On This Day in History December 2

December 2 – Events:

  • 1409 – The University of Leipzig opens.
  • 1755 – The second Eddystone Lighthouse is destroyed by fire.
  • 1804 – At Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, Napoleon Bonaparte crowns himself Emperor of the French, the first French Emperor in a thousand years.
  • 1805 – Napoleonic Wars: Battle of Austerlitz – French troops under Napoleon defeat a joint Russo-Austrian force.
  • 1823 – Monroe Doctrine: US President James Monroe delivers a speech establishing American neutrality in future European conflicts.
  • 1845 – Manifest Destiny: US President James K. Polk announces to Congress that the United States should aggressively expand into the West.
  • 1848 – Franz Josef I becomes Emperor of Austria.
  • 1851 – Newly-elected French President Charles Louis Bonaparte overthrows the Second Republic.
  • 1852 – Napoleon III becomes Emperor of the French.
  • 1859 – Militant abolitionist leader John Brown is hanged for his October 16th raid on Harper’s Ferry.
  • 1867 – In a New York City theater, British author Charles Dickens gives his first public reading in the United States.
  • 1899 – Philippine-American War: The Battle of Tirad Pass, termed “The Filipino Thermopylae,” is fought.
  • 1908 – Child Emperor Pu Yi ascends the Chinese throne at the age of two
  • 1920 – Following more than a month of Turkish-Armenian War, the Turkish dictated peace treaty is concluded -Treaty of Alexandropol
  • 1927 – Following 19 years of Ford Model T production, the Ford Motor Company unveils the Ford Model A as its new automobile.
  • 1930 – Great Depression: US President Herbert Hoover goes before the United States Congress and asks for a US$150 million public works program to help generate jobs and stimulate the economy.
  • 1939 – New York City’s La Guardia Airport opens.
  • 1942 – Manhattan Project: A team led by Enrico Fermi initiates the first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction.
  • 1943 – A Luftwaffe bombing raid on the harbour of Bari, Italy, sinks an American ship with a mustard gas stockpile. Numerous fatalities (though the exact death toll is unresolved as the bombing raid itself caused hundreds of deaths too).
  • 1946 – British Government invites four Indian leaders, Nehru, Baldev Singh, Jinnah and Liaquat Ali Khan to obtain the participation of all parties in the Constituent Assembly.
  • 1947 – Jerusalem Riots of 1947: Riots break out in Jerusalem in response to the approval of the 1947 UN Partition Plan.
  • 1954 – Red Scare: The United States Senate votes 65 to 22 to condemn Joseph McCarthy for “conduct that tends to bring the Senate into dishonor and disrepute.”
  • 1954 – The Sino-American Mutual Defense Treaty, between the United States and the Republic of China, is signed in Washington, DC.
  • 1956 – The Granma yacht reaches the shores of Cuba’s Oriente province and Fidel Castro, Che Guevara and 80 other members of the 26th of July Movement disembark to initiate the Cuban Revolution.
  • 1961 – In a nationally-broadcast speech, Cuban leader Fidel Castro declares he is a Marxist-Leninist and that Cuba is going to adopt Communism.
  • 1962 – Vietnam War: After a trip to Vietnam at the request of US President John F. Kennedy, US Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield becomes the first American official to not make an optimistic public comment on the war’s progress.
  • 1970 – The United States Environmental Protection Agency begins operations.
  • 1971 – Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Fujairah, Sharjah, Dubai, and Umm Al Quwain form the United Arab Emirates.
  • 1972 – Gough Whitlam becomes the first Australian Labor Party Prime Minister of Australia for 23 years.
  • 1975 – Pathet Lao seizes power in Laos, and establishes the Lao People’s Democratic Republic.
  • 1976 – Fidel Castro becomes President of Cuba replacing Osvaldo Dorticós Torrado.
  • 1980 – Four U.S. nuns and churchwomen, Ita Ford, Maura Clarke, Jean Donovan, and Dorothy Kazel, are murdered by a death squad in El Salvador.
  • 1988 – Benazir Bhutto is sworn in as Prime Minister of Pakistan, becoming the first woman to head the government of an Islam-dominated state.
  • 1990 – A coalition led by Chancellor Helmut Kohl wins the first free all-German elections since 1932.
  • 1993 – Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar is shot and killed in Medellín.
  • 1993 – Space Shuttle program: STS-61 – NASA launches the Space Shuttle Endeavour on a mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope.
  • 1999 – The United Kingdom devolves political power in Northern Ireland to the Northern Ireland Executive.
  • 2001 – Enron files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
  • 2005 – Van Tuong Nguyen is executed in Singapore for drug trafficking.

