On This Day in History January 2nd

January 2 – Events:

  • 366 – The Alamanni cross the frozen Rhine River in large numbers, invading the Roman Empire.
  • 533 – Mercurius becomes Pope John II, the first pope to adopt a new name upon elevation to the papacy.
  • 1492 – Reconquista: Granada, the last Moorish stronghold in Spain, surrenders.
  • 1757 – The United Kingdom captures Calcutta, India.
  • 1788 – Georgia becomes the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution.
  • 1791 – Big Bottom massacre in the Ohio Country, marking the beginning of the Northwest Indian War.
  • 1793 – Russia and Prussia partition Poland.
  • 1808 – The U.S. Congress bans the importation of slaves.
  • 1818 – The British Institution of Civil Engineers is founded.
  • 1833 – Return of British Forces to the Falkland Islands.
  • 1860 – The discovery of the planet Vulcan is announced at a meeting of the Académie des Sciences in Paris.
  • 1871 – Amadeus I becomes King of Spain.
  • 1872 – Brigham Young is arrested on charges of bigamy for having 25 wives.
  • 1882 – John D. Rockefeller unites his oil holdings into the Standard Oil trust.
  • 1890 – Alice Sanger becomes the first female staffer for the White House.
  • 1893 – Webb C. Ball of the General Railroad Timepiece Standards in North America introduces railroad chronometers.
  • 1900 – John Hay announces the Open Door Policy to promote trade with China.
  • 1905 – Russo-Japanese War: The Russian garrison surrenders at Port Arthur, China.
  • 1905 – The American anarcho-syndicalist union known as the Industrial Workers of the World forms.
  • 1917 – The Royal Bank of Canada takes over the Quebec Bank.
  • 1920 – The Palmer Raids begin in the United States.
  • 1923 – United States Interior Secretary Albert Fall resigns over the Teapot Dome scandal.
  • 1929 – Canada and the United States agree on a plan to preserve Niagara Falls.
  • 1935 – Bruno Hauptmann goes on trial for the murder of Charles Lindbergh, Jr., infant son of aviator Charles Lindbergh.
  • 1941 – World War II: German bombing severely damages the Llandaff Cathedral in Cardiff, Wales.
  • 1941 – World War II: The U.S. government announces its Liberty ship program to build freighters in support of the war effort.
  • 1942 – World War II: Manila is captured by Japanese forces.
  • 1942 – The United States Navy opens a blimp base at Lakehurst, New Jersey.
  • 1946 – Unable to resume rule after World War II, King Zog of Albania abdicates but retains his claim to the throne.
  • 1949 – Luis Muñoz Marín becomes the first democratically elected Governor of Puerto Rico.
  • 1955 – Panamanian president Jose Antonio Remon is assassinated.
  • 1957 – The San Francisco Stock and Bond Exchange and Los Angeles Oil Exchange merge.
  • 1959 – Luna 1, the first spacecraft to reach the vicinity of the Moon and to orbit the Sun, is launched by the U.S.S.R.
  • 1969 – Luis Ferré becomes the first “statehooder” Governor of Puerto Rico.
  • 1969 – Operation Barrier Reef begins in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam.
  • 1971 – The second Ibrox disaster kills 66 fans at a Rangers-Celtic football match.
  • 1974 – President Richard Nixon signs a bill lowering the maximum U.S. speed limit to 55 MPH in order to conserve gasoline during an OPEC embargo.
  • 1991 – Sharon Pratt Dixon is sworn in as mayor of Washington, D.C., becoming the first African American woman to lead a U.S. city of that size and importance.
  • 1993 – Leaders of the three warring factions in Bosnia meet to discuss peace plans.
  • 1999 – A brutal snowstorm smashes into the Midwestern United States, causing 14 inches (359 mm) of snow in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and 19 inches (487 mm) in Chicago, where temperatures plunge to -13°F (-25°C); 68 deaths are reported.
  • 2001 – Sila Calderón becomes the first female Governor of Puerto Rico.
  • 2002 – Eduardo Duhalde is appointed interim President of Argentina by the Legislative Assembly.
  • 2004 – Stardust successfully flies past Comet Wild 2, collecting samples that it will return to Earth two years later.

January 2 – Birthdays:

