What Happened in December 1870

Historical Events

  • Dec 12 Joseph Rainey (South Carolina) becomes 1st African American to serve in US House of Representatives
  • Dec 19 After 31 days at sea in a small boat, William Halford and 3 others reach the island of Kauai, Hawaii to seek help for the shipwrecked USS Saginaw. A capsize in the breakers meant only Halford survived.
  • Dec 22 Jules Janssen flies in a balloon in order to study a solar eclipse
  • Dec 26 The 12.8-km long Fréjus Rail Tunnel through the Alps is completed.
  • Dec 31 J D Schneiter patents rocket mail in France, (not done)

Famous Birthdays

  • Dec 2 Francis Casadesus, French violinist, composer and conductor, born in Paris (d. 1954)
  • Dec 5 Vítězslav Novák, Czech composer, born in Kamenice nad Lipou, Czech Republic (d. 1949)
  • Dec 10 Adolf Loos, Austria architect (building of houses), born in Brno, Austria-Hungary (d. 1933)
  • Dec 10 Mary Bonaparte, eldest surviving daughter of Prince Napoléon Bonaparte of Canino and Christine Ruspoli (d. 1947)
  • Dec 10 Pierre Louÿs, French novelist and poet (Aphrodite, Woman & Puppet), born in Ghent, Belgium (d. 1925)
  • Dec 10 Rudolf Wilhelm Canne, Fries playwright (Der de Wier Us), born in Wûns (d. 1931)
  • Dec 10 Tom McKibbin, Australian cricket spin bowler (5 Tests, 17 wickets; NSW CA), born in Bathurst, Australia (d. 1939)
  • Dec 12 Walter Benona Sharp, American oil tycoon, born in Tipton County, Tennessee (d. 1912)
  • Dec 13 Edward LeSaint, American actor and director (Modern Times, The Dumb Messenger), born in Cincinnati, Ohio (d. 1940)
  • Dec 14 Dirk Jan de Geer, Prime Minister of the Netherlands (1926-29, 39-40), born in Groningen, Netherlands (d. 1960)
  • Dec 14 Karl Renner, Austrian President (1918-20, 45-50), born in Dolní Dunajovice, Austria-Hungary (d. 1950)
  • Dec 15 Josef Hoffmann, Austrian architect (Vienna Secession Movement), born in Brtnice, Moravia, Austria-Hungary (d. 1956)
  • Dec 18 Andres Randolf, Danish-American actor (The Kiss), born in Viborg, Denmark (d. 1930)
  • Dec 18 Saki [Hector Hugo Munro], British writer (Reginald, When William Came), born in Akyab, British Burma (d. 1916)
  • Dec 20 Pieter Cornelis Boutens, Dutch poet, classicist, and mystic (Voices, Carmina), born in Middelburg, Netherlands
  • Dec 21 Sir Patrick Duncan, Governor-General of the Union of South Africa (1937 to 1943), born in Ellon, United Kingdom (d. 1943)
  • Dec 24 Rosario Scalero, Italian composer, born in Moncalieri, Italy (d. 1954)
  • Dec 25 Helena Rubinstein, Polish-born American cosmetics industrialist (d. 1965)
  • Dec 31 Tom Connolly, American Baseball HOF umpire (AL-record 8 x World Series), born in Manchester, England (d. 1961)

Famous Deaths

Alexandre Dumas

Dec 5 Alexandre Dumas, French writer (The Three Musketeers, The Count of Monte Cristo), dies at 68

  • Dec 5 David G. Burnet, interim president of the Republic of Texas, dies at 82
  • Dec 7 Mykhailo Verbytsky, Ukrainian Greek Catholic priest and composer (Prostachka; The State Anthem of Ukraine), dies at 55
  • Dec 8 Thomas Brassey, English civil engineering contractor, dies at 65
  • Dec 16 Stanisław Duniecki, Polish composer, dies at 31
  • Dec 17 Saverio Mercadante, Italian composer, dies at 75
  • Dec 28 Alexei Fyodorovich Lvov, Russian composer, dies at 72
  • Dec 28 Peter van Schendel, Dutch-Belgian painter (Monsieur Chandelle), dies at 64
  • Dec 30 Juan Prim, Spanish general and politician (Prime Minister, 1869-70), assassinated at 56