What Happened in December 1899

Historical Events

  • Dec 2 Philippine–American War: The Battle of Tirad Pass, termed "The Filipino Thermopylae", is fought.
  • Dec 2 US & Germany agree to divide Samoa between them
  • Dec 4 56th Congress (1899-1901) convenes
  • Dec 4 Webb Hayes, son of US President Rutherford Hayes, receives medal of honor
  • Dec 9 Boer War: During Siege of Ladysmith, Boers storm King's Post and Caesar's Camp - driven back
  • Dec 10 -15] British "Black Week" due to defeats in South Africa
  • Dec 10 Battle at Storm Berge South Africa - Boers vs British army
  • Dec 10 Delta Sigma Phi fraternity founded at City College of New York, to spread "the principles of friendship and brotherhood among college men, without respect to race or creed."

Theater Premiere

Dec 10 Frank Wedekind's play "Der Kammersänger" premieres in Berlin

  • Dec 12 1st case of plague on Oahu, Hawaii
  • Dec 12 George F Bryant of Boston patents the wooden golf tee
  • Dec 15 Battle at Colenso, South Africa: British army defeated by Boer force
  • Dec 16 Italian football club A.C. Milan founded as Milan Foot-Ball and Cricket Club by Englishmen Alfred Edwards and Herbert Kilpin (disputed possibly 13 Dec)
  • Dec 18 Field Marshal Lord Roberts appointed British supreme commander in South Africa
  • Dec 23 British Field Marshal Lord Roberts departs Southampton for South Africa for the 2nd Boer War
  • Dec 23 Tentative Turkish & German treaty on construction of Baghdad railway
  • Dec 25 Shelling on besieged Ladysmith during the Boer War includes one shell containing a plum pudding
  • Dec 26 Mafeking: Bathe-Powells failed assault up fort Game Tree: 24 killed
  • Dec 29 British fleet seizes German Imperial Mail Steamer Bundesrath accused of carrying contraband

Famous Birthdays

  • Dec 1 Robert W. Welch Jr., American businessman who founded the conservative John Birch Society, born in Chowan County, North Carolina (d. 1985)
  • Dec 2 John Barbirolli, English conductor (NY Philharmonic Orchestra), born in Southampton Row, Holborn, London (d. 1970)
  • Dec 2 John Cobb, British speed record holder (World Land Speed Record 1938-39, 47), born in Esher, Surrey, England (d. 1952)
  • Dec 3 Howard Kinsey, American tennis player (French Open doubles 1924, US Open doubles 1926; Wimbledon singles 1926 runner-up), born in St. Louis, Missouri (d. 1966)
  • Dec 3 Ikeda Hayato, Prime Minister of Japan (1960-64), born in Takehara, Hiroshima, Japan (d. 1965)
  • Dec 4 Charlie Spencer, English soccer defender and manager (2 caps; Newcastle United; mgr Grimsby Town 1937-51), born in Washington, England (d. 1953)
  • Dec 4 Douwe Hermans Kiestra, Frisian farmer and writer, born in Poppenwier, Netherlands (d. 1970)
  • Dec 5 Sonny Boy Williamson II [Aleck Miller], American blues harmonica player, singer and songwriter, born in Tallahatchie County, Mississippi (d. 1965) (year of birth disputed)
  • Dec 6 Harry Buller Siege Willis, son of South Africa boer in Ladysmith
  • Dec 6 John "Jocko" Conlan, American Baseball HOF umpire (National League 1941-65), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 1989)
  • Dec 6 Nikolai Batalov, Russian actor (Tretya meshchanskaya, Mother), born in Moscow, Russia (d. 1937)
  • Dec 8 James "Pigmeat" Jarrett, American pianist, born in Cordele, Georgia (d. 1995)
  • Dec 8 John Qualen, Canadian actor (Casablanca, The Grapes of Wrath, The Searchers), born in Vancouver, British Columbia (d. 1987)
  • Dec 8 Sarah Williamson, US missionary in Liberia
  • Dec 9 Frans van Amelsvoort, Dutch choir conductor, born in 's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands (d. 1975)
  • Dec 9 Howard Freeman, American actor (Studio One, Double Dynamite), born in Helena, Montana (d. 1967)
  • Dec 9 Jean de Brunhoff, French children's book author (Babar the Elephant), born in Paris (d. 1937)
  • Dec 9 Léonie Adams, American poetess (Those not elected), born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 1988)
  • Dec 11 Vera von der Heydt, German psychoanalyst, born in Berlin (d. 1996)
  • Dec 13 Harold Guinzburg, American publisher (founder of Literary Guild), born in NYC, New York (d. 1961)
  • Dec 13 Yusef Greiss, Egyptian composer, born in Cairo, Egypt (d. 1961)
  • Dec 15 Frank Vosper, British actor (The Man Who Knew Too Much, Rome Express), born in London, England (d. 1937)
  • Dec 15 Harold Abrahams, British athlete (Olympic gold 100m, silver 4x100m 1924; depicted in film "Chariots of Fire"), born in Bedford, England (d. 1978)
  • Dec 16 Harold Walter Bailey, philologist

