On This Day

What Happened in December 1942

Historical Events

  • Dec 1 Gasoline rationed in US
  • Dec 1 The Beveridge Report is published by the British government unveiling plans for a post-war welfare state
  • Dec 1 With WWII travel restrictions in mind, MLB owners decide to restrict travel to a 3-trip schedule rather than customary 4; Spring training in 1943 limited to locations north of Potomac or Ohio rivers and east of the Mississippi

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 2 World’s 1st self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction occurs in Chicago Pile-1 (world's 1st nuclear reactor) at the University of Chicago, overseen by Enrico Fermi

Father of the Atomic Bomb Enrico Fermi
Father of the Atomic Bomb
Enrico Fermi
Physicist and Inventor Leó Szilárd
Physicist and Inventor
Leó Szilárd
  • Dec 4 First US citizenship granted to an alien on foreign soil (James Hoey)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 4 FDR orders dismantling of Works Progress Administration

32nd US President Franklin D. Roosevelt
32nd US President
Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • Dec 4 US bombers strike Italian mainland for first time in WW II
  • Dec 4 Holocaust: In Warsaw, Zofia Kossak-Szczucka and Wanda Filipowicz set up the Żegota organization
  • Dec 5 CFL Grey Cup, Varsity Stadium, Toronto: Toronto RCAF Hurricanes beat Winnipeg RCAF Bombers, 8-5
  • Dec 5 Seyss-Inquart orders students in nazi-Germany to work
  • Dec 5 West Indies chocolate/coffee drop above Netherland
  • Dec 6 Queen Wilhelmina announces Dutch Commonwealth
  • Dec 6 RAF bombs Philips factory (150 die)
  • Dec 8 8th Heisman Trophy Award: Frank Sinkwich, Georgia (HB)

AppointmentAppointment of Interest

Dec 10 Adolf Hitler names Anton Mussert "leader of the Dutch people"

Dictator of Nazi Germany Adolf Hitler
Dictator of Nazi Germany
Adolf Hitler
  • Dec 10 North Africa: 5th German panzer army forms under col-gen von Arnim

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 10 An early report the Holocaust prepared by the Polish government-in-exile, using information obtained by Witold Pilecki, is addressed to UN member states

Polish Resistance Fighter Witold Pilecki
Polish Resistance Fighter
Witold Pilecki
  • Dec 11 Australian Dutch guerrilla troops evacuated to Timor near Australia
  • Dec 12 German offensive in South Western Stalingrad
  • Dec 12 A fire in a hostel in St. John's, Newfoundland, kills 100 people
  • Dec 13 Seyss-Inquart allows Dutch Nazi Anton Mussert to call himself Leader
  • Dec 13 National Football League Championship, Griffith Stadium, Washington, D.C.: Washington Redskins upset Chicago Bears, 14-6
  • Dec 15 Massachusetts issues 1st US vehicular license plate tabs
  • Dec 16 Hitler orders combat against partisans in Russia & Balkan
  • Dec 17 Allies in London sentence German war criminals
  • Dec 19 Robert Stroud "Birdman of Alcatraz" is transferred to Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary
  • Dec 20 1st Japanese bombing of Calcutta
  • Dec 21 US Supreme court declares Nevada separation legal
  • Dec 22 World War II: Adolf Hitler signs the order to develop the V-2 rocket as a weapon
  • Dec 23 Allies air attack on Den Helder
  • Dec 24 First powered flight of V-1 'buzz bomb', Peenemunde, Germany
  • Dec 24 Red army occupies German airports at Tasjinskaja & Morozowsk
  • Dec 25 Admiral Dalans murderer of Bosinier de la Chapelle, sentenced to death
  • Dec 25 British Colonel S W Bailey reaches Mihailovics headquarter
  • Dec 25 Soviet artillery and tank battle on German armies at Stalingrad
  • Dec 27 1st Japanese women camp (Ambarawa) goes into use
  • Dec 27 5th NFL All Star Game, Shribe Park, Philadelphia: NFL All-Stars beat Washington Redskins, 17-14
  • Dec 27 The Union of Pioneers of Yugoslavia is founded.
  • Dec 28 Oberkommando Wehrmacht orders strategist flight out of Kaukasus
  • Dec 28 Robert Sullivan becomes 1st pilot to fly Atlantic 100 times
  • Dec 31 Battle of the Barents Sea between British Navy and German Kriegsmarine off North Cape, Norway

