On This Day in History December 31

December 31 – Events:

  • 406 – Vandals, Alans and Suebians cross the Rhine, beginning an invasion of Gallia.
  • 535 – Byzantine General Belisarius completes the conquest of Sicily, defeating the Ostrogothic garrison of Syracuse, and ending his consulship for the year.
  • 1229 – James I of Aragon the Conqueror enters Medina Mayurqa (now known as Palma de Mallorca, Spain) thus consummating the Christian conquest of the island of Mallorca.
  • 1599 – British East India Company is chartered.
  • 1660 – James II of England is named Duke of Normandy by Louis XIV of France.
  • 1687 – The first Huguenots set sail from France to the Cape of Good Hope.
  • 1695 – A window tax is imposed in England, causing many shopkeepers to brick up their windows to avoid the tax.
  • 1775 – American Revolutionary War: Battle of Quebec British forces repulse an attack by Continental Army generals Richard Montgomery and Benedict Arnold.
  • 1831 – Gramercy Park is deeded to New York City.
  • 1857 – Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom chooses Ottawa, Ontario, as the capital of Canada.
  • 1862 – American Civil War: Abraham Lincoln signs an act that admits West Virginia to the Union, thus dividing Virginia in two.
  • 1862 – American Civil War: The Battle of Stones River is fought near Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
  • 1879 – Thomas Edison demonstrates incandescent lighting to the public for the first time.
  • 1891 – A new immigration depot was opened on Ellis Island, New York.
  • 1904 – The first New Year’s Eve celebration is held in Times Square, then known as Longacre Square, in New York, New York.
  • 1909 – Manhattan Bridge opens.
  • 1923 – The chimes of Big Ben are broadcast on radio for the first time by the BBC.
  • 1944 – World War II: Hungary declares war on Germany.
  • 1946 – President Harry Truman officially proclaims the end of hostilities in World War II.
  • 1955 – The General Motors Corporation becomes the first U.S. corporation to make over $1 billion USD in a year.
  • 1960 – The farthing coin ceases to be legal tender in the United Kingdom.
  • 1961 – The Marshall Plan expires after distributing more than $12 billion USD in foreign aid to rebuild Europe.
  • 1963 – The Central African Federation officially collapses and splits into Zambia, Malawi and Rhodesia.
  • 1967 – Green Bay beats Dallas 21-17 in NFL championship game.
  • 1968 – First supersonic airliner flown, Russian TU-144.
  • 1981 – Coup d’état in Ghana removes President Hilla Limann’s PNP government and replaces it with the Provisional National Defence Council led by Flight Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings.
  • 1983 – The AT&T Bell System is broken up by the United States Government.
  • 1987 – Robert Mugabe assumes office as President of Zimbabwe.
  • 1986 – A fire at the Dupont Plaza Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico, kills 97 and injures 140.
  • 1991 – The Soviet Union is officially dissolved.
  • 1994 – This date is skipped altogether in Kiribati as the Phoenix Islands and Line Islands change time zones from UTC-11 to UTC+13 and UTC-10 to UTC+14, respectively.
  • 1997 – Quaker Oats settles a lawsuit involving the immoral use of child subjects in radioactivity experiments from around 1945-1956.
  • 1998 – Exchange rates between the euro and legacy currencies in the Eurozone become fixed.
  • 1999 – Boris Yeltsin resigns as President of Russia, leaving Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as the acting President.
  • 1999 – Five hijackers, who had been holding 155 hostages on an Indian Airlines plane, leave the plane with two Islamic clerics that they had demanded be freed.
  • 1999 – The United States Government hands Panama Canal control over to Panama as well all the adjacent land to the canal known as the Panama Canal Zone. This act complied with the signing of the 1977 Torrijos-Carter Treaties.
  • 2004 – The official opening of Taipei 101, the current tallest skyscraper in the world, standing at a height of 509 metres (1,670 feet).
  • 2006 – The United Kingdom pays final installment of Second World War debt to the United States.
  • 2007 – December 2007 Bocaue Fire. Seven people injured when a fire razed several fireworks stores in the Municipality of Bocaue, Bulacan, Philippines.

December 31 – Birthdays:

  • 1378 – Pope Callixtus III (d. 1458)
  • 1491 – Jacques Cartier, French explorer (d. 1557)
  • 1514 – Andreas Vesalius, Flemish anatomist (d. 1564)
  • 1572 – Emperor Go-Yozei of Japan, (d. 1617)
  • 1668 – Herman Boerhaave, Dutch humanist and physician (d. 1738)
  • 1720 – Charles Edward Stuart, pretender to the British throne (d. 1788)
  • 1738 – Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess Cornwallis, British general (d. 1805)
  • 1741 – Isabella Maria of Parma, empress of Germany (d. 1763)
  • 1763 – Pierre-Charles Villeneuve, French admiral (d. 1806)
  • 1815 – George G. Meade, American Civil War general (d. 1872)
  • 1830 – Isma’il Pasha, Governor of Egypt (d. 1895)
  • 1860 – Joseph S. Cullinan, American oil industrialist (d. 1937)
  • 1869 – Henri Matisse, French painter (d. 1954)
  • 1877 – Lawrence Beesley, English journalist and author (d. 1967)
  • 1878 – Elizabeth Arden, Canadian businesswoman (d. 1966)
  • 1878 – Horacio Quiroga, Uruguayan-Argentinian writer (d. 1937)
  • 1880 – George C. Marshall, United States Secretary of State, Nobel Laureate (d. 1959)
  • 1880 – Fred Beebe, American baseball player (d. 1957)
  • 1881 – Max Pechstein, German painter (d. 1955)
  • 1882 – Martin O’Meara, Australian soldier (d. 1935)
  • 1884 – Bobby Byrne, American baseball player (d. 1964)
  • 1885 – Princess Victoria Adelaide of Schleswig-Holstein (d. 1970)
  • 1894 – Pola Negri, Polish actress (d. 1987)
  • 1899 – Silvestre Revueltas, Mexican composer (d. 1940)
  • 1902 – Lionel Daunais, Quebec singer and composer (d. 1982)
  • 1903 – Nathan Milstein, Ukrainian violinist (d. 1992)
  • 1905 – Jule Styne, English-born composer (d. 1994)
  • 1908 – Simon Wiesenthal, Austrian Holocaust survivor (d. 2005)
  • 1909 – Jonah Jones, American jazz trumpeter (d. 2000)
  • 1910 – Carl Dudley, American film director (d. 1973)
  • 1912 – Maj-Gen John Frost, British para commander, Operation Market-Garden (d. 1993)
  • 1919 – Tommy Byrne, American baseball player
  • 1920 – Rex Allen, American actor, singer, and songwriter (d. 1999)
  • 1924 – Taylor Mead, American actor
  • 1928 – Siné, French cartoonist
  • 1930 – Odetta, American singer
  • 1931 – Bob Shaw, Irish writer (d. 1996)
  • 1933 – Edward Bunker, American author and actor (d. 2005)
  • 1934 – Akram Awan, Islamic scholar
  • 1937 – Avram Hershko, Israeli biologist, Nobel laureate
  • 1937 – Sir Anthony Hopkins, Welsh actor
  • 1938 – Rosalind Cash, American actress (d. 1995)
  • 1940 – Mani Neumeier, German musician (Guru Guru)
  • 1941 – Sir Alex Ferguson, Scottish football manager
  • 1941 – Sarah Miles, English actress
  • 1942 – Andy Summers, British guitarist (The Police)
  • 1943 – John Denver, American singer and songwriter (d. 1997)
  • 1943 – Sir Ben Kingsley, English actor
  • 1943 – Pete Quaife, English bassist (The Kinks)
  • 1944 – Taylor Hackford, American producer and director
  • 1945 – Diane von Fürstenberg, Belgian-born fashion designer
  • 1945 – Barbara Carrera, Nicaraguan actress and model
  • 1945 – Connie Willis, American writer
  • 1946 – Pius Ncube, Zimbabwean human rights advocate
  • 1947 – Burton Cummings, Canadian keyboardist (The Guess Who)
  • 1947 – Tim Matheson, American actor
  • 1947 – Rita Lee, Brazilian Rock Star
  • 1948 – Donna Summer, American singer
  • 1948 – René Robert, National Hockey League player
  • 1949 – Ellen Datlow, American editor
  • 1949 – Susan Shwartz, American writer
  • 1951 – George Thorogood, American musician
  • 1951 – Tom Hamilton, American bassist (Aerosmith)
  • 1953 – James Remar, American actor
  • 1953 – Jane Badler, American actress
  • 1954 – Alex Salmond, Scottish politician
  • 1954 – Hermann Tilke, German racing circuit architect
  • 1955 – Dawood Ibrahim, Terrorist
  • 1956 – Steve Rude, American comics artist
  • 1958 – Bebe Neuwirth, American actress
  • 1959 – Phill Kline, American politician
  • 1959 – Val Kilmer, American actor
  • 1959 – Paul Westerberg, American musician (The Replacements)
  • 1960 – John Allen Muhammad, American serial killer
  • 1960 – Steve Bruce, English football player & manager
  • 1961 – Rick Aguilera, American baseball player
  • 1961 – Nina Li Chi, Chinese actress
  • 1962 – Heather McCartney, British activist
  • 1963 – Scott Ian, American guitarist (Anthrax)
  • 1963 – Konishiki, American sumo wrestler
  • 1964 – Michael McDonald, American actor-comedian
  • 1964 – Allen D’Nulderf, American stuntman
  • 1964 – Lowri Turner, British TV presenter
  • 1965 – Gong Li, Chinese actress
  • 1965 – Nicholas Sparks, American author
  • 1966 – Lisa Joyner, American entertainment reporter
  • 1968 – Gerry Dee, Canadian comedian and actor
  • 1969 – Kate Beahan, Australian actress
  • 1969 – Dominik Diamond, presenter and newspaper columnist
  • 1970 – Carlos Morales Quintana, husband of Princess Alexia of Greece and Denmark
  • 1970 – Bryon Russell, American basketball player
  • 1971 – Brent Barry, American basketball player
  • 1971 – Esteban Loaiza, Mexican Major League Baseball player
  • 1971 – Ricardo López Felipe, Spanish footballer
  • 1972 – Joe McIntyre, American singer (New Kids on the Block)
  • 1973 – Shandon Anderson, American basketball player
  • 1973 – Malcolm Middleton, Scottish musician (Arab Strap)
  • 1974 – Ryan Sakoda, Japanese American professional wrestler
  • 1974 – Tony Kanaan, Brazilian racing driver
  • 1975 – Toni Kuivasto, Finnish footballer
  • 1977 – Wardy Alfaro, Costa Rican footballer
  • 1978 – Papoose, American rapper
  • 1979 – Bob Bryar, American drummer (My Chemical Romance, Gerardolopoly)
  • 1979 – Elaine Cassidy, Irish actress
  • 1980 – Richie McCaw, New Zealand rugby player
  • 1980 – Matt Cross, American professional wrestler
  • 1981 – Jason Campbell, American football player
  • 1981 – Matthew Pavlich, Australian football player
  • 1982 – Julio DePaula, Dominican baseball player
  • 1982 – Craig Gordon, Scottish footballer
  • 1982 – Luke Schenscher, Australian basketball player
  • 1987 – Javaris Crittenton, American basketball player
  • 1987 – Émilie Le Pennec, French gymnast

