On This Day

What Happened in December 1968

Historical Events

  • Dec 1 "Promises Promises" opens at Shubert Theater NYC for 1281 performances
  • Dec 1 Burt Bacharach/Hal David's musical premieres in NYC
  • Dec 1 Gonzalo Barrios, Venezuelan presidential candidate
  • Dec 1 Pirate Radio Modern (259) (England) begins transmitting

AppointmentAppointment of Interest

Dec 2 US President Richard Nixon names Henry Kissinger security advisor

US Secretary of State and Political Scientist Henry Kissinger
US Secretary of State and Political Scientist
Henry Kissinger
37th US President Richard Nixon
37th US President
Richard Nixon
  • Dec 3 MLB Rules Committee adopts a series of changes designed to increase amount of offensive run production; decreases strike zone size and lowers height of pitcher's mound from 15" to 10"; changes are successful
  • Dec 3 NBC Elvis comeback special airs
  • Dec 4 Following a civil rights march in Dungannon, Northern Ireland, there is a violent clash between Loyalists and those who are taking part in the march
  • Dec 5 Rolling Stones release "Beggar's Banquet" LP

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 5 Future Hockey Hall of Fame center Phil Esposito of the Boston Bruins scores 2 goals in his goaltender brother Tony's (also HOF) NHL debut for the Montreal Canadiens; 2-2 tie

NHL Star Phil Esposito
NHL Star
Phil Esposito
  • Dec 6 Baseball dismisses Commissioner William Eckert after 3 years
  • Dec 6 PBA National Championship won by Wayne Zahn
  • Dec 6 WKID (WSCV) TV channel 51 in Fort Lauderdale, FL (IND) 1st broadcast
  • Dec 7 Orbiting Astronomical Observatory 2 launched into Earth orbit
  • Dec 7 Richard Dodd returns a library book his great grandfather took out in 1823 from the University of Cincinnati
  • Dec 9 KRNE TV channel 12 in Merriman, NB (PBS) begins broadcasting

  • Dec 9 NLS (a system for which hypertext and the computer mouse were developed) is publicly demonstrated for the first time in San Francisco.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 9 Terence O'Neill, Northern Ireland Prime Minister, makes a television appeal for moderate opinion in what became known as the 'Ulster stands at the Crossroads' speech

Northern Ireland Prime Minister Terence O'Neill
Northern Ireland Prime Minister
Terence O'Neill
  • Dec 9 The Derry Citizen's Action Committee (DCAC) calls for a halt to all marches and protests for a period of one month

Sport defeatBoxing Title Fight

Dec 10 Joe Frazier beats Oscar Bonavena in 15 for heavyweight boxing title

Heavyweight Boxing Champion Joe Frazier
Heavyweight Boxing Champion
Joe Frazier
  • Dec 10 Japan's biggest heist, the still-unsolved "300 million yen robbery", occurs in Tokyo.
  • Dec 11 KECC (now KECY) TV channel 9 in El Centro, CA (CBS) 1st broadcast
  • Dec 11 US Soccer Football Association refuses to let NASL disband
  • Dec 11 Northern Ireland Prime Minister Terence O'Neill sacks Home Affairs Minister, William Craig

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 12 Arthur Ashe becomes 1st black to be ranked #1 in tennis

Tennis Player Arthur Ashe
Tennis Player
Arthur Ashe
  • Dec 12 Rolling Stones film TV show "Rock 'n Roll Circus"-never aired
  • Dec 12 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • Dec 12 Northern Ireland Prime Minister Terence O'Neill receives overwhelming support from Unionist Members of Parliament (MPs) at Stormont
  • Dec 13 Brazilian President Da Costa e Silva issues Ato Institucional Número Cinco degree

Sports record brokenNHL Record

Dec 14 Bobby Orr scores first career hat trick (vs Chicago Blackhawks)

Ice Hockey Legend Bobby Orr
Ice Hockey Legend
Bobby Orr
  • Dec 16 KFIZ TV channel 34 in Fond du Lac, WI begins broadcasting
  • Dec 16 Official revocation of the Edict of Expulsion of Jews from Spain at Second Vatican Council
  • Dec 18 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh, Semipalitinsk USSR
  • Dec 19 WCWB (now WMGT) TV channel 41 in Macon, GA (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • Dec 20 The Zodiac Killer kills Betty Lou Jenson and David Faraday in Vallejo, California.
  • Dec 20 The People's Democracy (PD) announce that its members will undertake a protest march from Belfast to Derry beginning 1 January 1969

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 21 Apollo 8: 1st manned Moon voyage launched with Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and William Anders

Astronaut Frank Borman
Astronaut
Frank Borman
  • Dec 21 David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash (Crosby, Stills & Nash) premiere together in California

