Liberty Line: A "This Day in History" Timeline
of Events of Interest to Advocates of Liberty
for December

by Donald Burger, Attorney at Law

December 01:
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.

December 02

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.
December 04

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.
December 05

1792: George Washington re-elected President and John Adams re-elected Vice President.
1887: Rose Wilder Lane born.
1933: Prohibition repealed by passage of the 21st Amendment when Utah became the 36th state to ratify it at 5:32 pm.

December 06

1790: Congress moved from New York to Philadelphia.

December 07

1787: Delaware became the first state to ratify the US Constitution.
1941: Japan attacked Pearl Harbor.
1972: Apollo 17 (last mission to the moon) launched from Cape Canaveral.

December 08

1863: President Lincoln announced his plans for the Reconstruction of the South.
December 09

1941: China declared was on Japan, Germany and Italy.

December 10

1817: Mississippi was admitted as the 20th state.
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.

December 11

1792: Louis XVI, King of France, went on trial for treason.
1816: Indiana became the 19th state.
1918: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn born.
1971: Libertarian Party founded.

December 12

December 13

December 14

1799: George Washington died at age 67.
1946: The United Nation's General Assembly voted to establish its headquarters in New York City.

December 15

1791: The Bill of Rights went into effect, with ratification by Virginia.
1948: Former State Department official Alger Hiss was indicted by a federal grand jury. He was convicted in 1950.

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 Austin born.
1899: Noel Coward born.
1916: Gregory Rasputin was killed by conservative noblemen in Russsia.
1944: Battle of the Bulge began in Belgium.

December 17

December 18

1865: Thirteenth Amendment (abolishing slavery) ratified.
1956: Japan admitted to the United Nations.

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.

December 20

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.

December 21

1620: The Mayflower Pilgrims went ashore at Plymouth, Mass.
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.
1913: The Federal Reserve System began operations. Please note that this date is well before the Great Depression.

December 24

December 25

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."
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

1900: Prohibitionist Carry Nation smashed her first bar in the Carey Hotel, Wichita, Kansas.
1901: Marlene Dietrich born.

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.
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

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.
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.
1940: Germany began dropping incendiary bombs on London.

December 30

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.
1922: The Union of Soviet Socialists Republics was established.

December 31

1946: President Truman proclaimed the end of WWII.
1961: The MarshallPlan expired after distributing over $12 billion in foreign aid.
1974: It is no longer illegal for US citizens to own gold coins, after over 40 years of prohibition.

Last revised January 25, 2003

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