On This Day

What Happened in December 1885

Historical Events

  • Dec 2 Opera "Regina di Saba" premieres in Vienna
  • Dec 7 49th Congress (1885-87) convenes
  • Dec 17 France declares Madagascar a protectorate
  • Dec 22 Pope Leo XIII proclaims extraordinary jubilee
  • Dec 22 Itō Hirobumi, a samurai, becomes the first Prime Minister of Japan

Famous Birthdays

  • Dec 1 Guy de Lioncourt, composer
  • Dec 2 George Minot, American physician (Nobel 1934 - introduction of a raw-liver diet in the treatment of pernicious anemia), born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1950)
  • Dec 6 Albrecht Schaeffer, German writer (The General), born in Elbląg, Poland (d. 1950)
  • Dec 10 János Hammerschlag, Hungarian composer, born in Prague (d. 1954)
  • Dec 10 Mario Varvoglis, Greek composer, born in Brussels (d. 1967)
  • Dec 19 F S Flint, translator/poet (imagist movement), born in London, England
  • Dec 21 Frank Patrick, Canadian ice hockey player, born in Ottawa, Canada (d. 1960)
  • Dec 22 Joseph Deems Taylor, American composer (Peter Ibbetson) and promoter of classical music, born in NYC, New York (d. 1966)
  • Dec 23 Pierre Brissaud, French artist (d. 1964)
  • Dec 24 Arthur Dolphin, English cricketer (Yorkshire & England keeper, later Test ump), born in Wilsden, United Kingdom (d. 1942)
  • Dec 31 Princess Victoria Adelaide of Schleswig-Holstein, born in Province of Schleswig-Holstein (d. 1970)

Famous Deaths

  • Dec 8 William Henry Vanderbilt, American businessman, member of the Vanderbilt family, dies at 64
  • Dec 15 Ferdinand II, German prince of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha-Koháry and King of Portugal (1837-53), dies at 69
  • Dec 15 Robert Toombs, American lawyer and 1st Confederate States Secretary of State, dies at 75
  • Dec 24 Louis-Prosper Gachard, Belgian historian, dies at 85