December 01:
1886: Rex Stout, creator of Nero Wolfe.
1935: Woody Allen born.
1955: Rosa Parks, a black seamstress in Montgomery, Alabama, was arressted for refusing to give up her seat to a white man on a public bus.
1969: The US held its first draft lottery, covering men born between January 1, 1944 and December 31, 1950.
1990: The Channel Tunnel completed as French and British excavations met.

December 02

1804: Napoleon crowned emperor of France at the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris.
1816: The first savings bank (the Philadelphia Savings Fund Society) opened in Philadelphia, Pa.
1859: Abolitionist John Brown hanged for his raid on Harper's Ferry in October.
1927: Ford Motor Company unveiled its Model A automobile.
1942: Scientists at the University of Chicago first demonstrted a nuclear chain reaction.
1954: The US Senate voted to condemn Joseph R. McCarthy, Republican of Wisconsin, for "conduct that tends to bring the Senate into dishonor and disrepute."
1961: In a speech, Cuban revolutionist Fidel Castro revealed that he was a Marxist-Leninist and would lead Cuba to Communism.
1970: Enviromental Protection Agency began operating.

December 03

1828: Andrew Jackson elected President of the United States.
1857: Joseph Conrad born.
1947: Tennessee William's A Streetcar Named Desire, starring Jessica Tandy & Marlon Brando, opened on Broadway.
1984: Poisonous gass killed 3,000 in Bhopal India.

December 04

1795: Thomas Caryle born.
1816: James Monroe elected 5th President of the United States
1918: President Wilson departed for France to attend the Versailles Peace Conference, thus becoming the first President to travel outside the US while in office.
1945: US Senate voted to approve US participation in the United Nations.
1965: Gemini 7, with Frank Borman and James Lovell aboard, was launched.
2002: Donald Morris, author of Washing of the Spears," and writer on foreign affairs and other subjects died in Houston at age 78. Morris was a long-time columnist for the Houston Post and publisher of the Donald R. Morris Newsletter. His novel, Warm Bodies, was made into the movie, All Hands on Deck.

December 05

1776: Phi Beta Kappa was organized at William and Mary College in Williamsburg, Virginia as the first scholastic fraternity in the United States.
1791: Worfgang Amadeus Mozart died in Vienna, Austria, at age 35.
1792: George Washington re-elected President and John Adams re-elected Vice President.
1848: President James Polk triggered the Gold Rush of '49 by confirming that gold had been discovered in California.
1887: Rose Wilder Lane born.
1901: Walt Disney born in Chicago, Illinois.
1933: Prohibition repealed by passage of the 21st Amendment when Utah became the 36th state to ratify it at 5:32 pm.
1945: Five US Navy torpedo bombers disappear after taking off from Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
1955: The AFL-CIO was formed under George Meany as the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations united.
2012: Dave Brubeck, jazz master, died at age 92. His "Take Five" was the first jazz single to sell a million copies.

December 06

1790: Congress moved from New York to Philadelphia.
1822: The Republic of Mexico was established
1889: Jefferson Davis died in New Orleans.
1920: Dave Brubeck born.
1921: By a treaty signed in London, England, the Irish Free State was officially created.
1947: Everglades National Park was dedicated by President Harry S. Truman.
1957: The first attempt by the United States to put a satellite into orbit blew up on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral, Florida.
1969: During a Rolling Stones concert at the Altamont Speedway in Livermore, California, four people died.
1973: House Minority Leader Gerald Ford is sworn in as Vice President, replacing the resigned Spiro Agnew.
1989: Frances Bavier (Aunt Bea of the Andy Griffith Show died at age 86. Whe was 57 when she started the show.

December 07

1787: Delaware became the first state to ratify the US Constitution.
1873: Willa CAther born.
1941: Japan attacked Pearl Harbor.
1972: Apollo 17 (last mission to the moon) launched from Cape Canaveral.
1982: In Huntsville, Texas, Charlie Brooks, Jr., became the first US prisoner to be executed by lethal injection.

December 08

1854: Pope Pius IX proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, which holds that Mary was free of Original Sin from the moment of conception.
1863: President Lincoln announced his plans for the Reconstruction of the South.
1886: The American Federation of Labor founded in Columbus, Ohio.
1941: US declared war on Japan.
1980: John Lennon shot to death.

