December


December 1
1866 President Andrew Johnson restored the privilege of writ of habeas corpus in the Northern states.
1891 Sports coach and physician James Naismith invented basketball while teaching at the International YMCA Training School in Springfield, Massachusetts.

James Naismith
1913 Musical comedy star Mary Martin (married name: Mary Halliday) was born in Weatherford, Texas.

Mary Martin
1913 Henry Ford established the first moving assembly line.

Henry Ford
1935 Comedian and film maker Allan Konigsberg (Woody Allen) was born in Brooklyn, New York.
1935 Singer Lou Rawls was born in Chicago, Illinois.

Lou Rawls
1940 Comedian Richard Pryor was born in Peoria, Illinois.
1945 Singer and actress Bette Midler was born in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Bette Midler


December 2
1848 Mary Slessor was born in Aberdeen, Scotland. She rose from poverty to become a missionary in Nigeria, where she concentrated on settling disputes, encouraging trade, and educating the natives. She prevented dozens of wars, helped heal the sick, and stopped the practice of determining guilt by drinking poison. She fought against the local customs of human sacrifice and canibalism. She saved hundreds of twins who had been abandonded in the jungle by their superstitious families.

Mary Slessor
1859 Artist George Seurat was born in Paris, France.

Painting by Georges Seurat
1901 King Camp Gillette invented the safety razor.
1967 Actress Lucy Liu was born in Queens, New York.

Lucy Liu


December 3
1621 Galileo Galilei perfected the telescope.

Galileo Galilei
1639 The Bronx, New York, was purchased from Indians by Jonas Bronck.
1755 Portrait painter Gilbert Stuart was born near Narragansett, Rhode Island.

Gilbert Stuart self-portrait
1857 Author Jozef Korzeniowski (Joseph Conrad) was born at Berdichev in the Ukraine.
1903 Flamenco guitarist Carlos Montoya was born in Madrid, Spain.
1928 Singer Andy Williams was born at Wall Lake, Iowa.
1961 Actress Daryl Hannah was born in Chicago, Illinois.
1965 Ice skater Katarina Witt was born in Karl-Marx-Stadt, East Germany.


December 4
1619 America's first Thanksgiving Day was celebrated at Berkeley Plantation, Virginia.
1674 Louis Jolet and Father Jacques Marquette returned to Montreal after a 2500-mile exploration of the Mississippi River.
1783 George Washington delivered his Farewell Address to his officers at Fraunces Tavern in New York City.

Fraunces Tavern now and George Washington with officers inside Fraunces Tavern in 1783
1783 The British army evacuated Staten Island and Long Island.
1833 The American Anti-Slavery Society was launched in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Anti-Slavery Society Convention
1893 Anarchist and art critic Herbert Read was born in Yorkshire, England.

Herbert Read
1921 Actress Deanna Durbin was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
1935 College classes to combat the influence of communism were instituted by St. Joseph's College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. More than 1,200 students registered for the classes.
1949 Actor Jeff Bridges was born in Los Angeles, California.
1964 Actress Marisa Tomei was born in Brooklyn, New York.
1973 Supermodel and talk-show hostess Tyra Banks was born in Los Angeles, California.


December 5
1886 Libertarian author Rose Wilder Lane was born in De Smet, Dakota Territory.

Rose Wilder Lane
1901 Cartoonist, film maker, and amusement park developer Walt Disney was born in Chicago, Illinois.
1933 Prohibition was repealed when Utah's repeal convention made it the 36th state to ratify the 21st amendment to the US Constitution.
1935 Singer Little Richard (Richard Penniman) was born in Macon, Georgia.
1936 Singer Chad Mitchell was born in Spokane, Washington.


December 6
1849 Abolitionist Harriet Tubman escaped from slavery.

Harriet Tunman
1865 The 13th Amendment, which outlawed slavery, was ratified.
1896 Lyricist Ira Gershwin was born in New York City.
1903 Yankee infielder (1926-1937) Tony Lazzeri was born in San Francisco, California.
1920 Jazz pianist Dave Brubeck was born in Concord, California.

Dave Brubeck
1924 Comedian, actor, TV game-show panelist, and author Wally Cox was born in Detroit, Michigan.