December 31 – Deaths:

  • 192 – Commodus, Roman Emperor (b. 161)
  • 335 – St. Silvester, Pope
  • 1164 – Margrave Ottokar III of Styria (b. 1124)
  • 1194 – Duke Leopold V of Austria (killed at a tournament) (b. 1157)
  • 1297 – Humphrey de Bohun, 3rd Earl of Hereford, English soldier (b. 1249)
  • 1302 – Frederick III, Duke of Lorraine (b. 1238)
  • 1384 – John Wycliffe, English theologian and Bible translator
  • 1424 – Thomas Beaufort, 1st Duke of Exeter, English military leader
  • 1460 – Edmund, Earl of Rutland, brother of Kings Edward IV of England and Richard III of England (executed) (b. 1443)
  • 1460 – Richard Neville, 5th Earl of Salisbury, English politician (b. 1400)
  • 1510 – Bianca Maria Sforza, wife of Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor (b. 1472)
  • 1535 – William Skeffington, Lord Deputy of Ireland (b. 1465)
  • 1568 – Shimazu Tadayoshi, Japanese warlord (b. 1493)
  • 1575 – Pierino Belli, Italian soldier and jurist (b. 1502)
  • 1583 – Thomas Erastus, Swiss theologian (b. 1524)
  • 1610 – Ludolph van Ceulen, German mathematician (b. 1540)
  • 1650 – Dorgon, Chinese emperor (b. 1612)
  • 1673 – Oliver St John, English statesman and judge
  • 1679 – Giovanni Alfonso Borelli, Italian physiologist and physicist (b. 1608)
  • 1691 – Dudley North, English economist (b. 1641)
  • 1719 – John Flamsteed, English astronomer (b. 1646)
  • 1742 – Karl III Philip, Elector Palatine (b. 1661)
  • 1799 – Jean-François Marmontel, French historian and writer (b. 1723)
  • 1872 – Aleksis Kivi, Finnish author (b. 1834)
  • 1877 – Gustave Courbet, French painter (b. 1819)
  • 1888 – Samson Raphael Hirsch, German rabbi (b. 1808)
  • 1889 – Ion Creanga, Romanian writer (b. 1837 or 1839)
  • 1890 – Pancha Carrasco, Costa Rican war heroine (b. 1826)
  • 1894 – Thomas Joannes Stieltjes, Dutch mathematician (b. 1856)
  • 1905 – Alexander Popov, Russian physicist (b. 1859)
  • 1910 – John Moisant, American aviator (b. 1868)
  • 1910 – Arch Hoxsey, American aviator (b. 1884)
  • 1921 – Boies Penrose, U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania (b. 1860)
  • 1936 – Miguel de Unamuno, Spanish writer and philosopher (b. 1864)
  • 1948 – Malcolm Campbell, English race car driver (b. 1885)
  • 1952 – Hank Williams, American singer, guitarist, and songwriter (b.1923)
  • 1953 – Albert Plesman, Dutch aviation pioneer (b. 1889)
  • 1964 – Ólafur Thors, Prime Minister of Iceland (b. 1892)
  • 1964 – Bobby Byrne, baseball player (b. 1884)
  • 1969 – George Lewis, American clarinetist (b. 1900)
  • 1971 – Pete Duel American actor (b. 1940)
  • 1971 – Marin Sais, American actress (b. 1890)
  • 1971 – Vikram Sarabhai, Indian physicist (b. 1919)
  • 1972 – Roberto Clemente, Puerto Rican baseball player (b. 1934)
  • 1977 – Sabah III Al-Salim Al-Sabah, ruler of Kuwait (b. 1924)
  • 1980 – Marshall McLuhan, Canadian writer (b. 1911)
  • 1980 – Raoul Walsh, American film director (b. 1887)
  • 1985 – Rick Nelson, American singer (b. 1940)
  • 1986 – Lloyd Haynes, American actor (b. 1934)
  • 1990 – Vasili Lazarev, Soviet cosmonaut (b. 1928)
  • 1990 – George Allen, American football coach
  • 1993 – Maj-Gen John Frost, British para commander, Operation Market-Garden (b. 1912)
  • 1993 – Zviad Gamsakhurdia, first President of Georgia (b. 1939)
  • 1993 – Brandon Teena, Transsexual, murdered (b. 1972)
  • 1994 – Woody Strode, American actor and decathlete (b. 1914)
  • 1997 – Floyd Cramer, American musician (b. 1933)
  • 1997 – Billie Dove, American actress (b. 1903)
  • 1997 – Michael Kennedy, American politician (b. 1958)
  • 1999 – Elliot Richardson, American politician (b. 1920)
  • 2000 – Alan Cranston, American politician (b. 1914)
  • 2000 – José Greco, Italian-born American flamenco dancer and choreographer (b. 1918)
  • 2001 – Eileen Heckart, American actress (b. 1919)
  • 2002 – Kevin MacMichael, American guitarist (Cutting Crew) (b. 1951)
  • 2003 – Arthur R. von Hippel German-born physicist (b. 1898)
  • 2004 – Gerard Debreu, French-born economist, Bank of Sweden Prize laureate (b. 1921)
  • 2005 – Phillip Whitehead, British politician (b. 1937)
  • 2005 – Enrico di Giuseppe, American tenor (b. 1932)
  • 2006 – George Sisler, Jr., baseball executive (b. 1917)
  • 2007 – Tommy Dickson, British footballer (b. 1929)
  • 2007 – Tony Elliott, American football player (b. 1959)
  • 2007 – Michael Goldberg, American painter (b. 1924)
  • 2007 – Bill Idelson, American actor (b. 1919)
  • 2007 – Kathryn Ish, American actress (b. 1936)
  • 2007 – Milton L. Klein, Canadian politician (b. 1910)
  • 2007 – Markku Peltola, Finnish actor and musician (b. 1956)
  • 2007 – Ettore Sottsass, Italian architect and designer (b. 1917)