  • 1642 – Mehmed IV, Ottoman Sultan (d. 1693)
  • 1647 – Nathaniel Bacon, English-born American colonist (d. 1676)
  • 1699 – Osman III, Ottoman Sultan (d. 1757)
  • 1713 – Marie Dumesnil, French actress (d. 1803)
  • 1719 – Jacques-Alexandre Laffon de Ladebat, French shipbuilder (d. 1797)
  • 1727 – James Wolfe, British general (d. 1759)
  • 1777 – Christian Daniel Rauch, German sculptor (d. 1857)
  • 1822 – Rudolf Clausius, German physicist (d. 1888)
  • 1827 – Peter Semenov of Tian Shan, Russian explorer (d. 1914)
  • 1833 – Frederick A. Johnson, American politician (d. 1893)
  • 1836 – Queen Emma of Hawaii, Consort of King Kamehameha IV (d. 1885)
  • 1836 – Mendele Moykher Sforim, Jewish writer (d. 1917)
  • 1837 – Mily Balakirev, Russian composer (d. 1910)
  • 1866 – Prof Gilbert Murray, Australian-born classical scholar (d. 1957)
  • 1870 – Ernst Barlach, German sculptor (d. 1938)
  • 1873 – Thérèse de Lisieux, French Roman-Catholic nun (d. 1897)
  • 1877 – Slava Raskaj, Croatian painter (d.1906)
  • 1886 – Florence Lawrence, Canadian actress (d. 1938)
  • 1886 – Apsley Cherry-Garrard, English Antarctic explorer (d. 1959)
  • 1888 – Tito Schipa, Italian tenor (d. 1965)
  • 1889 – Sir Bertram Stevens, Premier of New South Wales 1932-39 (d. 1973)
  • 1892 – Seiichiro Kashio, Japanese tennis player (d. 1962)
  • 1893 – Lillian Leitzel, German acrobat and strongwoman (d. 1931)
  • 1895 – Count Folke Bernadotte, Swedish diplomat (d. 1948)
  • 1896 – Dziga Vertov, Russian filmmaker (d. 1954)
  • 1896 – Sir Lawrence Wackett, Australian aircraft engineer (d. 1982)
  • 1897 – Jim Londos, wrestler (d. 1975)
  • 1902 – Dan Keating, Irish republican (d. 2007)
  • 1902 – Barry Goldwater, five-term United States Senator from Arizona (d. 1998)
  • 1904 – Sally Rand, American fan dancer (d. 1979)
  • 1905 – Lev Schnirelmann, Russian mathematician (d. 1938)
  • 1905 – Luigi Zampa, Italian film director and screenwriter (d. 1991)
  • 1905 – Michael Tippett, English composer (d. 1998)
  • 1910 – Srirangam Srinivasarao, also known as Sri Sri, Famous Modern Telugu Poet (d. 1983)
  • 1913 – Anna Lee, English actress (d. 2004)
  • 1917 – Vera Zorina, German dancer (d. 2003)
  • 1918 – Willi Graf, member of the White Rose (Weiße Rose) resistance group in Nazi Germany (d. 1943)
  • 1920 – Isaac Asimov, Russian-born author (d. 1992)
  • 1921 – Glen Harmon, Canadian ice hockey player (d. 2007)
  • 1925 – William J. Crowe, American admiral and ambassador (d. 2007)
  • 1928 – Robert Goralski, American journalist (d. 1988)
  • 1928 – Avie Bennett, Canadian philanthropist
  • 1928 – Daisaku Ikeda, Japanese writer, president of SGI
  • 1930 – Julius LaRosa, American singer
  • 1931 – Toshiki Kaifu, Japanese Prime Minister 1989-91
  • 1933 – Ed Casey, Australian politician (d. 2006)
  • 1933 – Morimura Seiichi, Japanese novelist
  • 1936 – Roger Miller, American singer (d. 1992)
  • 1938 – Ian Brady, British serial killer
  • 1938 – Hans Herbjørnsrud, Norwegian author
  • 1940 – Jim Bakker, American televangelist
  • 1940 – S. R. S. Varadhan, Indian-American mathematician
  • 1942 – Dennis Hastert, 59th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
  • 1942 – Hugh Shelton, 15th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
  • 1943 – Baris Manço, Turkish singer, composer, television producer and celebrity (d. 1999)
  • 1944 – Prince Norodom Ranariddh, Cambodian politician
  • 1946 – Richard Cole, American tour manager
  • 1947 – Jack Hanna, American zoologist
  • 1947 – Calvin Hill, American football player
  • 1949 – Christopher Durang, American playwright
  • 1950 – David Shifrin, American classical clarinetist
  • 1951 – Alexander Pogrebinsky, Russian-born painter
  • 1952 – Graeme “Shirley” Strachan, Australian rocker, lead singer with Skyhooks (d. 2001)
  • 1954 – Henry Bonilla, American politician
  • 1954 – Dawn Silva, American singer (The Brides of Funkenstein, P-Funk)
  • 1955 – Tex Brashear, American voice actor
  • 1957 – Joanna Pacula, Polish actress
  • 1958 – Vladimir Ovchinnikov, Russian pianist
  • 1960 – Naoki Urasawa, Japanese manga author
  • 1961 – Gabrielle Carteris, American actress
  • 1961 – Todd Haynes, American film director
  • 1963 – David Cone, American baseball player
  • 1963 – Edgar Martínez, American baseball player
  • 1964 – Pernell Whitaker, American boxer
  • 1965 – Greg Swindell, American baseball player
  • 1967 – Tia Carrere, American actress
  • 1967 – Jón Gnarr, Icelandic comedian
  • 1967 – Francois Pienaar, South African Rugby Union player
  • 1968 – Cuba Gooding Jr., American actor
  • 1968 – Anky van Grunsven, Dutch dressage champion
  • 1968 – Evan Parke, Jamaican actor
  • 1968 – Goichi Suda, CEO of Grasshopper Manufacture
  • 1969 – Karl-Heinz Grasser, Austrian politician
  • 1969 – Patrick Huard, Quebec actor and comedian
  • 1969 – Glen Johnson, Jamaican boxer
  • 1969 – Tommy Morrison, American boxer
  • 1969 – Róbert Švehla, Slovak ice hockey player
  • 1969 – Christy Turlington, American model
  • 1970 – Royce Clayton, American baseball player
  • 1970 – Robert Fertitta, American opera singer
  • 1970 – Sanda Ladosi, Romanian singer
  • 1971 – Taye Diggs, American actor
  • 1971 – Renee Elise Goldsberry, American actress and singer
  • 1971 – Lisa Harrison, American basketball player
  • 1972 – Adam Elliot, Australian animator
  • 1972 – Christopher Lennertz, American composer
  • 1972 – Hristos Meletoglou, Greek triple jumper
  • 1973 – Lucy Davis, British actress
  • 1973 – Will Kirby, American actor
  • 1975 – Chris Cheney, Australian musician (The Living End)
  • 1975 – Doug Robb, American singer (Hoobastank)
  • 1975 – Dax Shepard, American actor
  • 1975 – Reuben Thorne, New Zealand rugby union player
  • 1976 – Hrysopiyi Devetzi, triple jump & long jump athlete
  • 1976 – Danilo Di Luca, Italian cyclist
  • 1976 – Cletidus Hunt, American football player
  • 1976 – Mahée Paiement, Canadian actress
  • 1976 – Paz Vega, Spanish actress
  • 1977 – Ales Pisa, Czech ice hockey player
  • 1977 – Scott Proctor, American baseball player
  • 1978 – Toyoguchi Megumi, Japanese seiyuu (voice actress)
  • 1979 – Suranne Jones, British actress
  • 1980 – Mac Danzig, American Mixed martial arts combatant
  • 1981 – Hanno Balitsch, German footballer
  • 1981 – Ryan Garko, American baseball player
  • 1981 – Kirk Hinrich, basketball player
  • 1981 – Maxi Rodríguez, Argentine footballer
  • 1982 – Athanasia Tsoumeleka, Greek race walker
  • 1983 – Kate Bosworth, American actress
  • 1984 – Colleen Taylor, American journalist
  • 1985 – Heather O’Reilly, American soccer player
  • 1987 – Loui Batley, British actress
  • 1988 – Jonny Evans, Northern Irish footballer

January 2 – Deaths:

  • 1512 – Svante, Regent of Sweden (b. 1460)
  • 1514 – William Smyth, English bishop and statesman (b. 1460)
  • 1557 – Pontormo, Italian painter (b. 1494)
  • 1685 – Harbottle Grimston, English politician (b. 1603)
  • 1694 – Henry Booth, 1st Earl of Warrington, English politician (b. 1651)
  • 1726 – Domenico Zipoli, Italian composer (b. 1688)
  • 1861 – King Frederick William IV of Prussia (b. 1795)
  • 1892 – George Airy, British Astronomer Royal (b. 1801)
  • 1893 – John Obadiah Westwood, British entomologist (b. 1805)
  • 1904 – James Longstreet, American Confederate general (b. 1821)
  • 1913 – Léon Teisserenc de Bort, French meteorologist (b. 1855)
  • 1915 – Carl Goldmark, Hungarian composer (b. 1830)
  • 1917 – Edward Burnett Tylor, English anthropologist (b. 1832)
  • 1920 – Paul Adam, French novelist (b. 1862)
  • 1924 – Sabine Baring-Gould, English composer and novelist (b. 1834)
  • 1936 – Sir Francis Newdegate, Governor of Tasmania, Western Australia (b. 1862)
  • 1939 – Roman Dmowski, Polish politician (b. 1864)
  • 1941 – Mischa Levitzki, Russian-American pianist (b. 1898)
  • 1945 – Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay, British naval commander (b. 1883)
  • 1946 – Joe Darling, Australian cricketer (b. 1870)
  • 1950 – James Dooley, Premier of New South Wales (b. 1877)
  • 1950 – Emil Jannings, Swiss actor and the first winner of the Academy Award for Best Actor (b. 1884)
  • 1951 – Sir William Campion, Governor of Western Australia (b. 1870)
  • 1959 – Chris van Abkoude, Dutch-American writer and novelist (b. 1880)
  • 1960 – Paul Sauvé, Canadian politician (b. 1907)
  • 1960 – Fausto Coppi, Italian cyclist (b. 1919)
  • 1963 – Dick Powell, American actor (b. 1904)
  • 1963 – Jack Carson, American actor (b. 1910)
  • 1971 – Willard Maas, American educator and experimental filmmaker (b. 1906)
  • 1974 – Tex Ritter, American actor (b. 1905)
  • 1977 – Errol Garner, American musician (b. 1921)
  • 1983 – Dick Emery, English comedian (b. 1915)
  • 1986 – Una Merkel, American actress (b. 1903)
  • 1986 – Bill Veeck, baseball executive (b. 1914)
  • 1986 – Dick James, English music publisher (Northern Songs) (b. 1920)
  • 1990 – Alan Hale Jr., American actor (b. 1918)
  • 1994 – Dixy Lee Ray, American politician (b. 1914)
  • 1994 – Pierre-Paul Schweitzer, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (b. 1915)
  • 1995 – Siad Barre, President of Somalia (b. 1919)
  • 1995 – Nancy Kelly, American actress (b. 1921)
  • 1996 – Karl Targownik, Hungarian psychiatrist (b. 1915)
  • 1997 – Randy California, American guitarist & songwriter (Spirit) (b. 1951)
  • 1998 – Frank Muir, English writer, raconteur (b. 1920)
  • 1999 – Sebastian Haffner, German journalist and author (b. 1907)
  • 2000 – Patrick O’Brian, British novelist (b. 1914)
  • 2000 – Elmo R. Zumwalt, Jr., U.S. admiral (b. 1920)
  • 2000 – Nat Adderley, American musician and composer (b. 1931)
  • 2001 – William P. Rogers, American politician (b. 1913)
  • 2001 – Teri Diver, American actress (b. 1971)
  • 2002 – Armi Aavikko, Finnish singer (b. 1958)
  • 2003 – Eric Jupp, British-Australian pianist, composer, arranger (b. 1922)
  • 2004 – Jess Collins, American artist (b. 1923)
  • 2004 – Lynn Cartwright, American actress (b. 1927)
  • 2005 – Maclyn McCarty, American geneticist (b. 1911)
  • 2005 – Cyril Fletcher, British comedian (b. 1913)
  • 2005 – Edo Murtic, Croatian painter (b. 1921)
  • 2005 – Frank Kelly Freas, American artist (b. 1922)
  • 2005 – Ronald ‘Bo’ Ginn, American politician (b. 1934)
  • 2007 – Teddy Kollek, Austrian-born mayor of Jerusalem (b. 1911)
  • 2007 – David Perkins, Stanford University geneticist (b. 1919)
  • 2007 – Mauno Jokipii, Finnish professor and World War II researcher (b. 1924)
  • 2007 – Paek Nam-sun, North Korean Foreign Affairs minister (b. 1929)
  • 2007 – Sergio Jiménez, Mexican actor (b. 1937)
  • 2007 – Don Massengale, American PGA Tour golf player (b. 1937)
  • 2007 – Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, American historian (b. 1941)
  • 2007 – Robert C. Solomon, American scholar of continental philosophy (b. 1942)
  • 2007 – Dan Shaver, NASCAR driver and ARCA race car driver/owner (b. 1950)
  • 2007 – Richard Newton, Australian-born technology pioneer and professor (b. 1951)
  • 2007 – Garry Betty, American CEO of Earthlink (b. 1957)
  • 2008 – Gerry Staley, American baseball player (b. 1920)
  • 2008 – Her Royal Highness Princess Galyani Vadhana Krommaluang Narathiwat Rajanagarindra, elder sister of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand (b. 1923)
  • 2008 – George MacDonald Fraser, British author (b. 1925)
  • 2008 – Lee S. Dreyfus, American politician (b. 1926)

January 2 – Holidays:

  • Second day of the Hogmanay Bank Holiday, Scotland
  • Second day of New Year, Slovenia – Public holidays in Slovenia
  • Second day of New Year, Serbia – Public holidays in Serbia
  • Day after New Year’s Day, New Zealand – Public holidays in New Zealand

 

 

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On This Day in History January 4th

Happy New Year!

January 1 – Events:

  • 153 BC – Roman consuls begin their year in office.
  • 45 BC – The Julian calendar takes effect for the first time.
  • 404 – The last known gladiatorial competition in Rome takes place.
  • 630 – The Prophet Muhammad sets out toward Mecca with the army that will capture it bloodlessly.
  • 1001 – Grand Prince Stephen I of Hungary is named the first King of Hungary by Pope Silvester II.
  • 1259 – Michael VIII Palaiologos is proclaimed co-emperor of the Empire of Nicaea with his ward John IV Laskaris.
  • 1438 – Albert II of Habsburg is crowned King of Hungary.
  • 1515 – King Francis I of France succeeds to the French throne.
  • 1527 – Croatian nobles elect Ferdinand I of Austria as king of Croatia in the Parliament on Cetin.
  • 1600 – Scotland begins its numbered year on 1 January instead of 25 March.
  • 1651 – Charles II is crowned King of Scotland.
  • 1673 – Regular mail service begins between New York and Boston.
  • 1700 – Russia begins using the Anno Domini era and no longer uses the Anno Mundi era of the Byzantine Empire.
  • 1707 – John V is crowned King of Portugal.
  • 1739 – Bouvet Island is discovered by French explorer Jean-Baptiste Charles Bouvet de Lozier.
  • 1772 – The first traveler’s cheques, which can be used in 90 European cities, go on sale in London.
  • 1781 – 1,500 soldiers of the 6th Pennsylvania Regiment under General Anthony Wayne’s command rebel against the Continental Army’s winter camp in Morristown, New Jersey as part of the Pennsylvania (Continentals; Regiment) Mutiny of 1781.
  • 1788 – First edition of The Times of London, previously The Daily Universal Register, is published.
  • 1797 – Albany replaces Kingston as the capital of New York State.
  • 1800 – The Dutch East India Company is dissolved.
  • 1801 – The legislative union of Kingdom of Great Britain and Kingdom of Ireland is completed to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
  • 1801 – The dwarf planet Ceres is discovered by Giuseppe Piazzi.
  • 1803 – Emperor Gia Long orders all bronze wares of the Tây Son Dynasty to be collected and melted into nine cannons for the Royal Citadel in Hu, Vietnam
  • 1804 – French rule ends in Haiti. Haiti becomes the first black republic and first independent country in the West Indies.
  • 1806 – The French Republican Calendar is abolished.
  • 1808 – The importation of slaves into the United States is banned.
  • 1833 – The United Kingdom claims sovereignty over the Falkland Islands.
  • 1845 – The Cobble Hill Tunnel in Brooklyn is completed.
  • 1861 – Porfirio Díaz conquers Mexico City.
  • 1863 – American Civil War: The Emancipation Proclamation takes effect in Confederate territory.
  • 1863 – The first claim under the Homestead Act is made by Daniel Freeman for a farm in Nebraska.
  • 1876 – The Reichsbank opens in Berlin.
  • 1877 – Queen Victoria of Britain is proclaimed Empress of India.
  • 1880 – Ferdinand de Lesseps begins French construction of the Panama Canal.
  • 1890 – Eritrea is consolidated into a colony by the Italian government.
  • 1892 – Ellis Island opens to begin processing immigrants into the United States.
  • 1893 – Japan begins using the Gregorian calendar.
  • 1894 – The Manchester Ship Canal, England, is officially opened to traffic.
  • 1898 – New York City annexes land from surrounding counties, creating the City of Greater New York. The four initial boroughs, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and The Bronx, are joined on January 25 by Staten Island to create the modern city of five boroughs.
  • 1899 – Spanish rule ends in Cuba.
  • 1901 – Nigeria becomes a British protectorate.
  • 1901 – The British colonies of New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia federate as the Commonwealth of Australia; Edmund Barton is appointed the first Prime Minister.
  • 1906 – British India officially adopts the Indian Standard Time
  • 1908 – For the first time, a ball is dropped in New York City’s Times Square to signify the start of the New Year at midnight.
  • 1909 – Drilling begins on the Lakeview Gusher.
  • 1910 – Captain David Beatty is promoted to Rear Admiral, and became the youngest admiral in the Royal Navy, except for Royal family members, since Horatio Nelson.
  • 1911 – Northern Territory is separated from South Australia and transferred to Commonwealth control.
  • 1912 – The Republic of China is established.
  • 1916 – German troops abandon Yaoundé and their Kamerun colony to British forces and begin the long march to Spanish Guinea.
  • 1919 – Edsel Ford succeeds his father, Henry Ford, as president of the Ford Motor Company.
  • 1920 – The Belorussian Communist Organisation is founded as a separate party.
  • 1922 – The Greek Constitution of 1822 is adopted by the First National Assembly of Epidaurus.
  • 1923 – Britain’s Railways are grouped into the Big Four, LNER, GWR, SR, LMSR.
  • 1925 – The American astronomer Edwin Hubble announces the discovery of galaxies outside the Milky Way.
  • 1927 – Turkey adopts the Gregorian calendar: December 18, 1926 (Julian), is immediately followed by January 1, 1927 (Gregorian).
  • 1934 – Alcatraz Island becomes a United States federal prison.
  • 1934 – Nazi Germany passes the “Law for the Prevention of Genetically Diseased Offspring.”
  • 1937 – Safety glass in vehicle windscreens becomes mandatory in Great Britain.
  • 1939 – William Hewlett and David Packard found Hewlett-Packard.
  • 1939 – Sydney, Australia, swelters in 45 °C (113 °F) heat, a record for the city.
  • 1942 – The Declaration by the United Nations is signed by twenty-six nations.
  • 1942 – WWII: The U.S. Office of Production Management prohibits sales of new cars and trucks to civilians.
  • 1945 – WWII: In retaliation for the Malmedy massacre, U.S. troops massacre 30 SSprisoners at Chenogne.
  • 1945 – WWII: The German Luftwaffe launches Unternehmen Bodenplatte, a massive, but failed attempt to knock out Allied air power in northern Europe in a single blow.
  • 1946 – The first civil flight from Heathrow Airport occurs.
  • 1947 – The American and British occupation zones in Germany, after the World War II, merge to form the Bizone, that later became the Federal Republic of Germany.
  • 1948 – British railways are nationalised to form British Rail.
  • 1948 – After partition, India declines to pay the agreed share of Rs.550 million in cash balances to Pakistan.
  • 1948 – The Constitution of Italy comes into force.
  • 1949 – United Nations cease-fire takes effect in Kashmir from one minute before midnight. War between India and Pakistan stops accordingly.
  • 1950 – The state of Ajaigarh is ceded to the Government of India.
