On This Day

What Happened in December 1818

Historical Events

  • Dec 3 Illinois becomes 21st state USA (Admission day)
  • Dec 24 Christmas carol "Silent Night" composed by Franz Xaver Gruber is first sung at St Nicholas parish church in Oberndorf, Austria
  • Dec 25 1st known Christmas carol ("Silent Night, Holy Night" - "Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht) sung (Austria)
  • Dec 25 Handel's Messiah, premieres in the US in Boston

Famous Birthdays

  • Dec 4 William Wing "Old Blizzards" Loring, American Major General (Confederate Army), born in Wilmington, North Carolina (d. 1886)
  • Dec 12 Paul Octave H├ębert, American Brigadier General and 14th Governor of Louisiana, born in Plaquemine, Louisiana (d. 1880)

Person of interestMary Todd Lincoln

Dec 13 Mary Todd Lincoln, American wife of Abraham Lincoln and US First Lady (1861-65), born in Lexington, Kentucky (d. 1882)

First Lady of the United States Mary Todd Lincoln
First Lady of the United States
Mary Todd Lincoln
  • Dec 21 Amalia, wife of king Otto of Greece
  • Dec 21 Lewis H. Morgan, American ethnologist (Systems of Consanguinity), born in Aurora, New York (d. 1881)
  • Dec 23 David Addison Weisiger, Brigadier General (Confederate Army), (d. 1899)
  • Dec 24 James Prescott Joule, English physicist (the law of conservation of energy), born in Salford, United Kingdom (d. 1889)
  • Dec 30 James Cantey, Brigadier General (Confederate Army), (d. 1874)
  • Dec 31 Maria Gartmann, Dutch actress, born in The Hague, Netherlands (d. 1885)

Famous Deaths

  • Dec 5 Bruno Daalberg/Anonymus Belga, sect of High Council Adel, dies at 60
  • Dec 31 Jean-Pierre Duport, French composer, dies at 77