Famous Birthdays

  • Dec 1 John Crowley, American sci-fi author (Deep, Beasts, Novelty)
  • Dec 1 Peter Kalikow, Queens real estate developer/publisher (NY Post), born in NYC, New York
  • Dec 2 Ted Bluechel, American rock vocalist and drummer (Association), born in San Pedro, California
  • Dec 3 Alice Schwarzer, German journalist
  • Dec 3 Mike Gibson, Irish rugby union centre (69 caps Ireland, 12 British & Irish Lions, 9 Barbarians), born in Belfast, Northern Ireland
  • Dec 3 Pedro Rocha, Uruguayan soccer midfielder and manager (52 caps; Peñarol, São Paulo F.C.), born in Salto, Uruguay (d. 2013)
  • Dec 4 Bob Mosley, American rock bassist (Moby Grape), born in Paradise Valley, California
  • Dec 4 Gemma Jones, English actress (Bridget Jones's Diary), born in Marylebone, London
  • Dec 5 Randy Kirby, American actor (Randy-Girl From UNCLE), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • Dec 6 Peter Handke, Austrian writer (A Sorrow Beyond Dreams), 2019 Nobel Prize for Literature, born in Griffen, Austria
  • Dec 7 Harry Chapin, American rock vocalist (Taxi, Cat's in the Cradle), born in New York City, New York
  • Dec 7 Jonathan D. Kramer, American composer (Notta Sonata), born in Hartford, Connecticut (d. 2004)
  • Dec 7 Alex [Alexander] Johnson, American professional baseball player, born in Helena, Arkansas (d. 2015)
  • Dec 8 Bobby Elliott, rock drummer (The Hollies), born in Burnley, Lancashire
  • Dec 8 Hemant Kanitkar, cricketer (batted in two Tests India v WI 1974)
  • Dec 8 Mario Savio, American political activist, born in NYC, New York (d. 1996)
  • Dec 9 Dick Butkus, American NFL hall of fame linebacker (Bears) and sportscaster, born in Chicago, Illinois
  • Dec 9 Joe McGinniss, American author (The Selling of the President 1968), born in Rye, New York (d. 2014)
  • Dec 9 Billy Bremner, Scottish footballer (Leeds United), born in Stirling, Scotland (d. 1997)
  • Dec 10 Beer Bossu [Berend Frederik Gertenbach], Dutch actor and vocalist (Pub Chantant), born in Amsterdam
  • Dec 10 Ralph Tavares, American musician (Tavares), born in Providence, Rhode Island
  • Dec 10 Peter Sarstedt, British musician (Where do you go to my lovely), born Delhi, India (d. 2017)
  • Dec 11 Karen Susman, American tennis player (Wimbledon 1962), born in San Diego, California
  • Dec 11 Derek Parfit, British philosopher who specialized in problems of personal identity, rationality and ethics, born in Chengdu, China (d. 2017)
  • Dec 13 Anna Eshoo, American politician (Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from California), born in New Britain, Connecticut
  • Dec 14 David Band, British banker (BZW) (d. 1996)
  • Dec 14 Rex Thompson, American actor (Young Bess, King & I, Her 12 Men), born in NYC, New York
  • Dec 14 Zoe Laskari, Greek actress, born in Thessaloniki, Greece (d. 2017)
  • Dec 14 Dick Wagner, American rock guitarist (the Frost), born in Oelwein, Iowa (d. 2014)
  • Dec 15 Dave Clark, English rock drummer (Dave Clark 5-Glad All Over), born in Tottenham, Middlesex, England
  • Dec 16 Donald Carcieri, American politician, governor of Rhode Island
  • Dec 17 Paul Butterfield, blues musician (Better Days), born in Chicago, Illinois

Person of interestMuhammadu Buhari

Dec 17 Muhammadu Buhari, Nigerian military leader and politician (President of Nigeria 2015-), born in Daura, Katsina State

President of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari
President of Nigeria
Muhammadu Buhari
  • Dec 18 William HAF, English prince/grandson of George V
  • Dec 18 Harvey Atkin, Canadian actor
  • Dec 19 Jean-Patrick Manchette, French thriller writer (3 to Kill, The Prone Gunman), born in Marseille, France (d. 1995)
  • Dec 19 Rufus [Jacques Narcy], French actor (Amélie), born in Riom, Puy-de-Dôme
  • Dec 19 "Mean" Gene Okerlund, American pro wrestling interviewer, announcer and television host (WWF, WCW), born in Brookings, South Dakota (d. 2019)
  • Dec 20 Bob Hayes, American athlete (2 x Olympic gold 100m, 4x100m relay 1964) and Pro Football Hall of Fame receiver (3-time Pro Bowl; Dallas Cowboys), born in Jacksonville, Florida (d. 2002)
  • Dec 21 Carla Thomas, American singer (Let Me Be Good to You)

Person of interestHu Jintao

Dec 21 Hu Jintao, General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (2002-12) and President of the People's Republic of China (2003-13), born in Taizhou, Jiangsu

