On This Day

What Happened in December 1952

Historical Events

  • Dec 1 The New York Daily News reports the first successful sexual reassignment operation
  • Dec 2 18th Heisman Trophy Award: Billy Vessels, Oklahoma (HB)
  • Dec 2 First human birth televised to public on KOA-TV Denver, Colorado
  • Dec 3 1st TV broadcast in Hawaii
  • Dec 3 Marcos Perez Jiménez elected president of Venezuela
  • Dec 4 Killer fogs begin in London, England; the term "Smog" is coined
  • Dec 4 Walter P. Reuther chosen chairman of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) in the US
  • Dec 5 -8] worst smog in London ever, 4-8,000 die
  • Dec 6 Czech government tells Israeli ambassador that he is persona non grata
  • Dec 7 KKTV TV channel 11 in Colorado Spgs-Pueblo, CO (CBS) 1st broadcast
  • Dec 8 1st TV acknowledgement of pregnancy (I Love Lucy)
  • Dec 8 French troops shoot on demonstrators at Casablanca, 50 die
  • Dec 8 Isaak Ben-Zwi elected president of Israel
  • Dec 10 Izhak Ben-Zvi elected 2nd president of Israel
  • Dec 10 WSLS TV channel 10 in Roanoke, VA (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • Dec 13 NFL Dallas Texans (former NY Yanks) play final game, losing 41-6 to the Lions in Detroit; finish with record of 1-11
  • Dec 14 KROD (now KDBC) TV channel 4 in El Paso, TX (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • Dec 14 R H Shodhan scores 110 on Test Cricket debut v Pakistan, Calcutta
  • Dec 14 UN Troops kill 82 North Korean POWs during a prison camp riot in Pongam-do, South Korea
  • Dec 15 "Two's Company" opens at Alvin Theater NYC for 90 performances
  • Dec 15 Christine Jorgenson is the first known American to undergo a sex-change operation
  • Dec 15 KHON TV channel 2 in Honolulu, HI (NBC) begins broadcasting

Catholic Encyclical

Dec 15 Pope Pius XII publishes encyclical Orientales Ecclesias

  • Dec 18 Ellis W. Ryan resigns as Cleveland Indians president
  • Dec 19 Queen Juliana unveals statue "Docker"
  • Dec 20 KHQ TV channel 6 in Spokane, WA (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • Dec 21 Broadway Tunnel opens in San Francisco
  • Dec 21 WSBT TV channel 22 in South Bend, IN (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • Dec 22 French government of Pinay, resigns
  • Dec 22 WSBA (now WPMT) TV channel 43 in York, PA (IND) begins broadcasting
  • Dec 23 Alain Bombard arrives in Barbados after 65 days at sea proving his theory that a shipwrecked person could survive with almost no provisions, despite having lost 25 kg (65 lbs) in weight
  • Dec 28 National Football League Championship, Cleveland Municipal Stadium: Detroit Lions beat Cleveland Browns, 17-7
  • Dec 29 1st transistorized hearing aid offered for sale (Elmsford NY)
  • Dec 30 Tuskegee Inst reports 1952 as 1st yr in 71 with no lynchings in US

Davis Cup

Dec 31 Davis Cup Men's Tennis, Memorial Drive, Adelaide: Vic Seixas beats Ken McGregor in 4 sets but Australia retains title for third straight year; beats US, 4-1 in Adelaide

Sports History

Dec 31 Danny Nardico stops former world middleweight champion Jake LaMotta in 7 rounds in a light heavyweight non-title bout in Coral Gables, Florida; LaMotta is knocked down for the only time in his career, his corner stopping fight after the round