December 2 – Birthdays:

  • 1578 – Agostino Agazzari, Italian composer and music theorist (d. 1640)
  • 1694 – William Shirley, Colonial Governor of Massachusetts (d. 1771)
  • 1703 – Ferdinand Konscak, Croatian explorer (d. 1759)
  • 1710 – Bertinazzi, Italian actor and writer (d. 1783)
  • 1738 – Richard Montgomery, Irish-born soldier (d. 1775)
  • 1754 – William Cooper, American judge (d. 1809)
  • 1760 – John Breckinridge, American politician (d. 1806)
  • 1811 – Jean-Charles Chapais, French Canadian politician, Father of the Canadian Confederation (d. 1885)
  • 1817 – Heinrich von Sybel, German historian (d. 1895)
  • 1825 – Emperor Pedro II of Brazil (d. 1891)
  • 1846 – Pierre Marie René Ernest Waldeck-Rousseau, French statesman (d. 1904)
  • 1859 – Georges Seurat, French painter (d. 1891)
  • 1863 – Charles Ringling, American circus owner (d. 1926)
  • 1885 – George Richards Minot, American physician, recipient of the Nobel Prize (d. 1950)
  • 1886 – Harry Burleigh, American composer (d. 1949)
  • 1891 – Otto Dix, German painter and graphic artist (d. 1969),Charles H. Wesley, author writer and Brother of Alpha Phi Alpha Inc.
  • 1892 – Leo Ornstein, Russian-born composer and pianist (d. 2002)
  • 1894 – Warren William, American Broadway and film actor (d. 1948)
  • 1895 – Harriet Cohen, British pianist (d. 1967)
  • 1897 – Hovhannes Bagramyan, Marshall of the Soviet Union (d. 1982)
  • 1898 – Indra Lal Roy, Indian pilot (d. 1918)
  • 1899 – John Barbirolli, British conductor (d. 1970)
  • 1899 – John Cobb, British racing driver (d. 1952)
  • 1901 – Raimundo Orsi, Argentine-born footballer (d. 1986)
  • 1902 – Howard Koch, American screenwriter (d. 1995)
  • 1906 – Peter Carl Goldmark, Hungarian-born recording engineer (d. 1977)
  • 1910 – Russell Lynes, American art historian, photographer, author and managing editor of Harper’s Magazine (d. 1991)
  • 1914 – Adolph Green, American composer (d. 2002)
  • 1914 – Ray Walston, American actor (d. 2001)
  • 1917 – Sylvia Syms, American jazz singer (d. 1992)
  • 1923 – Maria Callas, Greek soprano (d. 1977)
  • 1924 – Alexander M. Haig, Jr., American soldier and politician
  • 1925 – Julie Harris, American actress
  • 1930 – Gary Becker, American economist, recipient of the Bank of Sweden Prize
  • 1930 – David Piper, British race car driver
  • 1931 – Edwin Meese, American lawyer, U.S. attorney general and presidential advisor
  • 1931 – Nigel Calder, British science writer
  • 1931 – Hatsumi Masaaki, Founder and head of the Bujinkan Dojo organization
  • 1931 – Wynton Kelly, American jazz pianist (d. 1971)
  • 1933 – Michael Larrabee, American athlete (d. 2003)
  • 1933 – K. Veeramani, Indian anti-caste activist
  • 1934 – Andre Rodgers, baseball player (d. 2004)
  • 1935 – David Hackett Fischer, American historian
  • 1939 – Yael Dayan, Israeli writer and politician
  • 1939 – Harry Reid, American politician
  • 1939 – Francis Fox, Canadian politician, member of the Senate
  • 1943 – Wayne Allard, American politician
  • 1944 – Ibrahim Rugova, first President of Kosovo (d. 2006)
  • 1944 – Botho Strauß, German author
  • 1944 – Dionysis Savvopoulos, Greek musician and songwriter
  • 1944 – Inger Davidson, Swedish politician