Wally Cox


December 7
1761 Marie Grosholtz Tussaud, creator of Madame Tussaud's waxwork museum, was born at Strasbourg, France.
1873 Author Willa Cather was born in Winchester, Virginia.
1877 Thomas Edison demonstrated the first phonograph.

Thomas Edison
1889 The comic opera The Gondoliers by Gilbert and Sullivam opened at the Savoy Theater in London.
1947 Baseball star Johnny Bench was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
1956 Basketball star Larry Bird was born in West Baden, Indiana.

Larry Bird
1967 Baseball star Tino Martinez was born in Tampa, Florida.

Tino Martinez


December 8
1765 Eli Whitney was born in Westboro, Massachusetts. While working for Katherine Littlefield Greene, the widow of General Nathaniel Greene, he invented the cotton gin.
1837 At Faneuil Hall in Boston Wendell Philips gave his first abolition speech, to protest the murder of Eligha P. Loverboy who was killed the day before by proslavery rioters in Alton, Illinois.

Wendell Phillips
1865 Composer Jean Sibelius was born in Hameenlinna, Finland.
1894 Elzie Segar, who created the Popeye comic strip, was born in Chester, Illinois.

Popeye the sailor
1894 Humorist James Thurber was born in Columbus, Ohio.

James Thurber
1925 Singer, dancer, and actor Sammy Davis Jr. was born in Harlem, New York.
1933 Comedian Clerow Wilson, Jr. (Flip Wilson) was born in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Flip Wilson
1943 Singer Jim Morrison was born in Melbourne, Florida.
1953 Actress Kim Basinger was born in Athens, Georgia.
1953 Comedian Sam Kinison was born in Yakima, Washington.
1968 Yankee pitcher Mike Mussina was born in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.


December 9
1608 John Milton, poet and defender of freedom of the press, was born in London, England.

John Milton
1814 Daniel Webster delivered his Draft Is Slavery speech.
1842 Peter Kropotkin, anarchist writer, philosopher, zoologist, evolutionary theorist, geographer, and revolutionist, was born in Moscow, Russia.

Peter Kropotkin
1886 Clarence Birdseye, who developed a way to freeze foods and was a founder of General Foods Corporation, was born in Brooklyn, New York.
1909 A monoplane was flown successfully for the first time by Henry W. Walden on Long Island, New York.
1916 Movie star Issur Demsky (Kirk Douglas) was born in Amsterdam, New York.
1941 Actor Beau Bridges was born in Los Angeles, California.


December 10
1787 Thomas Gallaudet, founder of the American School for the Deaf, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
1914 Actress Mary Leta Dorothy Slaton (Dorothy Lamour) was born in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Dorothy Lamour


December 11
1725 George Mason, father of the Bill of Rights, was born in Fairfax County, Virginia.

George Mason
1918 Novelist and anti-communist Alexander Solzhenitsyn was born in Kislovodsk, Russia.
1944 Singer Brenda Lee was born in Atlanta, Georgia.

Brenda Lee
1949 Actress Teri Garr was born in Lakewood, Ohio.
1950 "The Gabby Hayes Show" premiered on TV.

Gabby Hayes
1971 The Libertarian Party was founded in Westminster, Colorado, in the home of David Nolan.


December 12
1673 Parishioners of the Lawnes Creek Church in Surry County, Virginia, led the first organized tax rebellion in America.
1805 Abolitionist leader William Lloyd Garrison was born in Newburyport, Massachusetts.

William Lloyd Garrison
1821 Novelist Gustave Flaubert was born in Rouen, France.
1893 Movie star Edward G. Robinson was born in Bucharest, Romania.
1901 Guglielmo Marconi's wireless signal was heard across the Atlantic Ocean.

Gugliemo Marconi
1915 Singer and actor Frank Sinatra was born in Hoboken, New Jersey.
1938 Singer Constance Franconero (Connie Francis) was born in Newark, New Jersey.

Connie Francis
1941 Singer Dionne Warwick was born in East Orange, New Jersey.

Dionne Warwick


December 13
1769 Dartmouth College was chartered.
1925 Comedian and actor Dick Van Dyke was born in West Plains, Missouri.

Dick Van Dyke
2004 Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was captured.


