On This Day in History December 27

December 27 – Events:

  • 537 – The Hagia Sophia is completed.
  • 1512 – The Spanish Crown issues the Laws of Burgos, governing the conduct of settlers with regards to native Indians in the New World.
  • 1657 – The Flushing Remonstrance is signed.
  • 1703 – Portugal and England sign the Methuen Treaty which gives preference to Portuguese imported wines into England.
  • 1814 – Destruction of schooner Carolina, the last of Commodore Daniel Patterson’s make-shift fleet that fought a series of delaying actions that contributed to Andrew Jackson’s victory at the Battle of New Orleans.
  • 1825 – First public railroad using steam locomotive completed in England.
  • 1831 – Charles Darwin embarks on his journey aboard the HMS Beagle, during which he will begin to formulate the theory of evolution.
  • 1836 – The worst ever avalanche in England occurs at Lewes, Sussex, killing 8 people.
  • 1845 – Ether anesthetic is used for childbirth for the first time by Dr. Crawford Williamson Long in Jefferson, Georgia.
  • 1918 – The Great Poland Uprising against the Germans begins.
  • 1923 – Namba Daisuke, a Japanese student, tries to assassinate the Prince Regent Hirohito.
  • 1927 – Stalin’s faction wins All-Union Congress in USSR; Trotsky expelled.
  • 1932 – Radio City Music Hall opens.
  • 1939 – Erzincan, Turkey was hit by an earthquake, estimated 40,000 die.
  • 1945 – The World Bank was created with the signing of an agreement by 28 nations.
  • 1947 – First “Howdy Doody Show” telecast on NBC.
  • 1949 – Indonesian National Revolution: The Netherlands officially recognizes Indonesian independence.
  • 1959 – Baltimore Colts beat NY Giants 31-16 in NFL Championship game.
  • 1968 – Apollo Program: Apollo 8 splashes down in the Pacific Ocean, ending the first manned mission to the Moon.
  • 1978 – Spain becomes a democracy after 40 years of dictatorship.
  • 1979 – The Soviet Union seizes control of Afghanistan and Babrak Karmal replaces overthrown and executed President Hafizullah Amin.
  • 1983 – Propane gas fire devastates 16 city blocks of Buffalo, NY.
  • 1988 – Bulgaria stops jamming Radio Free Europe after more than three decades.
  • 1985 – Palestinian guerrillas kill eighteen people inside Rome and Vienna airports.
  • 1996 – Taliban forces retake the strategic Bagram air base which solidifies their buffer zone around Kabul.
  • 1997 – Protestant paramilitary leader Billy Wright is assassinated in Northern Ireland.
  • 2001 – The People’s Republic of China is granted permanent normal trade relations with the United States.
  • 2002 – Two truck bombs kill 72 and wound 200 at the pro-Moscow headquarters of the Chechen government in Grozny, Chechnya.
  • 2007 – Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto is assassinated by a suicide bomber.

December 27 – Birthdays:

  • 1390 – Anne de Mortimer, claimant to the English throne (d. 1411)
  • 1571 – Johannes Kepler, German astronomer (d. 1630)
  • 1654 – Jacob Bernoulli, Swiss mathematician (d. 1705)
  • 1683 – Conyers Middleton, English minister (d. 1750)
  • 1715 – Philippe de Noailles, duc de Mouchy, French soldier (d. 1794)
  • 1717 – Pope Pius VI (d. 1799)
  • 1721 – François Hemsterhuis, Dutch philosopher (d. 1790)
  • 1773 – George Cayley, English scientist, inventor, and politician (d. 1857)
  • 1776 – Nikolay Kamensky, Russian general (d. 1811)
  • 1796 – Mirza Ghalib, Indian poet (d. 1869)
  • 1803 – François-Marie-Thomas Chevalier de Lorimier, French Canadian Patriote (d. 1839)
  • 1822 – Louis Pasteur, French scientist (d. 1895)
  • 1823 – Sir Mackenzie Bowell, fifth Prime Minister of Canada (d. 1896)
  • 1832 – Pavel Tretyakov, Russian businessman and patron of art (d. 1897)
  • 1864 – René Georges Hermann-Paul, French artist (d. 1940)
  • 1879 – Sydney Greenstreet, English actor (d. 1954)
  • 1883 – Cyrus S. Eaton, Canadian-American financier, industrialist and philanthropist (d. 1979)
  • 1888 – Thea von Harbou, German author and actress (d. 1954)
  • 1892 – Alfred Edwin McKay, Canadian World War One flying ace (d. 1917)
  • 1896 – Carl Zuckmayer, German author and dramatist (d. 1977)
  • 1896 – Louis Bromfield, American writer (d. 1956)
  • 1896 – Maurice De Waele, Belgian cyclist (d. 1952)
  • 1900 – Hans Stuck, German race car driver (d. 1978)
  • 1901 – Marlene Dietrich, German actress and singer (d. 1992)
  • 1901 – Irene Handl, English actress (d. 1987)
  • 1906 – Oscar Levant, American pianist, composer, and actor (d. 1972)
  • 1907 – Sebastian Haffner, German journalist and writer (d. 1999)
  • 1907 – Conrad L. Raiford, Goodwill Ambassador (d. 2002)
  • 1907 – Willem van Otterloo, Dutch conductor and composer (d. 1978)
  • 1910 – Charles Olson, American poet (d. 1970)
  • 1915 – Mary Kornman, American actress (d. 1973)
  • 1915 – William Masters, American gynecologist (d. 2001)
  • 1915 – Gyula Zsengellér, Hungarian footballer (d. 1999)
  • 1916 – Werner Baumbach, German bomber pilot (d. 1953)
  • 1917 – Onni Palaste, Finnish writer
  • 1918 – John Celardo, American comic strip artist
  • 1920 – Bruce Hobbs, American jockey (d. 2005)
  • 1925 – Michel Piccoli, French actor
  • 1926 – Jerome Courtland, American actor, director and producer
  • 1927 – Antony Gardner, British politician
  • 1927 – Agnes Nixon, American television producer, director, and writer
  • 1930 – Wilfrid Sheed, English-born American writer
  • 1931 – Scotty Moore, American guitarist
  • 1934 – Larissa Latynina, Russian gymnast
  • 1939 – John Amos, American actor
  • 1941 – Michael Pinder, British musician (Moody Blues)
  • 1941 – Nolan Richardson, American basketball coach
  • 1942 – Byron Browne, baseball player
  • 1942 – Charmian Carr, American actress
  • 1943 – Cokie Roberts, American journalist
  • 1943 – Joan Manuel Serrat, Spanish musician
  • 1943 – Peter Sinfield, British lyricist and producer
  • 1944 – Barry Elliot British actor
  • 1944 – Mick Jones, British musician (Foreigner)
  • 1946 – Janet Street-Porter, British journalist, producer and presenter
  • 1947 – Tracy Nelson, American blues singer
  • 1947 – Mickey Redmond, National Hockey League player
  • 1947 – Janet Perry, American soprano
  • 1947 – Bill Eadie, professional wrestler known as “Ax” of Demolition
  • 1948 – Gérard Depardieu, French actor
  • 1950 – Roberto Bettega, Italian footballer
  • 1950 – Terry Bozzio, American drummer (Missing Persons)
  • 1951 – Ernesto Zedillo, President of Mexico
  • 1952 – Karla Bonoff, American singer and songwriter
  • 1952 – Tovah Feldshuh, American actress
  • 1952 – Jay Hill, Canadian politician
  • 1952 – David Knopfler, British musician (Dire Straits)
  • 1955 – Barbara Olson, American political commentator (d. 2001)
  • 1955 – Brad Murphey, Australian racing driver
  • 1959 – Gerina Dunwich, American author
  • 1959 – Andre Tippett, American football player
  • 1960 – Maryam d’Abo, British actress
  • 1960 – Victoria Paige Meyerink, American actress and producer
  • 1960 – Donald Nally, American choral conductor
  • 1962 – Barbara Crampton, American actress
  • 1962 – Mark Few, American basketball coach
  • 1962 – Bill Self, American basketball coach
  • 1962 – Sherri Steinhauer, American golfer
  • 1963 – Gaspar Noé, Argentinian-born director
  • 1964 – Ian Gomez, American actor
  • 1964 – Theresa Randle, American actress
  • 1965 – Salman Khan, Indian actor
  • 1965 – Chris Mainwaring, Australian rules footballer (d. 2007)
  • 1966 – Wendy Coakley-Thompson, American writer
  • 1966 – Eva LaRue, American actress
  • 1966 – Bill Goldberg, American football player and professional wrestler
  • 1966 – Fabian Núñez, American politician
  • 1969 – Jean-Christophe Boullion, French race car driver
  • 1969 – Chyna, American professional wrestler
  • 1969 – Sarah Vowell, American author and journalist 
  • 1970 – Brendon Cook, Australian racing driver
  • 1970 – Lorenzo Neal, American football player
  • 1971 – Duncan Ferguson, Scottish footballer
  • 1971 – Bryan Smolinski, American ice hockey player
  • 1972 – Thomas Wilson Brown, American actor
  • 1972 – Colin Charvis, Welsh rugby union player
  • 1972 – Matt Slocum, American musician (Sixpence None the Richer)
  • 1973 – Kristoffer Zegers, Dutch composer
  • 1973 – Wilson Cruz, Puerto Rican actor
  • 1973 – Dee Ferris, British painter
  • 1974 – Masi Oka, Japanese-American actor
  • 1974 – Jay Pandolfo, American ice hockey player
  • 1975 – Heather O’Rourke, American actress (d. 1988)
  • 1976 – Fernando Pisani, Canadian/Italian ice hockey player
  • 1976 – Aaron Stanford, American actor
  • 1977 – Jacqueline Pillon, Canadian actress
  • 1979 – David Dunn, English footballer
  • 1979 – Carson Palmer, American football player
  • 1980 – Claudio Castagnoli, Swiss wrestler
  • 1980 – Cas Haley, American singer and guitarist
  • 1981 – Emilie de Ravin, Australian actress
  • 1981 – Javine, British singer
  • 1982 – James Mead, American guitarist (Kutless)
  • 1982 – Terji Skibenæs, Faroese guitarist, (Týr)
  • 1983 – Cole Hamels, American baseball player
  • 1984 – Gilles Simon, French tennis player
  • 1985 – Paul Stastny, Canadian-American ice hockey player
  • 1988 – Rick Porcello, American baseball player

December 27 – Deaths:

  • 418 – Zosimus, Greek pope
  • 1076 – Prince Svyatoslav II of Kiev (b. 1027)
  • 1381 – Edmund Mortimer, 3rd Earl of March, English politician
  • 1548 – Francesco Spiera, Italian Protestant jurist (b. 1502)
  • 1603 – Thomas Cartwright, English Puritan clergyman
  • 1707 – Jean Mabillon, French palaeograopher and diplomat (b. 1632)
  • 1737 – William Bowyer, English printer (b. 1663)
  • 1743 – Hyacinthe Rigaud, French painter (b. 1659)
  • 1771 – Henri Pitot, French engineer (b. 1695)
  • 1782 – Henry Home, Lord Kames, Scottish philosopher (b. 1697)
  • 1800 – Hugh Blair, Scottish preacher and man of letters (b. 1718)
  • 1812 – Shneur Zalman of Liadi, Lithuanian rabbi and founder of Chabad Hasidism (b. 1745)
  • 1812 – Joanna Southcott, an English self-described religious prophetess.
  • 1834 – Charles Lamb, English essayist (b. 1775)
  • 1836 – Stephen F. Austin, American pioneer (b. 1793)
  • 1858 – Alexandre Pierre François Boëly, French composer (b. 1785)
  • 1896 – John Brown, British manufacturer (b. 1816)
  • 1900 – William George Armstrong, English inventor, industrialist, and engineer (b. 1810)
  • 1914 – Charles Martin Hall, American chemist and inventor (b. 1863)
  • 1923 – Gustave Eiffel, French engineer and architect (b. 1832)
  • 1925 – Sergei Yesenin, Russian poet (b. 1895)
  • 1938 – Calvin Bridges, American geneticist (b. 1889)
  • 1938 – Osip Mandelstam, Russian poet (b. 1891)
  • 1950 – Max Beckmann, German painter (b. 1884)
  • 1952 – Patrick Joseph Hartigan, Australian Roman Catholic priest (b. 1878)
  • 1953 – Julian Tuwim, Polish poet (b. 1894)
  • 1955 – Alfred Francis Blakeney Carpenter, English soldier (b. 1881)
  • 1956 – Lambert McKenna, Irish editor and lexicographer. (b. 1870)
  • 1965 – Edgar Ende, German painter (b. 1901)
  • 1966 – Guillermo Stábile, Argentine footballer (b. 1906)
  • 1972 – Lester B. Pearson, fourteenth Prime Minister of Canada, recipient of the 1957 Nobel Peace Prize (b. 1897)
  • 1974 – Vladimir Aleksandrovich Fock, Russian physicist (b. 1898)
  • 1978 – Bob Luman, American country and rockabilly singer (b. 1937)
  • 1978 – Houari Boumédienne, President of Algeria (b. 1932)
  • 1979 – Hafizullah Amin, second President of Afghanistan (b. 1929)
  • 1981 – Hoagy Carmichael, American composer and singer (b. 1899)
  • 1982 – John Swigert, American astronaut (b. 1931)
  • 1987 – Geoffrey D Lloyd, Chairman of the guild of British Newspaper editors (b. 1933)
  • 1988 – Hal Ashby, American film director (b. 1929)
  • 1992 – Kay Boyle, American writer (b. 1902)
  • 1993 – André Pilette, Belgian racing driver (b. 1918)
  • 1994 – Fanny Cradock, English food writer and broadcaster (b. 1909)
  • 1995 – Shura Cherkassky, Ukrainian classical pianist (b. 1909)
  • 1997 – Brendan Gill, American columnist and humorist (b. 1914)
  • 1997 – Billy Wright, Irish Protestant paramilitary leader (b. 1960)
  • 2002 – George Roy Hill, American film director (b. 1922)
  • 2003 – Alan Bates, English actor (b. 1934)
  • 2003 – Iván Calderón, Puerto Rican baseball player (b. 1962)
  • 2004 – Hank Garland, American musician (b. 1930)
  • 2005 – William Doody, Canadian politician (b. 1931)
  • 2007 – Benazir Bhutto, former Prime Minister of Pakistan (assassinated) (b. 1953)
  • 2007 – Jerzy Kawalerowicz, Polish film director (b. 1922)
  • 2007 – Jaan Kross, Estonian writer (b. 1920)

December 27 – Holidays:

  • R.C. Saints – John the Apostle and Evangelist; Nicarete, an early Byzantine female physician.
  • St. Stephen’s Day among Orthodox Churches; a public holiday in Romania.
  • Boxing Day in the Commonwealth of Nations but only when 26 December is a Sunday and by Royal Proclamation.