Famous Birthdays

  • Dec 1 Les Dyl, English rugby league utility back (11 caps Great Britain, 13 England; Leeds RLFC, Bramley RLFC), born in Castleford, England (d. 2022)
  • Dec 1 Rick Scott, American politician (Senator-R-Florida 2019-, Governor of Florida 2011-19), born in Bloomington, Illinois
  • Dec 2 Keith Szarabajka, American actor (The Equalizer), born in Oak Park, Illinois
  • Dec 2 Carol Shea-Porter, American politician (Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New Hampshire), born in NYC, New York
  • Dec 2 Rob Mounsey, American session pianist, composer, and arranger, born in Berea, Ohio
  • Dec 3 Don Barnes, American rock guitarist (38 Special - "Teacher, Teacher"), born in Jacksonville, Florida
  • Dec 3 Duane Roland, American southern-rock guitarist (Molly Hatchet - "Flirtin' With Disaster"), born in Jeffersonville, Indiana (d. 2006)
  • Dec 3 Mel Smith, author, actor, and comedian (Morons From Outer Space), (d. 2013)
  • Dec 3 Benny Hinn, American televangelist
  • Dec 4 Ronald M. Sega, American professor of systems engineering and astronaut (STS 60, 76), born in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Dec 5 Bobby Barth, American rocker vocalist and guitarist (Axe), born in Coffeyville, Kansas
  • Dec 6 Craig Newmark, American entrepreneur and founder of the website Craigslist, born in Morristown, New Jersey
  • Dec 7 Georges Corraface, Greek-French actor and president of the Thessaloniki International Film Festival, born in Paris, France
  • Dec 7 Susan Collins, American politician (U.S. Senator from Maine), born in Caribou, Maine
  • Dec 8 Richie Morales, drummer (Spyro Gyra-Morning Dance)
  • Dec 8 Khaw Boon Wan, Singapore Health Minister
  • Dec 8 Ric Sanders, British folk-rock, jazz violinist (Fairport Convention; Stomu Yamash'ta; Soft Machine), born in Birmingham, England
  • Dec 8 Javier Cárdenas, Mexican soccer midfielder (12 caps; CD Guadalajara 215 games), born in Mexico City, Mexico (d. 2022)
  • Dec 9 Michael Dorn, American actor (Worf-Star Trek Next Generation), born in Luling, Texas
  • Dec 10 Susan Dey, American actress (1st Love, Partridge Family, LA Law), born in Pekin, Illinois
  • Dec 11 Susan Seidelman, American film director (Desperately Seeking Susan), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Dec 12 Ajit De Silva, Sri Lankan cricket spin bowler (4 Tests), born in Ambalangoda, Sri Lanka
  • Dec 12 Cathy Rigby (McCoy), American gymnast (Olympics, 1968 & 1972), stage actress (Peter Pan), and sports commentator, born in Long Beach, California
  • Dec 12 Sarah Douglas, British actress (Conan; Superman II; Falcon Crest), born in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England
  • Dec 12 Herb Dhaliwal, Canadian politician, born in Chiheru, Punjab, India
  • Dec 13 John Francome, English jockey, born in Swindon, Wiltshire, England
  • Dec 13 Sylvester Ritter (Junkyard Dog), American professional wrestler, born in Wadesboro, North Carolina (d. 1998)
  • Dec 14 Tamara Danz, German singer (Silly), born in Breitungen, Thuringia (d. 1996)
  • Dec 14 Germain Houde, French Canadian actor, born in Petit-Saguenay, Quebec
  • Dec 14 John Lurie, American jazz saxophonist (Lounge Lizards), composer and actor (Down By Law; Stranger Than Paradise), born in Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Dec 15 Allan Simonsen, Danish soccer forward (55 caps; Borussia Mönchengladbach, FC Barcelona, Vejle BK) and manager (Vejle BK, Faroe Islands, Luxembourg), born in Vejle, Denmark
  • Dec 15 Julie Taymor, American film and stage director (The Lion Kong, Frida), born in Newton, Massachusetts
  • Dec 15 Guy Laporte, French rugby union fly-half (16 Tests, Grand Slam 1986; SC Rieumois, SC Graulhet), born in Beaufort, France (d. 2022)
  • Dec 16 Joel Garner, Christ Church, Barbados, West Indian cricketer (two-metre West Indian pace bowler 1977-87)
  • Dec 16 Francesco Graziani, Italian footballer
  • Dec 17 Hans Alders, Dutch minister of environment (PvdA)
  • Dec 18 Rosie Vela, American model and singer-songwriter (Zazu, Fool's Paradise), born in Galveston, Texas
  • Dec 18 David Hentschel, British recording engineer, producer, and film score composer, born in Sussex, England
  • Dec 20 Jenny Agutter, English actress (Logan's Run, Equus, Amy), born in Taunton England
  • Dec 20 Sergio Vastano, Italian actor (Nightclub, Prete Bello), born in Rome, Italy
  • Dec 21 Dennis Boutsikaris, American actor (Batteries Not Included), born in Newark, New Jersey
  • Dec 21 Steve Furniss, American swimmer (Olympic bronze 1972), born in Madison, Wisconsin
  • Dec 21 Joaquín Andújar, Dominican baseball pitcher (Cardinals), born in San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic (d. 2015)
  • Dec 23 Hans Abrahamsen, Danish classical music composer (Let Me Tell You; Left, Alone; Schnee), born in Kongens Lyngby, Denmark
  • Dec 23 William Kristol, American political commentator, born in NYC, New York
  • Dec 24 (Jesús) "Chucho" Merchán, Colombian session and touring jazz and rock double bassist, and charity organizer (FONEVA), born in Bogotá, Colombia
  • Dec 25 CCH Pounder, Guyanese American actress (ER. The Shield), born in Georgetown, French Guiana
  • Dec 25 Desireless [Claudie Fritsch-Mentrop], French singer (Voyage, Voyage), born in Paris, France
  • Dec 26 Andre-Michel Schub, French pianist (Van Cliburn-1981), born in Paris, France
  • Dec 27 Karla Bonoff, American rock singer (New World, Restless Nights), born in Santa Monica, California
  • Dec 27 Tovah Feldshuh, American actress (Idolmaker, Terror out of the Sky), born in NYC, New York
  • Dec 27 Jay Hill, Canadian politician
  • Dec 27 David Knopfler, British singer-songwriter (Dire Straits - 1977-80 - "Sultans of Swing", born in Glasgow, Scotland
  • Dec 27 Craig Reynolds, American baseball shortstop (MLB All Star 1978-79; Seattle Mariners; Houston Astros), born in Houston, Texas
  • Dec 28 Ray Knight, 3rd baseman (NY Mets, Baltimore Orioles)
  • Dec 28 Arun Jaitley, Indian Politician
  • Dec 29 Gelsey Kirkland, American ballerina (Nutcracker), born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
  • Dec 29 Nikolai Andrianov, Soviet/Russian gymnast (Olympic gold 1972, 76, 80), born in Vladimir, Russia (d. 2011)
  • Dec 29 Joe Lovano, American jazz saxophonist, born in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Dec 30 Larry Bartlett, photographic printer
  • Dec 30 Somtow Sucharitkul [S. P. Somtow], Thai composer and sci-fi author (Utopia Hunters), born in Bangkok, Thailand
  • Dec 30 June Anderson, American coloratura soprano, born in Boston, Massachusetts

