What Happened in December 1931

Historical Events

  • Dec 1 Ottawa branch of Royal Mint begins operation as Royal Canadian Mint
  • Dec 3 Alka Seltzer goes on sale
  • Dec 5 CFL Grey Cup, Molson Stadium, Montreal: Montreal AAA Winged Wheelers shutout Regina Roughriders, 22-0 for their first title

Sports History

Dec 7 After scoring 226 in 1st Test in Brisbane, Don Bradman belts 219 for NSW against the visiting South Africa at the Sydney Cricket Ground

  • Dec 8 Coaxial cable patented
  • Dec 9 Baseball cuts squad from 25 to 23 players & NL continues to prohibit uniform numbers
  • Dec 9 Benn W Levy's "Springtime for Henry" premieres in NYC
  • Dec 9 Japanese army attacks Chinese province of Jehol
  • Dec 9 Spain becomes a republic

Nobel Prize

Dec 10 Jane Addams named co-recipient of Nobel Peace Prize; 1st American woman Nobel laureate [1]

Election of Interest

Dec 10 Manuel Azaña becomes Prime Minister of Spain with Niceto Zamora as President

  • Dec 11 Japan leaves the Gold Standard
  • Dec 11 Statute of Westminster gives complete legislative independence to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Ireland (Free State), and Newfoundland (not then part of Canada)
  • Dec 12 Japanese government of Imukai forms
  • Dec 13 National Football League Championship: Green Bay Packers (12-2-0) win 3rd straight first past the post title
  • Dec 14 1st assembly of Anton Musserts NSB in Utrecht
  • Dec 16 German SPD begins Iron Front against fascism

Historic Event

Dec 17 First meeting of the Indian Statistical Institute organized by Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis in Calcutta

  • Dec 19 Joseph A Lyons (C) becomes premier of Australia

Historic Event

Dec 22 Retrospective show of Mexican artist Diego Rivera opens at The Museum of Modern Art in New York

  • Dec 25 Albert Lonergan scores 137 SA v Qld at Adelaide before 5,697
  • Dec 25 Fleetwood-Smith takes 5-69 Victoria v Tas at Hobart
  • Dec 25 NY's Metropolitan Opera broadcasts an entire opera over radio

Theater Premiere

Dec 26 George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin, George S. Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind's musical political satire "Of Thee I Sing" opens at the Music Box Theatre, NYC; runs for 441 performances, and becomes first musical to win Pulitzer Prize for Drama

Historic Event

Dec 28 Lin-Sen succeeds Chiang Kai-shek as President of Nanjing-China

  • Dec 29 Identification of heavy water publicly announced, HC Urey
  • Dec 29 Victoria score 7 for 435 in second innings to beat NSW

Famous Birthdays

  • Dec 1 Jim Nesbitt, American country music singer, born in Bishopville, South Carolina (d. 2007)
  • Dec 1 Jimmy Lyons, American musician (d. 1986)
  • Dec 2 Edwin Meese, American author and 75th United States Attorney General (1985-88), born in Oakland, California
  • Dec 2 Masaaki Hatsumi, Japanese founder and head of the Bujinkan Organization, born in Noda, Chiba, Japan
  • Dec 2 Wynton Kelly, American jazz pianist (Dizzy Gillespie; Miles Davis), born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 1971)
  • Dec 3 Ellen Blazer [Esther Clara Blazer], Dutch TV director (Sonja), born in Rotterdam, Netherlands (d. 2013)
  • Dec 3 Franz Josef Degenhardt, German poet and author, born in Schwelm, Westphalia, Germany (d. 2011)
  • Dec 3 [Mary] Jaye P. Morgan, American pop singer ("All I Want From You"), game show panelist (Gong Show), born in Mancos, Colorado
  • Dec 4 Alex Delvecchio, Canadian ice hockey forward, coach, and executive (Stanley Cup 1952, 54-55, Detroit Red Wings 1,549 games, 1,281 points), born in Fort William, Ontario
  • Dec 4 Wally George, American conservative TV commentator, born in Oakland, California (d. 2003)
  • Dec 6 Zeki Müren, Turkish actor, singer, and composer (Game of Silence), born in Bursa, Turkey (d. 1996)
  • Dec 7 Bobby Osborne, American bluegrass mandolin player (The Osborne Brothers - "Rocky Top"), born in Thousandsticks, Kentucky
  • Dec 8 Rudolf Komorous, Czech-born Canadian composer, born in Prague, Czechoslovakia
  • Dec 9 Ladislav Smoljak, Czech director, actor and screenwriter (An Uncertain Season), born in Prague, Czechoslovakia (d. 2010)
  • Dec 9 William Reynolds, American actor (The Gallant Men, All That Heaven Allows), born in Los Angeles, California
  • Dec 11 Anne Heywood [Violet Pretty], British actress (The Fox) and "Miss Great Britain (1950), born in Handsworth, Birmingham, England
  • Dec 11 Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, Indian leader of the Rajneesh movement, born in Kuchwada Village, Raisen district, Bhopal State, British India (d. 1990)

