What Happened in December 1950

Historical Events

Historic Publication

Dec 2 "I Robot" collection of sci-fi short stories by Isaac Asimov published by Gnome Press in the US

  • Dec 2 15th Iron Bowl: Alabama beats Auburn 34-0 in Birmingham
  • Dec 2 South African world bantamweight boxing champion Vic Toweel sets a record for knockdowns in a title fight against Englishman Danny Sullivan in Johannesburg; Sullivan floored 14 times in 10 rounds before fight stopped
  • Dec 3 Cleveland Browns last NFL team with no-pass game (beat Philadelphia 13-7)

Radio Premiere

Dec 3 Paul Harvey begins his national radio broadcast

Boxing Title Fight

Dec 5 Ezzard Charles KOs Nick Barone in 11 for heavyweight boxing title

  • Dec 5 Sikkim becomes a protectorate of India

Catholic Encyclical

Dec 6 Pope Pius XII publishes encyclical Mirabile illud

Nobel Prize

Dec 10 Ralph Bunche (1st black American) presented the Nobel Peace Prize for mediation in Israel

  • Dec 11 Baseball owners vote 9-7 not to renew Commissioner Chandler's contract

Nobel Prize

Dec 11 British Physicist Cecil Frank Powell awarded Nobel Prize in Physics for his study of nuclear processes and the discovery of the pion

Music Premiere

Dec 11 Paul Hindemith's Concerto for Clarinet premieres with Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Eugene Ormandy, and Benny Goodman as soloist, at the Academy of Music

  • Dec 12 16th Heisman Trophy Award: Vic Janowicz, Ohio State (HB)
  • Dec 12 Baseball owners vote to drop 4-year old bonus & high school rule
  • Dec 13 "Let's Make an Opera" opens at John Golden Theater, NYC; runs for 5 performances

Film & TV History

Dec 13 James Dean begins his career with an appearance in a Pepsi commercial

  • Dec 14 Baseball owners choose Lou Perini (Braves), Phil Wrigley (Cubs), Del Webb (Yankees), & Ellis Ryan (Indians) to select new commissioner
  • Dec 14 Musical "Bless You All" opens at Mark Hellinger Theater NYC for 84 performances
  • Dec 14 UN General Assembly establishes High Commission for Refugees, goes on to win Nobel Peace Prize in 1954
  • Dec 15 NYC's Port Authority opens
  • Dec 16 "Let's Make an Opera" closes at John Golden Theater NYC after 5 performances

Film & TV History

Dec 16 Child star Shirley Temple announces her retirement from films aged 22

Historic Event

Dec 16 US President Harry Truman proclaims state of emergency against "Communist imperialism"

Historic Event

Dec 19 Chinese invasion of Tibet forces the Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama to flee

Historic Event

Dec 19 General Eisenhower named NATO commander

Film Premiere

Dec 20 "Harvey" starring James Stewart premieres in New York

Music Premiere

Dec 21 Cole Porter's musical "Out of this World" premieres at New Century Theater NYC; runs for 157 performances

  • Dec 22 2 self-propelled trains of Long Island RR collide, killing 77
  • Dec 24 National Football League Championship, Cleveland Stadium: Cleveland Browns beat LA Rams, 30-28; Cleveland has 5 interceptions, Rams 1
  • Dec 25 Coronation Stone, taken from Scone in Scotland by Edward I in 1296, stolen from Westminster Abbey & smuggled back to Scotland
  • Dec 26 Gillette & Mutual buy All Star & World Series rights ($6M for 6 yrs)
  • Dec 28 Chinese troops cross 38th Parallel, into South Korea
  • Dec 28 The Peak District becomes the United Kingdom's 1st National Park
  • Dec 30 "Sixty Minute Man" record single released by The Dominoes (Billboard Song of the Year 1951)

#1 in the Charts

Dec 30 "Tennessee Waltz" sung by Patti Page hits #1 on the Billboard Pop Chart (stays for 9 weeks)