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On This Day in History December 26

December 26 – Events:

  • 1481 – Battle of Westbrook – Holland defeats troops of Utrecht.
  • 1492 – First Spanish settlement in New World founded by Columbus.
  • 1620 – Elizabeth Báthory’s crimes are uncovered.
  • 1620 – Pilgrim Fathers land at what becomes New Plymouth in Massachusetts.
  • 1776 – American Revolutionary War: The British are defeated in the Battle of Trenton.
  • 1790 – Louis XVI of France gives his public assent to Civil Constitution of the Clergy during the French Revolution.
  • 1792 – The final trial of Louis XVI of France begins in Paris.
  • 1793 – Battle of Geisberg: French defeat Austrians.
  • 1793 – The wedding of Prince Friedrich Ludwig of Prussia and Frederica of Mecklenburg-Strelitz takes place.
  • 1805 – Austria and France sign the Treaty of Pressburg.
  • 1806 – Battles of Pultusk and Golymin: Russian forces hold French forces under Napoleon.
  • 1811 – A theater fire in Richmond, Virginia kills the Governor of Virginia George William Smith and the president of the First National Bank of Virginia Abraham B. Venable.
  • 1825 – Several Imperial Russia army officers lead circa 3000 soldiers on the Senate Square in the failed Decembrist uprising.
  • 1825 – Erie Canal opens.
  • 1848 – The Phi Delta Theta fraternity is founded at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio.
  • 1860 – The first ever inter-club football match takes place between Hallam F.C. and Sheffield F.C. at the Sandygate Road ground in Sheffield, England.
  • 1861 – American Civil War: The Trent Affair: Confederate diplomatic envoys James M. Mason and John Slidell are freed by the United States government, thus heading off a possible war between the United States and Britain.
  • 1862 – American Civil War: The Battle of Chickasaw Bayou begins.
  • 1862 – Four nuns serving as volunteer nurses on board USS Red Rover are the first female nurses on a U.S. Navy hospital ship.
  • 1862 – The largest mass-hanging in U.S. history took place in Mankato, Minnesota, killing 39.
  • 1865 – James H. Mason patents first US coffee percolator.
  • 1870 – The 12.8-km long Fréjus Rail Tunnel through the Alps is completed.
  • 1871 – Gilbert and Sullivan collaborate for the first time, on their lost opera, Thespis. It does modestly well, but the two would not collaborate again for four years.
  • 1883 – The Harbour Grace Affray between Irish Catholics and Protestant Orangemen causes five deaths in Newfoundland.
  • 1898 – Marie and Pierre Curie announce the isolation of radium.
  • 1916 – Joseph Joffre is made Marshal of France.
  • 1919 – Yankees and Red Sox reach agreement on trade of Babe Ruth.
  • 1925 – The Communist Party of India is founded.
  • 1925 – Turkey adopts the Gregorian Calendar.
  • 1932 – Earthquake kills 70,000 in Kansu, China.
  • 1933 – The Nissan Motor Company is organized in Tokyo, Japan.
  • 1933 – FM radio is patented.
  • 1943 – World War II: The German warship Scharnhorst sinks off the coast of North Cape in Norway after being attacked by the Royal Navy late the previous evening.
  • 1944 – World War II: U.S. troops repulse German forces at Bastogne.
  • 1945 – CFP franc and CFA franc are created.
  • 1946 – Flamingo Hotel opens in Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • 1948 – Cardinal Mindszenty is arrested in Hungary and accused of treason and conspiracy.
  • 1966 – The first Kwanzaa is celebrated by Maulana Karenga, the chair of Black Studies at California State University, Long Beach.
  • 1973 – Comet Kohoutek reaches perihelion but is not as spectacular a display as expected.
  • 1973 – Soyuz 13 lands on earth after a week in orbit.
  • 1974 – Salyut 4 is launched.
  • 1975 – The Tupolev Tu-144 goes into service in Soviet Union.
  • 1976 – The Communist Party of Nepal (Marxist-Leninist) is founded.
  • 1979 – Soviet Special forces take over presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan.
  • 1979 – Opening night of the Concerts for the People of Kampuchea at the Hammersmith Odeon; a benefit concert for the citizens of Cambodia who were victims of dictator Pol Pot.
  • 1980 – Aeroflot puts the Ilyushin Il-86 into service.
  • 1982 – Time Magazine’s Man of the Year is for the first time a non-human, the personal computer.
  • 1986 – The first long-running American television soap opera, Search for Tomorrow, airs its final episode after thirty-five years on the air.
  • 1988 – The Nanjing Anti-African protests in Nanjing, the People’s Republic of China begin.
  • 1990 – Garry Kasparov beats Antatoly Karpov to retain world chess championship.
  • 1991 – The Supreme Soviet meets and formally dissolves the USSR.
  • 1996 – Start of the largest strike in South Korean history.
  • 1996 – The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification goes into force.
  • 1996 – Six-year-old beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey is found beaten and strangled in the basement of her family’s home in Boulder, Colorado.
  • 1997 – The Soufriere Hills volcano on the island of Montserrat explodes, creating a small tsunami offshore.
  • 1998 – Iraq announces its intention to fire upon U.S. and British warplanes that patrol the northern and southern no-fly zones.
  • 1998 – Severe gales over Ireland, northern England, and southern Scotland cause widespread disruption and widespread power outages in Northern Ireland and southern Scotland.
  • 1999 – Severe weather in France kills over 100 people and causes extensive damage to property, trees and the French national power grid.
  • 2003 – A strong magnitude 6.6 earthquake devastates southeast Iranian city of Bam, killing tens of thousands and destroying the citadel of Arg-é Bam.
  • 2004 – An earthquake measuring 9.3 on the Richter magnitude scale creates a tsunami causing devastation in Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, the Maldives and many other areas around the rim of the Indian Ocean, killing more than 300,000.
  • 2005 – Boxing Day shooting on a busy shopping street in Toronto.
  • 2006 – The 2006 Hengchun earthquake with 7.1 magnitude hits Taiwan.

December 26 – Birthdays:

  • 1194 – Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor (d. 1250)
  • 1532 – Guilielmus Xylander, German classical scholar (d. 1576)
  • 1536 – Yi I, Korean Confucian scholar (d. 1584)
  • 1542 – Tokugawa Ieyasu, unifier of Japan and first Tokugawa Shogun (d. 1616)
  • 1646 – Robert Bolling, English settler in Virginia (d. 1709)
  • 1666 – Guru Gobind Singh, Tenth Guru of Sikhism (d. 1708)
  • 1687 – Johann Georg Pisendel, German musician (d. 1755)
  • 1716 – Thomas Gray, English writer (d. 1771)
  • 1716 – Jean François de Saint-Lambert, French poet (d. 1803)
  • 1723 – Friedrich Melchior, baron von Grimm, German writer (d. 1807)
  • 1737 – Prince Josias of Coburg, Austrian general (d. 1815)
  • 1751 – Clement Hofbauer, Austrian missionary and saint (d. 1820)
  • 1771 – Julie Clary, queen consort of Naples (d. 1845)
  • 1780 – Mary Fairfax Somerville, British mathematician (d. 1872)
  • 1782 – Filaret Drozdov, Metropolitan of Moscow (d. 1867)
  • 1791 – Charles Babbage, English mathematician and inventor (d. 1871)
  • 1819 – E. D. E. N. Southworth, American novelist (d. 1899)
  • 1822 – Dion Boucicault, Irish actor and playwright (d. 1890)
  • 1837 – George Dewey, U. S. admiral (d. 1917)
  • 1853 – René Bazin, French novelist (d. 1932)
  • 1859 – William Stephens, U.S. political figure (d. 1944)
  • 1872 – Norman Angell, British politician, Nobel laureate (d. 1967)
  • 1873 – Thomas Wass, English cricketer (d. 1953)
  • 1883 – Maurice Utrillo, French artist (d. 1955)
  • 1887 – Arthur Ernest Percival, British Army officer (d. 1966)
  • 1890 – Uncle Charlie Osborne, American fiddler (d. 1992)
  • 1891 – Henry Miller, American writer (d. 1980)
  • 1893 – Mao Zedong, Chinese military leader and politician (d. 1976)
  • 1894 – Jean Toomer, American writer (d. 1967)
  • 1902 – Anatoli Lvovich Kaplan, Russian painter (d. 1980)
  • 1903 – Elisha Cook Jr., American actor (d. 1995)
  • 1904 – Alejo Carpentier, Cuban writer (d. 1980)
  • 1906 – Imperio Argentina, Argentine actress and singer (d. 2003)
  • 1913 – Frank Swift, English footballer and journalist (d. 1958)
  • 1914 – Richard Widmark, American actor
  • 1914 – Annemarie Wendl, German actress (d. 2006)
  • 1918 – George Rallis, Greek politician, Prime Minister of Greece (d. 2006)
  • 1921 – Steve Allen, American comedian (d. 2000)
  • 1922 – Richard Mayes, English actor (d. 2006)
  • 1924 – Frank Broyles, American athlete, long time athletic director of the University of Arkansas.
  • 1927 – Alan King, American comedian (d. 2004)
  • 1927 – Denis Quilley, British actor (d. 2003)
  • 1927 – Stu Miller, baseball player
  • 1929 – Régine, French singer and nightclub owner
  • 1930 – Donald Moffat, English-born actor
  • 1930 – Jean Ferrat, French singer and songwriter
  • 1933 – Ugly Dave Gray, Australian television personality
  • 1933 – Caroll Spinney, American puppeteer
  • 1935 – Abdul “Duke” Fakir, American singer (The Four Tops)
  • 1935 – Norm Ullman, Canadian hockey player
  • 1937 – John Horton Conway, British mathematician
  • 1937 – Jay Heimowitz, American poker player
  • 1938 – Bahram Beizai, Iranian playwright and film director
  • 1938 – Alamgir Kabir, Bangladeshi film director (d. 1989)
  • 1939 – Fred Schepisi, Australian film director
  • 1940 – Edward C. Prescott, American economist, Nobel laureate
  • 1940 – Phil Spector, American music producer and convicted murderer
  • 1940 – Ray Sadecki, Major league baseball pitcher
  • 1941 – Daniel Schmid, Swiss film director (d. 2006)
  • 1942 – Marco Vinicio Cerezo Arévalo, Guatemalan president
  • 1942 – Gray Davis, former Governor of California
  • 1944 – Jane Lapotaire, British actress
  • 1945 – John Walsh, American talk show host
  • 1947 – Carlton Fisk, American baseball player
  • 1947 – James T. Conway, 34th Commandant of the United States Marine Corps
  • 1948 – Candy Crowley, American journalist
  • 1949 – José Ramos-Horta, President of East Timor, Nobel laureate
  • 1951 – Richard Skinner, British radio presenter
  • 1953 – Henning Schmitz, German musician (Kraftwerk)
  • 1953 – Leonel Fernández, Dominican politician and current President of the Dominican Republic
  • 1954 – Ozzie Smith, American baseball player
  • 1954 – Steve Steen, English actor
  • 1955 – Evan Bayh, American politician
  • 1956 – David Sedaris, American essayist
  • 1957 – Dermot Murnaghan, British broadcaster
  • 1958 – Adrian Newey, British engineer
  • 1959 – Koji Morimoto, Japanese animated film director
  • 1960 – Temuera Morrison, New Zealand actor
  • 1961 – John Lynch, Irish actor
  • 1963 – Lars Ulrich, Danish-born drummer (Metallica)
  • 1964 – Elizabeth Kostova, American author
  • 1966 – Sandra Taylor, American model and actress
  • 1968 – Dennis Knight, American professional wrestler
  • 1970 – James Mercer, musician (The Shins)
  • 1970 – Krissada Terrence, Thai singer and actor
  • 1971 – Jared Leto, American actor and singer (30 Seconds to Mars)
  • 1971 – Jonathan M. Parisen, American film director
  • 1971 – Mika Nurmela, Finnish footballer
  • 1972 – Esteban Fuertes, Argentine footballer
  • 1972 – Robert Muchamore, Children’s Author
  • 1973 – Reichen Lehmkuhl, American television personality
  • 1974 – Josie Ho, Hong Kong singer and actor
  • 1974 – Joshua John Miller, American actor
  • 1975 – Marcelo Ríos, Chilean tennis player
  • 1976 – Lea De Mae, Czech actress (d. 2004)
  • 1978 – Kaoru Sugayama, Japanese volleyball player
  • 1979 – Chris Daughtry, American singer
  • 1979 – Fabián Carini, Uruguayan footballer
  • 1979 – Mzbel, Ghanaian singer
  • 1979 – Dimitry Vassiliev, Russian ski jumper
  • 1980 – Todd Dunivant, American soccer player
  • 1982 – Kenneth Darby, National Football League player
  • 1982 – Oguri Shun, Japanese Actor/Model
  • 1984 – Alex Schwazer, Italian race walker
  • 1985 – Yuu Shirota, Japanese Idol
  • 1987 – Adam Walker, British flautist
  • 1990 – Aaron Ramsey, Welsh footballer

December 26 – Deaths:

  • 268 – Pope Dionysius
  • 418 – Pope Zosimus
  • 1350 – Jean de Marigny, French bishop
  • 1458 – Arthur III, Duke of Brittany (b. 1393)
  • 1476 – Galeazzo Maria Sforza, Duke of Milan (b. 1444)
  • 1530 – Babur, Emperor of the Mogul empire (b. 1483)
  • 1574 – Charles of Guise, French cardinal (b. 1524)
  • 1624 – Simon Marius, German astronomer (b. 1573)
  • 1731 – Antoine Houdar de la Motte, French writer (b. 1672)
  • 1771 – Claude Adrien Helvétius, French philosopher (b. 1715)
  • 1780 – John Fothergill, English physician (b. 1712)
  • 1784 – Seth Warner, American revolutionary leader (b. 1743)
  • 1786 – Gasparo Gozzi, Italian critic and dramatist (b. 1713)
  • 1869 – Jean Louis Marie Poiseuille, French physiologist (b. 1797)
  • 1890 – Heinrich Schliemann, German archaeologist (b. 1822)
  • 1909 – Frederic Remington, American artist (b. 1861)
  • 1931 – Melvil Dewey, inventor of the Dewey decimal classification (b. 1851)
  • 1933 – Anatoly Lunacharsky, Russian literary critic and politician (b. 1875)
  • 1957 – Charles Pathé, French film and recording industries pioneer (b. 1863)
  • 1960 – Watsuji Tetsuro, Japanese philosopher (b. 1889)
  • 1963 – George Wagner (Gorgeous George), American professional wrestler and television personality (b. 1915)
  • 1970 – Lillian Board, British athlete (b. 1948)
  • 1972 – Harry S. Truman, 33rd President of the United States (b. 1884)
  • 1973 – Harold B. Lee, 11th president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (b. 1899)
  • 1974 – Jack Benny, American comedian (b. 1894)
  • 1977 – Howard Hawks, American film director and writer (b. 1896)
  • 1980 – Tony Smith, American sculptor (b. 1912)
  • 1981 – Savithri, Indian actress (b. 1937)
  • 1981 – Amber Reeves, feminist writer (b. 1887)
  • 1983 – Violet Carson, British actress (b. 1898)
  • 1985 – Dian Fossey, American gorilla specialist (b. 1932)
  • 1985 – Harold P. Warren, American movie director (d. 1928)
  • 1986 – Elsa Lanchester, British-born actress (b. 1902)
  • 1988 – Glenn McCarthy, American oil tycoon and businessman (b. 1907)
  • 1989 – Doug Harvey, Canadian ice hockey player (b. 1924)
  • 1992 – Nikita Magaloff, Russian pianist (b. 1912)
  • 1996 – JonBenet Ramsey, noted murder victim (b. 1990)
  • 1997 – Cornelius Castoriadis, Greek philosopher and economist (b. 1922)
  • 1999 – Curtis Mayfield, American musician (b. 1942)
  • 1999 – Shankar Dayal Sharma, President of India (b. 1918)
  • 2000 – Jason Robards, American actor (b. 1922)
  • 2001 – Nigel Hawthorne, English actor (b. 1929)
  • 2002 – Herb Ritts, American photographer (b. 1952)
  • 2002 – Armand Zildjian, American cymbal manufacturer (b. 1921)
  • 2004 – Sir Angus Ogilvy, British businessman, husband of Princess Alexandra of Kent (b. 1928)
  • 2004 – Marianne Heiberg, Norwegian mediator (b. 1945)
  • 2004 – Jonathan Drummond-Webb, South African pediatric heart surgeon (b. 1959)
  • 2004 – Sigurd Køhn, Norwegian jazz musician, in 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake (b. 1959) 
  • 2004 – Reggie White, American football player (b. 1961)
  • 2004 – Aki Sirkesalo, Finnish musician, in 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake (b. 1962)
  • 2004 – Mieszko Talarczyk, Lead singer/Guitarist of grindcore band, Nasum, in 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake (b. 1974)
  • 2004 – Troy Broadbridge, Australian rules footballer, in 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake (b. 1980)
  • 2005 – Erich Topp, German submarine commander (b. 1914)
  • 2005 – Muriel Costa-Greenspon, American mezzo-soprano (b. 1937)
  • 2005 – Kerry Packer, Australian businessman (b. 1937)
  • 2005 – Vincent Schiavelli, American actor (b. 1948)
  • 2006 – Gerald Ford, 38th President of the United States (b. 1913)
  • 2006 – Ivar Formo, Norwegian skier (b. 1951)
  • 2007 – John A. Garraty, 87, American biographer (b. 1920)
  • 2007 – Stu Nahan, American Sportscaster (b. 1926)
  • 2007 – Joe Dolan, 64, Irish singer and entertainer (b. 1943)

December 26 – Holidays:

  • St. Stephen’s Day, a public holiday in Alsace, Austria, Catalonia, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Italy, and Ireland.
  • Synaxis of Theotokos and feast of St. Joseph,King and Prophet David and St. James the Just (Orthodox Christianity).
  • The first of the twelve days of Christmas in Western Christianity.
  • Boxing Day in the Commonwealth of Nations except when 26 December is a Sunday.  Boxing Day is transferred to 27 December by Royal Proclamation.
  • Wren day in Ireland and the Isle of Man.
  • Australia – Proclamation Day (South Australian public holiday), for the foundation of the Australian state of South Australia on December 28, 1836 but commemorated on this day.
  • South Africa – Day of Goodwill, a public holiday.
  • First day of Kwanzaa.
  • Abadiu of Antinoe is commemorated in the Coptic Church on this date.
  • First day of Junkanoo street parade in the Bahamas (the second day is on the New Year’s Day).
  • In Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Iceland, Poland, Slovakia, and Sweden, the 26th is known as the Second day of Christmas. In some of these countries it is also a public holiday.

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On This Day in History December 25

December 25 – Events:

  • 1 – First Christmas, according to calendar maker Dionysus Exigus.
  • 274 – Roman Emperor Aurelian dedicates a temple to Sol Invictus on the supposed day of the winter solstice and day of rebirth of the Sun.
  • 336 – First recorded celebration of Christmas occurs on December 25 in Rome.
  • 597 – England adopts the Julian calendar.
  • 800 – Coronation of Charlemagne as Holy Roman Emperor, in Rome.
  • 1000 – The foundation of the Kingdom of Hungary: Hungary is established as a Christian kingdom by Stephen I of Hungary.
  • 1066 – Coronation of William the Conqueror as king of England, at Westminster Abbey, London.
  • 1100 – Baldwin of Boulogne is crowned as the first King of Jerusalem in the Church of the Nativity.
  • 1130 – Roger II of Sicily is crowned as the first King of Sicily.
  • 1223 – St. Francis of Assisi assembles the first Nativity scene.
  • 1261 – John IV Lascaris of the restored Eastern Roman Empire is deposed and blinded by orders of his co-ruler Michael VIII Palaeologus.
  • 1599 – The city of Natal, Brazil is founded.
  • 1643 – Christmas Island founded and named by Captain William Mynors of the East India Ship Company vessel, the Royal Mary.
  • 1758 – Haley’s comet first sighted by Johann Georg Palitzsch during return.
  • 1776 – George Washington and his army cross the Delaware River to attack the Kingdom of Great Britain’s Hessian mercenaries in Trenton, New Jersey.
  • 1818 – The first performance of “Silent Night” takes place in the Church of St. Nikolaus in Oberndorf, Austria.
  • 1837 – Battle of Lake Okeechobee: United States forces defeat Seminole Native Americans.
  • 1848 – New Haven Railroad opens.
  • 1868 – U.S. President Andrew Johnson grants unconditional pardon to all Civil War Confederate soldiers.
  • 1914 – World War I: Known as the Christmas truce, German and British troops on the Western Front temporarily cease fire.
  • 1926 – Emperor Taisho of Japan dies. His son, Prince Hirohito succeeds him as Emperor Showa.
  • 1932 – A magnitude 7.6 earthquake in Gansu, China kills ~70,000 people.
  • 1939 – Montgomery Ward introduces Rudolph the 9th reindeer.
  • 1941 – Admiral Chester W Nimitz arrives at Pearl Harbor to assume command of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.
  • 1941 – World War II: Battle of Hong Kong ends, beginning the Japanese Occupation of Hong Kong.
  • 1947 – The Constitution of the Republic of China goes into effect.
  • 1950 – The Stone of Scone, traditional coronation stone of British monarchs, is taken from Westminster Abbey by Scottish nationalist students. It later turns up in Scotland on April 11, 1951.
  • 1950 – Cleveland Browns beat LA Rams 30-28 in NFL championship game.
  • 1963 – Turkish Cypriot Bayrak Radio begins transmitting in Cyprus after Turkish Cypriots were forcibly excluded from Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation.
  • 1965 – The Yemeni Nasserite Unionist People’s Organisation is founded in Taiz.
  • 1968 – Apollo program: Apollo 8 performs the very first successful Trans Earth Injection (TEI) maneuver, sending the crew and spacecraft on a trajectory back to Earth from Lunar orbit. 
  • 1968 – 42 Dalits are burned alive in Kilavenmani village, Tamil Nadu, India, a retaliation for a campaign for higher wages by Dalit labourers.
  • 1973 – The ARPANET crashes when a programming bug causes all ARPANET traffic to be routed through the server at Harvard University, causing the server to freeze. 
  • 1974 – Cyclone Tracy devastates Darwin, Northern Territory Australia.
  • 1974 – Marshall Fields drives a vehicle through the gates of the White House, resulting in a four-hour standoff. 
  • 1977 – Prime Minister of Israel Menachem Begin meets in Egypt with President of Egypt Anwar Sadat. 
  • 1979 – The Soviet Union airlifts forces into Afghanistan to begin its costly occupation.
  • 1989 – Nicolae Ceausescu, former communist dictator of Romania, and his wife Elena are condemned to death and executed under a wide range of charges.
  • 1990 – The first successful trial run of the system which would become the World Wide Web.
  • 1991 – Mikhail Gorbachev resigns as president of the Soviet Union (the union itself is dissolved the next day). Ukraine’s referendum is finalized and Ukraine officially leaves the Soviet Union.
  • 2000 – Four-story Dongdu Commercial Plaza building fire, at Luoyang, Henan, China, 309 killed.
  • 2003 – The ill-fated Beagle 2 probe which was released from the Mars Express Spacecraft on December 19, disappears shortly before its scheduled landing.
  • 2004 – Cassini orbiter releases Huygens probe which successfully landed on Saturn’s moon Titan on January 14, 2005.

December 25 – Birthdays:

Recognized day as the birth of Jesus Christ.

 

  • 1250 – John IV Laskaris, Byzantine Emperor (d. circa 1305)
  • 1461 – Christina of Saxony, queen of Denmark and Norway (d. 1521)
  • 1583 – Orlando Gibbons, English composer (d. 1625)
  • 1587 – Margarita of Austria, queen of Philip III of Spain (d. 1611)
  • 1628 – Noël Coypel, French painter (d. 1707)
  • 1642 (O.S.) – Sir Isaac Newton, English physicist and mathematician (d. 1727)
  • 1652 – Archibald Pitcairne, Scottish physician (d. 1713)
  • 1665 – Lady Grizel Baillie, Scottish songwriter (d. 1746)
  • 1667 – Ehrengard von der Schulenburg, English royal mistress (d. 1743)
  • 1674 – Thomas Halyburton, Scottish theologian (d. 1712)
  • 1700 – Leopold II of Anhalt-Dessau, Prussian general (d. 1758)
  • 1711 – Jean Joseph de Mondonville, French composer (d. 1772)
  • 1716 – Johann Jakob Reiske, German scholar and physician (d. 1774)
  • 1730 – Philip Mazzei, Italian physician and friend of Thomas Jefferson (d. 1816)
  • 1742 – Charlotte von Stein, German friend of Goethe (d. 1827)
  • 1757 – Benjamin Pierce, U.S. politician (d 1839)
  • 1763 – Claude Chappe, French telecommunications pioneer (d. 1805)
  • 1771 – Dorothy Wordsworth, English diarist and sister of William Wordsworth (d. 1855)
  • 1810 – Alexandros Rhizos Rhankaves, Greek poet and statesman (d. 1892)
  • 1821 – Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross (d. 1912)
  • 1856 – Hans von Bartels, German painter (d. 1913)
  • 1856 – Pud Galvin, American professional baseball pitcher (d. 1902)
  • 1861 – Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya, Indian founder of Banaras Hindu University (d. 1946)
  • 1863 – Charles Pathé, French pioneer of film and record industries (d. 1957)
  • 1865 – Evangeline Booth, the 4th General of The Salvation Army (d. 1950)
  • 1870 – Helena Rubinstein, Polish-born American cosmetics industrialist (d. 1965)
  • 1874 – Lina Cavalieri, Italian soprano (d. 1944)
  • 1875 – Theodor Cardinal Innitzer, Austrian archbishop (d. 1955)
  • 1876 – Muhammad Ali Jinnah, founder of Pakistan (d. 1948)
  • 1876 – Adolf Otto Reinhold Windaus, Nobel laureate (d. 1959)
  • 1878 – Louis Chevrolet, Swiss-born race car driver (d. 1941)
  • 1884 – Evelyn Nesbit, American actress (d. 1967)
  • 1886 – Kid Ory, American musician (d. 1973)
  • 1887 – Conrad Hilton, American hotelier (d. 1979)
  • 1889 – Lila Bell Wallace, American magazine publisher (Reader’s Digest) (d. 1984)
  • 1890 – Robert Ripley, collector of odd facts (d. 1949)
  • 1891 – Clarrie Grimmett, Australian cricketer (d.1980)
  • 1899 – Humphrey Bogart, American actor (d. 1957)
  • 1901 – Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester (d. 2004)
  • 1902 – Barton MacLane, American actor (d. 1969)
  • 1904 – Gerhard Herzberg, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1999)
  • 1906 – Lew Grade, Ukrainian-born film producer (d. 1998)
  • 1906 – Ernst Ruska, Nobel laureate (d. 1988)
  • 1907 – Cab Calloway, American bandleader (d. 1994)
  • 1907 – Glenn McCarthy, American oil tycoon and businessman (d. 1988)
  • 1907 – Mike Mazurki, Ukrainian-born actor (d. 1990)
  • 1908 – Quentin Crisp, English author (d. 1999)
  • 1908 – Jo-Jo Moore, baseball player (d. 2001)
  • 1908 – Zora Arkus-Duntov, Belgian-American automotive engineer (d. 1996)
  • 1911 – Louise Bourgeois, sculptor
  • 1912 – Tony Martin, American singer and actor
  • 1912 – Natalino Otto, Italian singer (d. 1969)
  • 1913 – Henri Nannen, German journalist (d. 1966)
  • 1914 – James Muir Cameron Fletcher, New Zealand industrialist (d. 2007)
  • 1915 – Pete Rugolo, Italian-born composer
  • 1918 – Anwar Sadat, President of Egypt, Nobel laureate (d. 1981)
  • 1918 – Ahmed Ben Bella, politician, first President of Algeria
  • 1919 – Naushad Ali, Indian music director (d. 2006)
  • 1919 – Paul David, French Canadian cardiologist, founder of the Montreal Heart Institute (d. 1999)
  • 1919 – Noele Gordon, English actress (d. 1985)
  • 1921 – Zaib-un-Nissa Hamidullah, Pakistani journalist (d. 2000)
  • 1924 – Rod Serling, American television writer (d. 1975)
  • 1924 – Atal Bihari Vajpayee, former Prime Minister of India
  • 1925 – Carlos Castaneda, Peruvian-born author (d. 1998)
  • 1926 – Enrique Jorrín, Cuban composer and musician (d. 1987)
  • 1927 – Nellie Fox, baseball player (d. 1975)
  • 1928 – Dick Miller, American actor
  • 1929 – Stuart Hall, British radio and television presenter
  • 1929 – Chris Kenner, American singer and songwriter (d. 1976)
  • 1930 – Emmanuel Agassi, father of Andre Agassi
  • 1930 – Salah Jaheen, Egyptian poet and cartoonist (d.1986)
  • 1932 – Mabel King, American actress (d. 1999)
  • 1935 – Al Jackson, baseball player
  • 1936 – HRH Princess Alexandra of Kent
  • 1936 – Ismail Merchant, Indian-born film producer (d. 2005)
  • 1937 – O’Kelly Isley, Jr., American singer (The Isley Brothers) (d. 1986)
  • 1938 – Noel Picard, Quebec ice hockey player
  • 1940 – Pete Brown, English poet and lyricist
  • 1943 – Hanna Schygulla, German actress
  • 1943 – Wilson Fittipaldi Júnior, Brazilian racing driver
  • 1944 – Jairzinho, Brazilian footballer
  • 1944 – Kenny Everett, British entertainer (d. 1995)
  • 1944 – Henry Vestine, American musician (d. 1997)
  • 1945 – Noel Redding, English musician (d. 2003)
  • 1945 – Rick Berman, Star Trek producer
  • 1945 – Gary Sandy, American actor
  • 1945 – Mike Pringle, Scottish politician
  • 1946 – Jimmy Buffett, American singer and songwriter
  • 1946 – Larry Csonka, American football player
  • 1946 – Gene Lamont, American baseball player and manager
  • 1948 – Barbara Mandrell, American singer and actress
  • 1948 – Alia al Hussein, of Jordan (d. 1977)
  • 1948 – Joel Natalino Santana, Brazilian soccer coach
  • 1949 – Nawaz Sharif, Prime Minister of Pakistan
  • 1949 – Simone Bittencourt de Oliveira, Singer and icon of the Brazilian music
  • 1949 – Sissy Spacek, American actress
  • 1949 – Joe Louis Walker, American musician
  • 1950 – Manny Trillo, baseball player
  • 1950 – Yehuda Poliker, Israeli singer-songwriter
  • 1950 – Karl Rove, former American presidential advisor
  • 1952 – CCH Pounder, Guyana-born actress
  • 1952 – Desireless, French singer
  • 1954 – Annie Lennox, Scottish singer, from Aberdeen
  • 1954 – Steve Wariner, American country music singer
  • 1957 – Chris Kamara, English footballer and commentator
  • 1957 – Shane MacGowan, Irish musician
  • 1958 – Hanford Dixon, American football player
  • 1958 – Rickey Henderson, baseball player
  • 1958 – Alannah Myles, Canadian singer
  • 1959 – Michael P. Anderson, astronaut (d. 2003)
  • 1960 – Ron Bottitta, British actor
  • 1961 – Ingrid Betancourt, Colombian senator
  • 1962 – Dean Cameron, American actor
  • 1962 – Darren Wharton, British Keyboardist (Thin Lizzy and Dare)
  • 1964 – Gary McAllister, Scottish footballer
  • 1964 – Tim Royes – Music Video Director and Editor
  • 1964 – Bob Stanley, English musician (Saint Etienne), filmmaker and journalist
  • 1967 – Jason Thirsk, American bass player (d. 1996)
  • 1968 – Helena Christensen, Danish model
  • 1968 – Jim Dowd, American ice hockey player
  • 1971 – Dido, English singer
  • 1971 – Justin Trudeau, Canadian media personality
  • 1971 – Noel Hogan, Irish musician
  • 1972 – Josh Freese, American drummer
  • 1972 – Mac Powell, American musician, singer/songwriter (lead singer of Third Day)
  • 1973 – Robbie Elliott, English footballer
  • 1973 – Chris Harris, American professional wrestler
  • 1973 – Alexandre Trudeau, Canadian journalist
  • 1974 – Nagma, Indian actress
  • 1975 – Marcus Trescothick, English cricketer
  • 1975 – Hideki Okajima, Japanese baseball player
  • 1975 – Rob Mariano, American reality show contestant
  • 1976 – Tuomas Holopainen, Finnish keyboardist and songwriter
  • 1976 – Armin van Buuren, Dutch DJ & Producer
  • 1977 – Jim Greco, American skateboarder
  • 1977 – Uhm Ji-won, South Korean actress
  • 1977 – Israel Vasquez, Current WBC Super bantamweight champion
  • 1978 – Joel Porter, Australian footballer
  • 1978 – Simon Jones, English cricketer
  • 1980 – Marcus Trufant, American football player (Seattle Seahawks)
  • 1980 – Reika Hashimoto, Japanese actress
  • 1980 – Locó, Angolan footballer
  • 1980 – Laura Sadler, British actress (d. 2003)
  • 1981 – Katie Wright, American actress
  • 1981 – Willy Taveras, baseball player
  • 1982 – Shawn Andrews, American football player
  • 1982 – Rob Edwards, Welsh footballer
  • 1982 – Shystie, British rapper-songwriter
  • 1984 – Jessica and Lisa Origliasso, Australian pop singers
  • 1984 – Alastair Cook, English cricketer
  • 1984 – Georgia Moffett, British actress
  • 1985 – Leon Pisani, Welsh singer
  • 1985 – Perdita Weeks, British actress
  • 1986 – Doug Loft, English footballer
  • 1988 – Eric Gordon, American Basketball Player