Famous Weddings

  • Dec 4 Actor Jean-Paul Belmondo marries first wife Élodie Constantin (divorced 1968)

Famous Deaths

  • Dec 1 Vittorio Emanuele Orlando, Prime Minister of Italy (1917-19) who represented Italy at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference, dies at 92
  • Dec 4 Karen Horney, German-American neo freudian psycho analyst, dies at 67
  • Dec 4 James E. Norris, Canadian Hockey Hall of Fame team owner (Detroit Red Wings), dies at 72
  • Dec 8 Charles Lightoller, English second officer on the Titanic (b. 1874)
  • Dec 12 Bedřich Hrozný, Czech orientalist and linguist (development of Hittitology), dies at 73
  • Dec 15 Potti Sreeramulu, Indian revolutionary known as the Father of Andhra for conducting a 56 day hunger strike in support of a separate Telugu-speaking state, fasts to death at 51, sparking rioting and 3 days later Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to declare an intention to form Andhra Pradesh state
  • Dec 19 Harry Makepeace, English cricketer (4 Tests for England v Australia 1920-21), dies at 71
  • Dec 24 Henry A "Hans" Kramers, Dutch theoretical physicist, dies at 58
  • Dec 26 Pietro Pancrazi, Italian critic (Pegaso), dies at 59
  • Dec 27 Henri G Winkelman, Dutch supreme commander army/navy 1940, dies at 76
  • Dec 27 Patrick Joseph Hartigan, Australian Roman Catholic priest, dies at 74
  • Dec 28 Fletcher Henderson, American big band pianist, arranger (Benny Goodman), and bandleader, dies at 55
  • Dec 29 Beryl Rubinstein, American pianist and composer, dies at 54
  • Dec 30 Ivan Olbracht, writer, dies