On This Day

What Happened in December 1940

Historical Events

  • Dec 1 Four sets of brothers play in one NHL game when Chicago Blackhawks beat NY Rangers, 4-1; Lynn & Muzz Patrick and Neil & Mac Colville (Rangers); Max & Doug Bentley and Bob & Bill Carse (Chicago)
  • Dec 6 Gestapo arrest German resistance fighter/poster artist Helen Ernst
  • Dec 6 Pietro Badoglio resigns as viceroy of Ethiopia
  • Dec 7 CFL Grey Cup (Game 2), Lansdowne Park, Ottawa: Ottawa beats Toronto Balmy Beach, 12-5
  • Dec 7 North Africa: British counter offensive under general O'Connor
  • Dec 7 The first prototype Fairey Barracuda flew
  • Dec 8 National Football League Championship, Griffith Stadium, Washington, D.C.: Chicago Bears beat Washington Redskins, 73-0; most one-sided victory in NFL history; first NFL title game broadcast on national radio
  • Dec 9 British assault on Benghazi, Libya: first major allied offensive in North Africa
  • Dec 9 Illegal Jewish immigrants to Haifa are deported to Mauritius
  • Dec 9 South Australia all out for 47 v NSW, O'Reilly 5-11
  • Dec 10 British anti-offensive in Libya (Sidi Barrani)

Sports History

Dec 10 1941 NFL Draft: Tom Harmon from University of Michigan first pick by Chicago Bears

Historic Event

Dec 11 Russian general Georgy Zhukov warns of German assault

  • Dec 12 British troops conquer Sidi el-Barrani
  • Dec 16 British air raid on Mannheim

Boxing Title Fight

Dec 16 Joe Louis KOs Al McCoy in 6 for heavyweight boxing title in Chicago

  • Dec 17 British troops occupy Sollum, Egypt

Sports History

Dec 20 Connie Mack acquires controlling interest in the Athletics for $42,000

  • Dec 22 World War II: Himarë is captured by the Greek army.

Historic Event

Dec 23 John Van Druten's "Old Acquaintance" premieres in NYC

Sports History

Dec 25 Cricket master batsman Don Bradman is dismissed for a Xmas Day first ball duck (0) for South Australia v Victoria in a Sheffield Shield match at the Adelaide Oval

Music Premiere

Dec 25 Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart's musical "Pal Joey" premieres in NYC

  • Dec 26 1st-class cricket debut of Arthur Morris, who scores 148
  • Dec 26 JA Fields/J Chodorov's "My Sister Eileen," premieres in NYC

Film Release

Dec 26 "The Philadelphia Story" film directed by George Cukor, based on the Broadway play of the same name, starring Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn and James Stewart, is released (Academy Awards Best Actor 1941)

  • Dec 28 Cricketer Arthur Morris scores 111 in 2nd innings of 1st game after 148
  • Dec 29 3rd NFL All Star Game: Chicago Bears beats NFL All-Stars, 28-14

'Hitler Will Have to Break Us or Lose the War'

Dec 29 Worst German air raid on London as over 10,000 bombs including the 1st incendiary bombs are dropped on the city as part of the Blitz