December 14
1782 Charleston, South Carolina, was evacuated by the British army.
1853 Anarchist writer Errico Malatesta was born in Santa Maria Capua Vetere, Italy.
1911 Silly band leader Spike Jones was born in Long Beach, California.

Spike Jones
1914 Comedian Morey Amsterdam was born in Chicago, Illinois.
1935 Actress Lee Remick was born in Quincy, Massachusetts.

Lee Remick


December 15
1791 The Bill of Rights took effect.
1832 Alexandre Eiffel, who designed the Eiffel Tower and helped design the Statue of Liberty, was born in Dijon, France.

Eiffel Tower and Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World
1933 Comedian Tim Conway was born in Willoughby, Ohio.

Tim Conway
1939 The epic movie Gone with the Wind premiered.


December 16
1770 Composer Ludwig van Beethoven was born in Bonn, Germany.

Ludwig van Beethoven
1773 The Sons of Liberty, led by Sam Adams, held the Boston Tea Party to protest the Tea Act.

Samuel Adams
1775 Novelist Jane Austen was born in Steventon, Hampshire, England.

Jane Austen
1899 Playwright and actor Noel Coward was born in Teddington, England.
1917 Science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke was born in Minehead, England.
1939 Norwegian actress Liv Ullmann was born in Tokyo, Japan.

Liv Ullmann


December 17
1760 Deborah Sampson, who disguised herself as a man so she could join the Continental Army and participate in the war for independence, was born in Plympton, Massachusetts.
1778 Chemist Humphry Davy was born in Penzance, Cornwall, England. He discovered several alkali and alkaline earth metals and he invented the Davy lamp which allowed miners to work safely in the presence of flammable gases.
1797 Scientist Joseph Henry was born in Albany, New York.
1807 Poet and abolitionist John Greenleaf Whittier was born in Haverhill, Massachusetts.
1821 Kentucky became the first state to outlaw prison sentences for debtors.
1903 The Wright Brothers flew the first, powered, heavier-than-air, machine at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

The Wright brothers and the first flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina


December 18
1865 Slavery, except for convicted criminals, was abolished this day by the ratification of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
1886 Baseball great Ty Cobb was born in Narrows, Georgia.

Ty Cobb
1930 Yankee first-baseman (1954-1962) Bill "Moose" Skowron was born in Chicago, Illinois.
1943 Musician Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones was born in Dartford, England.
1947 Film maker Steven Spielberg was born in Cincinnati, Ohio.
1964 Actor Brad Pitt was born in Shawnee, Oklahoma.
1980 Singer and exhibitionist Christina Aguilera was born on Staten Island in New York.


December 19
1732 Benjamin Franklin printed the first issue of Poor Richard's Almanack. He continued to compile and publish new editions of the Almanack for 25 years. It was one of the most popular publications in colonial America.

Benjamin Franklin
1776 The first installment of Thomas Paine's The Crisis appeared in print in the Pennsylvania Journal. It boosted the morale of the Continental troops. It began with these famour words: "These are the times that try men's souls; the summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph."

First page of "The American Crisis" by Thomas Paine

1828 The South Carolina legislature adopted resolutions calling the tariff an abomination and ordered publication of John Calhoun's South Carolina Exposition and Protest, which expounded the doctrine of nullification.
1907 Humorist H. Allen Smith was born in McLeansboro, Illinois.

H. Allen Smith
1915 Singer Edith Piaf was born in Paris, France.

Edith Piaf
1998 The U. S. House of Representatives voted to impeach President Bill Clinton for purgery and obstruction of justice.


December 20
1780 Shakers who refused to aid the colonies in the war for independence were released from prison in Albany, New York.
1868 Industrialist and founder of Firestone Tire and Rubber Co. Harvey Firestone was born in Columbiana County, Ohio.
1880 Broadway lights were electrified in New York City for the first time.
1989 A popular uprising toppled the Communist regime in the city of Timisoara, Romania.


December 21
1620 The Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock in New England and disembarked from The Mayflower.

Pilgrims landing, Plymouth Rock
1908 Andrew Carnegie told Congress, "Take back your protection; we are now men, and we can beat the world."

Andrew Carnegie
1912 Baseball slugger Josh Gibson was born in Buena Vista, Georgia.

