What Happened in December 1642

Historical Events

Historic Discovery

Dec 13 Dutch explorer Abel Tasman sights the South Island of present day New Zealand; initially he calls it Staten Landt and changes it a year later to Nieuw Zeeland [1]

  • Dec 18 Abel Tasman's expedition sails around Farewell Spit and into Golden Bay, first sighting local Māori in New Zealand
  • Dec 19 4 of Abel Tasman's crew killed at Wharewharangi (Murderers) Bay by Māori; Tasman's ships depart without landing
  • Dec 22 Pope Urbanus VIII publishes decree In eminente

Famous Birthdays

  • Dec 6 Johann Christoph Bach, German composer, born in Arnstadt, Germany (d. 1703)

Isaac Newton

Dec 25 Isaac Newton, English physicist, mathematician and astronomer (Gravity, Laws of Motion), born in Woolsthorpe-by-Colsterworth, England (d. 1727)

  • Dec 30 Vincenzo da Filicaja, Italian poet (d. 1707)

Famous Deaths

  • Dec 4 Armand-Jean Duplessis Richelieu, bishop of Lucon, dies at about 57