  • Dec 30 Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia become Independent states within the French Union

Sports History

Dec 31 American thoroughbred jockeys Bill Shoemaker and Joe Culmone end the year tied, leading the nation with record 388 wins


Famous Birthdays

  • Dec 1 Richard Keith [Thibodeaux], American actor (I Love Lucy - "Little Ricky"), and drummer, born in Lafayette, Louisiana
  • Dec 2 Amin Saikal, Afghan-Australian academic (politics, history, political economy and international relations of the Middle East and Central Asia), born in Kabul, Afghanistan
  • Dec 2 Merrill Ashley, American ballerina (NYC Ballet), born in Saint Paul, Minnesota
  • Dec 3 Alberto Juantorena, Cuban athlete (Olympic gold 400m/800m [WR 1:43.50] 1976; only athlete to win that double), born in Santiago de Cuba
  • Dec 3 Asa Hutchinson, American politician, Governor of Arkansas (2015-), born in Bentonville, Arkansas
  • Dec 3 Muntu Myeza, South African anti-apartheid activist and General Secretary of SASO, born in Natal, South Africa (d. 1990)
  • Dec 4 Jan Rietman, Dutch radio and TV host, born in Doetinchem, Netherlands
  • Dec 4 Karel van de Graaf, Dutch TV host, born in Rotterdam, Netherlands
  • Dec 5 Camarón de la Isla [José Monge Cruz], Spanish flamenco singer, born in San Fernando, Cádiz, Spain (d. 1992)
  • Dec 5 Juris Podnieks, Latvian filmmaker (Is It Easy to Be Young?), born in Riga Latvian SSR, Soviet Union (d. 1992)
  • Dec 5 Osvaldo Golijov, Argentine composer (Oceana), born in La Plata, Argentina
  • Dec 6 Daniël Sahuleka, Moluks-Dutch singer and guitarist (Viva la Libertad), born in Semarang, Central Java, Indonesia
  • Dec 6 Joe Hisaishi, Japanese composer and music director, born in Nakano, Nagano, Japan
  • Dec 8 Dan Hartman, American musician, singer-songwriter, and producer (Edgar Winter Group - "Free Ride; solo- "I Can Dream About You"; James Brown -"Living In America"), born in West Hanover, Pennsylvania (d. 1994)
  • Dec 8 Jimmy Farrar, American rock vocalist (Molly Hatchet), born in LaGrange, Georgia
  • Dec 8 Rick Baker, American special effects makeup artist (Exorcist), born in Binghamton, New York
  • Dec 8 Tim Foli, American baseball player
  • Dec 8 Wah-Wah Watson [Melvin Ragin], American session guitarist in Motown's Funk Brothers (Temptations - "Papa Was A Rollin' Stone"), born in Richmond, Virgina (d. 2018)
  • Dec 9 Joan Armatrading, British singer (Back to the Night), born in Basseterre, Saint Kitts
  • Dec 10 John Boozman, American politician (Senator-R-Arkansas 2011-), born in Shreveport, Louisiana
  • Dec 10 Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin, Irish pianist, composer and educator (University of Limerick), born in Clonmel, Ireland (d. 2018)
  • Dec 10 Simon Owen, New Zealand golfer (British Open runner-up 1978), born in Wanganui, New Zealand
  • Dec 11 Christine Onassis [Andreadis], American-born Greek heiress (Aristotle's daughter), born in NYC, New York
  • Dec 12 Billy Smith, Canadian Hockey HOF goaltender (Vezina Trophy 1982; Conn Smythe Trophy 1983; Stanley Cup 1980, 81, 82, 83; NY Islanders), born in Perth, Ontario

RajinikanthRajinikanth (71 years old)