December 25 – Deaths:

  • 795 – Pope Adrian I
  • 1156 – Peter the Venerable, Benedictine abbot of Cluny (b. c. 1092)
  • 1635 – Samuel de Champlain, French explorer and founder of Quebec City (b. 1567)
  • 1676 – Matthew Hale, Lord Chief Justice of England (b. 1609)
  • 1676 – William Cavendish, 1st Duke of Newcastle, English soldier (b. 1592)
  • 1683 – Kara Mustafa, Ottoman general (b. 1634)
  • 1758 – James Hervey, English clergyman (b. 1714)
  • 1765 – Václav Prokop Diviš, Czech theologian and natural scientist (b. 1698)
  • 1784 – Yosa Buson, Japanese painter (b. 1716)
  • 1824 – Barbara Juliana, Baroness von Krüdener, Russian writer (b. 1764)
  • 1868 – Linus Yale, Jr., American mechanical engineer and inventor (b. 1821)
  • 1880 – Fridolin Anderwert, Swiss Federal Councillor (b. 1828)
  • 1916 – St. Albert Chmielowski, Polish Catholic saint (b. 1845)
  • 1921 – Vladimir Korolenko, Russian writer (b. 1853)
  • 1925 – Karl Abraham, German psychoanalyst (b. 1877)
  • 1926 – Emperor Taisho of Japan (b. 1879)
  • 1933 – Francesc Macià, Catalonian statesman (b. 1859)
  • 1935 – Paul Bourget, French novelist and critic (b. 1852)
  • 1938 – Karel Capek, Czech author (b. 1890)
  • 1940 – Agnes Ayres, American actress (b. 1898)
  • 1944 – George Steer, British Journalist (b. 1909)
  • 1946 – W. C. Fields, American comedian (b. 1880)
  • 1947 – Gaspar G. Bacon, was Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts (b. 1886)
  • 1950 – Neil Francis Hawkins, British fascist (b. 1903)
  • 1953 – Patsy Donovan, Irish-born American baseball player (b. 1865)
  • 1954 – Johnny Ace, American singer (b. 1929)
  • 1961 – Otto Loewi, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1873)
  • 1961 – Owen Brewster, U.S. Senator from Maine (b. 1888)
  • 1963 – Tristan Tzara, Romanian-born writer (b. 1896)
  • 1973 – Ismet Inönü, Turkish statesman (b. 1884)
  • 1973 – Gabriel Voisin, French aviation pioneer (b. 1880)
  • 1975 – Gaston Gallimard, French publisher (b. 1881)
  • 1977 – Charlie Chaplin, English actor (b. 1889)
  • 1979 – Joan Blondell, American actress (b. 1906)
  • 1979 – Jordi Bonet, Quebec muralist and sculptor (b. 1932)
  • 1983 – Joan Miró, Catalan painter (b. 1893)
  • 1988 – Ooka Shohei, Japanese novelist (b. 1909)
  • 1988 – Edward Pelham-Clinton, 10th Duke of Newcastle-under-Lyne (b. 1920)
  • 1989 – Nicolae Ceausescu, Romanian dictator (executed) (b. 1918)
  • 1989 – Elena Ceausescu, Romanian politician (executed) (b. 1916)
  • 1989 – Billy Martin, American baseball manager (b. 1928)
  • 1992 – Monica Dickens, British writer (b. 1915)
  • 1993 – Pierre Victor Auger, French physicist (b. 1899)
  • 1994 – Zail Singh, President of India (b. 1916)
  • 1995 – Dean Martin, American singer (b. 1917)
  • 1995 – Emmanuel Levinas, French Philosopher (b. 1906)
  • 1997 – Denver Pyle, American actor (b. 1920)
  • 1998 – Bryan MacLean, American singer, musician and songwriter (Love) (b. 1946)
  • 1998 – John Pulman, English snooker player (b. 1926)
  • 1999 – Peter Jeffrey, English actor (b. 1929)
  • 2000 – Neil Hawke, Australian cricketer and footballer (b. 1939
  • 2000 – Willard Van Orman Quine, American philosopher (b. 1908)
  • 2002 – William T. Orr, American television producer (b. 1917)
  • 2003 – Nicholas Mavroules, American politician (b. 1929)
  • 2004 – Gennady Strekalov, Russian cosmonaut (b. 1940)
  • 2005 – Derek Bailey, English guitar virtuoso (b. 1930)
  • 2005 – Birgit Nilsson, Swedish singer (b. 1918)
  • 2005 – Robert Barbers, Philippine senator (b. 1944)
  • 2006 – James Brown, American singer (b. 1933)
  • 2007 – Desmond Barrick, English Cricketer (b. 1927)
  • 2007 – Mighty King Kong, Kenyan reggae musician. (b. 1973)

December 25 – Holidays:

  • Christmas Day
  • Constitution Day – Republic of China now based in Taiwan
  • The feast day of Anastasia of Sirmium

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On This Day in History December 24

December 24 – Events:

  • 563 – The Byzantine church Hagia Sophia in Constantinople is dedicated for the second time after being destroyed by earthquakes.
  • 962 – Byzantine troops destroy the Emir of Aleppo, thoroughly sacking the city.
  • 1294 – Pope Boniface VIII is elected Pope, replacing St. Celestine V, who had abdicated.
  • 1777 – Kiritimati, also called Christmas Island, is discovered by James Cook.
  • 1814 – The Treaty of Ghent is signed ending the War of 1812.
  • 1818 – “Silent Night” is composed by Franz Joseph Gruber, first sung the next day.
  • 1851 – Library of Congress burns.
  • 1865 – Several U.S. Civil War Confederate veterans form the Ku Klux Klan.
  • 1889 – Daniel Stover & William Hance patent the bicycle with back pedal brake.
  • 1906 – Radio: Reginald Fessenden transmits the first radio broadcast; consisting of a poetry reading, a violin solo, and a speech.
  • 1910 – Luisa Tetrazzini sings to 250,000 people at Lot’s fountain.
  • 1914 – World War I: The “Christmas truce” begins.
  • 1924 – Albania becomes a republic.
  • 1929 – Assassination attempt on Argentine President Hipólito Yrigoyen.
  • 1933 – Paris express train derails and kills 160, injures 300.
  • 1936 – First radioactive isotope medicine administered in Berkeley, California.
  • 1939 – World War II: Pope Pius XII makes a Christmas Eve appeal for peace.
  • 1941 – World War II: Hong Kong falls to the Japanese Imperial Army.
  • 1941 – World War II: Kuching is conquered by Japanese forces.
  • 1942 – World War II: French monarchist, Fernand Bonnier de La Chapelle, assassinates Vichy French Admiral François Darlan in Algiers.
  • 1942 – World War II: First powered flight of V-1 buzz bomb, Germany.
  • 1943 – World War II: U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower becomes the Supreme Allied Commander.
  • 1946 – France’s Fourth Republic is founded.
  • 1951 – Libya becomes independent from Italy. Idris I is proclaimed King of Libya.
  • 1953 – Tangiwai disaster: A railway bridge collapse at Tangiwai, New Zealand sending a fully loaded passenger train into the Whangaehu River and killing 153 people.
  • 1953 – Two fast express trains crash head-on killing 103 in Czechoslovokia.
  • 1954 – Laos gains its independence.
  • 1956 – “I Love Lucy” Christmas show airs; it was never put in syndication.
  • 1961 – Houston Oilers beat San Diego Chargers 10-3 in AFL championship game.
  • 1966 – A Canadair CL-44 chartered by the United States military crashes into a small village in South Vietnam, killing 129.
  • 1968 – The crew of the USS Pueblo is released by North Korea after being held for 11 months on suspicion of spying.
  • 1968 – Apollo Program: The crew of Apollo 8 enters into orbit around the Moon, becoming the first humans to do so. They performed 10 lunar orbits and broadcast live TV pictures that became the famous Christmas Eve Broadcast, one of the most watched programs in history.
  • 1970 – Walt Disney’s “The Aristocats” is released.
  • 1973 – Ferryboat capsizes off the coast of Ecuador, drowning 200.
  • 1974 – Cyclone Tracy devastates Darwin, Australia.
  • 1979 – The Soviet Union invades Afghanistan to support the country’s Marxist government.
  • 1979 – The first European Ariane rocket is launched.
  • 1980 – Americans remembered Iran hostages by shining lights for 417 seconds.
  • 1997 – The Sid El-Antri massacre (or Sidi Lamri) in Algeria kills 50-100 people.
  • 1989 – Panama’s dictator, Manual Noriega, seeks asylum in the Vatican embassy.
  • 1991 – Mikhail Gorbachev resigns as head of the Soviet Union.
  • 1997 – The Dominican Republic becomes a member of the Berne Convention copyright treaty.
  • 2000 – The Texas 7 hold up a sports store in Irving, Texas. Police officer Aubrey Hawkins is shot during the robbery.
  • 2003 – The Spanish police thwart an attempt by ETA to detonate 50 kg of explosives at 3:55 p.m. inside Madrid’s busy Chamartín Station.