December 09

1608: English poet John Milton born in London.
1854: Alfred Lord Tennyson's poem, The Charge of the Light Brigade, was published in England.
1907: Christmas Seals went on sale for the first time at a Wilmington, Delaware post office. They were sold to raise money to fight tuberculosis.
1941: China declared was on Japan, Germany and Italy.
1958: Robert Welch, Jr., and 11 other men met in Indianapolis to form the John Birch Society.

December 10

1520: Martin Luther publically burned the papal edict demanding that he recant, on penalty of excommunication.
1817: Mississippi was admitted as the 20th state.
1830: Emily Dickinson born in Amherst, Mass.
1835: General Cos surrenders in San Antonio. He and his men are allowed to return to Mexico on condition that they "not in any way oppose the re-establishment of the [Mexican] Federal Constitution of 1824."
1869: Women were granted the right to vote in the Wyoming Territory.
1898: Treaty signed in Paris officially ending the Spanish-American War.
1948: The United Nations General Assembly adopted its Universal Declaration on Human Rights.
1906: President Theodore Roosevelt became the first American to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for helping to end the Russo-Japanese War.
1967: Otis Redding died in a plane crash near Madison, Wisconsin. 6 members of his band, the BarKays, also died. He was 26 years old at the time. He finished the studio work on his hit, Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay, just three days earlier.
1992: Britains Prince Charles and Princess Diana announced that they were separated.

December 11

1792: Louis XVI, King of France, went on trial for treason.
1816: Indiana became the 19th state.
1918: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn born.
1936: Britain's King Edward VIII abdicated the throne in order to marry American divorcee Wallis Warfield Simpson.
1941: Germany and Italy declared war on the United States.
1946: UNICEF established.
1971: Libertarian Party founded.

December 12

1792: Ludwig van Beethoven received his first lesson in music composition from Franz Joseph Haydn.
1821: Gustave Flaubert born.
1901: Guglielmo Marconi, in St John's, Newfoundland, picked up the first radio signal to cross the Atlantic.
1915: Frank Sinatra born.
1917: Father Edward Flanagan founded Boys' Town outside Omaha, Nebraska.
1919: Charles Dadant, who would eventually head up Dadant and Sons, a bee equipment company, born in Hamilton, Illinois.
1925: The first motel, the Motel Inn, opened in San Luis Obispo, California.
1963: Kenya gained independence from Britain.
2000: The US Supreme Court reversed a Florida court decision as to recounts in Florida's presidential election results.

December 13

1577: Five ships under the command of Sir Francis Drake began a journey around the world. It took three years to complete.
1642: Dutch navigator Abel Tasman becomes the first European explorer to discover New Zealand.
1862: Confederate forces won the Battle of Fredericksburg.
1915: Ross MacDonald born.
1928: George Gerschwinn's An American in Paris premiered at Carnegie Hall in New York.
1944: A Japanese kamikazeairplane crashed into the US cruiser, Nashville, killing 138 crewmen.
1964: US President Lyndon Johnson and Mexican President Gustavo Diaz Ordaz set off an explosion in El Paso that changed the course of the Rio Grande, thus ending a border dispute between the two countries.
1978: The Philadelplhia mint began stamping the Susan B. Antohony dollar coin, which went into circulation in July of 1979.

December 14

1799: George Washington died at age 67.
1819: Alabama joined the United States as the 22nd state.
1911: Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen became the first man known to reach the South Pole.
1946: The United Nation's General Assembly voted to establish its headquarters in New York City.
2012: Murderer Adam Lanza killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

