On This Day

What Happened in December 1880

Historical Events

  • Dec 8 5,000 armed Boers gather in Paardekraal, South Africa
  • Dec 16 Transvaal region declares itself as the Republic of South Africa
  • Dec 16 Beginning of the First Boer War between British Empire and Boer South African Republic
  • Dec 20 Battle at Bronker's Spruit, Transvaal: Farmers beat Britten
  • Dec 20 NY's Broadway lit by electricity, becomes known as "Great White Way"

Famous Birthdays

  • Dec 3 Fedor von Bock, German field marshal (commander in the German occupation of Austria, invasions of Poland, France, and Russia during WWII), born in Cüstrin, Province of Brandenburg, German Empire (d. 1945)
  • Dec 4 Garfield Wood, American inventor, motorboat builder and racer (world water speed record x 5; first to travel over 100 mph on water), born in Mapleton, Iowa (d. 1971)
  • Dec 5 Alexander Schmuller, Russian-Dutch violinist and conductor, born in Mazyr, Belarus (d. 1933)
  • Dec 10 Fred Immler, German actor (Zapata's Gang, Madame DuBarry), born in Germany (d. 1965)
  • Dec 11 Frank Tarrant, Australian cricketer, born in Fitzroy, Melbourne, Victoria (d. 1951)
  • Dec 19 Nemesio Otaño, Spanish organist, choral director, educator, and composer (Basque Suite), born in Azcoitia, Spain (d. 1956) [1]
  • Dec 24 Johnny Gruelle, American cartoonist, children's book writer and creator of Raggedy Ann, born in Arcola, Illinois (d. 1939)
  • Dec 28 Christian DFL Leipoldt, South african physician/writer/poet
  • Dec 29 Jean-Fernand Vaubourgoin, French composer (Ophellia), born in Bordeaux, France (d. 1952)
  • Dec 30 Alfred Einstein, German-American musicologist and nephew of Albert Einstein, born in Munich, Germany (d. 1952)

Person of interestGeorge Marshall

Dec 31 George Marshall, US Secretary of State (1947-49) who authored the Marshall Plan (Nobel 1953), born in Uniontown, Pennsylvania (d. 1959)

Military Leader George Marshall
Military Leader
George Marshall
  • Dec 31 Fred Beebe, American baseball player, born in Lincoln, Nebraska (d. 1957)

Famous Deaths

  • Dec 2 Josephine Lang, German composer, dies at 65
  • Dec 11 Oliver Winchester, American politician and rifle maker (Winchester Repeating Arms Company), dies at 70
  • Dec 12 Michel Chasles, French mathematician (geometry), dies at 83
  • Dec 15 Carlo Boncompagni di Mombello, Italian minister of Justice, dies at 76

Person of interestGeorge Eliot

Dec 22 George Eliot [Mary Anne Evans], English novelist (Adam Bede, Middlemarch), dies on her 61st birthday

Writer George Eliot
Writer
George Eliot
  • Dec 25 Fridolin Anderwert, Swiss Federal Councillor, dies at 52
  • Dec 27 Alessandro Nini, Italian composer, dies at 75
  • Dec 31 Arnold Ruge, German political philosopher and writer, dies at 78