Josh Gibson
1913 The first crossword puzzle was compiled by Arthur Wynne and published in the New York World.
1926 Libertarian feminist author Joan Kennedy Taylor was born in New York City.

Joan Kennedy Taylor
1937 Actress Jane Fonda was born in New York City.
1940 Satirical rock musician and composer Frank Zappa was born in Baltimore, Maryland.
1948 Actor Samuel L. Jackson was born in Washington, D. C.
1959 Olympic gold medal track athlete Delores Florence Griffith Joyner ("Flo Jo") was born in Los Angeles, California.

Florence Griffith Joyner
1954 Tennis star Chris Evert was born in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

Chris Evert
1966 Actor Kiefer William Frederick Dempsey George Rufus Sutherland (Kiefer Sutherland) was born in London, England.

Kiefer Sutherland


December 22
1731 Dutch people revolted against a tax on meat.
1888 Filmmaker J. Arthur Rank was born at Kingston upon Hull in England.
1944 Pitching star Steve Carlton was born in Miami, Florida.
1949 Singer and musician Maurice Gibb was born in Manchester, England.
1949 Singer and musician Robin Gibb was born in Manchester, England.


December 23
1783 General George Washington returned home to Mount Vernon, after he disbanded the army following the Revolutionary War.
1812 Writer Samuel Smiles was born in Haddington, Scotland.


December 24
1798 The Virginia Resolution of 1798, drafted by James Madison in reaction to the Alien and Sedition Acts, was adopted by the Virginia Senate. It declares:
That the General Assembly doth particularly protest against the palpable and alarming infractions of the Constitution, in the two late cases of the "Alien and Sedition Acts" passed at the last session of Congress; the first of which exercises a power no where delegated to the federal government, and which by uniting legislative and judicial powers to those of executive, subverts the general principles of free government; as well as the particular organization, and positive provisions of the federal constitution; and the other of which acts, exercises in like manner, a power not delegated by the constitution, but on the contrary, expressly and positively forbidden by one of the amendments thereto; a power, which more than any other, ought to produce universal alarm, because it is levelled against that right of freely examining public characters and measures, and of free communication among the people thereon, which has ever been justly deemed, the only effectual guardian of every other right.
1814 The Treaty of Ghent officially ended the War of 1812.
1818 Physicist James Joule was born Salford, Greater Manchester, England.
1922 Actress Ava Gardner was born in Smithfield, North Carolina.
1946 Irene Riley was born near Whitehall, New York.

Irene Riley
1948 The Perry Como Show premiered on TV.

Perry Como


December 25
0 BC The birth of the pacifist-libertarian religious reformer Jesus of Nazareth in Bethlehem, Israel, is celebrated around the world.

Jesus
1776 George Washington's army crossed the Delaware River at night for a surprise attack victory at Trenton, New Jersey.

George Washington crossing the Delaware River from Pennsylvania to New Jersey
1821 Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross, was born was born in Oxford, Massachusetts.

Clara Barton
1868 Andrew Johnson proclaimed unconditional pardon and amnesty for all concerned in the rebellion against northern aggression.
1893 Cartoonist Robert Ripley was born in Santa Rosa, California.
1899 Actor Humphrey Bogart was born in New York City.

Humphrey Bogart
1907 Singer and band leader Cab Calloway was born in Rochester, New York.
1914 The Christmas Truce, which occurred primarily between the British and German soldiers along the Western Front in December 1914, is an event the official histories of the "Great War" leave out. The Christmas truce was a series of widespread, unofficial ceasefires that took place along the Western Front around Christmas 1914, during World War I. On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, many soldiers from both sides independently ventured into "no man's land," where they mingled, exchanging food and souvenirs. Several meetings ended with the singing of Christmas carols.

British and German soldiers socializing in "no man's land"
1924 Writer and Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling was born in Syracuse, New York.
1945 Libertarian moral philosopher Roy Halliday was born on Long Island, New York.