  • 1956 – The Republic of the Sudan achieves independence from the Egyptian Republic and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
  • 1956 – A new year event causes panic and stampedes at Yahiko Shrine, Yahiko, central Niigata, Japan, killing at least 124 people.
  • 1957 – George Town, Penang becomes a city by a royal charter granted by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
  • 1957 – An Irish Republican Army (IRA) unit attacks Brookeborough RUC barracks in one of the most famous incidents of the IRA’s Operation Harvest.
  • 1958 – The European Community is established.
  • 1959 – Cultivars of plants named after this date must be named in a modern language, not in Latin.
  • 1959 – Fulgencio Batista, president of Cuba, is overthrown by Fidel Castro’s forces during the Cuban Revolution.
  • 1960 – The Republic of Cameroon achieves independence from France and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
  • 1962 – Western Samoa achieves independence from New Zealand; its name is changed to the Independent State of Western Samoa.
  • 1962 – United States Navy SEALs established.
  • 1964 – The Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland is divided into the independent republics of Zambia and Malawi, and the British-controlled Rhodesia.
  • 1965 – The People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan is founded in Kabul.
  • 1966 – A twelve-day New York City transit strike begins.
  • 1966 – After a coup, Colonel Jean-Bédel Bokassa assumes power as president of the Central African Republic.
  • 1971 – Cigarette advertisements are banned on American television.
  • 1972 – Austrian diplomat Kurt Waldheim becomes Secretary General of the United Nations.
  • 1973 – Denmark, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland are admitted into the European Community.
  • 1978 – Air India Flight 855 Boeing 747 crashes into the sea, due to instrument failure and pilot disorientation, off the coast of Bombay, killing 213.
  • 1978 – The Constitution of the Northern Mariana Islands becomes effective.
  • 1979 – Formal diplomatic relations are established between the People’s Republic of China and the United States of America.
  • 1980 – Victoria is crowned princess of Sweden.
  • 1981 – The Republic of Greece is admitted into the European Community.
  • 1981 – The Republic of Palau achieves self-government though it is not independent from the United States.
  • 1982 – Peruvian Javier Pérez de Cuéllar becomes the first Latin American to hold the title of Secretary General of the United Nations.
  • 1983 – The ARPANET officially changes to using the Internet Protocol, creating the Internet.
  • 1984 – The original American Telephone & Telegraph Company is broken up into  twenty-two independent units as a result of the settlement of the 1974 United States Department of Justice antitrust suit against AT&T.
  • 1984 – The Sultanate of Brunei becomes independent of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
  • 1985 – The Internet’s Domain Name System is created.
  • 1985 – The first British mobile phone call is made by Ernie Wise to Vodafone.
  • 1986 – Aruba becomes independent of Curaçao, though it remains in free association with the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
  • 1986 – The Kingdom of Spain and the Portuguese Republic are admitted into the European Community.
  • 1988 – The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America comes into existence, creating the largest Lutheran denomination in the United States.
  • 1989 – The Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer comes into force.
  • 1990 – David Dinkins is sworn in as New York City’s first black mayor.
  • 1993 – Dissolution of Czechoslovakia: Czechoslovakia is divided into the Slovak Republic and the Czech Republic.
  • 1993 – A single market within the European Community is introduced.
  • 1994 – The Zapatista Army of National Liberation initiates twelve days of armed conflict in the Mexican State of Chiapas.
  • 1994 – The North American Free Trade Agreement comes into effect.
  • 1994 – The European Economic Area comes into effect.
  • 1994 – The International Tropical Timber Agreement comes into effect.
  • 1995 – The World Trade Organization comes into effect.
  • 1995 – The Kingdom of Sweden and the republics of Austria and Finland are admitted into the European Union.
  • 1995 – The Conference for Security and Co-operation in Europe becomes the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.
  • 1995 – The Draupner wave in the North Sea in Norway is detected, confirming the existence of freak waves.
  • 1995 – Jean-Claude Juncker becomes Prime Minister of Luxembourg.
  • 1996 – Curaçao gains limited self-government, though it remains within free association with the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
  • 1997 – The Republic of Zaïre officially joins the World Trade Organization, as Zaïre.
  • 1997 – Ghanaian diplomat Kofi Annan is appointed Secretary General of the United Nations.
  • 1998 – Russia begins to circulate new rubles to stem inflation and promote confidence.
  • 1998 – The European Central Bank is established.
  • 1999 – The Euro currency is introduced.
  • 1999 – The Polish administrative region of Opole Voivodeship is created, out of the former Opole Voivodeship and parts of Czestochowa Voivodeship.
  • 2000 – As the world celebrates, no major crisis arises from the dreaded Y2K computer “millennium bug.”
  • 2000 – Hama Amadou becomes Prime Minister of Niger.
  • 2001 – Tommy Remengesau becomes president of Palau.
  • 2002 – Euro banknotes and coins become legal tender in twelve of the European Union’s member states.
  • 2002 – Taiwan officially joins the World Trade Organization, as Chinese Taipei.
  • 2002 – The Open Skies mutual surveillance treaty, initially signed in 1992, officially comes into force.
  • 2003 – Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva assumes office as the President of Brazil.
  • 2004 – In a vote of confidence, General Pervez Musharraf wins 658 out of 1,170 votes in the Electoral College of Pakistan, and according to Article 41(8) of the Constitution of Pakistan, was “deemed to be elected” to the office of President until October 2007.
  • 2007 – Bulgaria and Romania officially join the European Union. Also, Bulgarian, Romanian, and Irish become official languages of the European Union, joining 20 other official languages.
  • 2007 – Adam Air Flight 574 disappears over Indonesia with 102 people on board.
  • 2008 – A New Hampshire law legalizing civil unions for same-sex couples comes into effect.
  • 2008 – Malta and Cyprus officially adopt the Euro currency

