On This Day

What Happened in December 1866

Historical Events

  • Dec 6 Chicago water supply tunnel 3,227 m into Lake Michigan completed
  • Dec 11 1st yacht race across Atlantic Ocean; schooners Fleetwing, Vesta and the Henrietta, with NY playboy Gordon Bennett on board, leave Sandy Hook for the Scilly Isles (the Henrietta wins)
  • Dec 21 Fetterman Massacre: Lakota, Cheyenne, and Arapaho Indians kill all 81 US Army soldiers in the worst military disaster ever suffered by the U.S. Army on the Great Plains
  • Dec 23 First yacht race across the Atlantic won by the schooner Henrietta owned by Gordon Bennett of New York, first to reach Bishop Rock in the Scilly Isles after racing from NY

Famous Birthdays

  • Dec 2 Harry Burleigh, African American composer (Springarn Medal), born in Erie, Pennsylvania (d. 1949)
  • Dec 4 Wassily Kandinsky, Russian-French abstract painter (Dreamy Inspiration), born in Moscow (d. 1944)
  • Dec 12 Alfred Werner, Swiss chemist (Nobel 1913), born in Mulhouse, Haut-Rhin, Alsace, France (d. 1919)
  • Dec 14 Roger Fry, English artist and art critic, born in St Pancras, London, England (d. 1934)
  • Dec 22 Mieczyslaw Surzynski, Polish organ virtuoso and composer (1904 Organ Concerto), born in Środa, Poland (d. 1924)
  • Dec 28 Szymon Askenazy, Polish historian and diplomat (d. 1935)
  • Dec 29 Joseph Limburg, Dutch lawyer & politician, born in The Hague, Netherlands (d. 1940)

Famous Deaths

  • Dec 1 George Everest, Welsh surveyor and namesake of Mt. Everest, dies at 76
  • Dec 3 Johann Wenzel Kalliwoda, Bohemian violinist, and composer, dies at 65
  • Dec 26 Samuel Ryan Curtis, Union general-major, dies at 49