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 21 Glen Campbell's album "Wichita Lineman" goes to No. 1 in the US

Actor and Country Singer Glen Campbell
Actor and Country Singer
Glen Campbell
  • Dec 23 1st US case of space motion sickness
  • Dec 23 82 members of US intelligence ship Pueblo released by North Korea

  • Dec 23 Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and William Anders become the 1st men to orbit the Moon
  • Dec 24 Apollo 8 astronauts read passages from Book of Genesis
  • Dec 24 WATU (now WAGT) TV channel 26 in Augusta, GA (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • Dec 24 Ballon d'Or: Manchester United's winger George Best wins award for best European football player ahead of team mate Bobby Charlton and Red Star Belgrade winger Dragan Džajić; first Northern Irish national to win the award
  • Dec 25 Frank Borman's Christmas reading while orbiting the Moon
  • Dec 25 42 Dalits are burned alive in Kilavenmani village, Tamil Nadu, India, a retaliation for a campaign for higher wages by Dalit labourers
  • Dec 26 Arab terrorists in Athens fire on El Al plane, kills 1
  • Dec 26 Jay Allens "Forty Carats" premieres in NYC
  • Dec 26 Led Zeppelin's concert debut in Denver as opener for Vanilla Fudge
  • Dec 26 Bruin Ted Green sets NHL penalty record of 3 minors, 2 majors & 2 game misconducts in a game against NY Rangers in NY's Madison Square Garden
  • Dec 27 Apollo 8 returns to Earth
  • Dec 27 China performs nuclear test at Lop Nor, PRC
  • Dec 28 100,000 attend Miami Pop Festival
  • Dec 28 57th Davis Cup: USA beats Australia in Adelaide (4-1)
  • Dec 28 Beatles' "White Album" goes #1 & stays #1 for 9 weeks
  • Dec 28 Israeli assault on Beirut Airport
  • Dec 28 KVOF (KUDO, now KWBB) TV channel 38 in San Francisco, California (IND) 1st broadcast
  • Dec 29 NFL Championship, Cleveland Municipal Stadium: Baltimore Colts shutout Cleveland Browns, 34-0
  • Dec 29 Israeli commandos destroy 13 Lebanese airplanes

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 29 AFL Championship, Shea Stadium, NYC: New York Jets beat Oakland Raiders 27-23; Joe Namath 3 TD passes sparks Jets to win

NFL Coach and Sportscaster John Madden
NFL Coach and Sportscaster
John Madden
  • Dec 30 -48°F (-44°C), Mazama & Winthrop, Washington (state record)

Music releaseMusic Recording

Dec 30 Frank Sinatra first records "My Way" with lyrics were written by Paul Anka and based on the French song "Comme d'habitude"

Singer and Actor Frank Sinatra
Singer and Actor
Frank Sinatra
  • Dec 31 1st supersonic airliner flown (Russian TU-144)
  • Dec 31 NY Jets win AFL championship

