On This Day

What Happened in December 1882

Historical Events

  • Dec 2 Amsterdam Artis Zoo opens aquarium
  • Dec 6 Atmosphere of Venus detected during transit

Music History

Dec 10 Johannes Brahms' choir and orchestra piece "Gesang der Parzen" (Song of the Fates) premieres in Basel

  • Dec 11 Boston's Bijou Theatre, 1st American playhouse lit exclusively by electricity, 1st performance, Gilbert & Sullivan's "Iolanthe"

Theater Premiere

Dec 11 Victorien Sardous play "Fedora" with Sarah Bernhardt premieres in Paris

Historic Event

Dec 14 Henry Morton Stanley returns to Brussels from the Congo

Historic Event

Dec 22 1st string of Christmas tree lights created by Thomas Edison


Famous Birthdays

  • Dec 7 Warren Bardsley, Australian cricketer (great NSW & Aussie opening bat 1909-26), Warren, New South Wales (d. 1954)
  • Dec 8 Manuel Ponce, Mexican composer (Estrellita), born in Fresnillo, Zacatecas, Mexico (d. 1948)
  • Dec 9 Joaquín Turina, Spanish pianist and composer (Rima), born in Seville, Spain (d. 1949)
  • Dec 10 Otto Neurath, Austrian-British philosopher (Foundation of Social Sciences), born in Vienna, Austro-Hungarian Empire (d. 1945)
  • Dec 11 Fiorello La Guardia, American politician (Mayor-R- 1933-45), born in NYC, New York (d. 1947)
  • Dec 11 Max Born, German physicist (quantum mechanics, Nobel 1954), born in Breslau, Germany (d. 1970)
  • Dec 11 Subramania Bharati, Indian poet and independence activist, born in Ettayapuram, Tirunelveli district, British India (d. 1921)
  • Dec 12 Akiba Rubinstein, Polish chess player (openings theorist), born in Stawiski, Poland (d. 1961)

Jack Hobbs

Dec 16 Sir Jack Hobbs, English Cricket Batsman (61 Tests, 5,410 runs @ 56.94, 15 x 100s; leading 1st-class run-scorer [61,760] and century-maker [199]; Surry), born in Cambridge, England (d. 1963)

  • Dec 16 Walther Meissner, German physicist (Meissner effect)
  • Dec 16 Zoltán Kodály, Hungarian composer and ethno-musicologist, (Psalmus Hungaricus; Hary Janos), born in Kecskemét, Hungary (d. 1967)
  • Dec 19 Walter Braunfels, German composer (Die Vögel -The Birds), born in Frankfurt am Main (d. 1954)
  • Dec 19 Ralph DePalma, Italian-American auto racer (Indianapolis 500 1915; American AAA Dirt Track C'ships 1908, 09, 10, 11; International Motorsports Hall of Fame), born in Biccari, Italy (d. 1956)
  • Dec 28 Arthur Eddington, English astrophysicist, cosmologist and mathematician (stars), born in Kendal, Westmorland, England (d. 1944)

Lili Elbe

Dec 28 Lili Elbe [born Einar Wegener], Danish transgender woman, former painter, and 1st identifiable recipient of sex reassignment surgery (autobiography: Man into Woman), born in Vejle, Denmark (d. 1931)

  • Dec 31 Ben A. Jones, American horse trainer (US Champion trainer by earnings 1941, 43, 44, 52; Kentucky Derby x 6 including Citation, Whirlaway), born in Parnell, Missouri (d. 1961)
  • Dec 31 David Cohen, Dutch historian and chairman of the Jewish Council, born in Deventer, Holland (d. 1967)

Famous Weddings

Nellie Melba

Dec 22 Australian soprano Nellie Melba (21) weds Charles Nesbitt Frederick Armstrong in Brisbane; separate in 1883, marriage dissolved in 1900

Famous Deaths

  • Dec 3 Archibald Campbell Tait, Archbishop of Canterbury (b. 1811)
  • Dec 6 Alfred Escher, Swiss politician and railroad entrepreneur (b. 1819)
  • Dec 6 Anthony Trollope, English novelist and poet (Barchester Towers), dies at 67
  • Dec 12 Robert Morris, 1st successful African American lawyer and abolitionist, dies at 59
  • Dec 31 Leon Michel Gambetta, French attorney and 37th Prime Minister of France (1881-82), dies at 44