On This Day

What Happened in December 1918

Historical Events

  • Dec 1 Danish parliament passes an act to grant Iceland independence under Danish crown
  • Dec 1 Yugoslavia declares independence with a monarchy proclaimed in Belgrade

Conference of Interest

Dec 4 US President Woodrow Wilson sails for Versailles Peace Conference in France

  • Dec 5 Oil refinery on Curacao opens
  • Dec 9 French troops occupies Mainz
  • Dec 10 John Heyder becomes president of baseball's National League for the 2nd time
  • Dec 13 US army of occupation crosses Rhine, enters Germany

Music Premiere

Dec 14 Giacomo Puccini's opera "Il Trittico" premieres in NYC

  • Dec 14 David Loyd George's coalition Government wins a clear majority in the UK general election
  • Dec 14 Sinn Féin candidates win 73 of 105 Irish seats in UK general election, though all will refuse to take seats in Westminster, instead meeting at a Dail Eireann in Dublin
  • Dec 15 American Jewish Congress holds its 1st meeting

Boxing Title Fight

Dec 16 Jack Dempsey KOs Carl Morris in 14 seconds

  • Dec 16 German troops evacuate Finland, give over Kiev in the Ukraine to revolutionary forces and pull back from Estonia as Bolshevik forces move in
  • Dec 17 A conference of workers' and soldiers' councils take control of German government in Berlin, until elections in January selects new national assembly
  • Dec 19 Robert Ripley begins his "Believe It or Not" column (NY Globe)

Historic Event

Dec 20 Eugene O'Neill's "Moon of the Caribees" premieres in NYC

  • Dec 20 The Allies turn their attention to Bolshevik expansion in the East, landing troops in Crimea and Latvia
  • Dec 21 Red Sox trade Dutch Leonard, Ernie Shore & Duffy Lewis to Yankees for Ray Caldwell & Slim Love, Frank Gilhooey, Al Walters & $15,000
  • Dec 26 1st day of 1st-class cricket in Aust after WW I (Vic v NSW)
  • Dec 26 After spending Christmas with American troops in France, Wilson goes to London for preliminary discussions about the forthcoming peace conference
  • Dec 27 The Great Poland Uprising against the Germans begins.

Sports History

Dec 28 Montreal's Georges Vezina becomes the first NHL goalie to record an assist during the Canadiens’ 6-3 win over the Toronto Arenas

Historic Event

Dec 30 John E Hoover decides to be called J. Edgar Hoover

  • Dec 31 Kid Gleason replaces Pants Rowland as Chicago White Sox manager; reach World Series but lose in the "Black Sox" betting scandal; Gleason not involved

Famous Birthdays

  • Dec 1 Bill Strannigan, American all-round athlete and basketball coach (Uni of Wyoming), born in Dalry, North Ayrshire, Scotland (d. 1997)
  • Dec 2 Milton Delugg, American pianist, accordion player, composer ("Hoop-Dee-Do"; "Santa Claus Conquers The Martians"), and orchestra leader (The Tonight Show, 1966; The Gong Show), born in Los Angeles, California (d. 2015)
  • Dec 3 Abdul Haris Nasution, Indonesian army general, born in Koetanopan, North Sumatera, Dutch East Indies (d. 2000)
  • Dec 6 Harold Horace Hopkins, British physicist and inventor (Endoscope), born in Leicester, England (d. 1994)
  • Dec 6 Willem Oosterheers, resistance fighter
  • Dec 7 Jórunn Viðar, Icelandic pianist and composer, born in Reykjavík, Iceland (d. 2017)
  • Dec 8 Gérard Souzay, French baritone, born in Angers, France (d. 2004)
  • Dec 9 Jerome Beatty Jr., American author of children's literature (Matthew and Maria Looney books), born in New Rochelle, New York (d. 2002)
  • Dec 10 Anne Gwynne [Marguerite Gwynne Trice], American model and actress (Ride 'em Cowboy, House of Frankenstein), born in Waco, Texas (d. 2003)
  • Dec 10 Anatoly Tarasov, Russian ice hockey player and coach (considered as the father of Russian ice hockey), born in Moscow (d. 1995)

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Dec 11 Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Russian writer (Cancer Ward, Nobel Prize for Literature 1970), born in Kislovodsk, Russia (d. 2008)