December 31 – Holidays:

  • New Year’s Eve on the Gregorian Calendar.
  • Hogmanay in Scotland.
  • Last Day of the Year Celebration, special non-working holiday in the Philippines.

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On This Day in History December 30

December 30 – Events:

  • 1460 – Wars of the Roses: Battle of Wakefield.
  • 1816 – The Treaty of St. Louis is proclaimed.
  • 1817 – First coffee planted in Hawaii.
  • 1853 – Gadsden Purchase: The United States buys land from Mexico to facilitate railroad building in the Southwest.
  • 1853 – A dinner party is held inside a life-size model of an Iguanodon created by Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins and Sir Richard Owen in south London.
  • 1862 – The USS Monitor sinks off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.
  • 1896 – José Rizal is executed by firing squad in Manila.
  • 1897 – Natal annexes Zululand.
  • 1903 – A fire at the Iroquois Theater in Chicago, Illinois kills 603.
  • 1905 – Former Governor Frank Steunenberg is assassinated near his home in Caldwell, Idaho.
  • 1906 – The All India Muslim League is founded in Dacca, East Bengal, British India Empire, which later laid down the foundations of Pakistan.
  • 1919 – Lincoln’s Inn in London admits its first female bar student.
  • 1922 – The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics is formed.
  • 1924 – Edwin Hubble announces the existence of other galaxies.
  • 1927 – The Ginza Line, the first subway line in Asia, opens in Tokyo, Japan.
  • 1936 – The United Auto Workers union stages its first sit-down strike at Fisher Body Plant.
  • 1938 – Electronic television system patented by V.K. Zworykin.
  • 1940 – California opens its first freeway, the Arroyo Seco Parkway.
  • 1943 – Subhash Chandra Bose raises the flag of Indian independence at Port Blair.
  • 1944 – King George II of Greece declares a regency, leaving his throne vacant.
  • 1947 – King Michael of Romania is forced to abdicate by the Soviet-backed Communist government of Romania.
  • 1953 – The first ever NTSC color television sets go on sale for about USD at $1,175 each from RCA.
  • 1965 – Ferdinand Marcos becomes President of the Philippines.
  • 1972 – Vietnam War: The United States halts heavy bombing of North Vietnam.
  • 1977 – For the second time, Ted Bundy escapes from his cell in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.
  • 1985 – IBM-PC DOS Version 3.2 released.
  • 1993 – Israel and the Vatican establish diplomatic relations.
  • 1995 – The lowest ever United Kingdom temperature of -27.2°C was recorded at Altnaharra in the Scottish Highlands. This equalled the record set at Braemar, Aberdeenshire on February 11, 1895 and January 10, 1982.
  • 1996 – In the Indian state of Assam, a passenger train is bombed by Bodo separatists, killing 26.
  • 1996 – Proposed budget cuts by Benjamin Netanyahu spark protests from 250,000 workers who shut down services across Israel.
  • 1997 – In the worst incident in Algeria’s insurgency, the Wilaya of Relizane massacres, 400 people are killed from four villages.
  • 2000 – Rizal Day Bombings: A series of bombs explode in various places in Metro Manila, Philippines within a span of a few hours, killing 22 and injuring about a hundred.
  • 2003 – U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft recuses himself and his office from the Plame affair.
  • 2004 – A fire in the República Cromagnon nightclub in Buenos Aires, Argentina kills 194.
  • 2005 – Tropical Storm Zeta forms in the open Atlantic Ocean, tying the record for the latest tropical cyclone ever to form in the North Atlantic basin.
  • 2006 – Madrid Barajas International Airport is bombed.
  • 2006 – Saddam Hussein is executed by hanging.

December 30 – Birthdays:

  • 39 – Titus, Roman emperor (d. 81)
  • 1204 – Abû ‘Uthmân Sa’îd Hakam al Qurashi, ruler of Minorca (d. 1282)
  • 1552 – Simon Forman, English occultist and astrologer (d. 1611)
  • 1642 – Vincenzo da Filicaja, Italian poet (d. 1707)
  • 1673 – Ahmed III, Ottoman Sultan (d. 1736)
  • 1678 – William Croft, English composer (d. 1727)
  • 1722 – Charles Yorke, Lord Chancellor of Great Britain (d. 1770)
  • 1724 – Louis-Jean-François Lagrenée, French painter (d. 1805)
  • 1740 – Princess Elizabeth Caroline of Wales (d. 1759)
  • 1785 – Dorothea Lieven, Russian noblewoman (d. 1857)
  • 1819 – Theodor Fontane, German writer (d. 1898)
  • 1838 – Émile Loubet, 7th President of France (d.1929)
  • 1851 – Asa Griggs Candler, American businessman and politician (d. 1929)
  • 1853 – André Messager, French composer (d. 1929)
  • 1865 – Rudyard Kipling, English writer, Nobel laureate (d. 1936)
  • 1869 – Stephen Butler Leacock, English-born Canadian writer and economist (d. 1944)
  • 1873 – Al Smith, American politician (d. 1944)
  • 1878 – William Aberhart, Canadian politician (d. 1943)
  • 1879 – Sri Ramana Maharshi, Indian philosopher (d. 1950)
  • 1883 – Lester Patrick, Canadian ice hockey player and coach (d. 1960)
  • 1884 – Hideki Tojo, Prime Minister of Japan (d. 1948)
  • 1890 – Adolfo Ruiz Cortines, President of Mexico (d. 1973)
  • 1897 – Alfredo Bracchi, Italian author (d. 1976)
  • 1899 – Helge Ingstad, Norwegian explorer (d. 2001)
  • 1904 – Dmitri Kabalevsky, Russian composer (d. 1987)
  • 1906 – Carol Reed, English film director (d. 1976)
  • 1910 – Paul Bowles, American composer and author (d. 1999)
  • 1911 – Jeanette Nolan, American actress (d. 1998)
  • 1913 – Lucio Agostini, Italian-born Canadian conductor and composer (d. 1996)
  • 1913 – Elyne Mitchell, Australian author (d. 2002)
  • 1914 – Bert Parks, American television host (d. 1992)
  • 1914 – Jo Van Fleet, American actress (d. 1996)
  • 1917 – Seymour Melman, American industrial engineer (d. 2004)
  • 1920 – Jack Lord, American actor (d. 1998)
  • 1921 – Rashid Karami, Lebanese statesman (d. 1987)
  • 1927 – Bernard Barrow, American actor (d. 1993)
  • 1927 – Robert Hossein, French film actor and director
  • 1928 – Bo Diddley, American singer and musician
  • 1929 – Rosalind Hurley, British physician, barrister, ethicist and writer (d. 2004)
  • 1929 – Barbara Nichols, American actress (d. 1976)
  • 1931 – Skeeter Davis, American singer (d. 2004)
  • 1934 – John Norris Bahcall, American physicist (d. 2005)
  • 1934 – Joseph Bologna, American actor
  • 1934 – Joseph P. Hoar, former US Central Command commander
  • 1934 – Del Shannon, American singer (d. 1990)
  • 1934 – Russ Tamblyn, American actor, dancer, and singer
  • 1935 – Omar Bongo, President of Gabon
  • 1935 – Sandy Koufax, American baseball player
  • 1935 – Jack Riley, American actor
  • 1937 – Gordon Banks, English footballer
  • 1937 – John Hartford, American musician (d. 2001)
  • 1937 – Jim Marshall, American football player
  • 1937 – Noel Paul Stookey, American folk singer (Peter, Paul & Mary)
  • 1939 – Felix Pappalardi, American musician and recording producer (d.1983) (Mountain)
  • 1940 – James Burrows, American television director
  • 1941 – Mel Renfro, American football player
  • 1942 – Vladimir Bukovsky, Russian author and dissident
  • 1942 – Guy Edwards, English racing driver
  • 1942 – Michael Nesmith, American singer and musician (The Monkees)
  • 1942 – Janko Prunk, Slovenian historian
  • 1942 – Fred Ward, American actor
  • 1944 – William J. Fallon, U.S. Central Command commander
  • 1945 – Davy Jones, English singer (The Monkees)
  • 1945 – Lloyd Kaufman, American film director and producer
  • 1945 – Concetta Tomei, American actress
  • 1945 – Vernon Wells, Australian actor
  • 1946 – Patti Smith, American singer
  • 1947 – Michael Burns, American historian
  • 1947 – Jeff Lynne, English musician (ELO)
  • 1949 – Jim Flaherty, Canadian politician
  • 1950 – Lewis Shiner, American sci-fi/fantasy author
  • 1951 – Doug Allder, English footballer
  • 1952 – June Anderson, American soprano
  • 1953 – Bill Kazmaier, American powerlifter
  • 1953 – Harald Schmautz, German-born journalist
  • 1953 – Meredith Vieira, American television journalist
  • 1955 – Dindo Yogo, Congolese musician (d. 2000)
  • 1956 – Suzy Bogguss, American singer
  • 1956 – Sheryl Lee Ralph, American actress
  • 1957 – Matt Lauer, American newscaster
  • 1958 – Rod Harrington, English darts player
  • 1958 – Steven L. Smith, American astronaut
  • 1959 – Tracey Ullman, English actress and singer
  • 1959 – Josée Verner, French Canadian politician
  • 1961 – Douglas Coupland, Canadian author
  • 1961 – Sean Hannity, American talk radio and television host
  • 1961 – Ben Johnson, Canadian athlete
  • 1962 – Henry Cho, Korean-American comedian
  • 1963 – Chandler Burr, American author
  • 1963 – Michelle Douglas, Canadian human rights activist
  • 1963 – Milan Šrejber, Czech tennis player
  • 1964 – Sylvie Moreau, French Canadian actress
  • 1964 – Duglas T. Stewart, Scottish musician (BMX Bandits)
  • 1965 – Heidi Fleiss, American madam
  • 1967 – Carl Ouellet, Canadian professional wrestler
  • 1969 – Dave England, American television personality
  • 1969 – Jay Kay, English musician (Jamiroquai)
  • 1969 – Meredith Monroe, American actress
  • 1971 – Daniel Sunjata, American actor
  • 1972 – Kerry Collins, American football player
  • 1972 – Paul Keegan, Irish footballer
  • 1972 – Steven Wiig, American actor and musician
  • 1973 – Jason Behr, American actor
  • 1973 – Ato Boldon, Trinidadian athlete
  • 1973 – Nacho Vidal, Spanish porn star
  • 1974 – Johanna Sällström, Swedish actress (d. 2007)
  • 1975 – Scott Chipperfield, Australian soccer player
  • 1975 – Tiger Woods, American golfer
  • 1976 – Patrick Kerney, American football player
  • 1976 – A.J. Pierzynski, American baseball player
  • 1977 – Laila Ali, American boxer
  • 1977 – Grant Balfour, Australian baseball player
  • 1977 – Scott Lucas, Australian rules footballer
  • 1977 – Kenyon Martin, American basketball player
  • 1978 – Zbigniew Robert Prominski, Polish drummer
  • 1978 – Tyrese, American singer and actor
  • 1978 – Devin Brown , American basketball player
  • 1979 – Flávio, Angolan footballer
  • 1980 – Eliza Dushku, American actress
  • 1980 – Kenny Kwan, Hong Kong singer
  • 1981 – Ali Al Habsi, Omani footballer
  • 1981 – Haley Paige, American porn star (d. 2007)
  • 1981 – Michael Rodríguez, Costa Rican soccer player
  • 1981 – Matt Ulrich, National Football League offensive lineman
  • 1982 – Kristin Kreuk, Canadian actress
  • 1982 – Dawan Landry, National Football League safety
  • 1982 – Dathan Ritzenhein, American runner
  • 1984 – Randall Azofeifa, Costa Rican footballer
  • 1984 – LeBron James, National Basketball Association player
  • 1985 – Lars Boom, Dutch cyclist
  • 1987 – Jake Cuenca, Filipino actor and commercial model
  • 1988 – Leon Jackson, Scottish singer
  • 1989 – Ryan Sheckler, American professional skateboarder

December 30 – Deaths:

  • 1218 – Richard de Clare, 4th Earl of Hertford, English politician (b. 1162)
  • 1460 – Richard, Duke of York, claimant to the English throne (killed in battle) (b. 1411)
  • 1525 – Jacob Fugger, German banker (b. 1459)
  • 1572 – Galeazzo Alessi, Italian architect (b. 1512)
  • 1573 – Giovanni Battista Giraldi, Italian writer (b. 1504)
  • 1591 – Pope Innocent IX (b. 1519)
  • 1621 – Saint Job of Maniava, Ukrainian Orthodox Saint (b. 1550)
  • 1640 – John Francis Regis, French saint (b. 1597)
  • 1644 – Jan Baptist van Helmont, Flemish chemist (b. 1577)
  • 1662 – Archduke Ferdinand Charles of Austria (b. 1628)
  • 1691 – Robert Boyle, Irish scientist (b. 1627)
  • 1769 – Nicholas Taaffe, 6th Viscount Taaffe, Austrian soldier (b. 1685)
  • 1803 – Francis Lewis, signer of the American Declaration of Independence (b. 1713)
  • 1896 – José Rizal, national hero of the Philippines (b. 1861) (executed)
  • 1908 – Thomas-Alfred Bernier, Canadian lawyer, journalist and senator (b. 1844)
  • 1941 – El Lissitzky, Russian artist and architect (b. 1890)
  • 1944 – Romain Rolland, French writer, Nobel laureate (b. 1866)
  • 1947 – Alfred North Whitehead, English mathematician and philosopher (b. 1861)
  • 1954 – Archduke Eugen of Austria, Austrian field marshal (b. 1863)
  • 1955 – Rex Ingamells, Australian poet (b. 1913)
  • 1967 – Vincent Massey, Governor-General of Canada (b. 1887)
  • 1968 – Trygve Lie, Norwegian politician, first United Nations Secretary General (b. 1896)
  • 1970 – Sonny Liston, American boxer (b. 1932)
  • 1971 – Melba Rae, American actress (Search for Tomorrow) (b. 1922)
  • 1979 – Richard Rodgers, American composer (b. 1902)
  • 1981 – Alfie Anido, Filipino actor (b. 1959)
  • 1984 – Massa, oldest gorilla on record (b. 1930)
  • 1986 – Era Bell Thompson, American journalist (b. 1905)
  • 1988 – Yuli Daniel, Russian writer (b. 1925)
  • 1989 – Lenore Lemmon, wife of George Reeves (b. 1923)
  • 1990 – Anne Rowling, mother of J.K. Rowling (b. unknown)
  • 1992 – Ling-Ling, panda given to the USA by China (b. 1969)
  • 1993 – Mack David, American lyricist and songwriter (b. 1912)
  • 1993 – Irving “Swifty” Lazar, American Hollywood talent agent (b. 1907)
  • 1993 – Giuseppe Occhialini, Italian physicist (b. 1907)
  • 1994 – Dmitri Ivanenko, Russian physicist (b. 1904)
  • 1994 – Maureen Starkey, wife of Ringo Starr (b. 1946)
  • 1995 – Ralph Flanagan – American band leader (b. 1914)
  • 1995 – Doris Grau, American actress (b. 1924)
  • 1996 – Lew Ayres, American actor (b. 1908)
  • 1996 – Jack Nance, American actor (b. 1943)
  • 1997 – Shinichi Hoshi, Japanese novelist (b. 1926)
  • 1998 – Johnny Moore, American singer (The Drifters) (b. 1934)
  • 1998 – George Webb, English actor (b. 1911)
  • 1999 – Fritz Leonhardt, German structural engineer (b. 1909)
  • 1999 – Sarah Knauss, American, once considered the world’s oldest living person (b. 1880)
  • 2000 – Julius J. Epstein, American screenwriter (b. 1909)
  • 2002 – Mary Brian, American actress (b. 1906)
  • 2002 – Mary Wesley, English novelist (b. 1912)
  • 2003 – David Bale, South African-born activist (b. 1941)
  • 2003 – John Gregory Dunne, American writer (b. 1932)
  • 2003 – Anita Mui, Hong Kong singer and actress (b. 1963)
  • 2004 – Artie Shaw, American jazz clarinetist, composer, and bandleader (b. 1910)
  • 2005 – Rona Jaffe, American author (b. 1932)
  • 2006 – Terry Peck, Falkland Islander (b. 1938) who acted as a scout for 3rd Battalion,
  • The Parachute Regiment in the Falklands War
  • 2006 – Michel Plasse, Canadian ice hockey player (b. 1948)
  • 2006 – Saddam Hussein, former Iraqi dictator (b. 1937) (executed)

December 30 – Holidays:

  • The fifth day of Christmas in Western Christianity.
  • R.C. Saints – Pope Felix I (optional memorial), Saint Sabinus, Anysia of Salonika, Anysius, Aphian, Donatus, Egwin of Worcester, Eugene of Milan, Eugenia Ravasco, Exuperantius, Holy Family (2007), Honorius, John Alcober, Liberius of Ravenna, Mansuetus, Marcellus, Margaret Colonna, Matthia dei Nazzarei, Our Lady of Bethlehem, Ralph of Vaucelles, Raynerius of Aquila, Ruggero of Canne, Severus, Venustian.
  • Philippines – Rizal Day

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On This Day in History December 29

December 29 – Events:

  • 1778 – American Revolutionary War: 3,500 British soldiers under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Archibald Campbell captures Savannah, Georgia without firing a shot.
  • 1786 – French Revolution: The Assembly of Notables is convoked.
  • 1812 – The USS Constitution under the command of Captain William Bainbridge, captures the HMS Java off the coast of Brazil after a three hour battle.
  • 1813 – British soldiers burn Buffalo, New York during the War of 1812.
  • 1835 – The Treaty of New Echota is signed, ceding all the lands of the Cherokee east of the Mississippi River to the United States.
  • 1845 – Texas is admitted as the 28th U.S. state.
  • 1848 – Gas lights first installed in the White House.
  • 1851 – The first American YMCA opens in Boston, Massachusetts.
  • 1860 – The first British seagoing iron-clad warship, HMS Warrior is launched.
  • 1867 – First telegraph ticker used by a brokerage house, Groesbeck & Company, New York
  • 1876 – The Ashtabula River Railroad bridge disaster occurs, leaving 64 injured and 92 dead at Ashtabula, Ohio.
  • 1890 – United States soldiers clash with members of the Great Sioux Nation in the Wounded Knee Massacre.
  • 1911 – Sun Yat-sen becomes the first President of the Republic of China.
  • 1911 – Mongolia gains independence from the Qing dynasty.
  • 1930 – Sir Muhammad Iqbal’s presidential address in Allahabad introduces the Two-Nation Theory and outlines a vision for the creation of Pakistan.
  • 1934 – Japan renounces the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922 and the London Naval Treaty of 1930.
  • 1937 – The Irish Free State is replaced by a new state called Ireland with the adoption of a new constitution.
  • 1939 – First flight of the Consolidated B-24.
  • 1940 – World War II: In The Second Great Fire of London, the Luftwaffe firebombs London, killing almost 200 civilians.
  • 1949 – KC2XAK of Bridgeport, Connecticut becomes the first Ultra high frequency (UHF) television station to operate a daily schedule.
  • 1952 – First transistorized hearing aid offered for sale in Elmsford, New York
  • 1972 – An Eastern Air Lines Flight 401 (a Lockheed “Tristar”) crashes on approach to Miami International Airport, Florida, killing 101.
  • 1983 – US announced withdrawal from UNESCO.
  • 1989 – Riots break-out after Hong Kong decides to forcibly repatriate Vietnamese refugees.
  • 1989 – On the final day of trading for the year and decade, the Japanese Nikkei 225 Average closes at an all-time high of 38,915.87.
  • 1989 – Václav Havel is elected president of Czechoslovakia. He became the first non-Communist to attain the post in more than four decades.
  • 1992 – Fernando Collor de Mello, president of Brazil, tries to resign amidst corruption charges, but is then impeached.
  • 1996 – Guatemala and leaders of Guatemalan National Revolutionary Union sign a peace accord ending a 36-year civil war.
  • 1997 – Hong Kong begins to kill all the nation’s chickens (1.25 million) to stop the spread of a potentially deadly influenza strain.
  • 1998 – Leaders of the Khmer Rouge apologize for the 1970s genocide in Cambodia that claimed over 1 million.
  • 2001 – Mesa Redonda shopping center fire, Lima, Peru, at least 291 killed.

December 29 – Birthdays:

  • 1709 – Empress Elizabeth of Russia (d. 1762)
  • 1721 – Madame de Pompadour, mistress of King Louis XV of France (d. 1764)
  • 1796 – Johann Christian Poggendorff, German physicist (d. 1877)
  • 1800 – Charles Goodyear, American inventor (d. 1860)
  • 1806 – William Gladstone, Liberal Prime Minister
  • 1808 – Andrew Johnson, 17th President of the United States (d. 1875)
  • 1809 – William Ewart Gladstone, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (d. 1898)
  • 1816 – Carl Ludwig, German physician (d. 1895)
  • 1843 – Elisabeth of Wied (pen name was Carmen Sylva), queen of Romania and writer (d. 1916)
  • 1856 – Thomas Joannes Stieltjes, Dutch mathematician (d. 1894)
  • 1859 – Venustiano Carranza, 54th President of Mexico (d. 1920)
  • 1876 – Pablo Casals, Catalan musician (d. 1973)
  • 1881 – Jess Willard, American boxer (d. 1968)
  • 1896 – David Alfaro Siqueiros, Mexican painter (d. 1974)
  • 1899 – Nie Rongzhen, People’s Liberation Army Chief of General Staff (d. 1992)
  • 1902 – Nels Stewart, National Hockey League player (d. 1957)
  • 1908 – Helmut Gollwitzer, German theologian (d. 1993)
  • 1910 – Ronald Coase, British economist, Nobel Prize laureate
  • 1914 – Billy Tipton, American musician (d. 1989)
  • 1914 – Albert Tucker, Australian artist (d. 1999)
  • 1915 – Bill Osmanski, American football player (d. 1996)
  • 1917 – Tom Bradley, American politician (d. 1998)
  • 1917 – Ramanand Sagar, Indian film director (d. 2005)
  • 1920 – Viveca Lindfors, Swedish-American actress (d. 1995)
  • 1922 – William Gaddis, American writer (d. 1998)
  • 1925 – Pete Dye, American golf course architect
  • 1927 – Andy Stanfield, American athlete (d. 1985)
  • 1928 – Bernard Cribbins, British actor
  • 1931 – Prince Gu of Korea, Korean royalty (d. 2005)
  • 1932 – Inga Swenson, American actress
  • 1934 – Ed Flanders, American actor (d. 1995)
  • 1936 – Mary Tyler Moore, American actress
  • 1936 – Ray Nitschke, American football player (d. 1998)
  • 1937 – Wayne Huizenga, American football team owner
  • 1937 – Barbara Steele, British actress
  • 1938 – Harvey Smith, English showjumper
  • 1938 – Jon Voight, American actor
  • 1941 – Ray Thomas, British musician (The Moody Blues)
  • 1942 – Rick Danko, Canadian musician (The Band) (d. 1999)
  • 1942 – Rajesh Khanna, Indian actor
  • 1946 – Marianne Faithfull, British singer
  • 1947 – Ted Danson, American actor
  • 1947 – Cozy Powell, English rock drummer (d. 1998)
  • 1947 – Vincent Winter, British actor (d. 1998)
  • 1949 – Syed Kirmani, Indian cricket player
  • 1950 – Jon Polito, American actor
  • 1951 – Yvonne Elliman, American disco singer
  • 1951 – Georges Thurston, Canadian singer (d. 2007)
  • 1952 – Gelsey Kirkland, American dancer
  • 1953 – Stanley Tookie Williams, American author/murderer (executed 2005)
  • 1953 – Gali Atari, Israeli singer and actress
  • 1954 – Roger Voudouris, American singer
  • 1954 – Prince Takamado of Japan (d. 2002)
  • 1956 – Fred MacAulay, Scottish comedian
  • 1957 – Brad Grey, American film producer
  • 1957 – Paul Rudnick, American screenwriter/playwright
  • 1958 – Nancy J. Currie, American astronaut
  • 1959 – Patricia Clarkson, American actress
  • 1959 – Paula Poundstone, American comedian
  • 1960 – David Boon, Australian Cricketer
  • 1960 – Katerina Didaskou, Greek actress
  • 1960 – Thomas Lubanga, founder and leader of Union of Congolese Patriots
  • 1961 – Kevin Granata, American associate professor at Virginia Tech, victim of the
  • Virginia Tech massacre (d. 2007)
  • 1961 – Jim Reid, Scottish singer (The Jesus and Mary Chain, Freeheat)
  • 1962 – Blake Mitchell, American adult actress
  • 1962 – Devon White, Jamaican baseball player
  • 1963 – Francisco Bustamante, Filipino billiard player
  • 1963 – Dave McKean, British artist and filmmaker
  • 1963 – Sean Payton, American football coach
  • 1965 – Dexter Holland, American musician (The Offspring)
  • 1966 – Stefano Eranio, Italian footballer
  • 1967 – Ashleigh Banfield, Canadian journalist
  • 1967 – Chris Barnes, American singer
  • 1967 – Andy Wachowski, American director
  • 1969 – Jennifer Ehle, American actress
  • 1969 – Allan McNish, Scottish race car driver
  • 1970 – Aled Jones, Welsh singer
  • 1970 – Hidetoshi Mitsusada, Japanese racing driver
  • 1970 – Glen Phillips, American musician (Toad The Wet Sprocket)
  • 1970 – Kevin Weisman, American actor
  • 1972 – Asheru, American rapper
  • 1972 – Jason Kreis, American soccer player
  • 1972 – Jude Law, British actor
  • 1972 – Evan Seinfeld, American musician (Biohazard) and actor
  • 1973 – Pimp C, American rapper (d. 2007)
  • 1973 – Theo Epstein, American baseball general manager
  • 1974 – Mekhi Phifer, American actor
  • 1974 – Richie Sexson, American baseball player
  • 1975 – Jaret Wright, American baseball player
  • 1976 – Danny R. McBride, American actor, writer, and producer
  • 1976 – Katherine Moennig, American actress
  • 1977 – Jimmy Journell, American baseball player
  • 1978 – Alexis Amore, Peruvian pornographic actress
  • 1978 – Kieron Dyer, English footballer
  • 1978 – LaToya London, American singer
  • 1979 – Diego Luna, Mexican actor
  • 1981 – Shizuka Arakawa, Japanese figure skater
  • 1982 – Gabrielle Destroismaisons, Quebec singer
  • 1983 – Jessica Andrews, American country/pop singer
  • 1986 – Kim Ok-bin, South Korean actress and model
  • 1989 – Nathan Forbes, British footballer
  • 1994 – Princess Kako of Akishino of Japan

December 29 – Deaths:

  • 721 – Empress Gemmei of Japan (b. 661)
  • 1170 – Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury (assassinated) (b. 1118)
  • 1563 – Sebastian Castellio, French theologian (b. 1515)
  • 1634 – John Albert Vasa, Polish bishop (b. 1612)
  • 1661 – Antoine Gérard de Saint-Amant, French poet (b. 1594)
  • 1689 – Thomas Sydenham, English physician (b. 1624)
  • 1731 – Brook Taylor, English mathematician (b. 1685)
  • 1737 – Joseph Saurin, French mathematician (b. 1659)
  • 1785 – Johan Herman Wessel, Norwegian poet (b. 1742)
  • 1825 – Jacques-Louis David, French painter (b. 1748)
  • 1891 – Leopold Kronecker, German mathematician (b. 1823)
  • 1894 – Christina Rossetti, English poet (b. 1830)
  • 1897 – William James Linton, American wood engraver and political reformer. (b. 1812)
  • 1916 – Grigori Rasputin, Russian monk (b. 1869)
  • 1924 – Carl Spitteler, Swiss writer, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1845)
  • 1926 – Rainer Maria Rilke, Austrian writer (b. 1875)
  • 1929 – Wilhelm Maybach, German automobile designer (b. 1846)
  • 1937 – Don Marquis, American author (b. 1878)
  • 1953 – Violet MacMillan, American Broadway theatre actress(b. 1887)
  • 1960 – Eden Phillpotts, British writer (b. 1862)
  • 1960 – Philippe Panneton, Quebec physician, diplomat and writer (b. 1895)
  • 1967 – Paul Whiteman, American musician and conductor (b. 1890)
  • 1968 – Austin Farrer, English theologian and philosopher (b. 1904)
  • 1970 – Marie Menken, American experimental filmmaker and socialite (b. 1909)
  • 1976 – Ivo Van Damme, Belgian athlete (b. 1954)
  • 1980 – Tim Hardin, American musician (b. 1941)
  • 1980 – Nadezhda Mandelstam, Russian writer (b. 1899)
  • 1981 – Miroslav Krleža, Croatian writer (b. 1893)
  • 1986 – Harold Macmillan, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (b. 1894)
  • 1988 – Mike Beuttler, British racing driver (b. 1940)
  • 1993 – Frunzik Mkrtchyan, Soviet Armenian actor (b. 1930)
  • 1996 – Mireille Hartuch, French singer and actress (b. 1906)
  • 1998 – Jean-Claude Forest, writer and illustrator of comics (Barbarella) (b. 1930)
  • 1999 – Leon Radzinowicz, British criminologist (b. 1906)
  • 2001 – Takashi Asahina, Japanese conductor (b. 1908)
  • 2003 – Earl Hindman, American actor (b. 1942)
  • 2003 – Dinsdale Landen, English actor (b. 1932)
  • 2003 – Bob Monkhouse, English comedian and game show host (b. 1928)
  • 2004 – Julius Axelrod, American biochemist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1912)
  • 2004 – Liddy Holloway, New Zealand actress (b. 1947)
  • 2004 – Ken Burkhart, American baseball player (b. 1915)
  • 2005 – Gerda Boyesen, Norwegian-born body psychotherapist (b. 1922)
  • 2007 – Phil O’Donnell, Scottish footballer (b. 1972)
  • 2007 – Kevin Greening, British radio presenter (b. 1962)