Noël Coward

Dec 16 Noël Coward, English playwright (Hay Fever, Private Lives), director (In Which We Serve-1942 Academy Award), actor and singer, born in London (d. 1973)

  • Dec 20 John Sparkman, American politician (Sen-D-Alabama 1946-79, Rep-D-Alabama 1937-46), born in Hartselle, Alabama (d. 1985)
  • Dec 21 Guy Wilkerson, American actor (Dead or Alive, West of Texas, Shootin' Iron), born in Whitewright, Texas (d. 1971)
  • Dec 22 Gustaf Gründgens, German actor and director (M, Faust, A Glass of Water), born in Düsseldorf, Germany (d. 1963)
  • Dec 25 Frank Ferguson, American character actor (My Friend Flicka, Peyton Place), born in Ferndale, California (d. 1978)

Humphrey Bogart

Dec 25 Humphrey Bogart, American actor (Casablanca - "Here's looking at you, kid"), born in NYC, New York (d. 1957)

  • Dec 25 Raphael Soyer, Russian-born american artist (Depression Scenes in NYC), born in Borisoglebsk, Tambov (d. 1987)
  • Dec 27 Paul Costello, American double sculls (Olympic gold 1920, 24, 28)
  • Dec 28 Eugeniusz Bodo [Bohdan Eugène Junod], Polish film director, producer and comedic actor, born in Geneva, Switzerland (d. 1943)
  • Dec 29 Nie Rongzhen, People's Liberation Army Chief of General Staff, born in Chongqing, China (d. 1992)
  • Dec 30 Helge Ingstad, Norwegian explorer (d. 2001)
  • Dec 31 Gaston Glass, American-French actor & producer, born in Paris, France (d. 1965)
  • Dec 31 Silvestre Revueltas, Mexican composer (Sensemaya), born in Santiago Papasquiaro, Mexico (d. 1940)

Famous Deaths

  • Dec 2 Gregorio del Pilar, Filipino general (killed at Battle of Tirad Pass) (b. 1875)
  • Dec 7 Anton de Kontski [Antoni Kątski], Polish-American pianist and composer (Awakening Of The Lion), Polish pianist and composer, dies at 82
  • Dec 11 Andrew Wauchope, British Major-General, dies in Battle of Magersfontein in the Boer war, South Africa. Another British Major, The Marquess of Winchester also killed.
  • Dec 17 Frederick "Freddy" Roberts, son of British field marshal, dies in battle
  • Dec 18 John William Glover, Irish composer, dies at 84
  • Dec 22 Dwight L Moody, US evangelist (Student Volunteer Movement), dies
  • Dec 30 James Paget, English surgeon (disease of Paget), dies at 85