On This Day

What Happened in December 1909

Historical Events

  • Dec 1 1st Christmas Club payment made, to Carlisle Trust Co, Pennsylvania
  • Dec 1 1st Israeli kibbutz founded, Deganya Alef
  • Dec 2 National Hockey Association (NHA) is formed in Montreal; original members include Montreal Wanderers and Montreal Canadiens; becomes NHL after some NHA teams leave due to ownership disagreements, and create their own league
  • Dec 4 1st CFL Grey Cup, Rosedale Field, Toronto: University of Toronto Blues beat Toronto Parkdale Canoe Club, 26-6; Blues undefeated
  • Dec 4 Oldest still-operating NHL franchise is officially established as J. Ambrose O’Brien and Jack Laviolette create the “Club de Hockey Canadien,” known today as the Montreal Canadiens

Historic Invention

Dec 7 Inventor Leo Baekeland patents the first thermo-setting plastic, Bakelite, sparking the birth of the plastics industry

  • Dec 8 Bird banding society found
  • Dec 9 1st US monoplane flown (Henry W Walden, Long Island, NY)

Nobel Prize

Dec 10 Swedish writer Selma Lagerlöf is the first woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature

  • Dec 11 Colored moving pictures demonstrated at Madison Square Garden, NYC
  • Dec 11 Canadian Football exhibition game played in Van Cortlandt Park in Bronx, Hamilton Tigers beat Ottawa Rough Riders, 11-6 before 15,000
  • Dec 15 Thomas J. Lynch becomes president of baseball's National League
  • Dec 16 A conservative revolution and US pressure forces Nicaraguan President Jose Santos from office
  • Dec 17 Leopold II, king of Belgium, died in Laeken after a reign of exactly 44 years
  • Dec 21 1st junior high school established (Berkeley California)

Theater Premiere

Dec 21 Clyde Fitch's play "The City" premieres in NYC

  • Dec 21 Unitversity of Copenhagen rejects American Explorer Frederick A Cook's claim that he was 1st to North Pole
  • Dec 23 Albert I becomes the third King of the Belgians

Famous Birthdays

  • Dec 1 Jan Koplowitz, German writer, born in Kudowa (d. 2001)
  • Dec 3 Dana Suesse, American musician and songwriter (You Ought To Be In Pictures), born in Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri (d. 1987)
  • Dec 4 Jimmy Jewel [James Jewel Marsh], British comedic actor (The Avengers, Thicker Than Water), born in Sheffield, England (d. 1995)
  • Dec 6 Alan McGilvray, Australian cricketer (20 games for NSW mid 1930's) and commentator (ABC), born in Paddington, Sydney, Australia (d. 1996)
  • Dec 6 Kenneth Watkins, British woodland conservationist and founder (The Woodland Trust) (d. 1996)
  • Dec 7 Jacob Kainen, American painter and curator, born in Waterbury, Connecticut (d. 2001)
  • Dec 7 Arch Oboler, American director, screen and radio writer, and producer (Lights Out, Bwana Devil), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 1987)
  • Dec 8 Cleo Brown, American jazz pianist, born in Meridian, Mississippi (d. 1995)
  • Dec 9 Douglas Fairbanks Jr, American actor and decorated naval officer (Ghost Story), born in NYC, New York (d. 2000)
  • Dec 11 Ronald McKie, Australian author (The Mango Tree), born in Toowoomba, Queensland (d. 1991)
  • Dec 11 John Wyer, English sports car racing team manager, born in Kidderminster, England (d. 1989)
  • Dec 12 Armand Boni, Flemish poet and writer, born in Antwerp, Belgium (d. 1991)
  • Dec 12 Karen Morley, American actress (Scarface), born in Ottumwa, Iowa (d. 2003)
  • Dec 14 Edward L Tatum, American molecular geneticist and biochemist (Nobel Prize 1958), born in Boulder, Colorado (d. 1975)
  • Dec 14 Phia Berghout, Dutch harpist, born in Rotterdam, Netherlands (d. 1993)
  • Dec 16 Henricus Verbunt, civil servant/resistance fighter
  • Dec 16 Lall Singh, cricketer (scored 15 & 29 in India's 1st Test match)
  • Dec 18 Mona Barrie [Smith], British-American actress (Dawn on Great Divide), born in London, England (d. 1964)
  • Dec 19 W.A. Criswell, American (Baptist) preacher (d. 2002)
  • Dec 20 Vagn Holmboe, Danish neo-classical composer (Sinfonia rustica), born in Horsens, Jutland (d. 1996)
  • Dec 20 Vakkom Majeed, Indian freedom fighter & politician, born in the Kingdom of Travancore (d. 2000)
  • Dec 21 George Ball, American politician and diplomat (US Ambassador to the UN, Under Secretary of State), born in Des Moines, Iowa (d. 1994)
  • Dec 21 Seichō Matsumoto, Japanese mystery writer and journalist, born in Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan (d. 1992)
  • Dec 22 Alan Carney [David Boughal], American actor (Zombies on Broadway, Take it from Me), born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 1973)
  • Dec 22 Patricia Hayes, British actress (A Fish Called Wanda), born in Wandsworth, London, England (d. 1998)
  • Dec 23 Barney Ross, American Welterweight Boxing Champ (1934), born in NYC, New York
  • Dec 23 Don Cleverley, New Zealand cricketer (two Tests for NZ 1932 & 1946, took 0-130), born in Otago, New Zealand (d. 2004)
  • Dec 23 Maurice Denham, British actor (Mr Love, Damn the Defiant), born in Beckenham, England (d. 2002)
  • Dec 24 Adam Popovich, American composer, born in Denver, Colorado
  • Dec 24 Adam Rapacki, Polish minister of Foreign Affairs (1956-68), born in Lviv, Ukraine (d. 1970)
  • Dec 25 Louis van Lint, Belgian painter (post-war abstraction), born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1986)
  • Dec 28 Billy Williams, American singer (Your Show of Shows), born in Waco, Texas (d. 1984)
  • Dec 28 Nikola J Vaptsarov, Bulgaria poet (Subrani Sutsjinenija)
  • Dec 28 Johnny Goodman, American golfer (US Open 1933), born in South Omaha, Nebraska (d. 1970)

Famous Deaths

  • Dec 4 Paul-Albert Besnard, French painter and graphic artist (Elle), dies at 60
  • Dec 7 Whitcomb Judson, American inventor (zipper), dies at 63
  • Dec 10 Red Cloud, Sioux indian chief, dies
  • Dec 11 Innokenty Annensky, Russian poet (b. 1855)
  • Dec 13 Innokenti Annenski, Russian poet and interpreter, dies of heart attack at 54
  • Dec 14 Leopold II, King of Belgium (1865-1909), sole owner of the Congo Free State (1885-1908), dies at 74
  • Dec 15 Francisco Tárrega, Spanish composer, dies at 57
  • Dec 17 Leopold II, King of Belgium (1865-1909), dies at 74
  • Dec 20 Benjamin Ipavec, composer, dies at 79
  • Dec 24 Nicolaas G Pierson, director Suriname/Dutch Bank, dies at 80
  • Dec 26 Frederic Remington, American artist and sculptor of American West, dies at 48