December 29 – Holidays:

  • The fourth day of Christmas in Western Christianity.
  • R.C. Saints – Thomas Becket (optional memorial)

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On This Day in History December 28

December 28 – Events:

  • 1065 – Westminster Abbey is consecrated.
  • 1308 – The reign of Emperor Hanazono, emperor of Japan, begins.
  • 1612 – Galileo Galilei becomes the first astronomer to observe the planet Neptune, although he mistakenly catalogued it as a fixed star.
  • 1816 – American Colonization Society organizes.
  • 1832 – John C. Calhoun becomes the first Vice President of the United States to resign.
  • 1835 – Osceola leads his Seminole warriors in Florida into the Second Seminole War against the United States Army.
  • 1836 – South Australia and Adelaide are founded.
  • 1836 – Spain recognizes the independence of Mexico.
  • 1846 – Iowa is admitted as the 29th U.S. state.
  • 1849 – M. Jolly-Bellin discovers dry cleaning.
  • 1867 – United States claims Midway Island, the first territory annexed outside Continental limits.
  • 1879 – The Tay Bridge Disaster: The central part of the Tay Rail Bridge in Dundee, Scotland collapses as a train passed over it, killing 75.
  • 1895 – The Lumière brothers have their first paying audience at the Grand Cafe in Boulevard des Capucines marking the debut of the cinema.
  • 1902 – Trans-Pacific cable links Hawaii to the USA
  • 1908 – An earthquake rocks Messina, Sicily killing over 75,000.
  • 1912 – The first municipally owned streetcars take to the streets in San Francisco, California.
  • 1935 – Pravda publishes a letter by Pavel Postyshev, who revives New Year tree tradition in the Soviet Union.
  • 1939 – First flight of the Consolidated XB-24 Liberator bomber prototype.
  • 1945 – The Congress of the United States officially recognizes the Pledge of Allegiance.
  • 1948 – The DC-3 airliner NC16002 disappears 50 miles south of Miami, Florida.
  • 1950 – The Peak District becomes the United Kingdom’s first National Park.
  • 1973 – The Endangered Species Act is passed in the United States.
  • 1974 – Senegalese marxist group Reenu-Rew founds the political movement And-Jëf at a clandestine congress.
  • 1981 – The first American test-tube baby, Elizabeth Jordan Carr, is born in Norfolk, Virginia.
  • 1989 – A magnitude 5.6 earthquake hits Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia, killing 13 people.
  • 1991 – Ted Turner is named Time Magazine Man of the Year.
  • 1999 – Saparmurat Niyazov is proclaimed President for Life in Turkmenistan.
  • 2000 – U.S. retail giant Montgomery Ward announces it is going out of business after 128 years.
  • 2005 – A U.S. immigration judge orders John Demjanjuk deported to Ukraine for crimes against humanity committed during World War II.
  • 2007 – Nepal declared a federal democratic Republic by interim parliament, abolishing the monarchy.

December 28 – Birthdays:

  • 1164 – Emperor Rokujo of Japan (d. 1176)
  • 1522 – Margaret of Austria, regent of the Netherlands (d. 1583)
  • 1619 – Antoine Furetière, French writer (d. 1688)
  • 1635 – Princess Elizabeth of England (d. 1650)
  • 1655 – Charles Cornwallis, 3rd Baron Cornwallis, First Lord of the British Admiralty (d. 1698)
  • 1665 – George FitzRoy, 1st Duke of Northumberland, British general (d. 1716)
  • 1763 – John Molson, English-born Canadian brewer (d. 1836)
  • 1778 – Franciszek Ksawery Drucki-Lubecki, Polish politician (d. 1846)
  • 1842 – Calixa Lavallée, French-Canadian composer (O Canada) (d. 1891)
  • 1856 – Woodrow Wilson, 28th President of the United States, Nobel laureate (d. 1924)
  • 1866 – Szymon Askenazy, Polish historian and diplomat (d. 1935)
  • 1879 – Billy Mitchell, American military aviation pioneer (d. 1936)
  • 1882 – Arthur Stanley Eddington, British astronomer (d. 1944)
  • 1888 – Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau, German film director (d. 1931)
  • 1898 – Carl-Gustaf Rossby, Swedish meteorologist (d. 1957)
  • 1898 – Shigematsu Sakaibara, Japanese admiral (d. 1947)
  • 1899 – Eugeniusz Bodo, Polish actor (d. 1943)
  • 1902 – Mortimer Adler, American philosopher (d. 2001)
  • 1902 – Shen Congwen, Chinese writer (d. 1988)
  • 1903 – Earl Hines, American musician (d. 1983)
  • 1903 – John von Neumann, Hungarian-born mathematician (d. 1957)
  • 1905 – Cliff Arquette, American actor (d. 1974)
  • 1908 – Lew Ayres, American actor (d. 1996)
  • 1910 – Billy Williams, American singer (d. 1972)
  • 1913 – Lou Jacobi, Canadian actor
  • 1914 – Bernard Youens, English actor (d. 1984)
  • 1915 – Pops Staples, American musician (The Staple Singers) (d. 2000)
  • 1922 – Stan Lee, American comic book writer
  • 1924 – Milton Obote, President of Uganda (d. 2005)
  • 1925 – Hildegard Knef, German actress (d. 2002)
  • 1928 – Moe Koffman, Canadian musician (d. 2001)
  • 1929 – Brian Redhead, British journalist (d. 1994)
  • 1929 – Terry Sawchuk, Canadian hockey player (d. 1970)
  • 1931 – Guy Debord, French writer (d. 1994)
  • 1932 – Dhirubhai Ambani, Indian businessman (d. 2002)
  • 1932 – Dorsey Burnette, American singer (d. 1979)
  • 1932 – Roy Hattersley, British politician
  • 1932 – Harry Howell, Canadian hockey player
  • 1932 – Nichelle Nichols, American actress and singer
  • 1932 – Manuel Puig, Argentine writer (d. 1990)
  • 1933 – John Y. Brown, Jr., American politician
  • 1934 – Dame Maggie Smith, British actress
  • 1934 – Yujiro Ishihara, Japanese actor (d. 1987)
  • 1936 – Jacques Mesrine, French criminal (d. 1979)
  • 1936 – Lawrence Schiller, American journalist
  • 1937 – Ratan Tata, Indian industrialist
  • 1938 – Dick Sudhalter, American jazz musician
  • 1939 – Philip Anschutz, American businessman
  • 1940 – Don Francisco, Chilean television host
  • 1943 – Richard Whiteley, British television presenter (d. 2005)
  • 1943 – David Peterson, Canadian politician
  • 1944 – Johnny Isakson, American politician
  • 1944 – Kary Mullis, American chemist, Nobel laureate
  • 1946 – Edgar Winter, American musician
  • 1946 – Pierre Falardeau, Quebec film director
  • 1947 – Aurelio Rodríguez, Mexican baseball player (d. 2000)
  • 1950 – Alex Chilton, American musician (Box Tops)
  • 1950 – Øivind Blunck, Norwegian comedian and actor
  • 1951 – Ian Buruma, Anglo-Dutch scholar and writer on Japan and the Far East.
  • 1952 – Arun Jaitley, Indian Politician
  • 1953 – Richard Clayderman, French pianist
  • 1954 – Denzel Washington, American actor
  • 1956 – Nigel Kennedy, British violinist
  • 1957 – Anne Sargeant, Australian netballer
  • 1959 – Ana Torroja, Spanish singer (Mecano)
  • 1959 – Phil Abrams, American actor
  • 1960 – Raymond Bourque, Canadian hockey player
  • 1961 – Kent Nielsen, Danish footballer and football coach
  • 1962 – Rachel Z, American pianist
  • 1962 – Michel Petrucciani, French pianist (d. 1999)
  • 1962 – Melissa R. Kelly, former Maryland politician
  • 1964 – Maite Zúñiga, Spanish athlete
  • 1967 – Chris Ware, American cartoonist
  • 1969 – Linus Torvalds, Finnish computer programmer
  • 1970 – Francesca Le, American porn star
  • 1971 – Frank Sepe, American bodybuilder
  • 1971 – Benny Agbayani, American baseball player
  • 1972 – Patrick Rafter, Australian tennis player
  • 1972 – Roberto Palacios, Peruvian footballer
  • 1972 – Adam Vinatieri, American football player
  • 1972 – Kevin Walker, American soccer player
  • 1973 – Alex Dimitriades, Australian actor
  • 1973 – Herborg Kråkevik, Norwegian singer and actress
  • 1973 – Seth Meyers, American actor
  • 1974 – Jason Ridge, American porn actor
  • 1975 – B.J. Ryan, American baseball player
  • 1977 – Shane Elford, Australian rugby league player
  • 1978 – Chris Coyne, Australian footballer
  • 1978 – John Legend, American musician
  • 1979 – James Blake, American tennis player
  • 1979 – Bill Hall, American baseball player
  • 1980 – Lomana LuaLua, Congo footballer
  • 1980 – Vanessa Ferlito, American actress
  • 1981 – Elizabeth Jordan Carr, American Test-Tube Baby
  • 1981 – Sienna Miller, British actress
  • 1981 – Mika Väyrynen, Finnish footballer
  • 1982 – Cedric Benson, American footballer
  • 1982 – Kevin Pereira, American television host
  • 1982 – Quinton Porter, American footballer
  • 1983 – Mike He, Taiwanese actor
  • 1984 – Leroy Lita, English footballer
  • 1984 – Alex Lloyd, British racing driver
  • 1985 – Kamani Hill, American footballer
  • 1986 – Tom Huddlestone, English footballer
  • 1987 – Thomas Dekker, American actor
  • 1989 – Mackenzie Rosman, American actress
  • 1990 – David Archuleta, favored American Idol contestant