January 1 – Birthdays:

  • 766 – Ali al-Rida, Shia Imam (d. 818)
  • 1431 – Pope Alexander VI (d. 1503)
  • 1449 – Lorenzo de’ Medici, Italian statesman (d. 1492)
  • 1467 – Sigismund I the Old, King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania (d. 1548)
  • 1484 – Huldrych Zwingli, Swiss Protestant leader (d. 1531)
  • 1511 – Henry, Duke of Cornwall (d. 1511)
  • 1516 – Margaret Leijonhufvud, Queen of Gustav I of Sweden (d. 1551)
  • 1557 – István Bocskay, Prince of Transylvania (d. 1606)
  • 1600 – Friedrich Spanheim, Dutch theologian (d. 1649)
  • 1614 – John Wilkins, English Bishop of Chester (d. 1672)
  • 1638 – Emperor Go-Sai of Japan (d. 1685)
  • 1648 – Elkanah Settle, English writer (d. 1724)
  • 1655 – Christian Thomasius, German jurist (d. 1728)
  • 1684 – Arnold Drakenborch, Dutch classical scholar (d. 1748)
  • 1704 – Soame Jenyns, English writer (d. 1787)
  • 1711 – Franz Freiherr von der Trenck, Austrian soldier (d. 1749)
  • 1714 – Kristijonas Donelaitis, Lithuanian poet (d. 1780)
  • 1735 – Paul Revere, American patriot (d. 1818)
  • 1745 – Anthony Wayne, American general and statesman (d. 1796)
  • 1750 – Frederick Muhlenberg, American statesman (d. 1801)
  • 1752 – Betsy Ross, American seamstress (d. 1836)
  • 1767 – Maria Edgeworth, Anglo-Irish novelist (d. 1849)
  • 1774 – André Marie Constant Duméril, French zoologist (d. 1860)
  • 1779 – William Clowes, English printer (d. 1847)
  • 1803 – Guglielmo Libri Carucci dalla Sommaja, Italian mathematician (d. 1869)
  • 1814 – Hong Xiuquan, Chinese rebel (d. 1864)
  • 1819 – Arthur Hugh Clough, English poet (d. 1861)
  • 1823 – Sándor Petofi, Hungarian poet and revolutionary (d. 1849)
  • 1833 – Robert Lawson, New Zealand architect (d. 1902)
  • 1834 – Ludovic Halévy, French playwright (d. 1908)
  • 1848 – John Goff, Irish lawyer (d. 1924)
  • 1852 – Eugène-Anatole Demarçay, French chemist (d. 1904)
  • 1854 – Sir James George Frazer, Scottish anthropologist (d. 1941)
  • 1863 – Pierre de Coubertin, French Olympic Games initiator (d. 1937)
  • 1864 – Alfred Stieglitz, American photographer (d. 1946)
  • 1864 – Qi Baishi, Chinese painter (d. 1957)
  • 1868 – Snitz Edwards, American actor (d. 1937)
  • 1873 – Mariano Azuela, Mexican novelist (d. 1952)
  • 1874 – Gustave Whitehead, German-born inventor (d. 1927)
  • 1874 – Frank Knox, American Secretary of the Navy (d. 1944)
  • 1876 – Harriet Brooks, Canadian physicist (d. 1933)
  • 1878 – Agner Krarup Erlang, Danish scientist and engineer (d. 1929)
  • 1879 – William Fox, Hungarian-U.S. film producer (d. 1952)
  • 1879 – E. M. Forster, English novelist (d. 1970)
  • 1881 – Vajiravudh, King of Thailand (d. 1925)
  • 1887 – Wilhelm Canaris, German admiral and military intelligence officer (d. 1945, by execution)
  • 1888 – John Garand, American inventor (d. 1974)
  • 1889 – Charles Bickford, U.S. film actor (d. 1967)
  • 1890 – Anton Melik, Slovenian geographer (d. 1966)
  • 1892 – Manuel Roxas, inaugural Philippines President (d. 1948)
  • 1892 – Artur Rodzinski, Croatian conductor (d. 1958)
  • 1894 – Satyendra Nath Bose, Bengali mathematician (d. 1974)
  • 1894 – Shitsu Nakano, Japan’s oldest person (d. 2007)
  • 1895 – J. Edgar Hoover, American FBI director (d. 1972)
  • 1900 – Chiune Sugihara, Japanese diplomat (d. 1986)
  • 1900 – Xavier Cugat, Spanish musician (d. 1990)
  • 1902 – Buster Nupen, South African cricketer (d. 1977)
  • 1904 – Fazal Ilahi Chaudhry, Pakistani politician (d. 1982)
  • 1904 – Ethan Allen, American baseball player (d. 1993)
  • 1905 – Stanislaw Mazur, Polish mathematician (d. 1981)
  • 1905 – Kamatari Fujiwara, Japanese actor (d. 1985)
  • 1906 – Giovanni D’Anzi, Italian songwriter (d. 1974)
  • 1909 – Stepan Bandera, Ukrainian nationalist leader (d. 1959)
  • 1909 – Dana Andrews, American actor (d. 1992)
  • 1909 – Barry M. Goldwater, American politician (d. 1998)
  • 1911 – Basil Dearden, UK film director (d. 1971)
  • 1911 – Hank Greenberg, American baseball player (d. 1986)
  • 1912 – Kim Philby, British spy (d. 1988)
  • 1912 – Boris Vladimirovich Gnedenko, Russian mathematician (d. 1995)
  • 1914 – Noor Inayat Khan, Indian princess and SOE agent; awarded the George Cross (d. 1944)
  • 1917 – Jule Gregory Charney, American meteorologist (d. 1981)
  • 1917 – Albert Mol, Dutch actor (d. 2004)
  • 1918 – Patrick Anthony Porteous, Scottish Victoria Cross recipient (d. 2000)
  • 1919 – Carole Landis, U.S. film actress (d. 1948)
  • 1919 – J. D. Salinger, American novelist
  • 1920 – Virgilio Savona, Italian singer (Quartetto Cetra)
  • 1921 – Ismail al-Faruqi, Palestinian-born philosopher (d. 1986)
  • 1922 – Rocky Graziano, American boxer (d. 1990)
  • 1922 – Ernest Hollings, American politician
  • 1923 – Daniel Gorenstein, American mathematician (d. 1992)
  • 1923 – Milt Jackson, American jazz vibraphonist (d. 1999)
  • 1925 – Matthew “Stymie” Beard, American actor (d. 1981)
  • 1925 – Denyse Tontz, belly dancer/actor
  • 1925 – Valentina Cortese, Italian actress
  • 1925 – Raymond Pellegrin, French actor
  • 1926 – Richard Verreau, French Canadian tenor (d. 2005)
  • 1927 – Doak Walker, American football star (d. 1998)
  • 1927 – Calum MacKay, Canadian hockey player (d. 2001)
  • 1927 – Maurice Béjart, French choreographer (d. 2007)
  • 1927 – Pat Heywood, Scottish born actress
