On This Day

What Happened in December 1890

Historical Events

Music Premiere

Dec 5 Hector Berlioz's opera "Les Troyens" premieres in Karlsruhe, Germany

  • Dec 16 Negro Methodist Episcopal Church founded in Jackson, TN
  • Dec 18 Frederick Lugard's British expedition to Meng and Kampala, Uganda
  • Dec 21 Pim Mulier 1st & only trip to "Alvesteddetocht"
  • Dec 22 Cornwallis Valley Railway begins operation between Kingsport and Kentville, Nova Scotia.
  • Dec 26 King Mwanga of Uganda signs contract with East Africa Company

Wounded Knee Massacre

Dec 29 US 7th Cavalry massacre 200+ captive Sioux at Wounded Knee, South Dakota


Famous Birthdays

  • Dec 2 William Gaxton, American actor (Destry, Convoy), born in San Francisco, California (d. 1963)
  • Dec 4 Bob Shawkey, American baseball pitcher (World Series 1923, 27; AL ERA leader 1920, New York Yankees), born in Sigel, Pennsylvania (d. 1980)
  • Dec 4 Jack Darragh, Canadian Hockey Hall of Fame right wing (Stanley Cup 1911, 20-21, 23; Ottawa Senators), born in Ottawa, Ontario (d. 1924)
  • Dec 5 David Bomberg, English painter, born in Birmingham, England (d. 1957)
  • Dec 5 Fritz Lang, Austrian-German-American filmmaker and screenwriter (Metropolis), born in Vienna, Austria (d. 1976)

Dion Fortune

Dec 6 Dion Fortune, British occultist and author (Psychic Self-Defence, The Mystical Qabalah), born in Llandudno, Wales (d. 1946)

  • Dec 6 Yoshio Nishina, Japanese physicist (known as the founding father of modern physics research in Japan), born in Satoshō, Okayama (d. 1951)
  • Dec 6 Rudolf Schlichter, German artist and writer, born in Calw, Germany (d. 1955)
  • Dec 8 Bohuslav Martinů, Czech, composer (Hry o Marti), born in Polička, Bohemia (d. 1959)
  • Dec 10 George Merritt, English actor (I Monster, Q Planes), born in London, England (d. 1977)

Carlos Gardel

Dec 11 Carlos Gardel, Argentine singer and the most prominent figure in the history of tango, born in Buenos Aires, Argentina (d. 1935)

Marc Connelly

Dec 13 Marc Connelly, American playwright (One Minute Please), born in McKeesport, Pennsylvania (d. 1980)

  • Dec 18 Edwin Howard Armstrong, American radio pioneer inventor (FM), born in NYC, New York (d. 1954)
  • Dec 19 Klaas Painter, vicar/antifascist (Occupies possession) [or 1880]
  • Dec 19 Klaas Schilder, Dutch theologist/vicar (Occupied Territory)
  • Dec 20 Yvonne Arnaud, French-born pianist, singer and actress (Yvonne Arnaud Theatre), born in Bordeaux, Gironde, Aquitaine, France (d. 1958)
  • Dec 21 Hermann Joseph Muller, American geneticist and Nobel laureate, born in NYC, New York (d. 1967)
  • Dec 22 Mark Tobey, American abstract painter (Broadway Norm), born in Centerville, Wisconsin (d. 1976)
  • Dec 22 Harry Pollitt, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Great Britain, born in Droylsden, United Kingdom (d. 1960)
  • Dec 25 Robert Ripley, collector of odd facts (Believe it or Not), born in Santa Rosa, California (d. 1949)
  • Dec 26 Uncle Charlie Osborne, American fiddler (d. 1992)
  • Dec 27 Maurice Schoemaker, Belgian progressive classical composer (Feu d’Artifice - Fireworks), born in Anderlecht, Belgium (d. 1964)
  • Dec 28 Frank Butler, actor/sreenwriter (Road to Bali, China), born in Oxford, England
  • Dec 30 Adolfo Ruiz Cortines, President of Mexico (d. 1973)
  • Dec 30 Charles Cyril "Charlie" Creath, American jazz trumpeter, saxophonist, accordionist, and bandleader, born in Ironton, Missouri (d. 1951)

Famous Deaths

  • Dec 2 Cadmus M. Wilcox, American Major General (Confederate Army - American Civil War), dies at 66
  • Dec 3 Billy Midwinter, English-Australian cricket all-rounder (8 Tests Australia, 4 England), dies of insanity at 39
  • Dec 6 Joe Coburn, Irish boxer (Heavyweight C'ship of America 1863-65), dies from tuberculosis at 55
  • Dec 10 Ludolph Anne Jan Wilt Sloet van de Beele, Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies (1861-66), dies at 84

Sitting Bull

Dec 15 Sitting Bull, Hunkpapa-Sioux chief who helped led his people to victory in the Battle of the Little Big Horn, killed by US Police aged 58 or 59

  • Dec 21 Niels Wilhelm Gade, Danish violinist, organist, composer, and conductor, dies at 73

Heinrich Schliemann

Dec 26 Heinrich Schliemann, German archaeologist who rediscovered Troy, dies of cholesteatoma at 86

  • Dec 29 Big Foot, Sioux Indian chief, dies at Wounded Knee
  • Dec 31 Pancha Carrasco, Costa Rican war heroine (Costa Rica's first woman in the military), dies at 74