On This Day

What Happened in December 1884

Historical Events

  • Dec 1 American Old West: Near Frisco, New Mexico, deputy sheriff Elfego Baca holds off a gang of 80 Texan cowboys who want to kill him for arresting Charles McCarthy.

Historic Event

Dec 1 Society of Independent Artists hold 1st exhibition in Polychrome Pavilion, Paris, includes Georges Seurat's "Bathers at Asnières"

  • Dec 6 Aluminum capstone set atop Washington Monument, Washington, D.C., making it the tallest human-built structure in the world (overtaking Cologne Cathedral)
  • Dec 9 Levant Richardson patents ball-bearing skate

Historic Publication

Dec 10 "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain is first published in the UK and Canada (US Feb 1885, due to printing error)

  • Dec 12 1st Test match played at the Adelaide Oval
  • Dec 16 Great Britain recognizes King Leopold II's Congo Free State
  • Dec 19 Italy recognizes King Leopold II's Congo Free State
  • Dec 24 Austria-Hungary admits King Leopold II's Congo Free State
  • Dec 27 Netherlands recognizes King Leopold II's Congo Free State

Music Premiere

Dec 30 Anton Bruckner's 7th Symphony in E, premieres in Leipzig

  • Dec 30 William Morris, Eleanor Marx, and others establish the Socialist League, a revolutionary organization in the UK

Famous Birthdays

  • Dec 1 Torben Myer, Danish actor (Girl Who Came Back, Judgment at Nuremberg, Sullivan's Travels), born in Århus, Denmark (d. 1975)
  • Dec 1 Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, German painter (d. 1976)
  • Dec 2 Ruth Draper, American actress and dramatist (The Italian Lesson), born in NYC, New York (d. 1956)
  • Dec 3 Rajendra Prasad, Indian leader and 1st President of India (1950-62), born in Zeradai, British India (d. 1963)
  • Dec 3 Walther Stampfli, Swiss politician and member of the Swiss Federal Council, born in Büren, Solothurn, Switzerland (d. 1965)
  • Dec 5 Evert Cornelis, Dutch conductor and pianist, born in Amsterdam (d. 1931)
  • Dec 6 Rose Schneiderman, American socialist, feminist, trade union leader and secretary of labor for New York State (1937-44), born in Sawin, Poland (d. 1972)
  • Dec 7 Petru Groza, Austro-Hungarian born Romanian communist and President of Romania (1945-58), born in Băcia, Austria-Hungary (d. 1958)
  • Dec 10 Zinaida Serebriakova, Russian painter, born in Kharkov, Russian Empire (d. 1967)
  • Dec 14 Regina Ullmann, Swiss poet and writer, born in St. Gallen, Switzerland (d. 1961)
  • Dec 14 Jane Cowl, American actress and playwright (Smilin' Through), born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1950)
  • Dec 19 Antonin Zapotocky, Czechoslovak president (Ceskoslovensky Spisouatel)
  • Dec 19 Ferdinando Liuzzi, Italian composer and musicologist, born in Senigallia, Italy (d. 1940)
  • Dec 20 Max Blokzijl, Dutch singer, journalist, and Nazi collaborator, born in Leeuwarden, Netherlands (d. 1946)
  • Dec 25 [Florence] Evelyn Nesbit, American actress, born in Tarentum, Pennsylvania (d. 1967)
  • Dec 26 Félix Éboué, French colonial administrator, born in Cayenne, French Guiana (d. 1944)
  • Dec 27 Bernard van Dieren, Dutch composer (Diaphony; Chinese Symphony), critic, and music writer, born in Rotterdam, Netherlands (d. 1936)
  • Dec 28 Joseph Pholien, Belgian premier (1950-52)/communist hunter
  • Dec 30 Karl Heinrich David, Swiss composer, born in St. Gallen, Switzerland (d. 1951)

Famous Deaths

  • Dec 1 William Swainson (lawyer), second, and last, Attorney-General (New Zealand) of the Crown Colony of New Zealand (b. 1809)
  • Dec 4 Alice Mary Smith, British composer, dies at 45
  • Dec 28 Gerben Colmjon, Frisian linguist and publisher, dies at 56