  • 1927 – Vernon L. Smith, American economist, winner
  • 1928 – Ernest Tidyman, American writer (d. 1984)
  • 1930 – Ty Hardin, U.S. film actor
  • 1930 – Gaafar al-Nimeiry, President of Sudan 1971–85
  • 1932 – Giuseppe Patanè, Italian opera conductor (d. 1989)
  • 1932 – Jackie Parker, American football player (d. 2006)
  • 1933 – Joe Orton, English writer (d. 1967)
  • 1933 – Frederick Lowy, Canadian educator
  • 1933 – Norman Yemm, Australian actor
  • 1935 – B. Kliban, American cartoonist (d. 1990)
  • 1937 – Adam Wisniewski-Snerg, Polish author (d. 1995)
  • 1938 – Robert Jankel, British coachbuilder (d. 2005)
  • 1938 – Clay Cole, Television Host and Producer
  • 1939 – Michèle Mercier, French actress
  • 1940 – Frank Langella, American actor
  • 1942 – Gennadi Sarafanov, Soviet cosmonaut (d. 2005)
  • 1942 – Country Joe McDonald, American musician (Country Joe and the Fish)
  • 1942 – Martin Frost, American politician
  • 1942 – Alassane Ouattara, Former Prime Minister of Ivory Coast
  • 1942 – Judy Stone, Australian pop singer
  • 1943 – Jimmy Hart, wrestling manager
  • 1943 – Raghunath Anant Mashelkar, Indian scientist
  • 1943 – Don Novello, American actor
  • 1943 – Larry Clark, American director
  • 1944 – Zafarullah Khan Jamali, Pakistani politician
  • 1945 – Peter Duncan, Australian politician
  • 1945 – Jacky Ickx, Belgian race car driver
  • 1946 – Carl B. Hamilton, Swedish economist and politician
  • 1946 – Rick Hurst, American actor
  • 1946 – Rivelino, Brazilian football player
  • 1947 – Jon Corzine, American politician
  • 1947 – Paula Tsui, Hong Kong singer
  • 1948 – Pavel Grachev, Russian general
  • 1950 – Morgan Fisher, English musician (Mott the Hoople)
  • 1951 – Ashfaq Hussain, Urdu poet
  • 1951 – Nana Patekar, Indian film and stage actor
  • 1951 – Hans-Joachim Stuck, German-born race car driver
  • 1953 – Greg Carmichael, British guitarist (Acoustic Alchemy)
  • 1954 – Bob Menendez, American politician
  • 1956 – Mark R. Hughes, American entrepreneur (d. 2000)
  • 1956 – Sergei Avdeyev, Russian cosmonaut
  • 1956 – Mike Mitchell, American basketball player
  • 1956 – Kôji Yakusho, Japanese actor
  • 1957 – Ewa Kasprzyk, Polish actress
  • 1957 – Evangelos Venizelos, Greek lawyer, professor and politician
  • 1958 – Grandmaster Flash, Barbados-born musician
  • 1959 – Azali Assoumani, Comorian president
  • 1959 – Jennifer Edwards, American actress
  • 1959 – Panagiotis Giannakis, Greek basketball player and coach
  • 1961 – Fiona Phillips, British television presenter
  • 1961 – Mark Wingett, British actor
  • 1962 – Sophie Thompson, British actress
  • 1962 – Ari Up, German musician (The Slits)
  • 1964 – Juliana Donald, American actress
  • 1964 – Dedee Pfeiffer, American actress
  • 1966 – Anna Burke, Australian politician
  • 1967 – Derrick Thomas, American football player (d. 2000)
  • 1967 – Juanma Bajo Ulloa, Spanish film director
  • 1967 – John Digweed, English DJ
  • 1967 – Tim Dog, American rapper1968 – Joey Stefano, American adult actor (d. 1994)
  • 1968 – Miki Higashino, Japanese composer
  • 1968 – Davor Šuker, Croatian footballer
  • 1969 – Sophie Okonedo, Academy Award nominated British actress
  • 1969 – Christi Paul, American news anchor
  • 1969 – Verne Troyer, American actor
  • 1970 – Gabriel Jarret, American actor
  • 1970 – Shelley O’Donnell, Australian netballer
  • 1970 – Kimberly Page, American actress
  • 1971 – Bobby Holik, Czech hockey player
  • 1971 – Sammie Henson, American World Champion Wrestler, Olympic silver medalist
  • 1972 – Neve McIntosh, Scottish actress
  • 1972 – Lilian Thuram, French footballer
  • 1974 – Catalina Guirado, English model and TV personality
  • 1975 – Sonali Bendre, Indian model and actress
  • 1975 – Joe Cannon, American soccer player
  • 1975 – Eiichiro Oda, Japanese Manga artist
  • 1976 – Caleb Wyatt, American motocross rider
  • 1976 – Georgina Chapman, British fashion designer and actress
  • 1977 – Keeley Hawes, British actress
  • 1977 – Hasan Salihamidžic, Bosnian footballer
  • 1978 – Vidya Balan, Indian actress
  • 1978 – Nina Bott, German actress
  • 1978 – Phillip Mulryne, Northern Irish footballer
  • 1978 – Paramahamsa Sri Nithyananda, Indian spiritualist
  • 1978 – Tarik O’Regan, British composer
  • 1979 – Brody Dalle, Australian singer (The Distillers)
  • 1979 – Koichi Domoto, Japanese artist
  • 1980 – Elin Nordegren, Swedish model
  • 1981 – Jonas Armstrong, Irish actor
  • 1981 – Zsolt Baumgartner, Hungarian race car driver
  • 1981 – Abdülkadir Koçak, Turkish boxer
  • 1981 – Eden Riegel, American actress
  • 1982 – David Nalbandian, Argentinian tennis player
  • 1983 – Ali Bastian, English actress and model
  • 1983 – Calum Davenport, English footballer
  • 1983 – Emi Kobayashi, Japanese model
  • 1984 – José Paolo Guerrero, Peruvian footballer
  • 1984 – Alok Kapali, Bangladeshi cricketer
  • 1984 – Shareefa, American singer
  • 1984 – Michael Witt, Australian rugby league footballer
  • 1985 – Steven Davis, Northern Irish footballer
  • 1986 – Glen Davis, American basketball player
  • 1987 – Gilbert Brule, professional hockey player
  • 1987 – Meryl Davis, American ice dancer
  • 1987 – Devin Setoguchi, Professional hockey player
  • 1991 – Kathleen Herles, American Voice actor
  • 1998 – Marlene Lawston, American child actress

