On This Day in History December 22

December 22 – Events:

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

December 22 – Birthdays:

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

December 22 – Deaths:

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

(assassinated) (b. 1944)

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

December 22 – Holidays:

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