  • Dec 30 California's 1st freeway, (Arroyo Seco Parkway), opens

Famous Birthdays

  • Dec 1 Matthias Habich, German actor (Straight to the Heart, Downfall), born in Danzig, Germany
  • Dec 1 Mike Denness, English cricket batsman and captain (28 Tests, top score 188), born in Bellshill, Lanarkshire, Scotland (d. 2013)
  • Dec 1 Ron Finn, Canadian NHL linesman (2,373 regular season games, 2 x All-Star games, Rendez-vous '87 and 4 x Canada Cups), born in Toronto, Ontario
  • Dec 1 Richard Pryor, American Emmy and 5X Grammy Award-winning comedian (Live on the Sunset Strip), actor (Silver Streak; Stir Crazy), and screenwriter (Blazing Saddles), born in Peoria, Illinois (d. 2005)
  • Dec 2 Gerry Cheevers, Canadian Hockey Hall of Fame goalie and broadcaster (longest undefeated streak-32 games 1972; Boston Bruins), born in St. Catharines, Ontario
  • Dec 2 Willie Brown, American Pro Football Hall of Fame cornerback, coach and executive (Super Bowl 1976, 80, 84; Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders), born in Yazoo City, Mississippi (d. 2019)
  • Dec 2 Constance "Connie" Booth, American writer, actress, comedienne and psychotherapist (Fawlty Towers, Monty Python and the Holy Grail), born in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Dec 3 Jeffrey R. Holland, American religious leader
  • Dec 3 Kishin Shinoyama, Japanese photographer, including album cover art (Saori Minami; John Lennon and Yoko Ono - Double Fantasy), born in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan
  • Dec 4 Gary Gilmore, American murderer, born in McCamey, Texas (d. 1977)
  • Dec 5 Boris Ignatyev, Russian footballer and manager, born in Moscow
  • Dec 5 Peter Pohl, Swedish writer, born in Hamburg, Germany
  • Dec 5 Adrian Street, Welsh professional wrestler, born in Brynmawr, Brecknockshire, Wales
  • Dec 6 Lawrence Bergman, Canadian politician, born in Montreal, Quebec
  • Dec 6 Jay Leonhart, American session and touring jazz and pop double bassist and songwriter (The Bass Lesson), born in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Dec 7 Kumar Shahani, Indian writer and director (Kasbam Tarang, Maya Darpan), born in Larkana, Sindh
  • Dec 7 Stan Boardman, English comedian, born in Liverpool, Lancashire, England
  • Dec 8 Jenny Linden, English actress (Hedda, Dr Who & the Daleks), born in Worthing, Sussex, England
  • Dec 8 Brant Alyea, American baseball player
  • Dec 9 Sammy Strain, American singer (Imperials-Hurt So Bad), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • Dec 10 William Fred Dempster, crew member (Biosphere 2), born in Berkeley, California
  • Dec 11 Donna Mills, American actress (Knots Landing, Incident), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • Dec 12 Dionne Warwick, American singer ("I Say a Little Prayer"; "Do You Know The Way to San Jose; "That's What Friends Are For"), born in East Orange, New Jersey
  • Dec 12 Shirley Englehorn, American golfer (Women's PGA C'ship 1970), born in Caldwell, Idaho
  • Dec 12 Sharad Pawar, Indian politician (founded Nationalist Congress Party in 1999), born in Baramati, Bombay Presidency, British India
  • Dec 13 Edith Clever, German actress (Parsifal, L'Adolescente), born in Wuppertal, Germany
  • Dec 13 Steve Harmon, American actor (Ens Pulver-Mr Roberts), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • Dec 14 Lex Gold, Scottish footballer, born in Lanark, Scotland
  • Dec 15 Nick Buoniconti, American NFL linebacker (Miami Dolphins) and sportscaster (NBC), born in Springfield, Massachusetts (d. 2019)
  • Dec 16 Dimitri van Toren, Dutch singer-songwriter, born in Breda, Netherlands (d. 2015)
  • Dec 17 Kåre Valebrokk, Norwegian journalist
  • Dec 18 Bramwell Morrison, Canadian member of children's music group Sharon, Lois & Bram, born in Toronto, Ontario
  • Dec 19 Phil Ochs, American anti-war folk singer (Joe Hill, War is Over), born in El Paso, Texas (d. 1976)
  • Dec 20 Larry Willis, American jazz pianist & composer, born in NYC, New York
  • Dec 21 Tony Rivers [Thompson], British pop singer and vocal arranger (Harmony Grass; Cliff Richard), born in Shildon, England

Frank Zappa

Dec 21 Frank Zappa, American rock guitarist, composer, (Mothers of Invention - "Peaches en Regalia"; "Baby Snakes"), activist, and filmmaker (200 Motels), born in Baltimore, Maryland (d. 1993)

  • Dec 21 Paul [Ray Hildebrand], American singer (Paul & Paula), born in Joshua, Texas
  • Dec 21 Kálmán Sóvári, Hungarian soccer defender (17 caps; Újpesti Dózsa, VM Egyetértés), born in Budapest, Hungary (2020)
  • Dec 23 Eugene Record, American musician (Chi Lites - "Give It Away"; "Have You Seen Her"), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 2005)
  • Dec 23 Jorma Kaukonen, American rock guitarist (Jefferson Airplane; Hot Tuna), born in Washington, D.C.
  • Dec 23 Robert Labine, French Canadian politician, born in Québec, Canada

Anthony Fauci

Dec 24 Anthony Fauci, American Immunologist (White House COVID-19 taskforce), born in Brooklyn, New York City