Paramount Leader of China Hu Jintao
Paramount Leader of China
Hu Jintao
  • Dec 21 Reinhard Mey, German singer, born in Berlin, Germany
  • Dec 22 Dick Parry, English saxophonist (Pink Floyd, 'Money'), born in Kentford, Suffolk
  • Dec 23 Friedrich Schenker, composer, born in Zeulenroda, Germany (d. 2013)
  • Dec 23 Jerry Koosman, American pitcher (NY Mets), born in Appleton, Minnesota
  • Dec 25 Françoise Dürr, French tennis player (French C'ships 1967), born in Algiers, French Algeria
  • Dec 25 Mani Kaul, director (Idiot, Nazar, Dhrupad, Duvidha)
  • Dec 25 Barry Goldberg, American blues musician (The Rides), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • Dec 26 Barry Wood, cricketer (England opener in early 70's)
  • Dec 26 Earl Cate, Ark, American country singer and twin (Cate Bros - Fire on the Tracks)
  • Dec 26 Ernie Cate, Ark, American country singer and twin (Cate Bros - Fire on the Tracks)
  • Dec 26 Rob de Nijs, Dutch singer (Put a candle in your window)
  • Dec 26 Vinicio Cerezo, President of Guatemala (1986-91), born in Guatemala City
  • Dec 26 Gray Davis, former Governor of California
  • Dec 27 Mike Heron, rock musician, born in Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Dec 27 Byron Browne, baseball player
  • Dec 27 Charmian Carr, American actress (The Sound of Music), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 2016)
  • Dec 28 Paul Horowitz, American physicist, META project (Sloan Award 1971-3), born in NYC, New York
  • Dec 29 Rajesh Khanna, Indian Bollywood actor officially titled "The First Superstar of Indian cinema," born in Amritsar, Punjab Province (d. 2012)
  • Dec 30 Fred Ward, actor (Chain Reaction, Thunderheart, Equinox), born in San Diego, California
  • Dec 30 Michael Nesmith, American rock musician (The Monkees), born in Houston, Texas
  • Dec 30 Robert Quine, American guitarist, born in Akron, Ohio (d. 2004)
  • Dec 30 Vladimir Bukovsky, Russian author and dissident
  • Dec 30 Guy Edwards, English racing driver
  • Dec 30 Janko Prunk, Slovenian historian
  • Dec 31 Andy Summers, English rock guitarist (Police-Roxanne), born in Blackpool, Lancashire

Famous Divorces


Broken heartDivorce of Interest

Dec 15 Actress Mary Astor (36) divorces film editor Manuel del Campo (29) after more than 4 years of marriage

Actress Mary Astor
Actress
Mary Astor

Broken heartDivorce of Interest

Dec 28 Actress Janet Leigh (14) divorces childhood sweetheart John Kenneth Carlisle (18) 4 months after getting married

Actress Janet Leigh
Actress
Janet Leigh

Famous Deaths

  • Dec 3 Arthur Berson, German meteorologist (Balloon flights, Amazon), dies at 83
  • Dec 3 Wilhelm Peterson-Berger, Swedish composer and music critic, dies at 75

Person of interestAlbert Kahn

Dec 8 Albert Kahn, American architect known as the "architect of Detroit", dies at 73

Architect of Detroit Albert Kahn
Architect of Detroit
Albert Kahn
  • Dec 11 Franz C. Schmelkes, Czech-born Chemist who discovered azochloramid (chlorazodin), a disinfectant, dies of a heart attack at 43
  • Dec 13 Eleanor Everest Freer, American composer, dies at 78
  • Dec 13 Wlodimir Ledochowski, Polish-Austrian director of the Society of Jesus (b. 1866)
  • Dec 14 Eduard C "Edo" Fimmen, Dutch trade union leader, dies at 61
  • Dec 20 Jean Gilbert [Max Winterfeld], German composer, dies at 63
  • Dec 20 Dan Ahearn, Irish-American athlete (men's triple jump WR 15.52m 1911-24), dies at 54
  • Dec 21 Leendert Round, Dutch sculptor (Giraffen, Blijdorp), dies at 63
  • Dec 22 Franz Boas, German-American anthropologist and linguist (Mind of Primitive Man), dies 84
  • Dec 24 Friedrich Klose, composer, dies at 80

MurderFrançois Darlan

Dec 24 François Darlan, French Admiral of the Fleet during WWII and Vichy Prime Minister (1941-42), assassinated at 61 in his headquarters in French North Africa by resistance fighter Fernand Bonnier de La Chapelle

Admiral and Prime Minister of Vichy France François Darlan
Admiral and Prime Minister of Vichy France
François Darlan
  • Dec 24 K Balmont, writer, dies at 75
  • Dec 25 Vojislav Vuckovic, composer, dies at 32
  • Dec 26 Fernand Bonnier de La Chapelle, French resistance fighter and assassin of Admiral of the Fleet and Vichy Prime Minister François Darlan, executed by firing squad at 20
  • Dec 26 Chris 'Red' Cagle, College Football Hall of Fame halfback (All American 1927, 28, 29; Army; NFL: New York Giants, Brooklyn Dodgers), dies of a fractured skull from a fall at 37
  • Dec 28 Alfred Flatow, German gymnast (Olympic gold 1896), dies at 73
  • Dec 29 Frank Dawson Adams, Canadian geologist, dies at 83
  • Dec 30 Neville Henderson, British diplomat and Ambassador of the United Kingdom to Nazi Germany (1937-39), dies at 60