What Happened in December 1999

Historical Events

  • Dec 2 The United Kingdom devolves political power in Northern Ireland to the Northern Ireland Executive.
  • Dec 3 NASA loses radio contact with the Mars Polar Lander moments before the spacecraft enters the Martian atmosphere.
  • Dec 4 8th SEC Championship Game: #7 Alabama beats #5 Florida, 34-7
  • Dec 5 88th Davis Cup: Australia beats France in Nice (3-2)
  • Dec 7 The RIAA files a lawsuit against the Napster file-sharing client, on charges of copyright infringement.
  • Dec 13 65th Heisman Trophy Award: Ron Dayne, Wisconsin (RB)
  • Dec 14 Flash floods in Venezuela after torrential rainfall results in the deaths of thousands of people and causes a total collapse in the state's infrastructure
  • Dec 17 The United Nations General Assembly passes resolution 54/134 designating November 25 as the annual International Day to Eliminate Violence Against Women.
  • Dec 18 NASA launches into orbit the Terra platform carrying five Earth Observation instruments, including ASTER, CERES, MISR, MODIS and MOPITT.
  • Dec 20 Portugal returns Macau to China
  • Dec 21 The Spanish Civil Guard intercepts a van loaded with 950 kg of explosives that ETA intended to use to blow up Torre Picasso in Madrid.
  • Dec 22 The Spanish Civil Guard finds near Calatayud (Zaragoza) another van loaded by ETA with 750 kg of explosives (see related event on December 21, 1999).

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 24 Opening of St Peter's Holy Door by Pope John Paul II in approach of 3rd millennium

264th Pope John Paul II
264th Pope
John Paul II
  • Dec 25 Opening of doors of St. John Lateran Pope John Paul II
  • Dec 26 Severe weather in France kills over 100 people and causes extensive damage to property, trees and the French national power grid (see Lothar).

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 27 Joe Sakic records his 1,000th career point, an assist against the St. Louis Blues

NHL Legend Joe Sakic
NHL Legend
Joe Sakic
  • Dec 28 Saparmurat Niyazov is proclaimed President for Life in Turkmenistan.
  • Dec 31 Control of Panama Canal reverts to Panama

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 31 Boris Yeltsin resigns as President of Russia, leaving Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as acting President.

Russian President Boris Yeltsin
Russian President
Boris Yeltsin

Famous Weddings

  • Dec 4 Philippe, Duke of Brabant and heir apparent to Belgium throne marries the honourable Mathilde d'Udekem d'Acoz

HeartWedding of Interest

Dec 11 Scottish actor Robbie Coltrane marries Rhona Gemmell

Actor and Comedian Robbie Coltrane
Actor and Comedian
Robbie Coltrane

HeartWedding of Interest

Dec 25 Comedian Jerry Seinfeld (45) marries PR executive Jessica Sklar (28)

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld
Jerry Seinfeld

Famous Divorces

Broken heartDivorce of Interest

Dec 16 Actress Linda Hamilton (43) divorces director James Cameron (45) due to irreconcilable differences after 2 years of marriage

Film Director James Cameron
Film Director
James Cameron

Famous Deaths

  • Dec 3 Madeline Kahn, American actress (b. 1942)
  • Dec 3 Jarl Wahlström, 12th General of The Salvation Army (b. 1918)
  • Dec 3 Scatman John, American singer (b. 1942)
  • Dec 4 Rose Bird, American judge (b. 1936)
  • Dec 8 Péter Kuczka, Hungarian writer (b. 1923)
  • Dec 10 Rick Danko, Canadian bassist and singer (The Band) (b. 1942)
  • Dec 10 Shirley Hemphill, American actress (b. 1947)
  • Dec 10 Franjo Tuđman, President of Croatia (b. 1922)
  • Dec 12 Paul Cadmus, American artist (b. 1904)
  • Dec 12 Joseph Heller, American author (Catch-22), dies at 76
  • Dec 13 Allen Breed, American inventor of the first automotive airbag sensor, dies of a heart attack while suffering from lung cancer, at 72
  • Dec 17 Grover Washington, Jr., American saxophonist (b. 1943)
  • Dec 17 Rex Allen, American actor, singer and songwriter (b. 1920)
  • Dec 18 Robert Bresson, French film director (b. 1907)
  • Dec 19 Desmond Llewelyn, Welsh actor (b. 1914)
  • Dec 20 Hank Snow, Canadian singer (b. 1914)
  • Dec 20 Riccardo Freda, Italian film director (b. 1909)
  • Dec 24 João Baptista de Oliveira Figueiredo, President of Brazil (b. 1918)
  • Dec 24 Bill Bowerman, American track and field coach
  • Dec 24 Maurice Couve de Murville, French politician, Prime minister of France (b. 1907)
  • Dec 24 Zeke Carey, American R&B singer (Flamingos-I Only Have Eyes For You) and actor, dies at 66
  • Dec 25 Peter Jeffrey, English actor (b. 1929)
  • Dec 26 Curtis Mayfield, American musician (b. 1942)
  • Dec 26 Shankar Dayal Sharma, President of India (b. 1918)
  • Dec 28 Clayton Moore, American actor (b. 1914)
  • Dec 29 Leon Radzinowicz, British criminologist (b. 1906)
  • Dec 30 Fritz Leonhardt, German structural engineer (b. 1909)
  • Dec 30 Sarah Knauss, American, once considered the world's oldest living person (b. 1880)
  • Dec 31 Elliot Richardson, American politician (b. 1920)