  • 1945 – Penelope Spheeris, American film director
  • 1946 – Gianni Versace, Italian fashion designer (d. 1997)
  • 1947 – Isaac Bitton, French rock band drummer (Les Variations)
  • 1947 – Ivan Atanassov Petrov, Bulgarian neurologist
  • 1947 – Tommy Jenkins, English football player
  • 1948 – T. Coraghessan Boyle, American writer
  • 1950 – Bob Kevoian, American radio personality
  • 1951 – Adrian Devine, American baseball pitcher
  • 1952 – Carol Shea-Porter, American Congresswoman
  • 1954 – Dan Butler, American actor
  • 1954 – Stone Phillips, American television journalist
  • 1957 – Dagfinn Høybråten, Norwegian politician
  • 1958 – Uladzimir Parfianovich, Belarusian canoer
  • 1958 – Eric L. Harry, American novelist
  • 1958 – George Saunders, American writer
  • 1960 – Nicholas Dingley alias Razzle, British Drummer (Hanoi Rocks)
  • 1960 – Rick Savage, British bassist (Def Leppard)
  • 1962 – Kardam, Prince of Turnovo, titular Bulgarian royal family
  • 1963 – Ann Patchett, American novelist
  • 1963 – Ron Sutter, National Hockey League player
  • 1966 – Jinsei Shinzaki, Japanese professional wrestler
  • 1968 – Lucy Liu, American actress
  • 1968 – Nate Mendel, American bassist (Foo Fighters)
  • 1968 – Rena Sofer, American actress
  • 1968 – Chris Wedge, American animator
  • 1968 – Darryl Kile, baseball player (d. 2002)
  • 1971 – Wilson Jermaine Heredia, American actor
  • 1971 – Francesco Toldo, Italian Football Player (Inter Milan)
  • 1972 – Sergei Zholtok, Latvian ice hockey player (d. 2004)
  • 1973 – Graham Kavanagh, Irish footballer
  • 1973 – Monica Seles, Yugoslavian-born tennis player
  • 1973 – Jan Ullrich, German cyclist
  • 1976 – Eddy Garabito, professional baseball player
  • 1977 – Siyabonga Nomvethe, South African footballer plays for Aalborg BK
  • 1978 – Nelly Furtado, Canadian singer and songwriter
  • 1978 – Chris Wolstenholme, British bassist (Muse)
  • 1978 – David Rivas, Spanish Footballer plays for Real Betis
  • 1978 – Jason Collins, American basketball player for New Jersey Nets
  • 1978 – Jarron Collins, American basketball player for Utah Jazz
  • 1979 – Yvonne Catterfeld, German singer and actress
  • 1979 – Michael McIndoe, Scottish professional footballer (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
  • 1981 – Isabella Soprano, American pornographic actress
  • 1981 – Danijel Pranjic, Croatian football player plays for SC Heerenveen
  • 1981 – Britney Spears, American singer and registered Psychopath
  • 1982 – Matt Ware, American football player
  • 1982 – Pizon, American rapper/producer
  • 1982 – Hristos Karipidis, Greek footballer
  • 1983 – Bibiana Candelas, Mexican volleyball player
  • 1983 – Chris Burke (footballer), Scottish footballer plays for Rangers F.C.
  • 1983 – Aaron Rodgers, American football player for Green Bay Packers
  • 1984 – Péter Máté, Hungarian footballer (Reading F.C.)
  • 1985 – Dorell Wright, American basketball player
  • 1986 – Claudiu Keserü, Romanian football player (FC Nantes Atlantique)
  • 1987 – Teairra Mari, American R&B singer
  • 1988 – Alfred Enoch, British Actor
  • 1988 – Soniya Mehra, Indian Actress
  • 1989 – Cassie Steele, Canadian actress