  • Dec 12 Joe Williams [Joseph Goreed], American jazz singer (Everyday I have the Blues), born in Cordele, Georgia (d. 1999)
  • Dec 12 Nilda Pinto, Curacao writer (Nanzi), born in Otrobanda (d. 1954)
  • Dec 13 Bill Vukovich, American auto racer (Indianapolis 500, 1953-4), born in Fresno, California (d. 1955)
  • Dec 14 James T. Aubrey, American television executive (President of the CBS television network 1959-65), born in LaSalle, Illinois (d. 1994)
  • Dec 14 B.K.S. Iyengar, Indian yoga advocate, born in Bellur, Kolar district, Kingdom of Mysore (d. 2014)
  • Dec 15 Jeff Chandler [Ira Grossel], American actor (Broken Arrow), born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 1961)
  • Dec 16 Henry Clarke, fashion photographer
  • Dec 16 Pierre Delanoë [Leroyer], French songwriter and lyricist, born in Paris (d. 2006)
  • Dec 19 Professor Longhair [Henry Roeland Byrd], American boogie-woogie, New Orleans R&B, and mambo pianist and singer ("Tipitina": "Go To The Mardis Gras"), born in Bogalusa, Louisiana (d. 1980)
  • Dec 21 Donald Regan, US Secretary of the Treasury (1981-85) and White House Chief of Staff (1985-87), born in Cambridge, Massachusetts (d. 2003)

Kurt Waldheim

Dec 21 Kurt Waldheim, Austrian 4th Secretary-General of the United Nations (1972-81) and 9th President of Austria (1986-92), born in Sankt Andrä-Wördern, Austria (d. 2007)

  • Dec 22 Frankie Darro [Frank Johnson], American actor (Radio Ranch, Wild Boys of the Road, Valley of Wanted Men), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 1976)
  • Dec 22 William Kennedy, American baseball player, born in Alexandria, Virginia (d. 1995)
  • Dec 23 Helmut Schmidt, German politician, Chancellor of West Germany (SPD, 1974- 82), born in Hamburg (d. 2015)
  • Dec 23 Jose Greco, Italian-American flamenco dancer (Holiday for Lovers), born in Montorio nei Frentani, Italy (d. 2000)
  • Dec 23 Kumar Pallana, Indian character actor and vaudevillian (Bottle Rocket, Rushmore), born in Indore, India (d. 2013)
  • Dec 24 Dave Bartholomew, American R&B, rock, and jazz musician, composer,producer, and songwriter ("I Hear You Knocking"; "Ain't That A Shame"; "Walkin' To New Orleans"), born in Edgard, Louisiana (d. 2019)
  • Dec 24 Carolyn DeZurik, American country and polka singer and yodeler (The Cackle Sisters; Prairie Ramblers; The Polka Chips), born in Royalton, Minnesota (d. 2009)

Anwar Sadat

Dec 25 Anwar Sadat, 3rd President of Egypt (1970-81, Nobel 1978), born in Monufia, Egypt (d. 1981)

  • Dec 25 Eddie Safranski, orchestra leader (Jonathan Winters Show), born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Dec 25 Ahmed Ben Bella, Algerian politician, first President of Algeria (1963-65), born in Maghnia, Algeria (d. 2012)
  • Dec 26 George Rallis, Greek politician, Prime Minister of Greece (d. 2006)
  • Dec 27 John Celardo, American comic strip artist
  • Dec 30 W Eugene Smith, US photographer (Saipan, Walk to Paradise Garden)

Famous Weddings

Manuel L. Quezon

Dec 17 Philippine Senator (and later 2nd President) Manuel L. Quezon (40) weds first cousin Aurora Aragon (30) in Hong Kong

Al Capone

Dec 30 Gangster Al Capone (19) marries Mae Josephine Coughlin, mother of his child


Famous Deaths

  • Dec 2 Margit Kaffka, Hungarian writer, dies in the flu pandemic at 38
  • Dec 2 Edmond Rostand, French poet and dramatist (b. 1868)
  • Dec 11 Ivan Cankar, Slovene author, poet, novelist and playwright (Erotika, The Bailiff Yerney and His Rights), dies of pneumonia at 42, a complication of the Spanish flu
  • Dec 14 Sidónio Pais, Portuguese politician (4th President of Portugal, 66th Prime Minister of Portugal), murdered at 46
  • Dec 18 Henryk Jarecki, Polish composer, dies at 72
  • Dec 22 Albijn van de Abeele, Flemish author and painter, dies at 83
  • Dec 22 Randolph Bourne, American writer (Education and Living), dies at 32
  • Dec 26 Bertram Luard-Selby, British organist and composer, dies at 65
  • Dec 28 George H White, last post Reconstruction congressman (Penn), dies
  • Dec 28 Olavo Bilac, Brazilian poet (b. 1865)