Famous Birthdays

  • Dec 1 Anders Holmertz, Swedish free style swimmer (world record 400m)
  • Dec 1 Eddie Britton, wide receiver (Baltimore Ravens)
  • Dec 1 Justin Chadwick, British actor and director
  • Dec 2 Darryl Kile, pitcher (Houston Astros), born in Garden Grove, California
  • Dec 2 Elna Reinach, Pretoria South Africa, tennis star
  • Dec 2 Jiri Dopita, Sumperk CZE, hockey forward (Team Czech Olympic gold 1998)
  • Dec 2 Mark Harding, Bath England, keeper of Internet biographies
  • Dec 2 Rena Sofer, actress (Rocky-Loving, Lois Cerullo-General Hospital)
  • Dec 2 Lucy Liu, American actress
  • Dec 2 Nate Mendel, American bassist (Foo Fighters)
  • Dec 3 Brendan Fraser, American actor (School Ties, 20 Bucks), born in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Dec 3 Isabel Cueto, West Germany, tennis star
  • Dec 3 Kevin Telles, actor (Party Camp)
  • Dec 3 Montell Jordan, American singer and record producer
  • Dec 4 Mike Barrowman, American 200m breast stroke swimmer (Olympic gold 1992, 96), born in Costa Mesa, California
  • Dec 5 Lisa Marie [Sliwa], American actress (Mars Attack), born in New Brunswick, New Jersey
  • Dec 5 Margaret Cho, American actress and comedienne (Face/Off), born in San Francisco, California
  • Dec 5 Rhett Hall, American NFL defensive tackle (Philadelphia Eagles), born in Morgan Hill, California
  • Dec 7 Cammy Myler, Plattsburgh NY, luger (Olympics 1994)
  • Dec 7 Keith Goganious, NFL linebacker (Jacksonville Jaguars)
  • Dec 7 Melissa Iverson, Anoka Minn, rower (Olympics 1996)
  • Dec 7 Ricky Ervins, NFL running back (SF 49ers)
  • Dec 7 Tom Myslinski, NFL guard (Jacksonville Jaguars, Pittsburgh Steelers)
  • Dec 7 Mark Geyer, Australian rugby league footballer
  • Dec 8 Bill Johnson, defensive tackle (St Louis Rams)
  • Dec 8 Mike Mussina, American baseball pitcher (5-time MLB All Star), Williamsport, Pennsylvania
  • Dec 8 Michael Cole, American professional wrestling commentator
  • Dec 9 Bill Johnson, NFL defensive linebacker (Pittsburgh Steelers)
  • Dec 9 Brent Price, NBA guard (Houston Rockets, Washington Bullets)
  • Dec 9 Kurt Angle, 220 lbs freestyle wrestler (Olympic gold 1996), born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Dec 9 Michael Foster, drummer (Firehouse-Love of a Lifetime), born in Richmond, Virginia
  • Dec 10 Rob Davis, NFL guard (Green Bay Packers-Super Bowl 31)
  • Dec 11 Derek Bell, American baseball outfielder (Houston Astros), born in Tampa, Florida
  • Dec 11 Mark Dailey, American 1.5k runner, born in Youngstown, Ohio
  • Dec 12 Chris Walsh, American NFL wide receiver (Minnesota Vikings; sues NFL over head injuries 2011), born in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Dec 12 Kurt Schulz, American football safety (Buffalo Bills), born in Wenatchee, Washington
  • Dec 12 Laurie Williams, West Indian cricketer (West Indian ODI all-rounder v NZ 1996), born in Saint Ann Parish, Jamaica (d. 2002)
  • Dec 12 Ray Ethridge, American football wide receiver (Baltimore Ravens), born in San Diego, California
  • Dec 12 Tatianna, Spanish singer (Baile Commigo, Chicad de Hoy), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Dec 12 Kate Humble, English television presenter, born in Wimbledon, London
  • Dec 12 Rory Kennedy, American documentary filmmaker, born in Washington, D.C.
  • Dec 13 Carlos Hasselbaink, Dutch soccer player (VVV/FC Utrecht/Haarlem), born in Paramaribo, Suriname
  • Dec 13 Shaun Stafford, American tennis star (1992 Taipei), born in Ocala, Florida
  • Dec 14 Noelle Beck, American actress (Trisha-Loving, Fletch Lives), born in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Dec 14 Cees Marbus, Dutch soccer player (Go Ahead Eagles), born in Noordwijk, Netherlands
  • Dec 14 Jamie Crysdale, CFL corner (Calgary Stampeders), born in Calgary, Alberta
  • Dec 15 Garrett Wang, actor (Star Trek Voyager)
  • Dec 15 Javid Hussain, Indian film producer
  • Dec 15 Osama Ali Maher, Swedish politician
  • Dec 16 Darryll Lewis, NFL cornerback (Houston/Tennessee Oilers)
  • Dec 16 Paul Scherrer, American actor (Children of Corn II, Free Spirit), born in Rochester, New York
  • Dec 16 Wendy Doolan, Australian golfer (Evian Masters 2004), born in Sydney, New South Wales
  • Dec 17 Curtis Pride, outfielder (Detroit Tigers), born in Washington, D.C.
  • Dec 17 Jeff[rey] Klepacki, Kearny NJ, rower (Olympics 1992, 96)
  • Dec 17 Andrey Golovatiuk, Russian politician
  • Dec 18 Aaron Craver, NFL running back (Denver Broncos, San Diego Chargers)
  • Dec 18 Casper Van Dien, actor (Starship Troopers)
  • Dec 18 Alejandro Sanz, Spanish singer
  • Dec 19 Jennifer Devine, rower (Olympics 1996), born in Portland, Oregon
  • Dec 20 Joe Cornish, British comedian, born in Westminster, United Kingdom
  • Dec 21 Anthony Lynn, NFL running back (Denver Broncos-Super Bowl 32), born in McKinney, Texas
  • Dec 21 Khrystyne Haje, American actress (Simone-Head of the Class), born in Santa Clara, California
  • Dec 22 Lauralee "Bug" Bell, American actress (Cricket-Young & Restless), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • Dec 22 Dina Meyer, American film & television actress, born in Forest Hills, New York City
  • Dec 23 Quincy Jones III, Swedish-American musician, born in Wimbledon, London
  • Dec 24 Joe Scuderi, Australian cricketer (South Australian all-rounder), born in Ingham, Australia
  • Dec 24 Doyle Bramhall II, American guitarist, born in Texas
  • Dec 24 Marleen Renders, Belgian athlete, born in Diest, Belgium
  • Dec 25 Corey Widmer, NFL linebacker (NY Giants), born in Alexandria, Virginia
  • Dec 25 Don Silvestri, NFL/WLAF kicker (NY Jets, London Monarchs), born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Dec 25 Helena Christensen, Danish model & photographer (Inferno), born in Copenhagen Denmark
  • Dec 25 Jim Dowd, American NHL center (Vancouver Canucks), born in Brick Township, New Jersey
  • Dec 25 Scott Bullett, American baseball outfielder (Chicago Cubs), born in Martinsburg, West Virginia
  • Dec 26 Darren Barber, Canadian rower (Olympics 1996), born in Victoria, British Columbia
  • Dec 26 Mideon [Dennis Knight], American professional wrestler, born in Clearwater, Florida
  • Dec 27 Dean Palmer, infielder (Texas Rangers), born in Tallahassee, Florida
  • Dec 28 Darrick Brownlow, US NFL linebacker (Washington Redskins), born in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Dec 29 Carlo Ponti, Italian orchestral conductor and son of Carlo Ponti & Sophia Loren, born in Geneva, Switzerland
  • Dec 29 Darren Perry, American NFL free safety (Pittsburgh Steelers), born in Chesapeake, Virginia
  • Dec 29 James Mouton, American baseball outfielder (Houston Astros), born in Denver, Colorado
  • Dec 30 Kevin Dahl, Regina, NHL defenseman (Calgary Flames)
  • Dec 30 Sean Higgins, NBA guard/forward (Philadelphia 76ers, Portland Trailblazers)
  • Dec 31 Gerry Dee, Canadian comedian & actor, born in Scarborough, Canada

