What Happened in December 1888

Historical Events

  • Dec 11 French Panama Canal Company fails
  • Dec 18 Richard Wetherill and his brother in-law discover the ancient Anasazi ruins of Mesa Verde, Colorado

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 19 Henry Morton Stanley's expedition reaches Fort Bodo, East-Africa

Journalist and Explorer Henry Morton Stanley
Journalist and Explorer
Henry Morton Stanley
  • Dec 22 Heavyweight boxing champ John L Sullivan challenges Jake Kilrain

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 23 Vincent van Gogh cuts off his left ear with a razor, after argument with fellow painter Paul Gauguin, and sends to a prostitute for safe keeping

Painter Vincent van Gogh
Vincent van Gogh
Painter and Sculptor Paul Gauguin
Painter and Sculptor
Paul Gauguin
  • Dec 25 1st indoor baseball game played at fairgrounds in Philadelphia
  • Dec 30 Belgium: king Leopold II installs Order of African Star

Famous Birthdays

  • Dec 3 Ion Nonna Otescu, composer
  • Dec 4 Aleksandar I Karadordjevic, king of Yugoslavia (1921-34)
  • Dec 5 Askell Snorrason, composer
  • Dec 6 Will Hay [William Thomson Hay], British comedian, actor and amateur astronomer, born in County Durham, England (d. 1949)
  • Dec 7 Hamilton Fish, US congress leader/isolationist
  • Dec 7 Joyce Cary, Anglo-Irish (male) writer (House of Children)
  • Dec 7 Matthew Heywood Campbell Broun, 1st President of American Newspaper Guild
  • Dec 8 Fiske Kimball, US architect/art historian
  • Dec 8 Paul Cavanagh, British actor (The Woman in Green, Tarzan & his Mate), born in Chislehurst, England (d. 1964)
  • Dec 15 Artturi A Leinonen, Finnish journalist/writer (Kati)/politician
  • Dec 15 Maxwell Anderson, American dramatist (Winter Set, High Tor)
  • Dec 16 Alphonse Juin, French marshal
  • Dec 16 Alexander I, king of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes (1921–29) and of Yugoslavia (1929–34), born in Cetinje, Montenegro (d. 1934)
  • Dec 18 Gladys Cooper, British actress (My Fair Lady), born in Lewisham, England (d. 1971)
  • Dec 18 Robert Moses, power broker (built Long Island & NYC parks & roads)
  • Dec 19 Fritz Reiner, US conductor (Chicago Symphony Orchestra), born in Budapest, Hungary
  • Dec 20 Fred Merkle, American baseball figure (d. 1958)
  • Dec 22 Joseph Arthur Rank, English film magnate/baron
  • Dec 23 Friedrich Wolf, German writer and diplomat, born in Neuwied, Germany (d. 1953)
  • Dec 27 Tito Schipa, tenor/composer (La Rondine), born in Lecce, Italy (d. 1965)
  • Dec 27 Thea von Harbou, German author and actress (Metropolis), born in Tauperlitz, Döhlau, Bavaria, Germany (d. 1954)
  • Dec 28 Gabriel von Wayditch, composer
  • Dec 29 Joseph Beran, Czech archbishop of Prague/cardinal

Famous Deaths

  • Dec 2 Franz Xaver Witt, composer, dies at 54
  • Dec 2 Mehmed N Kemal Bey, Turkish writer/journalist (Vatan), dies at 47
  • Dec 3 Carl Zeiss, German scientific instrument and lens maker (Carl Zeiss AG), dies at 72
  • Dec 10 Mariano Obiols, composer, dies at 79
  • Dec 31 Samson Raphael Hirsch, German rabbi (b. 1808)