December 2 – Deaths:

  • 1348 – Emperor Hanazono of Japan (b. 1297)
  • 1381 – John of Ruysbroeck, Flemish mystic
  • 1463 – Archduke Albert VI of Austria (b. 1418)
  • 1469 – Piero di Cosimo de’ Medici, ruler of Florence (b. 1416)
  • 1515 – Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba, Spanish general and statesman (b. 1453)
  • 1547 – Hernán Cortés, Spanish explorer and conqueror (b. 1485)
  • 1552 – Francis Xavier, Spanish Catholic missionary (b. 1506)
  • 1615 – Louis des Balbes de Berton de Crillon, French general
  • 1665 – Catherine de Vivonne, marquise de Rambouillet, French socialite (b. 1588)
  • 1694 – Pierre Paul Puget, French artist (b. 1622)
  • 1719 – Pasquier Quesnel, French Jansenist theologian (b. 1634)
  • 1726 – Samuel Penhallow, English-born American colonist and historian (b. 1665)
  • 1747 – Vincent Bourne, English classical scholar (b. 1695)
  • 1748 – Charles Seymour, 6th Duke of Somerset, English politician (b. 1662)
  • 1774 – Johann Friedrich Agricola, German composer and organist (b. 1720)
  • 1814 – Marquis de Sade, French writer (b. 1740)
  • 1844 – Eustachy Erazm Sanguszko, Polish general and politician (b. 1768)
  • 1849 – Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen, wife of William IV of the United Kingdom (b. 1792)
  • 1859 – John Brown, American abolitionist (hanged) (b. 1800)
  • 1860 – Alfred Bunn, British theatrical manager (b. 1796)
  • 1892 – Jay Gould, American entrepreneur (b. 1836)
  • 1918 – Edmond Rostand, French poet and dramatist (b. 1868)
  • 1924 – Kazimieras Buga, Lithuanian philologist (b. 1879)
  • 1931 – Vincent d’Indy, French composer (b. 1851)
  • 1936 – John Ringling, American circus owner (b. 1866)
  • 1943 – Nordahl Grieg, Norwegian author and journalist (b. 1902)
  • 1944 – Josef Lhévinne, Russian pianist (b. 1874)
  • 1944 – Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, Italian writer (b. 1876)
  • 1950 – Dinu Lipatti, Romanian pianist (b. 1917)
  • 1957 – Manfred Sakel, Polish psychiatrist (b. 1902)
  • 1963 – Thomas J. Hicks, British-born runner (b. 1875)
  • 1963 – Sabu Dastagir, Indian-born American actor (b. 1924)
  • 1968 – Adamson-Eric (Eric Adamson), Estonian painter (b. 1902)
  • 1969 – Kliment Yefremovich Voroshilov, Russian politician (b. 1881)
  • 1974 – Max Weber, Swiss Federal Councilor (b. 1897)
  • 1976 – Danny Murtaugh, baseball player and manager (b. 1917)
  • 1980 – Chaudhry Muhammad Ali, Prime Minister of Pakistan (b. 1905)
  • 1980 – Romain Gary, Lithuanian-born French writer (b. 1914)
  • 1982 – Marty Feldman, British comedian, writer and actor (b. 1933)
  • 1983 – Fifi d’Orsay, Canadian actress (b. 1904)
  • 1985 – Aniello Dellacroce, American gangster (b. 1914)
  • 1985 – Philip Larkin, English writer and jazz critic (b. 1922)
  • 1986 – Desi Arnaz, Cuban-born actor, musician, band leader, and composer (b. 1917)
  • 1987 – Luis Federico Leloir, French-born chemist and Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1906)
  • 1987 – Yakov Borisovich Zel’dovich, Russian physicist (b. 1914)
  • 1988 – Tata Giacobetti, Italian singer and lyricist (Quartetto Cetra)
  • 1990 – Aaron Copland, American composer (b. 1900)
  • 1990 – Robert Cummings, American film and television actor (b. 1908)
  • 1992 – Will Rose, American Metal Drummer and Pro Football Player
  • 1993 – Pablo Escobar, Colombian drug dealer (b. 1949)
  • 1995 – Robertson Davies, Canadian novelist (b. 1913)
  • 1997 – Shirley Crabtree, British professional wrestler (b. 1930)
  • 1997 – Michael Hedges, American guitarist known for originality (b. 1953)
  • 2002 – Ivan Illich, Austrian priest and philosopher (b. 1926)
  • 2002 – Arno Peters, German historian (b. 1916)
  • 2003 – Alan Davidson, British author (b. 1924)
  • 2004 – Mona Van Duyn, American poet (b. 1921)
  • 2004 – Alicia Markova, British ballerina (b. 1910)
  • 2005 – Nat Mayer Shapiro, American painter (b. 1919)
  • 2005 – Van Tuong Nguyen, Australian drug smuggler (hanged) (b. 1980)
  • 2005 – Kenneth Lee Boyd, American convicted murderer (executed) (b. 1948)
  • 2006 – Mariska Veres, Dutch singer (b. 1947)

December 2 – Holidays:

  • Laos – National Day
  • United Arab Emirates – National Day (independence from Britain, 1971)
  • International Day for the Abolition of Slavery – United Nations
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