December 24 – Birthdays:

  • 3 BC – Galba, Roman Emperor (d. 69)
  • 1166 – King John of England (d. 1216)
  • 1389 – John VI, Duke of Brittany (d. 1442)
  • 1475 – Thomas Murner, German writer (d.c. 1537)
  • 1491 – Ignatius of Loyola, Spanish founder of the Jesuit order (d. 1556)
  • 1508 – Pietro Carnesecchi, Italian humanist (d. 1567)
  • 1588 – Constance of Austria, queen of Poland (d. 1631)
  • 1609 – Philip Warwick, English writer and politician (d. 1683)
  • 1635 – Mariana of Austria, second wife of king Philip IV of Spain (d. 1696)
  • 1698 – William Warburton, English Bishop of Gloucester (d. 1779)
  • 1724 – Johann Conrad Ammann, Swiss physician and naturalist (d. 1811)
  • 1745 – Benjamin Rush, doctor and Founding Father of the United States (d. 1813)
  • 1754 – George Crabbe, British poet and naturalist (d. 1832)
  • 1761 – Jean-Louis Pons, French astronomer (d. 1831)
  • 1784 – Grand Duchess Elena Pavlovna of Russia (d. 1803)
  • 1798 – Adam Mickiewicz, Polish poet (d. 1855)
  • 1809 – Kit Carson, American frontiersman (d. 1868)
  • 1812 – Karl Eduard Zachariae, German jurist (d. 1894)
  • 1818 – James Prescott Joule, British physicist (d. 1889)
  • 1822 – Matthew Arnold, British poet (d. 1888)
  • 1837 – Elisabeth of Bavaria a.k.a Sissi, Empress of Austria (d. 1898)
  • 1843 – Lydia Koidula, Estonian poet (d. 1886)
  • 1845 – King George I of Greece (d. 1913)
  • 1867 – Kantaro Suzuki, 42nd Prime Minister of Japan (d. 1948)
  • 1868 – Emanuel Lasker, German chess player (d. 1941)
  • 1879 – Queen Alexandrine of Denmark, Queen Consort to Christian X (d. 1952)
  • 1879 – Émile Nelligan, Quebec poet (d. 1941)
  • 1880 – Johnny Gruelle, American cartoonist, children’s book writer and creator of
  • 1881 – Juan Ramón Jiménez, Spanish writer, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1958)
  • 1886 – Michael Curtiz, Hungarian-born director (d. 1962)
  • 1887 – Louis Jouvet, French actor and producer (d. 1951)
  • 1893 – Harry Warren, American composer and lyricist (Chattanooga Choo Choo – I Only Have Eyes for You) (d. 1981)
  • 1894 – Georges Guynemer, French aviator (d. 1917)
  • 1895 – E. Roland Harriman, American financier (d. 1978)
  • 1898 – Héctor Scarone, Uruguayan footballer (d. 1967)
  • 1898 – Baby Dodds, American jazz drummer (d. 1959)
  • 1900 – Joey Smallwood, Canadian politician, Premier of Newfoundland (d. 1991)
  • 1904 – Joseph Moses Juran, American industrial engineer and philanthropist.
  • 1905 – Howard Hughes, American film producer and inventor (d. 1976)
  • 1906 – Franz Waxman, German film composer (d. 1967)
  • 1907 – I. F. Stone, American journalist (d. 1989)
  • 1910 – Fritz Leiber, American writer (d. 1992)
  • 1910 – Max Miedinger, typeface designer, famous for creating Helvetica in 1957. (d. 1980)
  • 1914 – Ralph Marterie, American trumpet player and big band leader (d. 1978)
  • 1914 – Herbert Reinecker, German writer
  • 1917 – Kim Jong-suk, Wife of Kim Il-sung, mother of Kim Jung-Il, “The Heroine of the Anti-Japanese Revolution” (d. 1949)
  • 1920 – Evgeniya Rudneva, Russian World War II heroine (d. 1944)
  • 1922 – Ava Gardner, American actress (d. 1990)
  • 1923 – George Patton IV, American general (d. 2004)
  • 1923 – Michael DiBiase, American wrestler (d. 1969)
  • 1924 – Lee Dorsey, American singer (d. 1986)
  • 1924 – Grigory Kriss, Russian Olympic champion fencer
  • 1925 – Mohd. Rafi, Indian actor and playback singer (d. 1980)
  • 1926 – Paul Buissonneau, French-born Quebec theatre director
  • 1929 – Mary Higgins Clark, American author
  • 1931 – Mauricio Kagel, Argentine composer
  • 1931 – Ray Bryant, American jazz pianist and composer
  • 1932 – On Kawara, Japanese conceptual artist
  • 1937 – Félix Miéli Venerando, Brazilian football player
  • 1938 – Bobby Henrich, American baseball player
  • 1938 – Valentim Loureiro, Portuguese politician, and former football chairman of Boavista F.C. and Liga Portuguesa de Futebol Profissional
  • 1941 – John Levene, British actor
  • 1943 – Tarja Halonen, President of Finland
  • 1944 – Daniel Johnson, Jr., Quebec politician, Premier of Quebec
  • 1944 – Mike Curb, American musician, record company executive and politician
  • 1944 – Oswald Gracias, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Bombay
  • 1944 – Barry Chuckle, British comedian
  • 1945 – Lemmy, British singer, bassist (Motörhead)
  • 1945 – Nicholas Meyer, American author
  • 1945 – Steve Smith, Canadian Comedian, The New Red Green Show, Duct Tape Forever
  • 1946 – Brenda Howard, American bisexual activist (d. 2005)
  • 1946 – Jeff Sessions, American politician
  • 1947 – Kevin Sheedy, coach of Australian Football League club Essendon FC
  • 1948 – Frank Oliver, New Zealand rugby player
  • 1949 – Randy Neugebauer, American politician
  • 1949 – Warwick Brown, Australian racing driver
  • 1950 – Dana Gioia, American poet
  • 1951 – John D’Acquisto, baseball player
  • 1953 – François Loos, French politician
  • 1954 – José María Figueres, Costa Rican politician
  • 1955 – Grand L. Bush, American actor
  • 1955 – Clarence Gilyard, American actor
  • 1957 – Hamid Karzai, President of Afghanistan
  • 1957 – Diane Tell, Quebec singer
  • 1958 – Munetaka Higuchi, Japanese drummer
  • 1959 – Keith Deller, British darts player
  • 1959 – Anil Kapoor, Indian actor
  • 1960 – Glenn McQueen, American animator (d. 2002)
  • 1960 – Carol Vorderman, British television presenter
  • 1961 – Ilham Aliyev, President of Azerbaijan Republic
  • 1961 – Jay Wright, American basketball coach
  • 1963 – Jay Bilas, American basketball analyst
  • 1963 – Mary Ramsey, American singer (10,000 Maniacs)
  • 1963 – Caroline Aherne, British comedienne, writer and actress
  • 1964 – Mark Valley, American actor
  • 1966 – Diedrich Bader, American actor
  • 1967 – Mikhail Shchennikov, Russian race walker
  • 1968 – Doyle Bramhall II, American guitarist
  • 1969 – Mark Millar, Scottish comic book writer
  • 1970 – Amaury Nolasco, American actor
  • 1970 – Will Oldham, American singer and songwriter
  • 1971 – Christopher Daniels, American professional wrestler
  • 1971 – Ricky Martin, Puerto Rican singer
  • 1971 – Giorgos Alkaios, Greek singer
  • 1972 – Alvaro Mesen, Costa Rican footballer
  • 1973 – Eddie Pope, American soccer player
  • 1973 – Stephenie Meyer, Author
  • 1974 – Marcelo Salas, Chilean footballer
  • 1974 – Ryan Seacrest, American television host
  • 1978 – Yildiray Bastürk, Turkish footballer
  • 1979 – Chris Hero, American professional wrestler
  • 1980 – Tomas Kalnoky, American musician (Streetlight Manifesto)
  • 1981 – Dima Bilan, Karachay-Russian pop artist
  • 1982 – Aiba Masaki, Japanese singer and actor
  • 1982 – Robert Carmine, American singer
  • 1985 – David Ragan, American race car driver
  • 1986 – Edward Southall, British composer
  • 1986 – Riyo Mori, Miss Universe 2007 from Japan

December 24 – Deaths:

  • 427 – Archbishop Sisinnius I of Constantinople
  • 820 – Leo V, Byzantine Emperor (assassinated) (b. 775)
  • 1257 – John I, Count of Hainaut (b. 1218)
  • 1453 – John Dunstaple, English composer (b. 1390)
  • 1524 – Vasco da Gama, Portuguese explorer (b. 1469)
  • 1660 – Mary, Princess Royal and Princess of Orange (b. 1631)
  • 1707 – Noël Coypel, French painter (b. 1628)
  • 1813 – Empress Go-Sakuramachi of Japan (b. 1740)
  • 1863 – William Makepeace Thackeray, British writer (b. 1811)
  • 1865 – Sir Charles Lock Eastlake, British painter and writer (b. 1793)
  • 1868 – Adolphe d’Archiac, French paleontologist and geologist (b. 1802)
  • 1872 – William John Macquorn Rankine, British physician and engenier (b. 1820)
  • 1873 – Johns Hopkins, Baltimore philanthropist and businessman (b. 1795)
  • 1889 – Jan Jakob Lodewijk ten Kate, Dutch poet and clergyman (b. 1819)
  • 1898 – Sharbel Makhluf, Lebanese monk canonized in 1977 by Pope Paul VI (b. 1828)
  • 1914 – John Muir, British naturalist (b. 1838)
  • 1935 – Alban Berg, Austrian composer (b. 1885)
  • 1938 – Bruno Taut, German architect (b. 1880)
  • 1941 – Siegfried Alkan, German composer (b. 1858)
  • 1942 – François Darlan, vice-premier of Vichy France (b. 1881)
  • 1957 – Norma Talmadge, American actress (b. 1893)
  • 1965 – William M. Branham, Christian minister (b. 1906)
  • 1971 – Maria Koepcke, ornithologist (b. 1924)
  • 1972 – Gisela Richter, British art historian (b. 1882)
  • 1972 – Melville Ruick, American actor (b. 1898)
  • 1975 – Bernard Herrmann, American film composer (b. 1911)
  • 1976 – Duarte Nuno, Duke of Braganza, heir to the throne of Portugal (b. 1907)
  • 1977 – Samael Aun Weor, Columbian writer (b. 1917)
  • 1980 – Karl Dönitz, German naval admiral, and last leader of Nazi Germany (b. 1891)
  • 1980 – Siggie Nordstrom, model, actress, entertainer, socialite and lead singer of The Nordstrom Sisters (b. 1893)
  • 1982 – Louis Aragon, French writer (b. 1897)
  • 1984 – Peter Lawford, British actor (b. 1923)
  • 1985 – Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith, Last Lincoln descendant (b. 1904)
  • 1986 – Gardner Fox, American writer (b. 1911)
  • 1987 – Joop den Uyl, Prime Minister of the Netherlands (b. 1919)
  • 1987 – M. G. Ramachandran, Chief Minister of the Tamil Nadu (b. 1917)
  • 1990 – Thorbjørn Egner, Norwegian author (b. 1922)
  • 1992 – Peyo, Belgian comics artist, and creator of The Smurfs (b. 1928)
  • 1992 – Bobby LaKind, American musician and singer (The Doobie Brothers) (b. 1945)
  • 1993 – Norman Vincent Peale, American writer (b. 1898)
  • 1994 – John Boswell, American historian (b. 1947)
  • 1994 – Rossano Brazzi, Italian actor and singer (b. 1916)
  • 1997 – Toshiro Mifune, Japanese actor (b. 1920)
  • 1997 – Pierre Péladeau, Quebec businessman, founder of Quebecor (b. 1925)
  • 1999 – João Baptista de Oliveira Figueiredo, President of Brazil (b. 1918)
  • 1999 – Maurice Couve de Murville, French politician, Prime minister of France (b. 1907)
  • 1999 – Bill Bowerman, American track and field coach
  • 2000 – John Cooper, English race car designer (b. 1923)
  • 2000 – Nick Massi, American singer (The Four Seasons) (b. 1935)
  • 2002 – Kjell Aukrust, Norwegian author (b. 1920)
  • 2002 – Laci Peterson, American murder victim (b. 1975)
  • 2004 – Johnny Oates, baseball player and manager (b. 1946)
  • 2005 – Michael Vale, American commercial actor (b. 1922)
  • 2006 – “Braguinha”, Brazilian songwriter (b. 1907)
  • 2006 – Kenneth Sivertsen, Norwegian singer, poet and comedian (b. 1961)
  • 2006 – Frank Stanton, American television executive (b. 1908)
  • 2007 – Nicholas Pumfrey, British judge (b. 1951)
  • 2007 – Akbar Radi, Iranian dramatist and playwright (b. 1939)

December 24 – Holidays:

  • Christmas Eve
  • Calendar of saints: Feast of Saint Adela and Saint Irmina.
  • The Declaration of Christmas Peace takes place in the Old Great Square of Turku, Finland’s official Christmas City, according to old traditions dating back to the Middle Ages.

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On This Day in History December 23

December 23 – Events:

  • 1493 – Georg Alt’s German translation of Hartmann Schedel’s Nuremberg Chronicle is published.
  • 1783 – George Washington resigns as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army at the Maryland State House in Annapolis, Maryland.
  • 1793 – The Battle of Savenay, decisive defeat of the royalist counter-revolutionaries in Revolt in the Vendée during the French Revolution.
  • 1913 – The Federal Reserve Act is signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson, creating the Federal Reserve.
  • 1914 – World War I: Australian and New Zealand troops arrive in Cairo, Egypt.
  • 1916 – World War I: Battle of Magdhaba – Allied forces defeat Turkish forces in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula.
  • 1921 – Visva-Bharati University is inaugurated.
  • 1936 – Colombia becomes a signatory to the Buenos Aires copyright treaty.
  • 1937 – First flight of the Vickers Wellington bomber.
  • 1938 – Discovery of the first modern coelacanth in South Africa.
  • 1940 – World War II: Greek submarine Papanikolis sinks the Italian motor ship Antonietta.
  • 1941 – World War II: Japanese Imperial Army occupies Wake Island.
  • 1947 – The transistor is first demonstrated at Bell Laboratories.
  • 1948 – Seven Japanese convicted of war crimes by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East are executed at Sugamo Prison in Tokyo.
  • 1954 – The first human kidney transplant is performed by Dr. Joseph E. Murray at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.
  • 1958 – Dedication of Tokyo Tower, world’s highest self-supporting iron tower.
  • 1968 – The United States won the release of 82 sailors by issuing a writing apology to North Korea for spying on the Communist country.
  • 1972 – The Nicaraguan capital of Managua is struck by a 6.5 magnitude earthquake, killing more than 10,000.
  • 1972 – The 16 survivors of the Andes flight disaster are rescued after 73 days, having survived by cannibalism.
  • 1979 – Soviet war in Afghanistan: Soviet forces occupy Kabul, the Afghan capital.
  • 1982 – The United States Environmental Protection Agency announces it has identified dangerous levels of dioxin in the soil of Times Beach, Missouri.
  • 1986 – Voyager, piloted by Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager, lands at Edwards Air Force Base in California becoming the first aircraft to fly non-stop around the world.
  • 1990 – History of Slovenia: In a referendum, 88% of Slovenia’s population vote for independence from Yugoslavia.
  • 2002 – A MQ-1 Predator is shot down by an Iraqi MiG-25, making it the first time in history that an aircraft and an unmanned drone had engaged in combat.
  • 2003 – PetroChina Chuandongbei natural gas field explosion, Guoqiao, Kai, Chongqing, China, killing at least 234.
  • 2004 – Macquarie Island in the Southern Ocean is hit by an 8.1 magnitude earthquake.
  • 2005 – Azerbaijan Airlines Flight 217 from Baku, Azerbaijan, to Aktau, Kazakhstan
  • crashes shortly after takeoff killing 23 people.
  • 2005 – Chad declares a state of war against Sudan following a December 18th attack on Adré, which left about 100 people dead.