Rita Moreno

Dec 11 Rita Moreno [Rosita Dolores Alverío], Puerto Rican singer, dancer and actress (West Side Story), born in Humacao, Puerto Rico

  • Dec 12 Ali-Akbar Sa'idi Sirjani, Iranian writer and journalist, born in Sirjan, Kerman (d. 1994)
  • Dec 14 Jaun Elia, Pakistani scholar, poet and philosopher, born in Amroha, Uttar Pradesh, British India (d. 2002)
  • Dec 15 Evald Schorm, Czech film director (Courage for Every Day), born in Prague, Czechoslovakia (d. 1988)
  • Dec 16 Karl Denver [Angus McKenzie], Scottish pop singer ("Never Say Goodbye"; "Wimoweh"), born in Springburn, Glasgow, Scotland
  • Dec 16 Kenneth Gilbert, Canadian harpsichordist, organist, musicologist, and educator, born in Montreal, Quebec (d. 2020)
  • Dec 16 Shelby Singleton, American record label owner and producer (Smash Records, Mercury Records), born in Waskom, Texas (d. 2009)
  • Dec 17 Dave Madden, Canadian-born American actor (Charlotte's Web, Alice, The Partridge Family), born in Sarnia, Ontario (d. 2014)
  • Dec 17 Yvonne Keuls [Bamberg], Dutch writer (Jan Rap & Co)
  • Dec 18 Alison Plowden, English historian (d. 2007)
  • Dec 18 Allen Klein, American rock and roll business manager - ABKCO (Sam Cooke; Rolling Stones, Beatles), born in Newark, New Jersey (d. 2009)
  • Dec 18 André S. Labarthe, French actor, film producer and director (Vivre sa vie, Cinéastes de notre temps), born in Oloron-Sainte-Marie, France (d. 2018)
  • Dec 18 Gene Shue, American NBA basketball guard, 1954-64, 5X All-Star (New York Knicks, Fort Wayne/Detroit Pistons, and 2 other teams), and NBA coach, 1966-89, 2X Coach of the Year (Baltimore/Washington Bullets, Philadelphia 76ers, and 2 other teams), born in Baltimore, Maryland (d. 2022)
  • Dec 18 Gunnel Lindblom, Swedish actress (Hunger, Virgin Spring), born in Gothenburg, Sweden (d. 2021)
  • Dec 18 Noel McGregor, New Zealand cricket batsman (25 Tests, 1 x 100; Otago CA), born in Dunedin, New Zealand (d. 2007)
  • Dec 18 Norm Provan, Australian rugby league second rower (14 Tests; St. George RLFC NSWRL Premiers 1956-66; 13th Immortal) and coach (St. George, Parramatta, Cronulla), born in Urana, Australia (d. 2021)
  • Dec 20 Mary Ellen "Mala" Powers, American actress (Cyrano de Bergerac, The Wild Wild West), born in San Francisco, California (d. 2007)
  • Dec 21 Caroline Kaart (neé Raitt], Scottish Dutch alto singer, and TV presenter, born in Blackness, Scotland (d. 2020)
  • Dec 21 David Baker, American jazz trombonist and cellist, jazz and classical composer (Reflections), and educator (Indiana University), born in Indianapolis, Indiana (d. 2016)
  • Dec 23 Ronnie Schell, American comedian (Gomer Pyle, Good Morning World), born in Richmond, California
  • Dec 24 (Erapheael) “Ray” Bryant, American jazz pianist, composer and arranger ("Madison Time"), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 2011)
  • Dec 24 Jill Bennett, British actress (Lady Jane, Concrete Jungle), born in Penang, Straits Settlements (d. 1990)
  • Dec 24 Mauricio Kagel, Argentine-German composer, born in Buenos Aires, Germany (d. 2008)
  • Dec 25 Uzo Egonu, painter/print maker
  • Dec 26 Thomas Eden Binkley, American lutenist and early music scholar, born in Cleveland, Ohio (d. 1995)
  • Dec 27 (Winfield) Scotty Moore, American guitarist (Elvis Presley; Roy Orbison), born in Gadsden, Tennessee (d. 2016)
  • Dec 27 Lê Khả Phiêu, Vietnamese leader, General Secretary (1997-2001), born in Thanh Hoa province, Vietnam (d. 2020)
  • Dec 28 Georg "Org" Marais, South African economist/underminister of Finance
  • Dec 28 Guy Debord, situationist
  • Dec 28 John de Mol, Dutch vocalist, composer, and producer
  • Dec 28 Martin Milner, American actor (Route 66", "Adam 12"), born in Detroit, Michigan (d. 2015)
  • Dec 29 Jan Konopásek, Czech-American jazz baritone saxophonist, composer, arranger, and educator, born in Prague, Czechoslovakia (d. 2020)
  • Dec 29 Prince Gu of Korea, Korean royalty, born in Tokyo Prefecture, Japan (d. 2005)
  • Dec 30 Charles A Bassett II, Captain USAF/astronaut, born in Dayton, Ohio
  • Dec 30 Ike Skelton, US Congressman (Democrat: 1977-2011), born in Lexington, Missouri(d. 2013)
  • Dec 30 Richard Christ, writer
  • Dec 30 Skeeter Davis [Mary Penick], American country-pop singer-songwriter ("(I Can't Help You) I'm Falling Too"; "Set Him Free"; "The End Of The World"),, born in Dry Ridge, Kentucky (d. 2004)
  • Dec 31 Bob Shaw, Northern Irish sci-fi author (Light of Other Days, The Ragged Astronauts), born in Belfast, Northern Ireland (d. 1996)
  • Dec 31 Gil Mellé, American jazz saxophonist and composer, born in New York City (d. 2004)

