On This Day

What Happened in December 1889

Historical Events

  • Dec 4 Explorer Henery Morton Stanley's expedition reaches Bagamoyo in Indian Ocean
  • Dec 7 Gilbert & Sullivan's "Gondoliers" premieres in London

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 9 US President Benjamin Harrison dedicates the Chicago Auditorium, designed by Louis Sullivan and Dankmar Adler, then largest building in the US

Architect and Father of Skyscrapers Louis Sullivan
Architect and Father of Skyscrapers
Louis Sullivan
23rd US President Benjamin Harrison
23rd US President
Benjamin Harrison
  • Dec 13 Belgium rules on women and child labor law
  • Dec 14 American Academy of Political & Social Science organized in Philadelphia
  • Dec 19 Bishop Museum founded in Hawaii
  • Dec 24 Daniel Stover & William Hance patent bicycle with back pedal brake

Famous Birthdays

  • Dec 4 Isabel Randolph, American actress (Fuller Brush Girl, Our Miss Brooks), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 1973)
  • Dec 7 Heathcote Dicken Statham, English composer (d. 1973)
  • Dec 8 Hervey Allen, American writer and poet (Anthony Adverse), born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (d. 1949)
  • Dec 9 Hannes Kolehmainen, Finnish long-distance runner (Olympic gold 1912), born in Kuopio, Finland (d. 1966)
  • Dec 10 Ray Collins, American actor (Homecoming, Good Sam, Rose Marie), born in Sacramento, California (d. 1965)
  • Dec 11 Paul Kornfeld, Czech playwright, born in Prague (d. 1942)

Person of interestWalter Knott

Dec 11 Walter Knott, American farmer who created the Knott's Berry Farm amusement park in California and introduced the boysenberry to America, born in San Bernardino, California (d. 1981)

Farmer and Creator of Knott's Berry Farm Walter Knott
Farmer and Creator of Knott's Berry Farm
Walter Knott
  • Dec 12 Václav Štěpán, Czech pianist and composer, born in Pečky, Austria-Hungary (d. 1944)
  • Dec 20 Božidar Širola, Croatian composer, born in Žakanje, Croatia
  • Dec 21 Sewall Wright, American geneticist, born in Melrose, Massachusetts (d. 1988)
  • Dec 22 Mikha`il Na'imah, Lebanese playwright, born in Baskinta, Lebanon (d. 1988)
  • Dec 22 Minor Watson, American actor (Woman of the Year, Viva Cisco Kid), born in Marianna, Arkansas (d. 1965)
  • Dec 24 Vladimir Sokoloff, Russian actor (Road to Morocco), born in Moscow, Russia (d. 1962)
  • Dec 28 Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau
  • Dec 30 Georg von der Vring, German painter and writer (Soldier Suhren), born in Brake, Lower Saxony, Germany (d. 1968)

Famous Deaths

  • Dec 3 Baltasar Saldoni, composer, dies at 82

Person of interestJefferson Davis

Dec 6 Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America (1861-65), dies at 81

President of the Confederate States of America Jefferson Davis
President of the Confederate States of America
Jefferson Davis
  • Dec 6 Jozef Neuhuys [Joseph Hendrikus Neuhuys], Dutch painter, dies at 48
  • Dec 10 Ludwig Anzengruber, Austrian playwright, dies at 50

Person of interestRobert Browning

Dec 12 Robert Browning, English poet (Ring & Book), dies at 77

  • Dec 12 Viktor Bunyakovsky, Russian mathematician (b. 1804)
  • Dec 21 J. B. Lightfoot, English theologist and bishop of Durham, dies at 61
  • Dec 21 Friedrich August Quenstedt, German geologist and paleontologist, dies at 80
  • Dec 24 Jan Jakob Lodewijk ten Kate, Dutch poet and clergyman (b. 1819)
  • Dec 31 Ion Creanga, Romanian (fairy tales) author, dies at 52