December 23 – Birthdays:

  • 245- Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra
  • 1173 – Louis I, Duke of Bavaria (d. 1231)
  • 1513 – Thomas Smith, English diplomat and scholar (d. 1577)
  • 1537 – King John III of Sweden (d. 1592)
  • 1582 – Severo Bonini, Italian composer (d. 1663)
  • 1597 – Martin Opitz von Boberfeld, German poet (d. 1639)
  • 1613 – Carl Gustaf Wrangel, Swedish soldier (d. 1676)
  • 1621 – Edmund Berry Godfrey, English magistrate (d. 1678)
  • 1621 – Heneage Finch, 1st Earl of Nottingham, Lord Chancellor of England (d. 1682)
  • 1689 – Joseph Bodin de Boismortier, French composer (d. 1755)
  • 1732 – Richard Arkwright, English industrialist and inventor (d. 1792)
  • 1743 – Ippolit Bogdanovich, Russian poet (d. 1803)
  • 1750 – King Frederick Augustus I of Saxony (d. 1827)
  • 1777 – Tsar Alexander I of Russia (d. 1825)
  • 1790 – Jean François Champollion, French Egyptologist (d. 1832)
  • 1804 – Charles Augustin Sainte-Beuve, French literary critic (d. 1869)
  • 1805 – Joseph Smith, Jr., American founder of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (d. 1844)
  • 1819 – Jan Jakob Lodewijk ten Kate, Dutch poet and clergyman (d. 1889)
  • 1822 – Wilhelm Bauer, German engineer (d. 1875)
  • 1843 – Richard Conner, American Civil War Medal of Honor Recipient (d. 1924)
  • 1854 – Henry B. Guppy, British botanist (d. 1926)
  • 1864 – Zorka of Montenegro, Princess of Serbia (d. 1890)
  • 1867 – Madam C.J. Walker, American philanthropist and tycoon (d. 1919)
  • 1878 – Stephen Timoshenko, Ukrainian-born mechanical engineer (d. 1972)
  • 1885 – Pierre Brissaud, French artist (d. 1964)
  • 1891 – Alexandr Rodchenko, Russian painter and photographer (d. 1956)
  • 1900 – Otto Soglow, American comics artist (d. 1975)
  • 1902 – Norman Maclean, American author (d. 1990)
  • 1907 – Avraham Stern, Polish-born Zionist leader (d. 1942)
  • 1908 – Yousuf Karsh, Turkish-born, Canadian portrait photographer (d. 2002)
  • 1911 – Niels Kaj Jerne, English-born immunologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (d. 1994)
  • 1911 – James Gregory, American actor (d. 2002)
  • 1916 – Dino Risi, Italian film director and screenwriter 
  • 1918 – Helmut Schmidt, Chancellor of Germany 
  • 1918 – José Greco, Italian-born flamenco dancer (d. 2001) 
  • 1921 – Guy Beaulne, French Canadian actor and theatre director (d. 2001) 
  • 1922 – Micheline Ostermeyer, French athlete and musician (d. 2001) 
  • 1923 – Günther Schifter, Austrian music journalist 
  • 1923 – Claudio Scimone, Italian conductor 
  • 1923 – James Stockdale, U.S. Navy admiral (d. 2005) 
  • 1923 – Onofre Marimón, Argentine racing driver (d. 1954)
  • 1926 – Robert Bly, American poet
  • 1928 – Chronis Aidonidis, Greek singer
  • 1929 – Chet Baker, American jazz trumpet player (d. 1988)
  • 1929 – Dick Weber, American professional tenpin bowler (d. 2005)
  • 1931 – Ronnie Schell, American actor
  • 1933 – Akihito, Emperor of Japan
  • 1935 – Paul Hornung, American football player
  • 1935 – Esther Phillips, American singer (d. 1984)
  • 1936 – Frederic Forrest, American actor
  • 1937 – Barney Rosenzweig, American television producer
  • 1938 – Bob Kahn, American Internet pioneer
  • 1940 – Jorma Kaukonen, American musician (Jefferson Airplane, Hot Tuna)
  • 1940 – Robert Labine, former mayor of old city of Gatineau, Quebec
  • 1940 – Eugene Record, American singer (The Chi-Lites) (d. 2005)
  • 1941 – Ron Bushy, Rock Band Drummer
  • 1941 – Tim Hardin, American musician (d. 1980)
  • 1942 – John Peterman, American fashion designer
  • 1943 – Mikhail Gromov, Russian-born mathematician
  • 1943 – Harry Shearer, American actor
  • 1943 – Ron Allen, baseball player
  • 1943 – Elizabeth Hartman, American actress (d. 1987)
  • 1943 – Silvia Sommerlath, Queen of Sweden
  • 1944 – Wesley Clark, U.S. general, NATO Supreme Allied Commander, and former US Presidential candidate
  • 1945 – Ron Bushy, American drummer (Iron Butterfly)
  • 1946 – Edita Gruberova, Slovak operatic soprano
  • 1946 – Susan Lucci, American actress
  • 1947 – Heikki Lahtinen, Finnish race walker
  • 1948 – Jack Ham, American football player
  • 1948 – Leslie Moonves, American television executive
  • 1949 – Adrian Belew, American musician
  • 1950 – Michael C. Burgess, American politician
  • 1950 – Ilchi Lee, Korean educator and author
  • 1951 – Anthony Phillips, British guitarist (Genesis)
  • 1952 – William Kristol, American political commentator
  • 1956 – Dave Murray, English guitarist (Iron Maiden)
  • 1956 – Michele Alboreto, Italian Formula one driver (d. 2001)
  • 1957 – Dan Bigras, Canadian singer
  • 1957 – Trisha Goddard, English television presenter
  • 1958 – Victoria Williams, American singer
  • 1958 – Joan Severance, American actress
  • 1959 – Geoff Willis, British engineer
  • 1961 – Carol Smillie, British television personality
  • 1962 – Bertrand Gachot, Belgian racing driver
  • 1962 – Kang Je-gyu, South Korean film director
  • 1962 – Keiji Muto, Japanese professional wrestler
  • 1963 – Jim Harbaugh, American football player
  • 1963 – Donna Tartt, American author
  • 1964 – Eddie Vedder, American musician (Pearl Jam)
  • 1967 – Carla Bruni, Italian-French model, songwriter and singer
  • 1968 – Quincy Jones III, Swedish-American musician
  • 1969 – Greg Biffle, American racecar driver
  • 1969 – Martha Byrne, American actress
  • 1970 – Catriona LeMay Doan, Canadian speed skater
  • 1970 – Raymont Harris, American football player
  • 1971 – Corey Haim, Canadian actor
  • 1971 – Masayoshi Yamazaki, Japanese singer-songwriter
  • 1971 – Michalis Klokidis, Greek footballer
  • 1971 – Tara Palmer-Tomkinson, British socialite
  • 1974 – Agustín Delgado, Ecuadorian footballer
  • 1975 – Sky Lopez, American actress
  • 1975 – Vadim Sharifijanov, Russian ice hockey player
  • 1976 – Brad Lidge, American baseball player
  • 1976 – Dimitris Mavrogenidis, Greek footballer
  • 1976 – Jamie Noble, American professional wrestler
  • 1977 – Alge Crumpler, American football player
  • 1977 – Jari Mäenpää, Finnish guitarist and singer
  • 1977 – Paul Shirley, American basketball player
  • 1978 – Andra Davis, American football player
  • 1978 – Esthero, Canadian musician and singer
  • 1978 – Jodie Marsh, British glamour model
  • 1978 – Víctor Martínez, Venezuelan baseball player
  • 1978 – Estella Warren, Canadian model and actress
  • 1979 – Summer Altice, American model and actress
  • 1979 – Scott Gomez, American ice hockey player
  • 1979 – Holly Madison, American model
  • 1981 – Beth, Spanish singer
  • 1983 – Michael Chopra, English footballer
  • 1983 – Hanley Ramírez, Dominican baseball player
  • 1985 – Harry Judd, British drummer (McFly)
  • 1985 – Luke O’Loughlin, Australian actor
  • 1988 – Eri Kamei, Japanese singer
  • 1990 – Anna Maria Perez de Tagle, American actress, model, and singer

December 23 – Deaths:

  • 679 – Dagobert II, King of Austrasia (b. c 650).(murdered)
  • 910 – Naum of Preslav, Bulgarian scholar
  • 913 – Conrad of Franconia
  • 918 – Conrad I of Germany
  • 1230 – Berengaria of Navarre, queen of Richard I of England
  • 1556 – Nicholas Udall, English playwright (b. 1504)
  • 1568 – Roger Ascham, tutor of Elizabeth I of England
  • 1575 – Akiyama Nobutomo, Japanese warrior (hanged) (b. 1531)
  • 1588 – Henry I, Duke of Guise, French Catholic leader (b. 1550)
  • 1631 – Michael Drayton, English poet (b. 1563)
  • 1646 – François Maynard, French poet (b. 1582)
  • 1652 – John Cotton, founder of Boston, Massachusetts (b. 1585)
  • 1675 – Caesar, duc de Choiseul, French marshal and diplomat (b. 1602)
  • 1722 – Pierre Varignon, French mathematician (b. 1654)
  • 1771 – Marie-Marguerite d’Youville, Canadian saint (b. 1701)
  • 1761 – Alestair Ruadh MacDonnell, Scottish Jacobite spy
  • 1779 – Augustus Hervey, 3rd Earl of Bristol, British admiral and politician (b. 1724)
  • 1789 – Charles-Michel de l’Épée, French philanthropist (b. 1712)
  • 1793 – Johann Adolph Hasse, German composer (b. 1699)
  • 1793 – Antoine François Prévost, French author and novelist (b. 1697)
  • 1795 – Henry Clinton, British general (b. 1730)
  • 1805 – Pehr Osbeck, Swedish explorer and naturalist (b. 1723)
  • 1834 – Thomas Malthus, English demographer and economist (b. 1766)
  • 1846 – Jean Baptiste Bory de Saint-Vincent, French naturalist (b. 1780)
  • 1902 – Frederick Temple, Archbishop of Canterbury (b. 1821)
  • 1912 – Otto Schoetensack, German anthropologist (b. 1850)
  • 1931 – Wilson Bentley, American scientist (b. 1865)
  • 1939 – Anthony Fokker, Dutch aircraft manufacturer (b. 1890)
  • 1946 – John A. Sampson, American gynecologist (b. 1873)
  • 1948 – Hideki Tojo, Prime Minister of Japan (hanged) (b. 1884)
  • 1948 – Akira Muto, Japanese army commander (hanged) (b. 1883)
  • 1953 – Lavrenty Beria, Soviet Communist leader (b. 1899)
  • 1954 – René Iché, French sculptor (b. 1897)
  • 1970 – Charles Ruggles, American actor (b. 1886)
  • 1972 – Andrei Tupolev, Soviet aircraft designer (b. 1888)
  • 1973 – Charles Atlas, Italian-born bodybuilder (b. 1892)
  • 1973 – Irna Phillips, American television writer, director, and producer (b. 1901)
  • 1979 – Peggy Guggenheim, American art collector (b. 1898)
  • 1982 – Jack Webb, American actor, producer, and director (b. 1920)
  • 1983 – Colin Middleton, Northern Irish artist (b. 1910)
  • 1992 – Vincent Fourcade, French American interior designer and socialite (b. 1934)
  • 1992 – Eddie Hazel, American guitarist (Funkadelic) (b. 1950)
  • 1994 – Sebastian Shaw, English actor (b. 1905)
  • 1997 – Stanley Cortez, American cinematographer (b. 1908)
  • 2000 – Noor Jehan, Indian singer and actress (b. 1926)
  • 2000 – Billy Barty, American actor (b. 1924)
  • 2000 – Victor Borge, Danish-born comedian and pianist (b. 1909)
  • 2004 – P. V. Narasimha Rao, Prime Minister of India (b. 1921)
  • 2005 – Norman D. Vaughan, polar explorer and dogsled driver (b. 1905)
  • 2005 – Lajos Baróti, Hungarian footballer and coach (b. 1914)
  • 2006 – Charlie Drake, English comedian (b. 1925)
  • 2006 – Marilyn Waltz, American actress and Playboy Playmate (b. 1931)
  • 2006 – Timothy J. Tobias, American composer and musician (b. 1952)
  • 2006 – Johnny Vincent, English footballer for Birmingham City and Middlesbrough (b. 1947)
  • 2007 – Michael Kidd, American film and stage choreographer (b. 1915)
  • 2007 – Oscar Peterson, Canadian jazz pianist and composer (b. 1925)
  • 2007 – William Francis Ganong, American physiologist (b. 1924)

December 23 – Holidays:

  • Roman festivals – Larentalia, a festival in honour of Larenta
  • R.C. Saints – O Emmanuel, John Cantius ; Thorlac Thorhallsson, patron saint of Iceland
  • Japan – The Emperor’s Birthday – Birthday of Akihito, the current Emperor of Japan
  • Ancient Latvia – Ziemassvetki held
  • Sweden – Birthday of Queen Silvia, an official flag day
  • Oaxaca – Night of the Radishes
  • Secular humanism (American) – HumanLight observed
  • Saint Abassad, in the Coptic Church
  • Saint Psote, in the Coptic Church

 

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On This Day in History December 22

December 22 – Events:

  • 1790 – The Turkish fortress of Izmail is stormed and captured by Suvorov and his Russian armies.
  • 1807 – The Embargo Act, forbidding trade with all foreign countries, is passed by the U.S. Congress, at the urging of President Thomas Jefferson.
  • 1809 – The Non-Intercourse Act, lifting the Embargo Act except for the United Kingdom and France, passes the U.S. Congress.
  • 1849 – The execution of Fyodor Dostoevsky is called off at the last second.
  • 1851 – The first freight train is operated in Roorkee, India.
  • 1864 – Savannah, Georgia falls to General William Tecumseh Sherman, concluding his “March to the Sea.”
  • 1885 – Ito Hirobumi, a samurai, became the first Prime Minister of Japan.
  • 1894 – The Dreyfus affair begins, in France, when Alfred Dreyfus is wrongly convicted of treason, on antisemitic grounds.
  • 1920 – The GOELRO economic development plan is adopted by the 8th Congress of Soviets of the Russian SFSR.
  • 1937 – The Lincoln Tunnel opens to traffic in New York City.
  • 1940 – World War II: Himarë is captured by the Greek army.
  • 1942 – World War II: Adolf Hitler signs the order to develop the V-2 rocket as a weapon.
  • 1944 – World War II: Battle of the Bulge–German troops demand the surrender of United States troops at Bastogne, Belgium, prompting the famous one word reply by General Anthony McAuliffe: “Nuts!”
  • 1944 – World War II: Vietnam People’s Army is formed to resist Japanese occupation of Indo-China, now Vietnam.
  • 1947 – The Constituent Assembly of Italy approves its constitution.
  • 1956 – Colo is born, the first gorilla to be bred in captivity.
  • 1963 – Cruise ship Lakonia burns 180 miles north of Madeira with the loss of 128 lives.
  • 1964 – Comedian Lenny Bruce is convicted of obscenity.
  • 1964 – First flight of the SR-71 (Blackbird).
  • 1965 – In the United Kingdom, a 70mph speed limit is applied to all rural roads including motorways for the first time. Previously, there had been no speed limit.
  • 1974 – Grande Comore, Anjouan and Mohéli vote to become the independent nation of Comoros. Mayotte remains under French administration.
  • 1974 – Ted Heath’s house is attacked by members of the Provisional IRA.
  • 1978 – The pivotal Third Plenum of the 11th National Congress of the Communist Party of China is held in Beijing, with Deng Xiaoping reversing Mao-era policies to pursue a program for Chinese economic reform.
  • 1984 – Subway vigilante Bernhard Hugo Goetz shoots four African-American men on an express train in The Bronx borough of New York City.
  • 1988 – Chico Mendes, a Brazilian rubber tapper, unionist and environmental activist, is assassinated.
  • 1989 – After a week of bloody demonstrations, Ion Iliescu takes over as president of Romania, ending Nicolae Ceausescu’s Communist dictatorship.
  • 1989 – Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate re-opens after nearly 30 years, effectively ending the division of East and West Germany.
  • 1989 – Kempsey bus crash: Two tourist coaches collide on the Pacific Highway north of Kempsey, New South Wales
  • 1990 – Final independence of Marshall Islands and Federated States of Micronesia after termination of trusteeship.
  • 1997 – Acteal massacre: Attendees at a prayer meeting of Roman Catholic activists for indigenous causes in the small village of Acteal in the Mexican state of Chiapas are massacred by paramilitary forces.
  • 1999 – The Spanish Civil Guard finds near Calatayud (Zaragoza) another van loaded by ETA with 750 kg of explosives.
  • 2001 – Burhanuddin Rabbani, political leader of the Afghan Northern Alliance, hands over power in Afghanistan to the interim government headed by President Hamid Karzai.
  • 2001 – Richard Reid attempts to destroy a passenger airliner by igniting explosives hidden in his shoes aboard American Airlines Flight 63.
  • 2003 – A magnitude 6.6 earthquake hits near San Simeon, California. 

December 22 – Birthdays:

  • 1095 – Roger II of Sicily, King of Sicily (d. 1154)
  • 1178 – Emperor Antoku of Japan (d. 1185)
  • 1546 – Kuroda Yoshitaka, Japanese Daimyo (d. 1604)
  • 1550 – Cesare Cremonini, Italian philosopher (d. 1631)
  • 1639 – Jean Racine, French dramatist (d. 1699)
  • 1666 – Guru Gobind Singh, Sikh guru (d. 1708)
  • 1690 – Meidingnu Pamheiba, King of Manipur (d. 1751)
  • 1694 – Hermann Samuel Reimarus, German philosopher and writer (d. 1768)
  • 1696 – James Oglethorpe, English general and founder of the state of Georgia (d. 1785)
  • 1723 – Karl Friedrich Abel, German composer (d. 1787)
  • 1765 – Johann Friedrich Pfaff, German mathematician (d. 1825)
  • 1805 – John Obadiah Westwood, British entomologist (d. 1893)
  • 1807 – Johann Sebastian Welhaven, Norwegian poet (d. 1873)
  • 1819 – Franz Wilhelm Abt, German composer (d. 1870)
  • 1819 – Pierre Ossian Bonnet, French mathematician (d. 1892)
  • 1853 – Teresa Carreño, Venezuelan pianist (d. 1917)
  • 1853 – Yevgraf Fyodorov, Russian mathematician (d. 1919)
  • 1856 – Frank B. Kellogg, U.S. Secretary of State, Nobel laureate (d. 1937)
  • 1858 – Giacomo Puccini, Italian composer (d. 1924)
  • 1860 – Austin Norman Palmer, American penmanship innovator (d. 1927)
  • 1862 – Connie Mack, American baseball executive (d. 1956)
  • 1869 – Edwin Arlington Robinson, American poet (d. 1935)
  • 1869 – Dmitri Egorov, Russian mathematician (d. 1931)
  • 1872 – Camille Guérin, French veterinarian and bacteriologist (d. 1961)
  • 1874 – Franz Schmidt, Austrian composer (d. 1939)
  • 1876 – Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, Italian poet and editor (d. 1944)
  • 1883 – Edgard Varèse French-born composer (d. 1965)
  • 1887 – Srinivasa Ramanujan, Indian mathematician (d. 1920)
  • 1888 – J. Arthur Rank, British film producer (d. 1972)
  • 1898 – Vladimir Aleksandrovich Fock, Russian physicist (d. 1974)
  • 1899 – Gustav Gründgens, German actor (d. 1963)
  • 1900 – Marc Allégret, French film director and screenwriter (d. 1973)
  • 1901 – André Kostelanetz, American popular music orchestra leader and arranger (d. 1980)
  • 1903 – Haldan Keffer Hartline, American physiologist, Nobel laureate (d. 1983)
  • 1905 – Kenneth Rexroth, American poet (d. 1982)
  • 1905 – Pierre Brasseur, French actor (d. 1972)
  • 1907 – Dame Peggy Ashcroft, English actress (d. 1991)
  • 1909 – Patricia Hayes, English actress (d. 1998)
  • 1912 – Lady Bird Johnson, First Lady of the United States (d. 2007)
  • 1915 – Barbara Billingsley, American actress
  • 1917 – Gene Rayburn, American game show host (d. 1999)
  • 1921 – Hawkshaw Hawkins, American country singer (d. 1963)
  • 1922 – Jack Brooks, American politician
  • 1922 – Ruth Roman, American actress (d. 1999)
  • 1924 – Frank Corsaro, American stage director
  • 1925 – Lewis Glucksman, American financier (d. 2006)
  • 1934 – David Pearson, American racecar driver
  • 1936 – James Burke, British writer
  • 1936 – Hector Elizondo, American actor
  • 1936 – Wojciech Frykowski, Polish actor (d. 1969)
  • 1937 – Eduard Uspensky, Russian writer
  • 1938 – Matty Alou, Dominican baseball player
  • 1938 – Lucien Bouchard, Quebec politician
  • 1939 – James Gurley, American musician
  • 1942 – Dick Parry, English musician (Pink Floyd)
  • 1943 – Paul Wolfowitz, American politician
  • 1944 – Steve Carlton, American baseball player
  • 1945 – Diane Sawyer, American journalist
  • 1946 – Rick Nielsen, American musician (Cheap Trick)
  • 1948 – Noel Edmonds, English game show host
  • 1948 – Steve Garvey, American baseball player
  • 1948 – Lynne Thigpen, American actress (d. 2003)
  • 1949 – Maurice Gibb, English musician (The Bee Gees) (d. 2003)
  • 1949 – Robin Gibb, English musician (The Bee Gees)
  • 1951 – Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor, Duke of Westminster
  • 1953 – BernNadette Stanis, actress
  • 1953 – Ian Turnbull, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1954 – Hideshi Matsuda, Japanese racing driver
  • 1955 – Lonnie Smith, American baseball player
  • 1957 – Carole James, Canadian politician
  • 1958 – Frank Gambale, Australian musician
  • 1958 – David Heavener, American actor and musician
  • 1959 – Bernd Schuster, German footballer
  • 1960 – Wakin Chau, Chinese singer
  • 1960 – Jean-Michel Basquiat, American artist (d. 1988)
  • 1960 – Luther Campbell (Luke), American rap artist (2 Live Crew)
  • 1960 – Patrick Fitzgerald, American attorney
  • 1961 – Andrew Fastow, American businessman
  • 1962 – Ralph Fiennes, English actor
  • 1963 – Giuseppe Bergomi, Italian footballer
  • 1963 – Luna H. Mitani, Japanese American surrealism painter
  • 1966 – Dmitry Bilozerchev, Soviet gymnast
  • 1967 – Dan Petrescu, Romanian footballer
  • 1967 – Richey James Edwards, Welsh musician (Manic Street Preachers) (disappeared in 1995)
  • 1967 – Stéphane Gendron, Quebec politician
  • 1967 – Paul Morris, Australian racing driver
  • 1968 – Dina Meyer, American actress
  • 1968 – Lauralee Bell, American actress
  • 1969 – Myriam Bédard, Canadian athlete
  • 1971 – Pat Mastroianni, Canadian actor
  • 1972 – Big Tigger, television host
  • 1972 – Vanessa Paradis, French singer
  • 1974 – Heather Donahue, American actress
  • 1975 – Chris Adler, American actor
  • 1975 – Crissy Moran, American erotic actress
  • 1975 – Dmitri Khokhlov, Russian footballer
  • 1975 – Stanislav Neckár, Czech ice hockey player
  • 1976 – Brian A. Alexander, American screenwriter and director
  • 1976 – Jason Lane, American Baseball Player
  • 1977 – Steve Kariya, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1980 – Lee Eun-ju, South Korean actress (d. 2005)
  • 1980 – Chris Carmack, American actor
  • 1983 – Jennifer Hawkins, Australian Miss Universe
  • 1984 – Basshunter, popular Swedish singer
  • 1989 – Jordin Sparks, American singer and American Idol winner
  • 1990 – Jean-Baptiste Maunier, French actor
  • 1993 – Aliana Lohan,American actress and singer

December 22 – Deaths:

  • 1100 – Duke Bretislaus II of Bohemia
  • 1550 – Richard Plantagenet (Richard of Eastwell) possibly a son of Richard III
  • 1603 – Mehmed III, Ottoman Emperor (b. 1566)
  • 1646 – Peter Mogila, Orthodox Metropolitan of Kiev and Galicia (b. 1596)
  • 1660 – André Tacquet, Flemish mathematician (b. 1612)
  • 1681 – Richard Alleine, English Puritan clergyman (b. 1611)
  • 1708 – Hedwig Sophia, duchess of Holstein-Gottorp, Swedish writer (b. 1681)
  • 1738 – Constantia Jones, British prostitute (executed)
  • 1767 – John Newbery, English publisher (b. 1713)
  • 1788 – Percivall Pott, English physician and surgeon (b. 1714)
  • 1806 – William Vernon, American merchant (b. 1719)
  • 1867 – Jean-Victor Poncelet, French mathematician (b. 1788)
  • 1870 – Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer, Spanish poet and writer (b. 1836)
  • 1828 – William Hyde Wollaston, English chemist (b. 1766)
  • 1880 – George Eliot, English writer (b. 1819)
  • 1899 – Dwight L. Moody, American evangelist (b. 1837)
  • 1902 – Richard von Krafft-Ebing, German psychiatrist (b. 1840)
  • 1917 – Mother Cabrini, first American citizen canonized by the Catholic Church (b. 1850)
  • 1939 – Ma Rainey, American singer (b. 1886)
  • 1940 – Nathanael West, American writer (b. 1903)
  • 1942 – Franz Boas, German anthropologist (b. 1858)
  • 1943 – Beatrix Potter, English writer (b. 1866)
  • 1944 – Harry Langdon, American silent film actor (b. 1884)
  • 1947 – Hans Aumeier, German Nazi official and concentration camp commandant (b. 1906)
  • 1947 – Therese Brandl, Nazi concentration camp guard (b. 1902)
  • 1959 – Gilda Gray, Polish-born American dancer and actress (b. 1901)
  • 1965 – Richard Dimbleby, English journalist and broadcaster (b. 1913)
  • 1971 – Godfried Bomans, Dutch author and television personality (b. 1913)
  • 1979 – Darryl F. Zanuck, American producer (b. 1902)
  • 1985 – D. Boon, American singer and guitarist (The Minutemen) (b. 1958)
  • 1988 – Chico Mendes, Brazilian rubber tapper, unionist, and environmental activist

(assassinated) (b. 1944)

  • 1989 – Samuel Beckett, Irish writer, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1906)
  • 1992 – Frederick Franz, Watchtower president (b. 1893) 
  • 1993 – Don DeFore, American actor (b. 1913) 
  • 1995 – Butterfly McQueen, American actress (b. 1911) 
  • 1995 – James Meade, English economist, Bank of Sweden Prize winner (b. 1907)
  • 1998 – Michelle Thomas, American actress (b. 1969)
  • 2002 – Desmond Hoyte, President of Guyana (b. 1929)
  • 2002 – Joe Strummer, English musician (The Clash) (b. 1952)
  • 2003 – Dave Dudley, American singer (b. 1928)
  • 2004 – Doug Ault, American baseball player (b. 1950)
  • 2006 – Galina Ustvolskaya, Russian composer (b. 1919)
  • 2006 – Dennis Linde, American songwriter (b. 1943)

December 22 – Holidays:

  • In the Northern Hemisphere, the winter solstice, sometimes known as Yule, occurs on or very close to this date. In the Southern Hemisphere, the summer solstice occurs around this time.
  • R.C. Saints – commemoration of Frances Xavier Cabrini, O Rex, Anastasia of Sirmium
  • Japan – Toji (winter solstice)
  • Chinese Culture – Winter Solstice where is commonly met with the eating of glutinous flour balls(Tang Yuen). Marks the middle or “Extreme” of winter. Tang Yuen was introduced in China as an item of propaganda back in the Dynasties.
  • Indonesia Mother Day, as an achievement for Dewi Sartika.
  • Yalda Night Longest Day Of Year, from Ancient Persia.

