On This Day

What Happened in December 1944

Historical Events


Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 1 Béla Bartòk's Concerto for orchestra, premieres

Composer and Pianist Béla Bartok
Composer and Pianist
Béla Bartok
  • Dec 1 Mail routing resumes in free South Netherlands
  • Dec 1 Prokofjev's 8th Piano sonata, premieres
  • Dec 2 10th Heisman Trophy Award: Les Horvath, Ohio State (QB)
  • Dec 2 General De Gaulle arrives in Moscow
  • Dec 2 German troops seize Betuwse dikes
  • Dec 2 US 95th Infantry division occupies bridge at Saar
  • Dec 3 British order to disarm causes general strike in Greece
  • Dec 3 Hungarian death march of Jews ends
  • Dec 3 Mussert puts Seyss-Inquart plan for small Nazi-Europe
  • Dec 3 Temporary merger of 2 NFL teams, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Chicago Cardinals, dissolves at finish of season; WWII ends before start of 1945 season, so both teams resume normal operations
  • Dec 3 US 5th Armoured division occupies Brandenburg Hurtgenwald
  • Dec 3 The Greek Civil War breaks out in a newly-liberated Greece, between communists and royalists
  • Dec 3 Britain's Home Guard ('Dad's Army') is officially stood down at a special farewell parade in Hyde Park, London.
  • Dec 4 Germans destroy Rhine dikes, Betuwe flooded
  • Dec 5 German troops steal all the silver coin in Utrecht

  • Dec 6 US 95th Infantry division reaches Westwall
  • Dec 7 Convention on International Civil Aviation drawn up in Chicago
  • Dec 7 General Radescu forms Romanian government
  • Dec 10 9 Dutch citizens hanged by nazis
  • Dec 10 German counter attack at Dillingen bridgehead on the Saar
  • Dec 11 Surprise attack on House of Keeping Axe, 29 prisoners freed
  • Dec 13 Japanese kamikaze crashes into US cruiser Nashville, kills 138
  • Dec 13 Norman Krasna's "Dear Ruth" premieres in NYC
  • Dec 14 Beginning of Liese-Aktion: Germany tries to recruit Dutch men for the Germany labor force
  • Dec 14 US Congress establishes rank of General of Army (5-star General)
  • Dec 14 German occupiers forbid use of electricity in parts of Holland

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 15 Bandleader, Major Glenn Miller, lost over English Channel

Big Band Leader and Jazz Composer Glenn Miller
Big Band Leader and Jazz Composer
Glenn Miller
Long Distance Swimmer Matthew Webb
Long Distance Swimmer
Matthew Webb

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 15 Bandleader, Major Glenn Miller, lost over English Channel

Long Distance Swimmer Matthew Webb
Long Distance Swimmer
Matthew Webb
Big Band Leader and Jazz Composer Glenn Miller
Big Band Leader and Jazz Composer
Glenn Miller
  • Dec 15 Hizbu'allah (Arm forces for Allah) forms

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 15 US Congress gives General Eisenhower his 5th star

34th US President & WWII General Dwight D. Eisenhower
34th US President & WWII General
Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • Dec 15 US troops land on Mindoro
  • Dec 16 Nazi Germany launches a counteroffensive against the Allies in the Ardennes region of Belgium, beginning the 'Battle of the Bulge'
  • Dec 16 German V-2 strikes Antwerp bioscope (638 kill)
  • Dec 16 US 2nd Infantry division occupies "Heartbreak Crossroads" Wahlerscheid

Sport awardNFL Championship

Dec 17 National Football League Championship, Polo Grounds, NYC: Green Bay Packers beat New York Giants, 14-7 for 6th and final league title under long-time coach Curly Lambeau

NFL Head Coach Curly Lambeau
NFL Head Coach
Curly Lambeau
American Football Player Mel Hein
American Football Player
Mel Hein

  • Dec 17 San Francisco M-Ocean View streetcar resumes service & is extended to Market St
  • Dec 17 US Army announces end of excluding Japanese-Americans from West Coast, detainees released
  • Dec 17 US destroyers sink in storm off Philippines, 790 killed
  • Dec 18 US Destroyers Hull, Spence & Monaghan sink in typhoon (Philippines)
  • Dec 18 Nazi occupiers of Amsterdam destroy electricity plants
  • Dec 20 Archbishop De Young & bishop Huibers condemn black market
  • Dec 20 Battle of Bastogne: Nazis surround 101st Airborne (NUTS!)
  • Dec 20 Bishop forbids membership of non Catholic unions
  • Dec 20 Terence Rattigan's "O Mistress Mine" premieres in London
  • Dec 21 Cards' Marty Marion wins NL MVP
  • Dec 22 Germans demand surrender of American troops at Bastogne, Belgium
  • Dec 22 Sub Swordfish departs Pearl Harbor for Japan
  • Dec 23 Beginning of 'the harsh winter', contributes to the famine that develops in the Netherlands