Famous Weddings

Clara Bow

Dec 3 Silent film actress Clara Bow (26) weds actor and politician Rex Bell (28) in Las Vegas

Joseph Goebbels

Dec 19 Propagandist Joseph Goebbels (34) weds Magda Ritschel (30) at Günther Quandt's farm in Mecklenburg, Germany


Famous Deaths

  • Dec 5 Vachel Lindsay, American poet (b. 1879)
  • Dec 10 Max Elskamp, Belgian author and poet (Six Chansons), dies at 69
  • Dec 13 Gustave le Bon, French psychologist (b. 1840)
  • Dec 16 Gustave J Waffelaert, Flemish theologist and bishop of Bruges, dies at 82
  • Dec 18 Jack "Legs" Diamond, American gangster and bootlegger, murdered at 34
  • Dec 23 (Frederick) Tyrone Power Sr., British-American stage and screen actor (The Big Trial; The Test of Donald Norton), dies of a heart attack at 62
  • Dec 23 Wilson Bentley, American scientist (b. 1865)
  • Dec 26 Melvil Dewey, American librarian and educator (created Dewey Decimal System for libraries), dies at 80
  • Dec 27 Peter C. Lutkin, American organist, composer (The Lord Bless You and Keep You), choral conductor, and educator (Northwestern University, 1891-1931)dies of a heart attack at 73
  • Dec 27 Walter Courvoisier, Swiss composer, dies at 76