On This Day

What Happened in December 1881

Historical Events


Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 3 Henry Morton Stanley founds Leopoldville (now Kinshasa)

Journalist and Explorer Henry Morton Stanley
Journalist and Explorer
Henry Morton Stanley
  • Dec 4 The first edition of the Los Angeles Times is published
  • Dec 5 47th Congress (1881-83) convenes
  • Dec 8 Vienna's Ring Theater destroyed by fire, kills between 640-850
  • Dec 19 Opera "Hérodiade" by Jules Massenet is produced in Brussels

Famous Birthdays

  • Dec 4 Erwin von Witzleben, German fieldmarshal (July 20th plot), born in Wrocław, Poland (d. 1944)
  • Dec 8 Padraic Colum, Irish poet/novelist/poet (Collected Poems)
  • Dec 14 Katherine MacDonald, American actress and film producer (Stranger Than Fiction, The Infidel), born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (d. 1956)
  • Dec 15 James Schneider, American actor (The Key to Yesterday, Keystone Kops), born in NYC, New York (d. 1967)
  • Dec 17 Aubrey Faulkner, cricketer (great South African all-rounder early 20th cent)
  • Dec 17 Johannes CB "Jan" Sluyters, Dutch painter
  • Dec 20 Branch Rickey, American baseball player & sports executive (Dodgers), born in Stockdale, Ohio
  • Dec 22 Enver Pasa, Turkish politician, born in Istanbul, Turkey (d. 1922)
  • Dec 24 Bronislaw Zygmunt Szulc, Polish composer, born in Warsaw, Poland (d. 1955)
  • Dec 24 Charles Wakefield Cadman, American composer, born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania (d. 1946)
  • Dec 24 Juan Ramon Jiménez, Spanish poet (Distant Gardens, Nobel 1956), born in Moguer, Spain (d. 1958)
  • Dec 25 Joseph V McCarthy, baseball manager (NY Yankees)
  • Dec 29 Jess Willard, American boxer, born in Pottawatomie County, Kansas (d. 1968)
  • Dec 31 Colin G Fink, American chemist (electro chemistry), born in Hoboken, New Jersey
  • Dec 31 Jacob Israël de Haan, Dutch poet/writer (Pipelines, Jewish Song), born in Holland, Netherlands (d. 1924)
  • Dec 31 Max Pechstein, German "entartet" painter and graphic artist (The Bridge), born in Zwickau, Germany (d. 1955)

Famous Deaths

  • Dec 7 Julius FA Bahnsen, German philosopher (Tragic as Weltgesetz), dies at 51
  • Dec 13 August Senoa, Croatian writer (Kletva [The Curse]), dies at 43
  • Dec 17 Lewis H Morgan, US ethnologist (Iroquois-indians), dies at 62
  • Dec 18 George Edmund Street, English architect, dies at 57