Dec 12 Indian film actor (Centenary Award 2014), born in Bangalore, India

  • Dec 12 Richard Galliano, French jazz, tango, and classical accordionist, born in Cannes, France
  • Dec 13 Don Dixon, American musician, songwriter and record producer (R.E.M.; Smithereeens; Marti Jones; Hootie & The Blowfish; Marshall Crenshaw), born in Lancaster, South Carolina
  • Dec 13 Heather North, American actress (Barefoot Executive), born in Pasadena, California
  • Dec 13 Wendie Malick, American actress (Just Shoot Me), born in Buffalo, New York
  • Dec 14 Vicki Michelle, English actress (Virgin Witch, Allo Allo), born in Chigwell, England
  • Dec 15 Stjepko Gut, Serbian jazz trumpeter, flügelhorn player, and teacher, born in Ruma, Yugoslavia (now Serbia)
  • Dec 16 Claudia Cohen, American gossip columnist (NY Post - "Page Six") and socialite, born in Englewood, New Jersey (d. 2007)
  • Dec 16 Ieremia Tabai, I-Kiribati politician (President of Kiribati, 1979-91), born in Nonouti, Kiribati (Gilbert Islands)
  • Dec 16 Roy Schuiten, Dutch cyclist, born in Zandvoort, Netherlands (d. 2006)
  • Dec 17 Carlton "Carly" Barrett, Jamaican reggae drummer (The Upsetters; Bob Marley & Wailers), born in Kingston, Jamaica (d. 1987)
  • Dec 17 Laurence F. Johnson, American educator
  • Dec 18 (Randolpho) Randy Castillo, American rock and mariachi drummer (Ozzy Osbourne; Mötley Crüe; Azul), born in Albuquerque, New Mexico (d. 2002)
  • Dec 18 Gillian Armstrong, Australian director (My brilliant Career, Little Women), born in Melbourne, Victoria
  • Dec 18 Leonard Maltin, American movie critic (Entertainment Tonight), born in NYC, New York
  • Dec 18 Martha Johnson, Canadian rocker (M+M), born in Toronto, Ontario
  • Dec 20 Don Heffington, American touring and session drummer, singer, songwriter and producer (Lone Justice; Watkins Family Hour; Emmylou Harris), born in Los Angeles, California (d. 2021)
  • Dec 21 Jeffrey Katzenberg, American film producer, born in NYC, New York
  • Dec 21 Lillebjørn Nilsen, Norwegian singer-songwriter, born in Oslo, Norway
  • Dec 23 Ilchi Lee, South Korean educator and author, born in Cheonan, South Korea
  • Dec 23 Michael C. Burgess, American politician, born in Rochester, Minnesota
  • Dec 24 (Elizabeth) "Libby" Larsen, American classical composer, and co-founder of the American Composers Forum, born in Wilmington, Delaware
  • Dec 24 Dana Gioia, American poet, born in Hawthorne, California
  • Dec 24 Peter te Bos, Dutch singer (Claw Boys Claw), born in Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Dec 25 Karl Rove, former American presidential advisor
  • Dec 25 Manny Trillo, Venezuelan baseball second baseman (4 × MLB All-Star; World Series 1974, 80; 3 × Gold Glove; Chicago Cubs, Philadelphia Phillies), born in Caripito, Venezuela
  • Dec 26 Michael Jones, American funk and disco musician (B.T. Express - Here Comes the Express)
  • Dec 26 Victoria Racimo, American actress (Corene-Falcon Crest), born in NYC, New York
  • Dec 27 Jack van Gelder, Dutch TV host
  • Dec 27 Roberto Bettega, Italian soccer forward (42 caps; Juventus 326 games, 129 goals), born in Turin, Italy
  • Dec 27 Terry Bozzio, American drummer (Missing Persons; Frank Zappa), born in San Francisco, California
  • Dec 28 Alex Chilton, American rock guitarist, vocalist, songwriter, and producer (Box Tops - "The Letter"; Big Star - "Thirteen"), born in Memphis, Tennessee (d. 2010)
  • Dec 28 Øivind Blunck, Norwegian comedian and actor
  • Dec 29 Géza Csapó, Hungarian sprint canoeist (6 x World C'ship gold; Olympic silver K-1 1000m 1976, bronze 1972), born in Szolnok, Hungary (d. 2022)
  • Dec 29 Jon Polito, American actor (Fire With Fire, Homicide), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 2016)
  • Dec 29 Robert Lee "Pops" Popwell, American jazz-funk bass guitarist, born in Daytona, Florida (d. 2017)
  • Dec 30 Dave Stewart, English keyboardist (Hatfield and the North, National Health), born in London, England
  • Dec 30 Lewis Shiner, American sci-fi/fantasy author
  • Dec 30 Yunus I Mahomed, South African attorney/leader (UDF)
  • Dec 31 Bob Gilder, American golfer (6 PGA tour titles), born in Corvallis, Oregon
  • Dec 31 Inge Helten, German sprinter (Olympic bronze 1976), born in Sinzig, Germany