Roy Halliday and his libertarian treatise on justice
1946 Singer Jimmy Buffett was born at Pascagoula, Mississippi.
1949 Actress Sissy (Mary Elizabeth) Spacek was born in Quitman, Texas.
1950 The Steve Allen Show premiered on TV.
1954 Singer Annie Lennox was born in Aberdeen, Scotland.
1958 Baseball great Ricky Henderson was born in Chicago, Illinois.
1991 The Soviet Union broke up, ending 72 years of communist terror.


December 26
1776 Nearly 1000 Hessian mercenaries, with their equipment, were captured by George Washington's army in a surprise attack near Trenton, New Jersey.

George Washington
1792 Mathematician Charles Babbage was born in Teignmouth, England.
1898 Pierre and Marie Currie discovered radium. From a ton of pitchblende, they separated one-tenth of a gram of radium chloride. Unfortunately, the Curies were unaware of the deleterious health effects of repeated unprotected radiation exposure. Marie Curie died on July 4, 1934 due to aplastic anemia contracted from exposure to radiation.

Marie Curie
1914 Movie star Richard Widmark was born in Sunrise, Minnesota.
1919 The Yankees and Red Sox reached an agreement to transfer Babe Ruth to New York.

Babe Ruth
1921 Steve Allen, TV star, comedian, author, and songwriter, was born in New York City.

Steve Allen
1940 Rock music producer Phil Spector was born in the Bronx, New York.
1947 Baseball star Carlton Fisk was born in Bellows Falls, Vermont.
1948 Yankee 1st baseman Carroll Chris Chambliss was born in Dayton, Ohio.
1954 Baseball star Osborne (Ozzie) Smith was born in Mobile, Alabama.

Ozzie Smith


December 27
1571 Johannes Kepler, mathematician and the father of modern astronomy, was born in Weil der Stadt, Germany.

Johannes Kepler
1773 The "father of aerodynamics," George Cayley, was born in Scarborough, Yorkshire, England.
1822 Scientist Louis Pasteur was born in Dole, France.

Louis Pasteur
1831 Naturalist Charles Darwin set off on a 5-year voyage on the HMS Beagle.

Charles Darwin
1901 Actress Marlene Deitrich was born in Berlin, Germany.
1906 Pianist, actor, and author Oscar Levant was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
1932 Radio City Music Hall opened in New York City.

Radio City Music Hall
1947 The Howdy Doody TV show premiered.

Buffalo Bob Smith and Howdy Doody


December 28
1763 Brewer John Molson was born in Lincolnshire, England.
1897 Cyrano de Bergerac was first produced.
1934 Actress Maggie Smith was born in Ilford, England.

Maggie Smith
1954 Movie star Denzel Washington was born in Mount Vernon, New York.

Denzel Washington


December 29
1809 Free-market reformer William Gladstone was born in Liverpool, England.
1876 Cellist Pablo Casals was born in Venrell, Spain.
1936 Actress Mary Tyler Moore was born in Brooklyn, New York.

Mary Tyler Moore
1938 Actor John Voight was born in Yonkers, New York.


December 30
1828 The Georgia legislature condemned the tariff.
1865 Writer Rudyard Kipling was born in Bombay, India.
1869 Stephen Leacock, Canadian author of Nonsense Novels, was born near Swanmore, Hampshire, England.
1928 Rock and Roll legend Bo Diddley was born in McCombs, Mississippi.
1935 Pitching star Sanford "Sandy" Koufax was born in Brooklyn, New York.

Sandy Koufax
1951 The Roy Rogers Show premiered on TV.

Roy Rogers
1975 Golf champion Tiger Woods was born in Cypress, California.
1984 Basketball star LeBron James was born in Akron, Ohio.


December 31
1783 The African slave trade was prohibited by all northern states plus Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia.
1869 Painter Henri Matisse was born in Le Cateau, France.

Paintings by Henri Matisse
1879 The Pirates of Penzance opened in New York City.
1930 Folk singer Odetta Gordon was born in Birmingham, Alabama.
1937 Actor Anthony Hopkins was born in Port Talbot, South Wales.
1943 Actor Ben Kingsley was born in Yorkshire, England.
1948 Singer and songwriter Donna Summer (LaDonna Andrea Gaines) was born in Boston, Massachusetts.

Donna Summer
1959 Actor Val Kilmer was born in Los Angeles, California.
1974 Gold trading was made legal again in the U.S.A. after having been banned for 41 years.

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