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On This Day in History December 21

December 21 – Events:

  • 69 – The end of the Year of the four emperors: Following Galba, Otho and Vitellius, Vespasian becomes the fourth Emperor of Rome within a year.
  • 1620 – Plymouth Colony: William Bradford and the Mayflower Pilgrims land on what is now known as Plymouth Rock in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
  • 1844 – The Rochdale Pioneers commence business at their cooperative in Rochdale, England, starting the Cooperative movement.
  • 1861 – Medal of Honor: Public Resolution 82, containing a provision for a Navy Medal of Valor, is signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln.
  • 1872 – Challenger expedition: HMS Challenger, commanded by Captain George Nares, sails from Portsmouth.
  • 1883 – The first Permanent Force cavalry and infantry regiments of the Canadian Army are formed: The Royal Canadian Dragoons and The Royal Canadian Regiment.
  • 1913 – Arthur Wynne’s “word-cross”, the first crossword puzzle, is published in the New York World.
  • 1958 – French presidential election: Charles de Gaulle is elected President of France as his Union des Démocrates pour la République party gain 78.5% of the vote.
  • 1962 – Rondane National Park is established as Norway’s first national park.
  • 1967 – Louis Washkansky, the first man to undergo a heart transplant, dies in Cape Town, South Africa, after living for 18 days.
  • 1968 – Apollo program: Apollo 8, the first manned mission to the moon, is launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. At 2h:50m:37s Mission elapsed time (MES), the crew performs the first ever manned Trans Lunar Injection and become the first humans to leave Earth’s gravity.
  • 1971 – The United Nations Security Council chooses Kurt Waldheim to succeed U Thant as Secretary-General.
  • 1973 – The Geneva Conference on the Arab-Israeli conflict opens.
  • 1979 – Lancaster House Agreement: An independence agreement for Rhodesia is signed in London by Lord Carrington, Sir Ian Gilmour, Robert Mugabe, Joshua Nkomo, Bishop Abel Muzorewa and S.C. Mundawarara.
  • 1987 – The passenger ferry Doña Paz sinks after colliding with the oil tanker Vector 1 in the Tablas Strait in the Philippines, killing 1,565.
  • 1988 – A bomb explodes on board Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland, killing 270.
  • 1991 – Charilaos Florakis is elected honorary president of the Communist Party of Greece.
  • 1992 – A Dutch DC-10, flight Martinair MP 495, crashes at Faro Airport (Portugal), killing 56 people.
  • 1995 – The city of Bethlehem passes from Israeli to Palestinian control.
  • 1999 – The Spanish Civil Guard intercepts a van loaded with 950 kg of explosives that ETA intended to use to blow up Torre Picasso in Madrid.
  • 2007 – The Schengen Agreement area increases to include 9 European Union member states; Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia on land and sea borders.

December 21 – Birthdays:

  • 1118 – Thomas Becket, Lord Chancellor of England and Archbishop of Canterbury (d. 1170)
  • 1401 – Tommaso Masaccio, Italian painter (d. 1428) 
  • 1596 – Petro Mohyla, Moldovan Orthodox Metropolitan Bishop of Kiev and Galicia (d. 1646)
  • 1603 – Roger Williams, English theologian and colonist (d. 1684)
  • 1714 – John Bradstreet, Canadian-born soldier (d. 1774)
  • 1778 – Anders Sandøe Ørsted, Danish politician (d. 1860)
  • 1795 – Leopold von Ranke, German historian (d. 1886)
  • 1804 – Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (d. 1881)
  • 1805 – Thomas Graham, British chemist (d. 1869)
  • 1811 – Archibald Campbell Tait, Archbishop of Canterbury (d. 1882)
  • 1815 – Thomas Couture French painter and teacher (d. 1879)
  • 1818 – Amalia of Oldenburg, Queen of Greece (d. 1875)
  • 1832 – John H. Ketcham, American politician (d. 1906)
  • 1843 – Thomas Bracken, Irish-born New Zealander poet (d. 1898)
  • 1850 – Zdenek Fibich, Bohemian composer (d. 1900)
  • 1851 – Thomas Chipman McRae, American politician, 34th Governor of Arkansas (d. 1929)
  • 1859 – Gustave Kahn, French poet (d. 1936)
  • 1872 – Sidney Ainsworth, British actor (d. 1922)
  • 1872 – Don Lorenzo Perosi, Italian composer (d. 1956)
  • 1872 – Albert Payson Terhune, American author (d. 1942)
  • 1873 – Blagoje Bersa, Croatian composer (d. 1934)
  • 1876 – Jack Lang (John Thomas Lang), Premier of New South Wales (d. 1975)
  • 1878 – Jan Lukasiewicz, Polish philosopher and mathematician (d. 1956)
  • 1885 – Frank Patrick, hockey player (d. 1960)
  • 1889 – Sewall Wright, American biologist (d. 1988)
  • 1890 – Hermann Joseph Muller, American geneticist and Nobel laureate (d. 1967)
  • 1891 – John William McCormack, American politician (d. 1980)
  • 1892 – Walter Hagen, American golfer (d. 1969)
  • 1892 – Rebecca West, American writer (d. 1983)
  • 1892 – Amy Key Clarke, English mystical poet
  • 1896 – Leroy Robertson, American composer (d. 1971)
  • 1905 – Anthony Powell, British author (d. 2000)
  • 1909 – Seicho Matsumoto, Japanese mystery writer and journalist (d. 1992)
  • 1911 – Josh Gibson, American baseball player (d. 1947)
  • 1914 – Ivan Generalic, Austro-Hungarian-born Croatian painter (d. 1992)
  • 1915 – Werner von Trapp, member of the Trapp Family Singers (d. 2007)
  • 1917 – Heinrich Böll, German writer and Nobel laureate (d. 1985)
  • 1917 – Sophie Masloff, American politician
  • 1918 – Donald Regan, American White House Chief of Staff (d. 2003)
  • 1918 – Kurt Waldheim, Austrian United Nations Secretary-General and Federal President of Austria (d. 2007)
  • 1920 – Alicia Alonso, Cuban ballerina
  • 1920 – Bob Bindig, cartoonist (d. 2006)
  • 1920 – Jean Gascon, Canadian actor (d. 1988)
  • 1921 – Maila Nurmi, aka Vampira, Finnish-born American actress (d. 2008)
  • 1921 – John Severin, American comics artist
  • 1922 – Paul Winchell, American ventriloquist (d. 2005)
  • 1923 – Intizar Hussain, Urdu writer and columnist of Pakistan
  • 1926 – Joe Paterno, American football coach
  • 1932 – Edward Hoagland, American essayist
  • 1935 – John G. Avildsen, American film director
  • 1935 – Lorenzo Bandini, Italian racecar driver (d. 1967)
  • 1935 – Yusuf Bey (Joseph Stephens), American activist (d. 2003)
  • 1935 – Phil Donahue, American talk show host
  • 1935 – Edward Schreyer, Canadian politician, Premier of Manitoba
  • 1937 – Jane Fonda, American actress
  • 1937 – Donald F. Munson, American politician
  • 1939 – Lloyd Axworthy, Canadian politician
  • 1940 – Frank Zappa, American musician (d. 1993)
  • 1940 – Ray Hildebrand, American singer (Paul & Paula)
  • 1942 – Hu Jintao, Chinese president
  • 1942 – Reinhard Mey, German singer
  • 1942 – Carla Thomas, American singer
  • 1943 – André Arthur. Quebec radio host
  • 1944 – Michael Tilson Thomas, American conductor
  • 1944 – Bill Atkinson, English footballer
  • 1946 – Carl Wilson, American musician (The Beach Boys) (d. 1998)
  • 1946 – Christopher Keene, American conductor (d. 1995)
  • 1947 – Paco de Lucía, Spanish musician
  • 1947 – Bryan Hamilton, Northern Irish footballer
  • 1948 – Samuel L. Jackson, American actor
  • 1948 – Willi Resetarits, Austrian musician
  • 1948 – Dave Kingman, baseball player
  • 1949 – Nikolaos Sifounakis, Greek politician
  • 1950 – Jeffrey Katzenberg, American producer
  • 1950 – Lillebjørn Nilsen, Norwegian singer-songwriter
  • 1951 – Nick Gilder, English musician (Sweeney Todd)
  • 1952 – Joaquín Andújar, baseball player
  • 1953 – Betty Wright, American singer
  • 1954 – Chris Evert, American tennis player
  • 1955 – Jane Kaczmarek, American actress
  • 1955 – Kazuyuki Sekiguchi, Japanese musician
  • 1956 – Lee Roy Parnell, American country singer
  • 1957 – Tom Henke, American baseball player
  • 1957 – Ray Romano, Italian-American comedian
  • 1959 – Florence Griffith Joyner, American sprinter (d. 1998)
  • 1960 – Louis Demetrius Alvanis, London-based pianist
  • 1960 – Roger McDowell, Former Major League Baseball Pitcher
  • 1960 – Andy Van Slyke, baseball player
  • 1961 – Francis Ng, Hong Kong actor
  • 1961 – Ryuji Sasai, Japanese composer
  • 1964 – Rob Kelly, English football manager
  • 1964 – Fabiana Udenio, Argentine actress
  • 1965 – Andy Dick, American actor and comedian
  • 1965 – Anke Engelke, German comedian
  • 1966 – Kiefer Sutherland, British-born Canadian actor
  • 1966 – Karri Turner, American actress
  • 1967 – Mikhail Saakashvili, Soviet-born President of Georgia
  • 1969 – Julie Delpy, French actress
  • 1969 – Mihails Zemlinskis, Latvian footballer
  • 1970 – Jamie Theakston, English television presenter
  • 1971 – Mathieu Chedid, French musician
  • 1971 – Fenton Keogh, Australian celebrity chef
  • 1971 – Brett Scallions, American singer (Fuel, The X’s)
  • 1972 – Latroy Hawkins, baseball player
  • 1972 – Erwin Schrott, Uruguayan opera singer
  • 1972 – Dustin Hermanson, baseball player
  • 1973 – Karmen Stavec, German-born Slovenian singer
  • 1973 – Mike Alstott, American football player
  • 1974 – Karrie Webb, Australian golfer
  • 1975 – Paloma Herrera, Argentine ballet dancer
  • 1976 – Mirela Manjani, Greek javelin thrower
  • 1978 – Mike Vitar, American actor
  • 1979 – Tuva Novotny, Swedish actress and singer
  • 1981 – Cristian Zaccardo, Italian football player
  • 1981 – Lynda Thomas, Mexican singer
  • 1981 – Sajid Mahmood, English cricketer
  • 1982 – Mike Gansey, American basketball player
  • 1982 – Erica Hayden, American journalist and radio personality
  • 1982 – Philip Humber, American baseball player
  • 1984 – Darren Potter, Irish footballer
  • 1985 – James Stewart Jr., American motorcycle racer

December 21 – Deaths:

  • 72 – Thomas the Apostle
  • 1295 – Marguerite Berenger of Provence, wife of Louis IX of France (b. 1221)
  • 1308 – Henry I of Hesse (b. 1244)
  • 1375 – Giovanni Boccaccio, Italian writer (b. 1313)
  • 1504 – Bertold von Henneberg-Römhild, German archbishop and elector (b. 1442)
  • 1549 – Marguerite of Navarre, wife of Henry II of Navarre (b. 1492)
  • 1579 – Vicente Masip, Spanish painter
  • 1597 – Petrus Canisius, Dutch Jesuit (b. 1521)
  • 1807 – John Newton, English cleric and hymnist (b. 1725)
  • 1824 – James Parkinson, English physician, geologist, paleontologist, and political activist (b. 1755)
  • 1873 – Francis Garnier, French explorer (b. 1839)
  • 1889 – Friedrich August von Quenstedt, German geologist (b. 1809)
  • 1900 – Roger Wolcott, American political figure, 39th Governor of Massachusetts (b. 1847)
  • 1933 – Knud Johan Victor Rasmussen, Greenlandic polar explorer and anthropologist (b. 1879)
  • 1935 – Kurt Tucholsky, German journalist and satirist (b. 1890)
  • 1937 – Frank B. Kellogg, United States Secretary of State, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (b. 1856)
  • 1940 – F. Scott Fitzgerald, American writer (b. 1896)
  • 1945 – George S. Patton, U.S. general (b. 1885)
  • 1957 – Eric Coates, English composer (b. 1886)
  • 1958 – Lion Feuchtwanger, German writer (b. 1884)
  • 1959 – Rosanjin, Japanese calligrapher, restaurateur and ceramicist (b. 1883)
  • 1964 – Carl Van Vechten, American writer and photographer (b. 1880)
  • 1965 – Claude Champagne, Quebec composer (b. 1891)
  • 1967 – Stuart Erwin, American actor (b. 1903)
  • 1974 – James Henry Govier, British artist (b. 1910)
  • 1974 – Richard Long, American actor (b. 1927)
  • 1981 – Allan Dwan, Canadian-born American director and screenwriter (b. 1885)
  • 1983 – Paul de Man, Belgian-born literary critic (b. 1919)
  • 1987 – John Spence, founding No Doubt member (b. 1969)
  • 1988 – Nikolaas Tinbergen, Dutch ornithologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1907)
  • 1990 – Clarence “Kelly” Johnson, American aeronautical engineer (Lockheed Skunk Works; b. 1910)
  • 1992 – Albert King, American blues musician (b. 1924)
  • 1992 – Nathan Milstein, Ukrainian violinist (b. 1903)
  • 1997 – Amie Comeaux, American country music singer (b. 1976)
  • 1998 – Roger Avon, Durham actor (b. 1914)
  • 1998 – Karl Denver, Scottish singer (b 1931)
  • 1998 – Ernst Gunther Schenck, German doctor who joined the Sturmabteilung in 1933 (b. 1904)
  • 2001 – Dick Schaap, American sports journalist (b. 1934)
  • 2003 – Prince Alfonso of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, Spanish playboy and businessman (b.

1924)

  • 2004 – Autar Singh Paintal, Indian medical scientist (b. 1925)
  • 2005 – Elrod Hendricks, American baseball player and coach (b. 1940)
  • 2006 – Scobie Breasley, Australian jockey (b. 1914)
  • 2006 – Saparmurat Niyazov, President of Turkmenistan (b. 1940)
  • 2007 – Ken Hendricks, American businessman (b. 1941)

December 21 – Holidays:

  • Roman festivals – Divalia in honour of Angerona
  • R.C. Saints – O Oriens, Saint Petrus Canisius; formerly feast day of Thomas the apostle
  • In the Northern Hemisphere, the winter solstice, sometimes known as Yule, occurs on or very close to this date. In the Southern Hemisphere, the summer solstice occurs around this time. It is also an important festival in the Chinese calendar.
  • Yalda, originally a religious holiday for Zoroastrians, is now a social holiday in Iran.
  • Chester Greenwood Day in Maine, he was the inventor of earmuffs.

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