Famous Weddings

Bob Cousy

Dec 8 NBA player Bob Cousy (22) weds his college sweetheart Missie Ritterbusch

Shirley Temple

Dec 16 American child actress Shirley Temple (22) weds 2nd husband US naval officer Charles Alden Black (31), at his parents' home, Del Monte, California

  • Dec 25 Dick Tracy marries Tess Truehart

Henry Fonda

Dec 27 American actor Henry Fonda (45) weds socialite and third wife Susan Blanchard (22) in New York City; divorce in 1956

John Steinbeck

Dec 28 Author John Steinbeck (48) weds actress Elaine Anderson (36)

Rocky Marciano

Dec 31 World heavyweight boxing champion Rocky Marciano (27) weds Barbara Cousins in Brockton, Massachusetts


Famous Deaths

  • Dec 1 Ernest John Moeran, British composer, dies at 55
  • Dec 2 Constantin "Dinu" Lipatti, Romanian classical pianist and composer, dies of Hodgkins disease complications at 33
  • Dec 5 Shri Aurobindo [Aurobindo Ghose], Indian guru and nationalist, dies at 78
  • Dec 11 Leslie Comrie, New Zealand astronomer and computing pioneer, dies at 57

Peter FraserPeter Fraser (1884-1950)

Dec 12 British-born New Zealand statesman and 24th Prime Minister of New Zealand (1940-49), dies of a heart attack following hospitalization with influenza at 66

  • Dec 13 Abraham Wald, Hungarian mathematician (field of statistical sequential analysis), dies at 48
  • Dec 14 Albrecht Schaeffer, German writer (Heroische Fahrt), dies at 65
  • Dec 15 Robert Müller-Hartmann, German composer, dies at 66

Sardar PatelSardar Patel (1875-1950)

Dec 15 Indian freedom fighter and statesman, dies at 75

  • Dec 16 Otto Vrieslander, German composer and musicologist, dies at 70
  • Dec 22 Julius Weismann, German pianist, conductor, and composer (Schwanenweiß), dies at 70
  • Dec 22 Walter Damrosch, German-American conductor (New York Symphony, 1885-1928; commissioned Gershwin's Piano Concerto), and composer (The Man Without A Country), dies at 88
  • Dec 23 Vincenzo Tommasini, Italian composer (Le donne de buon umore), dies at 72
  • Dec 25 Neil Francis Hawkins, British fascist (b. 1903)
  • Dec 25 Xavier Villaurrutia, Mexican poet (Nostalgia de la muerte), dies at 47
  • Dec 26 Emile Enthoven, Dutch composer and lawyer, dies at 47
  • Dec 26 James Stephens, Irish poet (Crock of Gold), dies at 68
  • Dec 27 Max Beckmann, German painter and graphic artist, dies at 66
  • Dec 31 Charles Koechlin, French composer (The Jungle Book), dies at 83
  • Dec 31 Karl Renner, Austrian President (1918-20, 45-50), dies at 80