movement, though religious civil warfare soon began anew. Charles sought to take advantage of the disarray of the Huguenots by ordering the Siege of La Rochelle, but was unable to take the Protestant stronghold.

Much of his decision making was influenced by his mother Catherine de’ Medici, a fervent Roman Catholic who initially sought peace between Catholics and Protestants, but after the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre supported the persecution of Huguenots.

Charles died of tuberculosis without legitimate male issue in 1574 and was succeeded by his brother Henry III.

5 December 1933

The 21st Amendment to the United States Constitution is ratified.

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On Dec. 5, 1933, national Prohibition came to an end, as Utah became the 36th state to ratify the 21st Amendment to the Constitution. The amendment repealed the 18th Amendment, which had taken effect nearly 14 years earlier.
The New York Times noted that President Franklin Roosevelt made a “plea to the American people to employ their regained liberty first of all for national manliness.” The president also said, “Tthis return of individual freedom shall not be accompanied by the repugnant conditions that obtained prior to the adoption of the Eighteenth Amendment and those that have existed since its adoption.”

By the end of the 1920s, even many prominent Prohibition advocates realized that Prohibition had failed and advocated for its repeal. Congress passed the 21st Amendment in February 1933. It was ratified by a series of state conventions rather than by state legislatures, which have been used to ratify every other amendment, as Congress felt that many state legislators remained beholden to pro-Prohibition interests.