On This Day

What Happened in December 1877

Historical Events

  • Dec 2 Camille Saint-Saëns' opera "Samson et Dalila" premieres in Weimar

Music releaseMusic Recording

Dec 6 Thomas Edison records himself reciting "Mary had a little lamb"

Inventor Thomas Edison
Thomas Edison
  • Dec 6 Washington Post publishes 1st edition

Historic InventionThomas Edison's Phonograph

Dec 7 Thomas Edison demonstrates his phonograph (gramophone) to the editors of "Scientific American"

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Thomas Edison with his second phonograph, photographed in 1878
Thomas Edison with his second phonograph, photographed in 1878
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Music releaseMusic Premiere

Dec 16 Anton Bruckner's 3rd Symphony in D, premieres

Composer Anton Bruckner
Anton Bruckner
  • Dec 22 Thomas Edison's phonograph is announced by Scientific American
  • Dec 22 "American Bicycling Journal" begins publishing (Boston, Mass)
  • Dec 24 Thomas Edison files a patents for the phonograph
  • Dec 26 Socialist Labor Party of North America holds 1st national convention
  • Dec 28 John Stevens, applies for a patent for his flour rolling mill

Music releaseMusic Premiere

Dec 30 Johannes Brahms' 2nd Symphony in D, premieres in Vienna

Composer and Conductor Johannes Brahms
Composer and Conductor
Johannes Brahms

Famous Birthdays

  • Dec 8 Paul Ladmirault, French composer, born in Nantes, France (d. 1944)
  • Dec 13 Mykola Leontovych, Ukrainian composer, born in Selevyntsi, Podolia, Russian Empire (d. 1921)
  • Dec 14 Lieven Duvosel, Flemish music composer (Leiecyclys), born in Ghent, Belgium (d. 1956)
  • Dec 18 Max Pallenberg, Austrian extempore farce actor (Morn to Midnight), husband of Operetta star Fritzi Massary, born in Vienna, Austria (d. 1934)
  • Dec 31 Lawrence Beesley, English journalist and author, born in Wirksworth, United Kingdom (d. 1967)

Famous Deaths

  • Dec 7 Benjamin Huger, American Major General (Confederate Army), dies at 72
  • Dec 10 Federico Ricci, Italian composer, dies at 68
  • Dec 10 Jared Kirtland, American physician, naturalist and reformed penitentiaries, dies at 84
  • Dec 12 José de Alencar, Brazilian writer (O Guarani), dies at 48
  • Dec 23 Thomas Wright, English antiquarian and writer, dies at 87
  • Dec 24 Robert Parker Parrott, American inventor (developed the rifled cannon known as the Parrott gun), dies at 73
  • Dec 27 Nikolay Alekseyevich Nekrasov, Russian poet, writer and publisher (Russkije Zjenjshiny), dies at 56
  • Dec 29 Willem Sassen, Dutch attorney general on Curacao (Affair-S), dies
  • Dec 31 Alberto Mazzucato, composer, dies at 64
  • Dec 31 Gustave Courbet, French realist painter (Demoiselles the la Seine), dies at 58