What Happened in December 1949

Historical Events

  • Dec 1 MLB announces attendance for the season is 20.2 million, down from 20.9 in 1948; New York Yankees and the Cleveland Indians each finish with over 2.2 million, but the St. Louis Browns fall to 270,000
  • Dec 1 WBNG TV channel 12 in Binghamton, NY (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • Dec 1 WKTV TV channel 2 in Utica, NY (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • Dec 3 14th Iron Bowl: Auburn beats Alabama 14-13 in Birmingham
  • Dec 3 KRLD (now KDFW) TV channel 4 in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • Dec 4 Bob Gage ties NFL record of a 97 yard touchdown run
  • Dec 4 Duncan Stewart, 2nd British Governor of Sarawak is fatally stabbed in the streets of Sibu by Malay student Rosli Dhoby with help from Morshidi Sidek with the goal of helping neighbouring Indonesia to take over British Sarawak
  • Dec 7 15th Heisman Trophy Award: Leon Hart (end), Notre Dame

Film Premiere

Dec 8 "On the Town", the film adaptation of the Broadway musical, starring Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Ann Miller and Vera-Ellen, premieres

  • Dec 8 Chinese Nationalist government moves from Chinese mainland to Formosa
  • Dec 8 Jule Styne's "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" opens at Ziegfeld Theater NYC for 740 performances
  • Dec 9 Dutch 2nd Chamber accepts Indonesian sovereignty
  • Dec 9 NFL merges with AAFC; Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers & Baltimore Colts join league intact, other teams in New York and Los Angeles are merged with existing units
  • Dec 11 Chicago Bear Johnny Lujack passes for 6 touchdowns vs Chicago Cards (52-29)
  • Dec 11 Cleveland Browns beat SF '49ers 21-7 in final AAFC championship game
  • Dec 11 WOAI (now KMOL) TV channel 4 in San Antonio, TX (NBC) 1st broadcast
  • Dec 12 AL votes 7-1 rejecting legalizing the spitball
  • Dec 13 AL votes down proposal to revive spitball
  • Dec 13 Knesset votes to transfer Israel's capital to Jerusalem

Theater Premiere

Dec 15 Albert Camus' play "The Just Assassins (Les Justes)" premieres in Paris

  • Dec 16 Svenska Aeroplan Aktiebolaget, later knows as SAAB, is founded in Sweden.
  • Dec 17 "Regina" closes at 46th St Theater NYC after 86 performances
  • Dec 17 Burma recognizes People's Republic of China
  • Dec 18 National Football League Championship, Philadelphia Eagles beat Los Angeles Rams, 14-0; played in driving rain that caused field to become a mud pit
  • Dec 19 Luxury passenger ship Aquitania demolished in Gareloch, Scotland
  • Dec 19 WJW TV channel 8 in Cleveland, Ohio (CBS) begins broadcasting

Music History

Dec 20 Maurice Ravel and John Cranko's ballet "Beauty And The Beast" premieres

Film Premiere

Dec 21 "Samson and Delilah", directed and produced by Cecil B. DeMille, starring Hedy Lamarr and Victor Mature, premieres in New York

  • Dec 21 Dutch 1st Chamber accept sovereignty of Indonesia
  • Dec 27 Queen Juliana of the Netherlands grants independence to Indonesia
  • Dec 28 20th Century Fox announces it will produce TV programs
  • Dec 29 1st UHF television station operating regular basis Bridgeport, Connecticut
  • Dec 29 Hungary nationalized its industries
  • Dec 30 India recognizes People's Republic of China
  • Dec 31 18 countries recognize Republic Indonesia

Famous Birthdays

Pablo Escobar

Dec 1 Pablo Escobar, Colombian drug lord, born in Rionegro, Colombia (d. 1993)

  • Dec 1 Sebastián Piñera, Chilean businessman and politician, President of Chile (2010-14, 2018-), born in Santiago, Chile
  • Dec 2 Ron Raines, American actor (Alan Spaulding-Guiding Light), born in Texas City, Texas
  • Dec 3 Christopher John Seward, aid worker
  • Dec 3 Heather Menzies-Urich, Canadian actress (The Sound of Music; Piranha), born in Toronto, Ontario (d. 2017)
  • Dec 3 John Akii-bua, Ugandan athlete (Olympic gold 400m hurdles 1972), born in Abako, Uganda (d. 1997)
  • Dec 3 Mickey Thomas, American rock vocalist (Jefferson Starship - "Jane"; Starship -"Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now"), born in Cairo, Georgia

Jeff Bridges

Dec 4 Jeff Bridges, American actor (Stay Hungry, Against All Odds), born in Los Angeles, California