  • Dec 24 Paul Tagliabue, NFL commissioner (1989- ), born in Jersey City, New Jersey
  • Dec 24 Sharon Farrell, American actress (Lori-Hawaii 5-0, Young & Restless), born in Sioux City, Iowa
  • Dec 25 Frans Moor, Dutch politician (PvdA)
  • Dec 25 Peter Brown, rocker, born in Chicago, Illinois
  • Dec 25 Pete Brown, English musician and songwriter (Cream), born in Ashtead, Surrey
  • Dec 26 Edward C. Prescott, American economist, Nobel laureate
  • Dec 26 Ray Sadecki, American MLB player (St. Louis Cardinals), born in Kansas City, KS, (d. 2014)
  • Dec 27 Jerry Lambert, jockey (rode Native Diver)
  • Dec 27 David Shepherd, English cricket umpire (92 Tests 1985–2005; 172 ODIs 1983–2005), born in Bideford, England (d. 2009)
  • Dec 28 Alvin Singleton, American composer ("After Fallen Crumbs"; "Shadows"), born in Brooklyn, New York City
  • Dec 28 Lonnie Liston Smith, American jazz piano and keyboard player (Cosmic Echoes; Magic Lady), born in Richmond, Virginia,
  • Dec 28 Neon Park [Martin Muller], American illustrator of album covers (Little Feat; Frank Zappa), born in Berkeley, California (d. 1993)
  • Dec 29 Brigitte Kronauer, German author (The Scheik of Aachen), born in Essen, Germany
  • Dec 29 Peter Koelewijn, Dutch rock musician and songwriter ("Get Off That Roof"), born in Eindhoven, Netherlands
  • Dec 30 Fred Hansen, American pole vaulter (Olympic gold 1964), born in Cuero, Texas
  • Dec 30 James Burrows, AmericanTV producer and director (The Mary Tyler Moore Show; Cheers), born in Los Angeles, California
  • Dec 30 Jerry Granelli, American-Canadian jazz drummer (Vince Guaraldi Trio; Mose Allison), born in San Francisco, California (d. 2021)
  • Dec 31 Tim Considine, American actor (Spin & Marty; My Three Sons, 1960-65 - "Mike"), and photographer, born in Los Angeles, California (d. 2022)
  • Dec 31 Oleg Anatolyevich Yakovlev, Russian cosmonaut, born in Leningrad
  • Dec 31 Mani Neumeier, German musician (Guru Guru), born in Munich, Germany
  • Dec 31 Bobby Notkoff, American rock and blues violinist (Crazy Horse; The Rockets), born in New York City (d. 2018) [1]

Famous Weddings

Albert Camus

Dec 3 Nobel Prize winning author Albert Camus (27) weds pianist and mathematician Francine Faure (25) in Lyon, France

Wedding of Interest

Dec 7 Mexican painters Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo remarry in San Francisco (divorced 1939)

Bette Davis

Dec 31 Actress Bette Davis (32) weds New England innkeeper Arthur Farnsworth at 15,000-acre ranch in Lake Montezuma, Arizona


Famous Deaths

  • Dec 5 Jan Kubelik, Czech composer, dies at 60
  • Dec 5 Mordechai Frizis, Jewish Greek military officer (b. 1893)
  • Dec 5 Wilfred Lucas, Canadian actor (Pardon Us, Chump at Oxford), dies at 69
  • Dec 6 Charlie Hime, cricketer (one Test for South Africa 1895), dies
  • Dec 8 George Exton Lloyd, Anglican Bishop and theologian (b. 1861)
  • Dec 9 Maletti, Italian general, dies in battle
  • Dec 13 Dusty Tapscott, cricket (bro of Doodles, 4&1 in only S Af Test), dies
  • Dec 13 George Macaulay, cricketer (took 24 wkts in 8 Tests, Eng 22-33), dies
  • Dec 13 Jacques-Arsène d'Arsonval, French physicist and inventor of the moving-coil D'Arsonval galvanometer, dies at 89
  • Dec 13 George Regas, Greek actor (The Mark of Zorro), dies at 50
  • Dec 16 M Eugene F T Dubois, geologist/paleontologist (Wadjakmens), dies
  • Dec 16 William Wallace, Scottish composer, dies at 80
  • Dec 16 Billy Hamilton "Sliding Billy", American baseball player (Philadelphia Phillies), dies at 74
  • Dec 17 Alicia Boole Stott, Irish mathematician, dies at 80
  • Dec 21 Hal Kemp, American jazz alto saxophonist, clarinetist, arranger and sweet jazz bandleader, dies as a result of a car accident at 36
  • Dec 22 Nathanael West [Weinstein], American writer (Cool Million), dies at 37
  • Dec 25 Agnes Ayres [Hinkle], American actress (Sheik, Souls at Sea), dies at 42