January 1 – Deaths:

  • 379 – Saint Basil of Caesarea (b. 330)
  • 404 – Saint Telemachus
  • 874 – Hasan al-Askari, eleventh Shia Imam (b. 846)
  • 898 – Odo, Count of Paris (b. 860)
  • 962 – Baldwin III, Count of Flanders (c. 940)
  • 1204 – King Haakon III of Norway (c. 1170)
  • 1387 – King Charles II of Navarre (b. 1332)
  • 1515 – King Louis XII of France (b. 1462)
  • 1554 – Pedro de Valdivia, Spanish conquistador (b. 1500)
  • 1559 – Christian III of Denmark and Norway (b. 1503)
  • 1560 – Joachim du Bellay, French poet (b. 1522)
  • 1617 – Hendrik Goltzius, Dutch painter (b. 1558)
  • 1631 – Thomas Hobson, the “Cambridge Carrier”, eponym of Hobson’s Choice (b. 1544)
  • 1697 – Filippo Baldinucci, Florentine biographer/historian (b. 1624)
  • 1716 – William Wycherley, English dramatist (b. 1640)
  • 1730 – Samuel Sewall, English-born judge (b. 1652)
  • 1742 – Peregrine Bertie, 2nd Duke of Ancaster and Kesteven, English statesman (b. 1686)
  • 1748 – Johann Bernoulli, Swiss mathematician (b. 1667)
  • 1759 – Jacques-Joachim Trotti, marquis de La Chétardie, French adventurer (b. 1705)
  • 1766 – James Francis Edward Stuart, “The Old Pretender” (b. 1688)
  • 1782 – Johann Christian Bach, German composer (b. 1735)
  • 1789 – Fletcher Norton, 1st Baron Grantley, English politician (b. 1716)
  • 1793 – Francesco Guardi, Venetian painter (b. 1712)
  • 1796 – Alexandre-Théophile Vandermonde, French mathematician (b. 1735)
  • 1800 – Louis-Jean-Marie Daubenton, French naturalist (b. 1716)
  • 1817 – Martin Heinrich Klaproth, German chemist (b. 1743)
  • 1853 – Gregory Blaxland, Australian explorer (b. 1778)
  • 1862 – Mikhail Vasilievich Ostrogradsky, Russian physicist (b. 1801)
  • 1869 – Martin W. Bates, American politician (b. 1786)
  • 1881 – Louis Auguste Blanqui, French political activist (b. 1805)
  • 1892 – Roswell B. Mason, Mayor of Chicago (b. 1805)
  • 1894 – Heinrich Rudolf Hertz, German physicist (b. 1857)
  • 1896 – Alfred Ely Beach, U.S. inventor (b. 1826)
  • 1906 – Sir Hugh Nelson, Premier of Queensland (b. 1835)
  • 1919 – Mikhail Drozdovsky, Russian general (b. 1881)
  • 1921 – Theobald von Bethmann Hollweg, Chancellor of Germany (b. 1856)
  • 1931 – Martinus Beijerinck, Dutch microbiologist and botanist (b. 1851)
  • 1932 – C P Scott, British journalist, publisher and politician (b. 1846)
  • 1940 – Panuganti Lakshminarasimha Rao, Indian writer and essayist (b. 1865)
  • 1943 – Colonel Andrew Summers Rowan, U.S. military officer who gave “a message to Garcia” (b. 1857)
  • 1944 – Sir Edward Lutyens, British architect who designed New Delhi (b. 1869)
  • 1944 – Charles Turner, Australian cricketer (b. 1862)
  • 1953 – Hank Williams, American singer (b. 1923)
  • 1954 – Duff Cooper, British diplomat and writer (b. 1890)
  • 1957 – Seán South and Fergal O’Hanlon are killed in the Brookeborough Raid.
  • 1958 – Edward Weston, American photographer (b. 1886)
  • 1960 – Margaret Sullavan, American actress (b. 1909)
  • 1963 – Dr. Gilbert Bogle and Mrs. Margaret Chandler, Australian victims of an unsolved murder or possibly accidental death
  • 1964 – Bechara El Khoury, President of Lebanon (b. 1890)
  • 1966 – Vincent Auriol, French politician (b. 1884)
  • 1969 – Bruno Söderström, Swedish athlete (b. 1888)
  • 1969 – Barton MacLane, American actor (b. 1902)
  • 1971 – Saint Amphilochius of Pochayiv, Ukrainian Orthodox Christian Saint (b. 1894)
  • 1972 – Maurice Chevalier, French actor and singer (b. 1888)
  • 1980 – Pietro Nenni, Italian socialist politician (b. 1891)
  • 1980 – Adolph Deutsch, U.S. composer and arranger (b. 1897)
  • 1981 – Hephzibah Menuhin, American-Jewish concert pianist (b. 1920)
  • 1982 – Victor Buono, American actor (b. 1938)
  • 1984 – Alexis Korner, British blues musician (b. 1928)
  • 1985 – Kamatari Fujiwara, Japanese actor (b. 1905)
  • 1986 – Alfredo Binda, Italian cyclist (b. 1902)
  • 1986 – Bruce Norris, American hockey executive (Detroit Red Wings) (b. 1924)
  • 1991 – Buck Ram, American songwriter and businessman (The Platters) (b. 1907)
  • 1992 – Grace Hopper, American computer pioneer (b. 1906)
  • 1994 – Lord Arthur Espie Porritt, Governor-General of New Zealand (b. 1900)
  • 1994 – Cesar Romero, American actor (b. 1907)
  • 1995 – Eugene Wigner, Hungarian physicist, Nobel laureate (b. 1902)
  • 1995 – Fred West, British serial killer (suicide) (b. 1941)
  • 1996 – Arleigh Burke, American admiral (b. 1901)
  • 1996 – Arthur Rudolph, German engineer (b. 1906)
  • 1997 – Hagood Hardy, Canadian composer and musician (b. 1937)
  • 1997 – Townes Van Zandt, American musician (b. 1944)
  • 1998 – Helen Wills Moody, American tennis player (b. 1905)
  • 2000 – Colin Vaughan, Australian-born political journalist (b. 1931)
  • 2001 – Ray Walston, American actor (b. 1914)
  • 2002 – Julia Phillips, American film producer (b. 1944)
  • 2003 – Joe Foss, American politician, fighter pilot and AFL Commissioner (b. 1915)
  • 2003 – F. William Free, American advertising executive (b. 1928)
  • 2003 – Cyril Shaps, English actor (b. 1923)
  • 2005 – Shirley Chisholm, American politician (b. 1924)
  • 2005 – Hugh Lawson, 6th Baron Burnham, British newspaperman (b. 1931)
  • 2005 – Eugene J. Martin, American painter, artist (b. 1938)
  • 2005 – Bob Matsui, American politician (b. 1941)
  • 2006 – Harry Magdoff, American magazine editor (b. 1913)
  • 2006 – Hugh McLaughlin, Irish publisher and inventor (b. 1918)
  • 2006 – Dawn Lake, Australian TV comedienne (b. 1927)
  • 2006 – Bryan Harvey, American musician (House of Freaks) (b. 1956)
  • 2007 – A. I. Bezzerides, American novelist and screenwriter (b. 1908)
  • 2007 – Ernie Koy, American baseball player (b. 1909)
  • 2007 – Tillie Olsen, American writer (b. 1912)
  • 2007 – Leon Davidson, American scientist known for studying UFOs (b. 1922)
  • 2007 – Julius Hegyi, American conductor (b. 1923)
  • 2007 – Del Reeves, American country singer (b. 1932)
  • 2007 – Roland Levinsky, South African medical scientist (b. 1943)
  • 2007 – Leonard Fraser, Australian serial killer (b. 1951)
  • 2007 – Tad Jones, American jazz music historian (b. 1952)
  • 2007 – Darrent Williams, American football player (b. 1982)
  • 2008 – Salvatore Bonanno, son of Joseph Bonnano (b. 1932)
  • 2008 – Peter Caffrey, Irish actor (b. 1949)
  • 2008 – Pratap Chandra Chunder, union minister of India (b. 1919)
  • 2008 – Harold Corsini, American photographer (b. 1919)

January 1 – Holidays:

By observance:

  • New Year’s Day for many countries around the world using the Gregorian calendar; often celebrated at midnight with fireworks.
  • Last day of Kwanzaa
  • January 1 is also the given “birthday” to many refugees who come to safe countries but are unable to give a documented date of birth.

By faith:

  • Christian celebrations:
    • The seventh day of Christmas (and eighth night of the same) in Western Christianity.
    • Anglican and Episcopalian churches – Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus
    • Roman Catholicism – Feast of the Circumcision (Old calendar).
    • Roman Catholicism – Holy Day of Obligation in many countries.
    • Final Day of Octave of Christmas, Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God (New calendar).
  • Feast days of the following:
    • Fulgentius of Ruspe
    • Odilo of Cluny
    • Telemachus
    • Orthodox Christian Churches – Feast Day of the Circumcision of the Lord in the Flesh; also the feast day of St. Basil, Bishop of Caesaria.
    • January 1 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics)

By country:

  • Cuba Liberation Day.
  • Czech Republic: Establishment of the Czech Republic.
  • Haiti Independence Day.
  • Scotland: Ne’erday.
  • Slovakia: Establishment of the Slovak Republic.
  • Sudan Independence Day.

By city:

  • New Year’s Day Parade in London, United Kingdom.
  • Vienna New Year’s Concert
  • Pasadena, California – the Tournament of Roses Parade.

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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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