  • Dec 4 Pamela Stephenson, New Zealand-born Australian actress (Superman 3, Sat Night Live), born in Takapuna, Auckland
  • Dec 5 Bruce E Melnick, American Cmdr USCG/astronaut (STS 41, STS 49), born in NYC, New York
  • Dec 5 Enrico Pieranunzi, Italian classically trained jazz pianist, and composer, born in Rome, Italy
  • Dec 5 Lanny Wadkins, American golfer (PGA C'ship 1977), born in Richmond, Virginia
  • Dec 5 Lewis Arlt, American actor (Littlest Victims, Ken-Another World), born in Kingston, New York
  • Dec 5 Ray Comfort, New Zealand evangelist, born in Christchurch, New Zealand
  • Dec 6 Doug Marlette, American editorial cartoonist (Kudzu), born in Greensboro, North Carolina (d. 2007)
  • Dec 6 Linda Creed, American singer and songwriter ("The Greatest Love Of All"; "You Make Me Feel Brand New"), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 1986)
  • Dec 6 Peter Willey, English cricketer (England batsman late 70's early 80's), born in Sedgefield, County Durham, England
  • Dec 7 Tom Waits, American singer-songwriter and piano player (Small Change; Blue Valentine; "Jersey Girl"), and actor (Ironweed; Down By Law), born in Pomona, California
  • Dec 8 Mary Gordon, American author
  • Dec 8 Ray Shulman, British musician, born in Portsmouth
  • Dec 8 Robert Sternberg, Proposed the Triarchic Theory of Intelligence
  • Dec 9 Nando Parrado, Uruguayan survivor of Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 (crashed in the Andes mountains on 13 October 1972), born in Montevideo, Uruguay

Tom Kite

Dec 9 Tom Kite, American golfer (US Open 1992; 19 PGA Tour titles, The Tradition 2000), born in McKinney, Texas

  • Dec 10 Ismail "Pops" Mohamed, South African jazz multi-instrumentalist and producer, born in Benoni, Gauteng, South Africa
  • Dec 11 Noel Campbell, Irish soccer midfielder (11 caps; St Patrick's Athletic FC, SC Fortuna Köln, Shamrock Rovers FC), born in Dublin, Ireland (d. 2022)
  • Dec 12 Bill Nighy, English actor (The Men's Room, Gideon's Daughter), born in Caterham, Surrey, England
  • Dec 12 Ricardo Luis Carreras, American bantamweight boxer (Olympic bronze 1972), born in NYC, New York
  • Dec 13 Mark Elf, American Jazz guitarist (Trickynometry), and educator, born in Queens, New York City
  • Dec 13 Nana Alexandria, Georgian International Woman's Chess Grandmaster (1976), born in Poti, Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic, Soviet Union
  • Dec 13 Paula Wilcox, English actress (Man About the House), born in Manchester, Lancashire, England
  • Dec 13 R. A. MacAvoy, American sci-fi author (Damiano's Lute, Raphael), born in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Dec 13 Randy Owen, American country music star (Alabama - "Mountain Music"), born in Fort Payne, Alabama
  • Dec 13 Robert Lindsey, English actor (My Family, Citizen Smith), born in Ilkeston, England
  • Dec 13 Tom Verlaine, American rock vocalist (Television), born in Denville, New Jersey
  • Dec 14 Bill Buckner, American MLB 1st baseman (1986 World Series infamous fielding error; NL batting champ 1980), born in Vallejo, California (d. 2019)
  • Dec 14 Cliff Williams, English rock bassist (AC/DC), born in Romford, Essex, England
  • Dec 15 Don Johnson, American actor (Miami Vice - "Sonny Crockett"; Nash Bridges), and pop singer ("Heartbeat"), born in Flatt Creek, Missouri
  • Dec 15 Ton Sijbrands, Dutch world checkers champion, born in Amsterdam
  • Dec 16 Billy Gibbons, American blues-rock guitarist (Moving Sidewalks; ZZ Top - "Cheap Sunglasses"; "Legs"), born in Houston, Texas
  • Dec 16 Sugar Blue [Jimmie Whiting], American touring and session blues harmonica player (Louisiana Red; Rolling Stones), born in Harlem, New York City
  • Dec 17 Paul Rodgers, English-Canadian rock singer and musician (Bad Company - "Feel Like Makin' Love", "Rock and Roll Fantasy"; The Firm; + Queen), born in Middlesbrough, England
  • Dec 17 Sotiris Kaiafas, Cypriot footballer
  • Dec 18 Joni Flynn, Indian actress (Octopussy, Monty Python and the Holy Grail), born in Assam, India
  • Dec 19 Claudia A Kolb, American 200m breast stroke swimmer (Olympic silver 1964)
  • Dec 19 Lenny White, American jazz-fusion drummer (Return to Forever), born in Queens, New York City
  • Dec 19 Nancy Kyes, American actress
  • Dec 19 Sebastian [Knud Torben Christensen], Danish musician and composer, born in Sønderborg, Denmark
  • Dec 20 Cecil Cooper, American baseball player, born in Brenham, Texas
  • Dec 20 Claudia Jennings [Mary Ellen Chestrerton], American actress and Playboy playmate (Nov 1969, Playmate of the year 1970), born in Saint Paul, Minnesota (d. 1979)
  • Dec 20 Soumaïla Cissé, Malian politician, born in Timbuktu, Mali
  • Dec 21 Nikolaos Sifounakis, Greek politician, born in Rethymno, Greece
  • Dec 21 Thomas Sankara, Burkinabé revolutionary and politician, President of Burkina Faso (1983-87), born in Yako, Upper Volta (d. 1987)