December 15

1791: The Bill of Rights went into effect, with ratification by Virginia.
1871: James Butler Hickok is dismissed as marshal of Abilene, Kansas, "for reason that the City is no longer in need of his services."
1872: The Colorado Central extended service to Black Hawk, Colorado.
1890: Sioux Indian Chief Sitting Bull killed during a fight which erupted in Grand River, South Dakota, as Indian police tried to arrest him.
1939: Gone with the Wind premiered in Atlanta.
1944: A plane carrying bandleader (and US Army Major) Glenn Miller disappeared over the English Channel.
1948: Former State Department official Alger Hiss was indicted by a federal grand jury. He was convicted in 1950.
1965: Gemini 6 and Gemini 7 rendezvoused in orbit over earth.
1966: Walt Disney died in Los Angeles.
1995: The European Union chose the "Euro" as the name of its new currency.
1996: Author Harry Kemelman, creator of the "Rabbi Small" series of crime novels (starting with Friday the Rabbi Slept Late) died at age 88.
2011: Christopher Hitchens, book author, essayists and debater extraordinaire, died of complications from esophageal cancer at age 62 at M.D. Anderson Hospital in Houston, Texas. Hitchens wrote books on Jefferson, Paine and Orwell. He was also the author of the widely acclaimed 2007 book God Is Not Great.

December 16

1770: Ludwig van Beethoven was born in Bonn, Germany.
1773: Boston Tea Party took place as 300 chests of tea dropped into Boston Harbor.
1775: Jane Austen born.
1899: Noel Coward born.
1901: Margaret Mead born.
1905: Variety magazine debuted.
1916: Gregory Rasputin was killed by conservative noblemen in Russsia.
1944: Battle of the Bulge began in Belgium.

December 17

1830: Simon Bolivar died in Colombia.
1903: Orville and Wilbur Wright undertook the first successful powered airplane flight near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
1929: William Safire born.
1930: Robert Guccione, publisher of Penthouse, born.
1969: The US Air Force closed its Project Blue Book on UFO's.

December 18

1737: Antonio Stradivari, violin maker, died in Cremona, Italy.
1865: Thirteenth Amendment (abolishing slavery) ratified.
1892: Tchaikovsky s ballet "The Nutcracker" had its premier in St. Petersberg, Russia.
1940: Hitler signed the secret directive for Operation Barbarossa, calling for the invasion of Russia. The invasion began in June of 1941.
1956: Japan admitted to the United Nations.
1957: The first US nuclear power plant, the Shippingport Atomic Power Station in Pennsylvania, went on line.
1969: Britain's parliment abolished the death penalty.

December 19

1732: Ben Franklin began publishing Poor Richard's Almanac in Philadelphia.
1776: Thomas Paine's essay, American Crises, published. It contained the famous line, "These are the times that try men's souls."
1777: General George Washington encamped his army of 11,000 at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.
1843: Charles Dicken's A Christmas Carol, first published.
1957: The Music Man, starring Robert Preston, opened on Broadway.

December 20

1790: The first successful cotton mill in the United States began operations at Pawtucket, Rhode Island.
1803: The title to the land involved in the Louisiana Purchase was formally transfered from France to the US.
1820: Missouri imposed a "bachelor tax" on eligible men between the ages of 21 and 50. The price of being single: $1.00 per year.
1860: South Carolina became the first state to secede from the Union.
1864: Confederate forces evacuated Savannah, Georgia, in the face of General William T Sherman's "March to the Sea."
1879: Thomas Edison gave a private demonstration of the incandescent light bulb.
1922: The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was formed.
1968: John Steinbeck died in New YKork at age 66.
1989: Operation "Just Cause" began as the US sent troops into Panama.
1996: Astronomer Carl Sagan, creator of the famous "Cosmos" TV series and book, died at age 62. Scientist, poet and star stuff.

December 21

1620: The Mayflower Pilgrims went ashore at Plymouth, Mass.
1804: Benjamin Disraeli born.
1898: Scientists Pierre and Marie Currie discovered radium.
1913: The first cross-word puzzle was published in the New York World.
1940: F. Scott Fitzgerald died in Hollywood at age 44. 1945: General George Patton died in Germany.
1968: Apollo 8 was launched. Its mission: man's first orbit of the Moon.

December 22

1944: During the Battle of the Bulge, Brig. Gen. Anthony C. McAuliffe issued his famous reply when asked to surrender: NUTS.
1984: Bernard Goetz shot 4 black youths on a New York subway.

December 23

1776: The first of Thomas Paine's patriotic tracts, called The Crises papers, was published.
1788: Maryland voted to give a ten square mile piece of land to be used as the seat of the new National Government. Today we know this parcel as Washington, D.C.
1823: The poem A Visit from St. Nicholas by Clement C. Moore, was published anonymously in the Troy [New York] Sentinel.
1913: The Federal Reserve System began operations. Please note that this date is well before the Great Depression.
1947: Walter Brattain, John Bardeen and William Shockley (of Bell Laboratories) invented the transistor.