Victory in battleVictory in Battle

Dec 26 Battle of Bastogne: US General Patton's 3rd Army repulses Germans

US WWII General George S. Patton
US WWII General
George S. Patton
  • Dec 26 Budapest surrounded by Soviet army

Music releaseTheater Premiere

Dec 26 Tennessee Williams' play "Glass Menagerie" premieres in Chicago

Playwright Tennessee Williams
Playwright
Tennessee Williams
  • Dec 27 Greece: British premier Winston Churchill flies back to London
  • Dec 28 Eisenhower & Montgomery meet in Hasselt, Belgium
  • Dec 28 Former Wash 3rd baseman Buddy Lewis wins Distinguished Flying Cross
  • Dec 28 Leonard Bernstein's musical "On the Town" premieres in NYC

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 28 Montreal right wing Maurice 'Rocket' Richard becomes first player in NHL history to score 8 points in one game with 5 goals and 3 assists in the Canadiens' 9-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings

Ice Hockey Player Maurice Richard
Ice Hockey Player
Maurice Richard
  • Dec 29 Belgian Nazi Leon Degrelle sentenced to death
  • Dec 29 General Eisenhower's train returns to Versailles
  • Dec 30 King George II of Greece, abdicates his throne, appointing Archbishop Damaskinos of Athens as Regent in 1945
  • Dec 31 48 people die in a train accident in Ogden, Utah
  • Dec 31 Japanese army evacuates harbor city Akyab
  • Dec 31 World War II: Hungary declares war on Germany.

Famous Birthdays

  • Dec 1 Pierre Arditi, French film and stage actor
  • Dec 1 Eric Bloom, American rock vocalist/guitarist (Blue Öyster Cult)
  • Dec 1 Tahar Ben Jelloun, French writer of Moroccan origin
  • Dec 1 Daniel Pennac, French writer, born in Morocco
  • Dec 1 Michael W. Hagee, 33rd Commandant of the United States Marine Corps
  • Dec 2 Cathy Lee Crosby, American actress (Coach, That's Incredible), born in Los Angeles, California
  • Dec 2 Roger Omond, journalist
  • Dec 2 Ibrahim Rugova, Kosovar nationalist writer and President of Kosovo (1992-2006), born in Crnce, Democratic Federal Yugoslavia (now Kosovo) (d. 2006)
  • Dec 2 Botho Strauß, German author, born in Naumburg, Germany
  • Dec 3 António Variações [António Joaquim Rodrigues Ribeiro], Portuguese singer-songwriter (Dar & Receber), born in Braga, Portugal (d. 1984)
  • Dec 4 Chris Hillman, American singer (The Byrds - Turn Turn Turn), born in San Diego, California
  • Dec 4 Dennis Wilson, American drummer and vocalist (Beach Boys), born in Hawthorne, California (d. 1983)
  • Dec 4 François Migault, French auto racer (24 Hours of Le Mans 1976 runner-up; 16 F1 GP), born in Le Mans, France (d. 2012)
  • Dec 4 Anna McGarrigle, Canadian folk music singer-songwriter, born in Montreal, Quebec
  • Dec 5 Jeroen Krabbé, Dutch actor (The Fugitive), born in Amsterdam
  • Dec 6 Jonathan King, English singer and songwriter ("Everyone's Gone To The Moon") and record producer, born in London
  • Dec 6 David "Fritz" Fryer, British pop guitarist and songwriter (The Four Pennies -"Juliet"), born in Oldham, Lancashire (d. 2007)
  • Dec 7 Jamiel Chagra, American drug trafficker, born in El Paso, Texas (d. 2008)
  • Dec 7 Daniel Chorzempa, American organist, born in Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Dec 8 George Baker [Johannes Bouwens], Dutch singer and songwriter (Paloma Blanca, Little Green Bag), born in Hoorn, Netherlands
  • Dec 9 Ki Longfellow, American novelist (The Secret Magdalene), born in Staten Island, New York
  • Dec 9 Bob O'Connor, American politician (58th Mayor of Pittsburgh), born in Greenfield Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (d. 2006)
  • Dec 9 Guy Darrell [John Swail], British singer (I've Been Hurt), born in Kent, England
  • Dec 10 Tisha Sterling, American actress (Coogan's Bluff), born in Hollywood, California
  • Dec 11 Brenda Lee, American singer (I'm Sorry), born in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Dec 11 David Ashley White, American composer and educator, born in San Antonio, Texas
  • Dec 11 Lynda Day George, American actress (Casey-Mission Impossible), born in San Marcos, Texas
  • Dec 11 Teri Garr, American actress (Mr. Mom, Young Frankenstein), born in Lakewood, Ohio (or 1947)
  • Dec 11 Jon Garrison, American tenor, born in Higginsville, Missouri
  • Dec 12 Kenneth Cranham, Scottish actor (Hellbound: Hellraiser II), born in Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland
  • Dec 12 Jean Doré, Canadian politician (39th Mayor of Montreal), born in Montreal, Quebec (d. 2015)
  • Dec 12 Rob Tyner [Robert Derminer], American hard rock singer (MC5 - Kick Out The Jams), born in Detroit, Michigan (d. 1991)
  • Dec 13 Dick Dees, Dutch politician, born in Oostburg, Netherlands
  • Dec 15 Stan Bahnsen, American baseball pitcher (NY Yankee, 1968 AL Rookie-of-year), born in Council Bluffs, Iowa