Maurice Gibb

Dec 22 Maurice Gibb, English rock-pop-disco singer-songwriter and bassist (Bee Gees - Saturday Night Fever), born in Douglas, Isle of Man (d. 2003)

  • Dec 22 Michael Osborne, American rock guitarist and vocalist (Axe), born in Florida (d. 1984)

Robin Gibb

Dec 22 Robin Gibb, English rock-pop-disco singer-songwriter and producer (Bee Gees - Saturday Night Fever), born in Douglas, Isle of Man (d. 2012)

  • Dec 23 Luther Grosvenor, English rock musician (Spooky Tooth), born in Evesham, United Kingdom
  • Dec 23 Wally Edwards, Australian cricketer (three Tests Australia v England 1974), born in Subiaco, Australia
  • Dec 23 [Steven] Adrian Belew, American new wave and progressive rock singer and guitarist (Frank Zappa; David Bowie; King Crimson, 1981-2009; The Bears), born in Covington, Kentucky
  • Dec 24 Randy Neugebauer, American politician, born in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Dec 24 Ray Colcord III, American film & television composer, born in NYC, New York (d. 2016)
  • Dec 24 Warwick Brown, Australian racing driver, born in Sydney, Australia
  • Dec 25 Joe Louis Walker, American electric blues guitarist, singer, songwriter, born in San Francisco, California
  • Dec 25 Mustafa Cengiz, Turkish businessman and sports administrator (president Galatasaray S.K. 2018-21), born in Nizip, Turkey (d. 2021)

Nawaz Sharif

Dec 25 Nawaz Sharif, Pakistani politician, Prime Minister (1990-93, 1997-99, 2013-17), born in Lahore, Pakistan

  • Dec 25 Serhiy Novikov, Russian judoka (Olympic gold heavyweight 1976), born in Moscow, Russia (d. 2021)
  • Dec 25 Simone [Bittencourt de Oliveira], Brazilian pop-samba singer born in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil

Sissy Spacek

Dec 25 Sissy Spacek, American Actress (Carrie, Badlands, Coal Miner's Daughter), born in Quitman, Texas

  • Dec 26 George Winston, American pop-instrumental pianist and composer (Autumn; December; Winter Into Spring), born in Hart, Michigan
  • Dec 26 Ira Newborn, American orchestra leader (Manhattan Transfer), born in NYC, New York
  • Dec 26 José Ramos-Horta, President of East Timor, Nobel laureate
  • Dec 28 Gheorghe Berceanu, Romanian Greco-Roman wrestler (Olympic gold light-flyweight 1972, silver 1976; World C'ship gold 1969, 72), born in Cârna, Romania (d. 2022)
  • Dec 29 Syed Kirmani, Indian cricketer (Indian keeper after Engineer), born in Chennai, India
  • Dec 30 Bruce Davidson, equestrian 3-day (Olympic silver 1996)
  • Dec 30 Bruce Fairbairn, Canadian musician and record producer (Loverboy; Bon Jovi; Aerosmith), born in Vancouver, British Columbia (d. 1999)
  • Dec 30 Jim Flaherty, Canadian politician, Minister of Finance (2006-2014), born in Lachine, Quebec (d. 2014)
  • Dec 31 Ellen Datlow, American editor, born in NYC, New York
  • Dec 31 Sara K. [Wooldridge], American musician (Gypsy Alley), born in Dallas, Texas
  • Dec 31 Susan Shwartz, American author, born in Youngstown, Ohio

Famous Weddings

Clark Gable

Dec 20 "Gone With The Wind" actor Clark Gable (48) weds socialite Sylvia Ashley (45)

Cary Grant

Dec 25 British actor Cary Grant (45) weds actress Betsy Drake (26)


Famous Deaths

  • Dec 3 Elin Pelin, Bulgarian writer (The Gerak Family; Earth), dies at 72
  • Dec 3 Maria Ouspenskaya, Russian stage and film actress (The Wolf Man; King's Row), and teacher (School of Dramatic Art - New York), dies following a house fire at 73

Lead Belly

Dec 6 Lead Belly [Huddie William Ledbetter], American blues 12 string guitarist (Rock Island Line), dies of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis at 64

  • Dec 10 Duncan Stewart, 2nd British Governor of Sarawak (1949), dies at 45 after being fatally stabbed in the streets of Sibu by pro-Indonesian Malay student Rosli Dhoby
  • Dec 16 Sidney Olcott, Canadian film director (Ben Hur), dies at 76
  • Dec 16 Traitsjo Kostov, Bulgarian communist vice-premier, executed by the state at 52
  • Dec 17 David Stanley Smith, American composer (Merrymount), dies at 72
  • Dec 28 Hervey Allen, American writer and poet (Anthony Adverse), dies at 60
  • Dec 28 Ivie Anderson, American swing jazz singer (Duke Ellington Orchestra, 1931-42), dies of complications from chronic asthma at 45 [1]
  • Dec 28 Jack Lovelock, New Zealand athlete (Olympic gold 1,500m 1936), dies in rail accident at 39