Famous Weddings

  • Dec 22 Julie Nixon weds Dwight David Eisenhower

LoveWedding of Interest

Dec 22 Author and cooking show host Ina Garten (20) weds dean Jeffrey Garten

Author and Cooking Show Host Ina Garten
Author and Cooking Show Host
Ina Garten

Famous Divorces


Broken heartDivorce of Interest

Dec 18 Actor Peter Sellers (43) divorces actress Britt Ekland after 4 years of marriage

Actor and Comedian Peter Sellers
Actor and Comedian
Peter Sellers

Famous Deaths

  • Dec 1 Hugo Haas, Czechoslovakian actor and director (Bait, Pick Up, 2 Smart People), dies of asthma at 66
  • Dec 1 Dario Moreno, Turkish-Jewish singer (b. 1921)
  • Dec 5 Fred Clark, American actor (Zotz, Auntie Mame), dies of liver ailment at 54
  • Dec 10 Karl Barth, Swiss theologist/minister (Kirchliche Dogma), dies at 82
  • Dec 10 Patsy Moran, actress (Children of the Wild), dies at 65

Person of interestThomas Merton

Dec 10 Thomas Merton, French-American Catholic writer and Trappist monk (7 Story Mountain), accidentally electrocuted by an electric fan at 53

Catholic Writer and Trappist Monk Thomas Merton
Catholic Writer and Trappist Monk
Thomas Merton
  • Dec 10 George Forrest, Northern Irish MP (b. 1921)
  • Dec 11 Nadine Riga, dies of cerebral hemorrhage at 59
  • Dec 12 Tallulah Bankhead, American stage and film actress (Lifeboat, They Knew What They Wanted), dies of pneumonia at 65
  • Dec 12 Walter Robins, cricketer (19 Tests for England 64 wkts), dies
  • Dec 13 Siegfried Reda, German church musician and composer, dies at 52
  • Dec 15 Jess Willard, Heavyweight boxing champ (1915-19), dies at 86
  • Dec 15 Antonio J. Barrette, French Canadian politician, premier of Quebec, dies at 69
  • Dec 18 Joan Tabor, American actress (Teenage Millionaire), dies at 36 after accidentally overdosing on influenza medication
  • Dec 19 Norman Thomas, American socialist, pacifist and presidential candidate (1928-48), dies at 84
  • Dec 20 Max Brod, Czech-born Israeli composer, writer and biographer of Kafka, dies at 84

Person of interestJohn Steinbeck

Dec 20 John Steinbeck, American author (Grapes of Wrath, Nobel Prize 1940, 1962), dies at 66

  • Dec 22 Louise Granville, entertainer, dies of influenza at 73
  • Dec 29 Austin Farrer, English theologian and philosopher (b. 1904)
  • Dec 30 Trygve Lie, Norwegian politician and 1st Secretary-General of the United Nations (1946-52), dies at 72
  • Dec 31 Carl Oscar Ahues, German International Chess Master (1950), dies at 85
  • Dec 31 George Louis Francis Lewis, composer, dies at 16
  • Dec 31 Sabin Drăgoi, Romanian composer, dies at 74