Person of interestChico Mendes

Dec 15 Chico Mendes, Brazilian environmental activist and rubber tapper, born in Xapuri, Brazil (d. 1988)

Environmentalist Chico Mendes
Environmentalist
Chico Mendes
  • Dec 16 John Abercrombie, American jazz guitarist, born in Portchester, New York (d. 2017)
  • Dec 16 Yosemite Sam, Warner Bros. cartoon character created by Friz Freleng, (Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series), first debuts in "Stage Door Cartoon"
  • Dec 17 Bernard Hill, English actor (Yosser Hughes-Boys from the Blackstuff, King Théoden-The Lord of the Rings), born in Manchester, England
  • Dec 17 Ference Bene, Hungarian record 12 soccer goals (Olympic gold 1964)
  • Dec 17 Jack L[aurence] Chalker, American sci-fi author (Saga of Well World)
  • Dec 18 Deke [Roger] Leonard, Welsh rock musician (Man), born in Llanelli (d. 2017)
  • Dec 19 Richard Leakey, Kenyan paleoanthropologist, conservationist and politician, born in Nairobi, Kenya
  • Dec 19 Alvin Lee, British rock vocalist and guitarist (10 Years After), born in Nottingham, England (d. 2013)
  • Dec 19 Tim Reid, Norfolk VA, American actor and comedian (Venus Flytrap-WKRP, Frank's Place)
  • Dec 19 Zal Yanovsky, Canadian rock guitarist (Lovin' Spoonful - "Do You Believe in Magic?"), born in Toronto, Ontario (d. 2002)
  • Dec 19 William Christie, American-born director of Les Arts Florissants
  • Dec 19 Mitchell Feigenbaum, American mathematical physicist
  • Dec 19 Steve Tyrell [Stephen Bilao III], American jazz and standards singer and record producer, born in Palo Pinto, Texas
  • Dec 20 Gernot Wolfgruber, Austrian writer, born in Gmünd, Lower Austria
  • Dec 20 Robert "Bobby" Colomby, American rock drummer (Blood Sweat & Tears - "Spinning Wheel"), born in NYC, New York
  • Dec 20 Jean Fergusson, English actress, born in Wakefield, United Kingdom
  • Dec 21 Jared Martin, American actor (Varian-Fantastic Voyage, Dusty-Dallas), born in NYC, New York
  • Dec 21 Michael Tilson Thomas, American conductor (San Francisco Symphony, 1995-2020), and composer (Shówa/Shoáh), born in Los Angeles, California
  • Dec 21 Hwang Jang Lee, Korean martial artist and film actor, born in Aomori, Japan
  • Dec 21 Zheng Xiaoyu, Chinese bureaucrat, born in Fuzhou, China (d. 2007)
  • Dec 22 Colin "Barry" Jenkins , English rock drummer (Animals - "House of the Rising Sun"), born in Leicester, United Kingdom

Person of interestSteve Carlton

Dec 22 Steve Carlton, American baseball pitcher (Cy Young '72, '77, '80, '82), born in Miami, Florida

