What Happened in December 1968

Historical Events

  • Dec 1 "Promises Promises" opens at Shubert Theater NYC for 1281 performances
  • Dec 1 Burt Bacharach/Hal David's musical premieres in NYC
  • Dec 1 Gonzalo Barrios, Venezuelan presidential candidate
  • Dec 1 Peggy Wilson wins LPGA Hollywood Lakes Golf Open
  • Dec 1 Pirate Radio Modern (259) (England) begins transmitting

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 2 US President Richard Nixon names Henry Kissinger security advisor

Politician, statesman Henry Kissinger
Politician, statesman
Henry Kissinger
37th US President Richard Nixon
37th US President
Richard Nixon
  • Dec 3 Pitcher's mound drops from 15" to 10" & strike zone reduced from knees to shoulders to top of knees to armpits, to help hitters
  • Dec 3 NBC Elvis comeback special airs
  • Dec 4 Following a civil rights march in Dungannon, Northern Ireland, there is a violent clash between Loyalists and those who are taking part in the march
  • Dec 5 Rolling Stones release "Beggar's Banquet" LP
  • Dec 6 Baseball dismisses Commissioner William Eckert after 3 years
  • Dec 6 PBA National Championship won by Wayne Zahn
  • Dec 6 WKID (WSCV) TV channel 51 in Fort Lauderdale, FL (IND) 1st broadcast
  • Dec 7 Orbiting Astronomical Observatory 2 launched into Earth orbit
  • Dec 7 Richard Dodd returns a library book his great grandfather took out in 1823 from the University of Cincinnati
  • Dec 9 KRNE TV channel 12 in Merriman, NB (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • Dec 9 NLS (a system for which hypertext and the computer mouse were developed) is publicly demonstrated for the first time in San Francisco.
  • Dec 9 Terence O'Neill, Northern Ireland Prime Minister, makes a television appeal for moderate opinion in what became known as the 'Ulster stands at the Crossroads' speech
  • Dec 9 The Derry Citizen's Action Committee (DCAC) calls for a halt to all marches and protests for a period of one month

Sport defeatBoxing Title Fight

Dec 10 Joe Frazier beats Oscar Bonavena in 15 for heavyweight boxing title

Heavyweight Boxing Champion Joe Frazier
Heavyweight Boxing Champion
Joe Frazier
  • Dec 10 Japan's biggest heist, the still-unsolved "300 million yen robbery", occurs in Tokyo.
  • Dec 11 KECC (now KECY) TV channel 9 in El Centro, CA (CBS) 1st broadcast
  • Dec 11 US Soccer Football Association refuses to let NASL disband
  • Dec 11 Northern Ireland Prime Minister Terence O'Neill sacks Home Affairs Minister, William Craig

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 12 Arthur Ashe becomes 1st black to be ranked #1 in tennis

Tennis Player Arthur Ashe
Tennis Player
Arthur Ashe
  • Dec 12 Rolling Stones film TV show "Rock 'n Roll Circus"-never aired
  • Dec 12 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • Dec 12 Northern Ireland Prime Minister Terence O'Neill receives overwhelming support from Unionist Members of Parliament (MPs) at Stormont
  • Dec 13 Playland at Beach reopens
  • Dec 13 Pres Da Costa e Silva disbands parliament/grabs power

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 14 Bobby Orr scores first career hat trick (vs Chicago Blackhawks)

