What Happened in December 1879

Historical Events

  • Dec 5 1st automatic telephone switching system patented
  • Dec 13 First federal fish hatching steamer launched (Wilmington, Delaware)
  • Dec 20 Tom Edison privately demonstrated incandescent light at Menlo Park
  • Dec 26 Johannes Brahms' "Tragic Ouverture" premieres
  • Dec 28 North British Railway's train falls as Tay bridge collapses (Scotland)
  • Dec 30 Gilbert & Sullivan's "Pirates of Penzance" premieres
  • Dec 31 Cornerstone laid for Honolulu's Iolani Palace (only royal palace in US)
  • Dec 31 Edison gives 1st public demonstration of his incandescent lamp
  • Dec 31 Gilbert and Sullivan's comic opera "Pirates of Penzance" premieres in NYC

Famous Birthdays

  • Dec 4 Herbert Hamilton Harty, composer
  • Dec 5 Clyde Cessna, American airplane manufacturer (d. 1954)
  • Dec 7 Rudolf Friml, Czech/US composer (Bohemian suite)
  • Dec 12 Friedrich Christiansen, nazi commander Wehrmacht Netherland
  • Dec 12 Laura Hope Crews, US, actress (Camille, Gone with the Wind)
  • Dec 12 Percy Fletcher, composer
  • Dec 15 Hugo W C Bordewijk, Dutch lawyer
  • Dec 15 Rudolf von Laban, Czech/German choreographer (modern dance)
  • Dec 16 William Duncan, Scotland, actor (Thunder Trail)
  • Dec 18 Paul Klee, Münchenbuchsee Switzerland, Swiss/German abstract painter (Twittering Machine)
  • Dec 19 Beals C Wright, tennis champ (US Open-1905)
  • Dec 19 Otto Emanuel Olsson, composer
  • Dec 21 Theodore Limperg, business economist (substitute value)
  • Dec 22 Ralph Hawtrey, Buckinghamshire England, economist (multiplier)
  • Dec 22 Stanislas Bizot, French world checker champion (1925)
  • Dec 24 Stanislav Pylypovych Lyudkevych, composer
  • Dec 24 Émile Nelligan, Quebec poet (d. 1941)
  • Dec 26 Armen Tigran Tigranyan, composer
  • Dec 26 Julius Weismann, composer
  • Dec 27 Robert Greig, Australia, actor (Horse Feathers)
  • Dec 27 Sydney Greenstreet, Sandwich England, actor (Maltese Falcon)
  • Dec 29 Billy Mitchell, aviation hero Gen (WW I)
  • Dec 30 Sri Ramana Maharshi, Hindu philosopher/yogi (Maharshi Research Inst)

Famous Weddings


HeartWedding of Interest

Dec 30 Composer John Philip Sousa (25) weds Jane van Middlesworth Bellis


Famous Deaths

  • Dec 6 Erastus Brigham Bigelow, American industrialist (b. 1814)