Baseball Pitcher Steve Carlton
Baseball Pitcher
Steve Carlton
  • Dec 23 Wesley Clark, American military officer, born in Chicago, Illinois
  • Dec 24 Erhard Keller, German speed skater (Olympic gold 1968, 72 500m), born in Günzburg, Germany
  • Dec 24 Mike Curb, American singer (Mike Curb Congregation), born in Savannah, Georgia
  • Dec 24 Oswald Gracias, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Bombay, born in Bombay Presidency
  • Dec 24 Barry Chuckle [Barry Patton Elliott], British entertainer, writer and actor (ChuckleVision, The Freddie Starr Showcase), born in Rotherham, England
  • Dec 25 Henry Vestine, American guitarist (Canned Heat), born in Takoma Park, Maryland (d. 1997)
  • Dec 25 Kenny Everett [Maurice James Christopher Cole], British DJ and TV personality (Kenny Everett Show), born in Seaforth, Lancashire, England (d. 1995)
  • Dec 25 Jairzinho, Brazilian footballer
  • Dec 25 Emory Gordy Jr., American musician & music producer, born in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Dec 25 Sam Strahan, New Zealand rugby union lock (17 caps; Manawatū), born in Palmerston North, New Zealand (d. 2019)
  • Dec 26 Jane Lapotaire, British actress (Spirit of the Dead), born in Ipswich, Suffolk, England
  • Dec 27 Mick Jones, English rock guitarist (Foreigner - "I Want to Know What Love Is"), born in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England
  • Dec 27 Tracy Nelson, American blues rock singer (Mother Earth), born in Madison, Wisconsin
  • Dec 28 Johnny Isakson, American politician
  • Dec 28 Kary Mullis, American chemist, Nobel laureate
  • Dec 29 Rodney Redmond, NZ cricketer (opener scored century in Test v Pak 1973), born in Whangarei, New Zealand
  • Dec 30 William J. Fallon, U.S. Navy Admiral, former U.S. Central Command commander
  • Dec 31 Taylor Hackford, American director (Devil's Advocate, Ray), born in Santa Barbara, California

Famous Weddings


LoveWedding of Interest

Dec 15 Country music star Hank Williams (21) weds Audrey Sheppard. It was her second marriage and his first.

Country Music Singer and Songwriter Hank Williams
Country Music Singer and Songwriter
Hank Williams
  • Dec 16 General Dwight D. Eisenhower's clerk Rickey marries corporal Pearlie

Famous Deaths

  • Dec 2 Filippo T Marinetti, Italian writer (father of futurism), dies at 67
  • Dec 2 JW Ummels, Dutch resistance fighter (House of Saxon-Nazi), dies
  • Dec 2 Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, Italian-French prose writer, novelist, poet, and dramatist (Futurism e Futurista), dies of cardiac arrest at 67
  • Dec 2 Eiji Sawamura, Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher (first no-hitter in Japanese pro baseball 1936), dies in battle when his ship torpedoed, at 27
  • Dec 3 Delfien Vanhaute, Flemish pastor/poet (Ark of Noah), dies at 75
  • Dec 4 Roger Bresnahan, American Baseball Hall of Fame catcher, outfielder and manager (St. Louis Cardinals; first shin guards and batting helmet), dies at 65
  • Dec 9 Laird Cregar, actor (Charley's Aunt, Hangover Square), dies at 28
  • Dec 10 John Brunt, English soldier and Victoria Cross holder, dies at 22
  • Dec 13 Lupe Velez, actress (Joe Palooka), overdoses on seconal at 34
  • Dec 13 Wassily Kandinsky, Russian-French abstract painter (Dreamy Inspiration), dies at 78

Person of interestGlenn Miller

Dec 15 Glenn Miller, American bandleader and jazz composer (Glenn Miller Orchestra-In the Mood), dies in a suspected plane crash at 40

Big Band Leader and Jazz Composer Glenn Miller
Big Band Leader and Jazz Composer
Glenn Miller
  • Dec 16 Don Meyer Basketball coach Northern State, Lipscomb, and Hamline
  • Dec 16 Elisabeth ten Boom dies at 59
  • Dec 17 Pieter A. Roodenburgh, student and resistance fighter, dies at 26
  • Dec 19 Rudolph Karstadt, German entrepreneur (b. 1856)
  • Dec 20 Abbas Hilmi II, viceroy of Egypt (1892-1914), dies at 70
  • Dec 22 Antoine Mariotte, French composer, dies on 69th birthday
  • Dec 22 Harry Langdon, American comedian (The Strong Man, Tramp, Tramp, Tramp), dies at 60
  • Dec 23 Charles Dana Gibson, American illustrator (Gibson Girl), dies at 77
  • Dec 24 Joseph Gustav Mraczek, composer, dies at 66
  • Dec 27 Amy Marcy Cheney Beach, American pianist and composer (Gaelic Symphony), dies at 77
  • Dec 28 Cornelia ten Boom is accidentally released from Ravensbruck
  • Dec 30 Romain Roland, French writer/pacifist (Nobel 1915), dies at 78