Ice Hockey Legend Bobby Orr
Ice Hockey Legend
Bobby Orr
  • Dec 16 KFIZ TV channel 34 in Fond du Lac, WI begins broadcasting
  • Dec 16 Official revocation of the Edict of Expulsion of Jews from Spain at Second Vatican Council
  • Dec 18 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • Dec 19 WCWB (now WMGT) TV channel 41 in Macon, GA (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • Dec 20 The Zodiac Killer kills Betty Lou Jenson and David Faraday in Vallejo, California.
  • Dec 20 The People's Democracy (PD) announce that its members will undertake a protest march from Belfast to Derry beginning 1 January 1969
  • Dec 21 Apollo 8 (Borman, Lovell & Anders) 1st manned Moon voyage
  • Dec 21 David Crosby, Stephen Stills & Graham Nash premiere together in Calif
  • Dec 23 1st US case of space motion sickness
  • Dec 23 82 members of US intelligence ship Pueblo released by North Korea
  • Dec 23 Borman, Lovell & Anders become 1st men to orbit Moon
  • Dec 24 Apollo 8 astronauts read passages from Book of Genesis
  • Dec 24 WATU (now WAGT) TV channel 26 in Augusta, GA (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • Dec 25 Frank Borman's Christmas reading while orbiting Moon
  • Dec 25 42 Dalits are burned alive in Kilavenmani village, Tamil Nadu, India, a retaliation for a campaign for higher wages by Dalit labourers.
  • Dec 26 Arab terrorists in Athens fire on El Al plane, kills 1
  • Dec 26 Jay Allens "Forty Carats" premieres in NYC
  • Dec 26 Led Zeppelin's concert debut in Denver as opener for Vanilla Fudge
  • Dec 26 Bruin Ted Green sets NHL penalty record of 3 minors, 2 majors & 2 game misconducts in a game against NY Rangers in NY's Madison Square Garden
  • Dec 27 Apollo 8 returns to Earth
  • Dec 27 China performs nuclear test at Lop Nor, PRC
  • Dec 28 100,000 attend Miami Pop Festival
  • Dec 28 57th Davis Cup: USA beats Australia in Adelaide (4-1)
  • Dec 28 Beatles' "White Album" goes #1 & stays #1 for 9 weeks
  • Dec 28 Israeli assault on Beirut Airport
  • Dec 28 KVOF (KUDO, now KWBB) TV channel 38 in SF, CA (IND) 1st broadcast
  • Dec 29 Balt Colts beat Cleveland Browns 34-0 in NFL championship game
  • Dec 29 Israeli commandos destroy 13 Lebanese airplanes
  • Dec 29 NY Jets beat Oakland Raiders 27-23 in AFL championship game
  • Dec 30 -48°F (-44°C), Mazama & Winthrop, Washington (state record)

Music releaseMusic Recording

Dec 30 Frank Sinatra first records "My Way" with lyrics were written by Paul Anka and based on the French song "Comme d'habitude"

Singer/Actor Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra
  • Dec 31 1st supersonic airliner flown (Russian TU-144)
  • Dec 31 1st test flight of Tupolev TU 144
  • Dec 31 NY Jets win AFL championship