December 24

1814: War of 1812 officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Ghent in Belgium. However, the news did not reach warring forces in time to prevent the Battle of New Orleans a month later.
1865: The Ku Klux Klan formed in Pulaski, Tenn.
1943: Franklin Roosevelt appointed General Dwight D Eisenhower Supreme Commander of Allied forces as part of Operation Overlord.

December 25

336: The first recorded celebration of Christmas on December 25 took place in Rome.
1223: St. Francis of Assisi assembled one of the first Nativity scenes in Greccio, Italy.
1818: the Christmas carol Silent Night by Franz Joseph Gruber and Joseph Mohr, was sung for the first time at the Church of St. Nikolaus in Oberndorff, Austria.
1821: Clara Barton, founder of the Red Cross, was born in Oxford, Mass.
1892: Robecca West born.
1924: Rod Sterling born.
1977: Charlie Chaplin died in Switzerland at age 88.
1995: Dean Martin died at age 78.

December 26

1776: The Battle of Trenton was fought. George Washington's forces captured 1,000 Hessian soldiers.
1799: Col. Henry Lee issued his famous eulogy of George Washington as "First in War, first in peace and first in the hearts of his countrymen."
1836: First settlers arrived at the British colony of South Australia.
1865: The coffee percolator patented by James H. Nason of Franklin, Mass.
1891: Henry Miller born.
1893: Mao Tse-tung born in Hunan province.
1917: During WWI the US government seized control of all railroads owned by American companies.
1972: Harry S Truman, thirty-third president of the United States, died in Kansas City, Missouri.

December 27

1822: Louis Pasteur born in Dole, France.
1831: Charles Darwin began his historic voyage to the Pacific aboard the H.M.S. Beagle. 1900: Prohibitionist Carry Nation smashed her first bar in the Carey Hotel, Wichita, Kansas.
1901: Marlene Dietrich born.
1932: Radio City Music Hall opened in New York City.
1979: Soviet forces seized control of Afghanistan.

December 28

1832: John C Calhoun became the first vice president to resign, stepping down over differences with President Andrew Jackson.
1856: Woodrow Wilson, the 28th President, was born in Staunton, Virginia.
1869: William Finley Semple, of Mount Vernon, Ohio, patented chewing gum.
1937: Composer Maurice Ravel died in Paris.
1945: Congress officially adopted the Pledge of Allegiance in its original form.
1973: Alexander Solhenitsyn published The Gulag Archipelago. The tale of Soviet prisons lead to his expulsion from the Soviet Union.

December 29

1170: Archbishop Thomas Becket was murdered in Cantebury Cathedral, England.
1808: Andrew Johnson, the 17th President, was born in Ralegh, North Carolina.
1813: The British burned Buffalo, New York, during the War of 1812.
1845: Texas was admitted as the 28th state.
1851: The first YMCA was organized in Boston, Mass.
1890: The Wounded Knee Massacre took place in Wounded Knee, South Dakota as over 200 Sioux were killed by US troops sent to disarm them.
1913: The first movie serial, The Adventures of Kathlyn, premiered in Chicago.
1940: Germany began dropping incendiary bombs on London.
1982: Near Anzick, Montana, the oldest human bones found in North America were discovered. They were estimated to be 12,000 years old.

December 30

1865: Rudyard Kipling was born in Bombay, India.
1853: The US purchased 45,000 square miles from Mexico in what became known as the Gadsen Purchase, named after James Gadsen, the man who spearheaded the purchase. The land included parts of now southern Arizona and New Mexico.
1936: The United Auto Workers Union staged its first "sit down" strike at the Fisher Body Plant Number One in Flint, Michigan.
1972: The United States halted its bombing of North Vietnam.
1922: The Union of Soviet Socialists Republics was established.

December 31

1879: Thomas Edison gave his first public demonstration of the incandescent light bulb.
1946: President Truman proclaimed the end of WWII.
1961: The MrshallPlan expired after distributing over $12 billion in foreign aid.
1974: US citizens were again allowed to own gold after over 40 years of prohibition.
1985: Rick Nelson, 45, and six others were killed when a fire broke out on a private plane.


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