December 28 – Deaths:

  • 300 – Theonas, Patriarch of Alexandria
  • 1367 – Ashikaga Yoshiakira, Japanese shogun (b. 1330)
  • 1446 – Antipope Clement VIII
  • 1503 – Piero di Lorenzo de’ Medici, ruler of Florence (b. 1471)
  • 1558 – Hermann Finck, German composer (b. 1527)
  • 1622 – Francis de Sales, Bishop of Geneva and saint (b. 1567)
  • 1663 – Francesco Maria Grimaldi, Italian mathematician and physicist (b. 1618)
  • 1671 – Johann Friedrich Gronovius, German classical scholar (b. 1611)
  • 1694 – Queen Mary II of England (b. 1662), of the famed joint monarchy William and Mary.
  • 1703 – Mustafa II, Ottoman Sultan (b. 1664)
  • 1706 – Pierre Bayle, French philosopher (b. 1647)
  • 1708 – Joseph Pitton de Tournefort, French botanist (b. 1656)
  • 1715 – William Carstares, Scottish minister (b. 1649)
  • 1734 – Robert Roy MacGregor, Scottish folk hero (b. 1671)
  • 1736 – Antonio Caldara, Italian composer (b. 1670)
  • 1795 – Eugenio Espejo, Ecuadorian scientist (b. 1747)
  • 1859 – Thomas Macaulay, British poet (b. 1800)
  • 1872 – James Van Ness, Mayor of San Francisco (1855-1856) (b. 1808)
  • 1877 – Nikolai Alekseevich Nekrasov, Russian poet (b. 1821)
  • 1897 – Rev. William Corby, American Catholic priest (b. 1833)
  • 1900 – Alexandre Alberto da Rocha de Serpa Pinto, Portuguese explorer (b. 1846)
  • 1916 – Eduard Strauss, Austrian composer (b. 1835)
  • 1917 – Alfred Edwin McKay, Canadian World War One flying ace (b. 1892)
  • 1918 – Olavo Bilac, Brazilian poet (b. 1865)
  • 1919 – Johannes Rydberg, Swedish physicist (b. 1854)
  • 1924 – Léon Bakst, Russian artist (b. 1866)
  • 1932 – Jack Blackham, Australian cricketer (b. 1854)
  • 1937 – Maurice Ravel, French composer (b. 1875)
  • 1938 – Florence Lawrence, American actress (b. 1886)
  • 1943 – Steve Evans, American baseball player (b. 1885)
  • 1945 – Theodore Dreiser, American author (b. 1871)
  • 1947 – King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy (b. 1869)
  • 1949 – Jack Lovelock, New Zealand athlete (b. 1910)
  • 1952 – Fletcher Henderson, American musician (b. 1897)
  • 1962 – Kathleen Clifford, American actress (b. 1887)
  • 1963 – Paul Hindemith, German composer (b. 1895)
  • 1967 – Katharine McCormick, American women’s rights activist (b. 1875)
  • 1967 – Otis Redding, Black American soul singer (b. 1941)
  • 1971 – Max Steiner, Austrian-born American film music composer (b. 1888)
  • 1976 – Katharine Byron, American politician (b. 1903)
  • 1976 – Freddie King, American musician (b. 1934)
  • 1981 – Allan Dwan, Canadian-born film director (b. 1885)
  • 1983 – William Demarest, American actor (b. 1892)
  • 1983 – Jimmy Demaret, American golfer (b. 1910)
  • 1983 – Dennis Wilson, American musician (The Beach Boys) (b. 1944)
  • 1984 – Sam Peckinpah, American film director (b. 1925)
  • 1986 – Andrei Tarkovsky, Russian film director (b. 1932)
  • 1989 – Hermann Oberth, German physicist (b. 1894)
  • 1991 – Cassandra Harris, Australian actress (b. 1952)
  • 1992 – Sal Maglie, American baseball player (b. 1917)
  • 1993 – William L. Shirer, American journalist (b. 1904)
  • 1994 – Jean-Louis Lévesque, French Canadian entrepreneur (b. 1911)
  • 1999 – Clayton Moore, American actor (b. 1914)
  • 2001 – Samuel A. Goldblith, American food scientist (b. 1919)
  • 2001 – William X. Kienzle, American novelist (b. 1928)
  • 2003 – Benjamin Hacker, American admiral (b. 1935)
  • 2004 – Jerry Orbach, American actor (b. 1935)
  • 2004 – Susan Sontag, American writer (b. 1933)
  • 2006 – Jamal Karimi-Rad, Iranian Minister of Justice (b. 1956)
  • 2007 – Benazir Bhutto, Pakistani Prime Minister (b. 1953)

December 28 – Holidays:

  • The third day of Christmas in Western Christianity.
  • Proclamation Day in South Australia
  • R.C. Saints – Feast of the Holy Innocents, also known as Childermas, commemorating the Massacre of the Innocents on order of King Herod the Great. In Spain and Latin American countries the festival is celebrated in a manner similar to April Fool’s Day.
  • Abel is commemorated on this day in the Coptic Church

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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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