Famous Birthdays

  • Dec 1 Anders Holmertz, Swedish free style swimmer (world record 400m)
  • Dec 1 Eddie Britton, wide receiver (Baltimore Ravens)
  • Dec 1 Justin Chadwick, British actor and director
  • Dec 2 Darryl Kile, Garden Grove CA, pitcher (Houston Astros)
  • Dec 2 Elna Reinach, Pretoria South Africa, tennis star
  • Dec 2 Jiri Dopita, Sumperk CZE, hockey forward (Team Czech Oly-Gold-1998)
  • Dec 2 Mark Harding, Bath England, keeper of Internet biographies
  • Dec 2 Rena Sofer, actress (Rocky-Loving, Lois Cerullo-General Hospital)
  • Dec 2 Lucy Liu, American actress
  • Dec 2 Nate Mendel, American bassist (Foo Fighters)
  • Dec 3 Brendan Fraser,actor (School Ties, 20 Bucks), born in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Dec 3 Isabel Cueto, West Germany, tennis star
  • Dec 3 Kevin Telles, actor (Party Camp)
  • Dec 3 Montell Jordan, American singer and record producer
  • Dec 4 Mike Barrowman, Costa Mesa CA, kayak/200m breast stroke (Oly-g-92, 96)
  • Dec 5 Lisa Marie [Sliwa], New Brunswick NJ, actress (Mars Attack)
  • Dec 5 Margaret Cho, actress/comedienne (Face/Off)
  • Dec 5 Rhett Hall, NFL defensive tackle (Philadelphia Eagles)
  • Dec 7 Cammy Myler, Plattsburgh NY, luger (Olympics-1994)
  • Dec 7 Keith Goganious, NFL linebacker (Jacksonville Jaguars)
  • Dec 7 Melissa Iverson, Anoka Minn, rower (Olympics-96)
  • Dec 7 Ricky Ervins, NFL running back (SF 49ers)
  • Dec 7 Tom Myslinski, NFL guard (Jacksonville Jaguars, Pittsburgh Steelers)
  • Dec 7 Mark Geyer, Australian rugby league footballer
  • Dec 8 Bill Johnson, defensive tackle (St Louis Rams)
  • Dec 8 Mike Mussina, Williamsport PA, pitcher (Baltimore Orioles)
  • Dec 8 Michael Cole, American professional wrestling commentator
  • Dec 9 Bill Johnson, NFL defensive linebacker (Pittsburgh Steelers)
  • Dec 9 Brent Price, NBA guard (Houston Rockets, Washington Bullets)
  • Dec 9 Kurt Angle, 220 lbs freestyle wrestler (Oly-gold-96), born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Dec 9 Michael Foster, drummer (Firehouse-Love of a Lifetime), born in Richmond, Virginia
  • Dec 10 Rob Davis, NFL guard (Green Bay Packers-Super Bowl 31)
  • Dec 11 Derek Bell, American baseball outfielder (Houston Astros), born in Tampa, Florida
  • Dec 11 Mark Dailey, Parma Ohio, 1.5k runner
  • Dec 12 Chris Walsh, NFL wide receiver (Minnesota Vikings)
  • Dec 12 Kurt Schulz, safety (Buffalo Bills)
  • Dec 12 Laurie Williams, cricketer (West Indian ODI all-rounder v NZ 1996)
  • Dec 12 Ray Ethridge, wide receiver (Baltimore Ravens)
  • Dec 12 Tatianna, spanish singer (Baile Commigo, Chicad de Hoy), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Dec 12 Kate Humble, English television presenter
  • Dec 12 Rory Kennedy, American documentarian
  • Dec 13 Carlos Hasselbaink, Dutch soccer player (VVV/FC Utrecht/Haarlem)
  • Dec 13 Shaun Stafford, Ocala Florida, tennis star (1992 Taipei)
  • Dec 14 Cees Marbus, soccer player (Go Ahead Eagles)
  • Dec 14 Jamie Crysdale, CFL corner (Calgary Stampeders)
  • Dec 15 Garrett Wang, actor (Star Trek Voyager)
  • Dec 15 Javid Hussain, Indian film producer
  • Dec 15 Osama Ali Maher, Swedish politician
  • Dec 16 Darryll Lewis, NFL cornerback (Houston/Tennessee Oilers)
  • Dec 16 Paul Scherrer, actor (Children of Corn II, Free Spirit)
  • Dec 16 Wendy Doolan, Australian LPGA golfer (1991 British Amat Champ-2nd), born in Sydney, New South Wales
  • Dec 17 Curtis Pride, outfielder (Detroit Tigers), born in Washington, D.C.
  • Dec 17 Jeff[rey] Klepacki, Kearny NJ, rower (Olympics-1992, 96)
  • Dec 17 Andrey Golovatiuk, Russian politician
  • Dec 18 Aaron Craver, NFL running back (Denver Broncos, San Diego Chargers)
  • Dec 18 Casper Van Dien, actor (Starship Troopers)
  • Dec 18 Alejandro Sanz, Spanish singer
  • Dec 19 Jennifer Devine, Portland OR, rower (Olympics-96)
  • Dec 20 Joe Cornish, British comedian
  • Dec 21 Anthony Lynn, NFL running back (Denver Broncos-Super Bowl 32)
  • Dec 21 Khrystyne Haje, Santa Clara, Cal, actress (Simone-Head of the Class)
  • Dec 22 Lauralee "Bug" Bell, actress (Cricket-Young & Restless), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • Dec 22 Dina Meyer, American actress
  • Dec 23 Quincy Jones III, Swedish-American musician
  • Dec 24 Joe Scuderi, cricketer (South Australian all-rounder)
  • Dec 24 Doyle Bramhall II, American guitarist
  • Dec 24 Marleen Renders, Belgian athlete
  • Dec 25 Corey Widmer, NFL linebacker (NY Giants)
  • Dec 25 Don Silvestri, NFL/WLAF kicker (NY Jets, London Monarchs)
  • Dec 25 Helena Christensen, Copenhagen Denmark, model/actress (Inferno)
  • Dec 25 Jim Dowd, Brick, NHL center (Vancouver Canucks)
  • Dec 25 Scott Bullett, Martinsburg WV, outfielder (Chicago Cubs)
  • Dec 26 Darren Barber, Victoria BC, rower (Olympics-96)
  • Dec 26 Dennis Knight, American professional wrestler
  • Dec 27 Dean Palmer, infielder (Texas Rangers), born in Tallahassee, Florida
  • Dec 28 Darrick Brownlow, NFL linebacker (Washington Redskins)
  • Dec 28 Jennifer Palmquest, Wilmot SD, Miss SD-America (1991)
  • Dec 28 Jozef Dano, Skalica CZE, hockey forward (Team Slovakia 1998)
  • Dec 28 Kurt Schulz, NFL safety (Buffalo Bills)
  • Dec 29 Carlo H L Ponti Jr, son of Carlo Ponti & Sophia Loren
  • Dec 29 Darren Perry, NFL free safety (Pittsburgh Steelers)
  • Dec 29 James Mouton, outfielder (Houston Astros), born in Denver, Colorado
  • Dec 30 Kevin Dahl, Regina, NHL defenseman (Calgary Flames)
  • Dec 30 Sean Higgins, NBA guard/forward (Philadelphia 76ers, Portland Trailblazers)
  • Dec 31 Gerry Dee, Canadian comedian and actor

Famous Weddings

  • Dec 22 Julie Nixon weds Dwight David Eisenhower

HeartWedding of Interest

Dec 22 Author and host Ina Garten (20) weds dean Jeffrey Garten

Host of Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten
Host of Barefoot Contessa
Ina Garten

Famous Divorces

Broken heartDivorce of Interest

Dec 18 Actor Peter Sellers (43) divorces actress Britt Ekland after 4 years of marriage

Actor and Comedian Peter Sellers
Actor and Comedian
Peter Sellers

Famous Deaths

  • Dec 1 Hugo Haas, actor/director (Bait, Pick Up), dies of asthma at 66
  • Dec 1 Dario Moreno, Turkish-Jewish singer (b. 1921)
  • Dec 5 Fred Clark, actor (Zotz, Auntie Mame), dies of liver ailment at 54
  • Dec 10 Karl Barth, Swiss theologist/minister (Kirchliche Dogma), dies at 82
  • Dec 10 Patsy Moran, actress (Children of the Wild), dies at 65

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Dec 10 Thomas Merton, French/American Catholic writer and Trappist monk (7 Story Mountain), accidentally electrocuted by an electric fan at 53

Catholic Writer and Trappist Monk Thomas Merton
Catholic Writer and Trappist Monk
Thomas Merton
  • Dec 10 George Forrest, Northern Irish MP (b. 1921)
  • Dec 11 Nadine Riga, dies of cerebral hemorrhage at 59
  • Dec 12 Tallulah Bankhead, actress (All Star Revue), dies of pneumonia at 65
  • Dec 12 Walter Robins, cricketer (19 Tests for England 64 wkts), dies
  • Dec 13 Siegfried Reda, composer, dies at 52
  • Dec 15 Jess Willard, Heavyweight boxing champ (1915-19), dies at 86
  • Dec 15 Antonio Barrette, Canadian politician, premier of Quebec (b. 1899)
  • Dec 19 Norman Thomas, American socialist, pacifist and presidential candidate (1928-48), dies at 84
  • Dec 20 Max Brod, Czech-born Israeli composer, writer and biographer of Kafta, dies at 84

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Dec 20 John Steinbeck, author (Grapes of Wrath, Nobel Prize 1940, 1962), dies at 66

  • Dec 22 Louise Granville, entertainer, dies of influenza at 73
  • Dec 29 Austin Farrer, English theologian and philosopher (b. 1904)
  • Dec 30 Trygve Lie, Norwegian politician and 1st Secretary-General of the United Nations (1946-52), dies at 72
  • Dec 31 Carl Oscar Ahues, German International Chess Master (1950), dies at 85
  • Dec 31 George Louis Francis Lewis, composer, dies at 16
  • Dec 31 Sabin V Dragoi, composer, dies at 74