On This Day

What Happened in December 1970

Historical Events

  • Dec 1 Luis Echeverria Alvarez sworn in as president of Mexico
  • Dec 1 Independent People's Republic of South Yemen renames itself as People's Democratic Republic of Yemen
  • Dec 2 Environmental Protection Agency begins in the US under Director William Ruckelshaus
  • Dec 2 Michael Tippett's opera "The Knot Garden" premieres in London
  • Dec 3 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • Dec 3 Claude Ruel resigns as coach of the NHL Montreal Canadiens; replacement Al MacNeil leads Habs to a Stanley Cup championship 5 months later
  • Dec 4 Unemployment in US increases to 5.8%
  • Dec 5 LA Rams Willie Ellison sets NFL record of 247 yards rushing
  • Dec 5 Stanley Cup, Conn Smythe Trophy & Bill Masterson Trophy stolen from Hockey Hall of Fame
  • Dec 5 Premiere of Dario Fo's Morte accidentale di un anarchico
  • Dec 6 Cleveland Cavaliers 1st NBA home victory, beating Buffalo Braves 108-106
  • Dec 7 Taizan Maezumi Roshi, head of LA Zen Center, receives dharma
  • Dec 7 West Germany & Poland normalize relations
  • Dec 8 Head of the Catholic Church in Ireland Cardinal William Conway publishes a pamphlet on the topic of segregation in education in Northern Ireland
  • Dec 9 Dutch Antilles: government of Petronia falls
  • Dec 9 OPEC meeting in Caracas establishes 55 percent as minimum tax rate and demands that posted prices be changed to reflect changes in foreign exchange rates
  • Dec 10 North American Soccer League awards NY & Toronto franchises

Nobel Prize

Dec 10 Soviet novelist Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn chooses not to claim his Nobel Prize in Literature for fear that the USSR would prevent his return afterwards. Accepts in 1974 after he was deported.

  • Dec 11 Start of the 1st Test match at the WACA, Australia v England
  • Dec 12 Polish government proclaims price rise
  • Dec 12 Small Astronomy Satellite Explorer 42 launched to study X-rays
  • Dec 12 USSR performs underground nuclear test
  • Dec 13 Greg Chappell scores 108 on Test debut v England at the WACA

Film & TV History

Dec 13 Neil Simon's "Gingerbread Lady" premieres in NYC

  • Dec 15 South Korean ferry Namyong-Ho sinks in Strait of Korea, 308 killed
  • Dec 15 Soviet Venera 7 is 1st spacecraft to land on another planet (Venus)
  • Dec 15 Illinois State Constitution is adopted at a special election

Sports History

Dec 15 Stan Smith and Rod Laver finish with 4-1 records atop inaugural season ending ATP Masters Grand Prix tennis standings in Tokyo, Japan; Smith wins event after beating Laver 4–6, 6–3, 6–4 in the rounds

  • Dec 15 Striking shipyard workers in Gdańsk, Poland set ablaze the ruling Provincial Committee's building; responding soldiers kill 8
  • Dec 16 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • Dec 16 "Love Story" film based on the novel by Erich Segal, directed by Arthur Hiller and starring Ryan O'Neal and Ali McGraw is released
  • Dec 16 Polish Vice-Prime Minister Stanisław Kociołek, condemns labor protesters and calls for the workers to get back to work, in a televised speech
  • Dec 17 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • Dec 17 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • Dec 17 Workers returning to shipyard in Gdynia, Poland are met by soldiers who shoot at the crowd, killing at least 18, wounding hundreds
  • Dec 18 "Me Nobody Knows" opens at Helen Hayes Theater NYC for 587 performances
  • Dec 18 Polish uprising fails
  • Dec 18 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • Dec 20 Edward Gierek succeeds Wladyslaw Gomulka as Poland's communist party leader

Elvis Meets Nixon

Dec 21 Elvis Presley meets US President Richard Nixon in the White House - the image of this meeting is the most requested photo from the entire National Archives

  • Dec 21 WUTV TV channel 29 in Buffalo, NY (IND) begins broadcasting
  • Dec 21 Oregon v. Mitchell Supreme Court case was decided, lowering the minimum voting age in U.S. federal elections to 18. The voting age for state and local elections was left to states discretion
  • Dec 22 Treblinka SS commander Franz Stangl sentenced to life imprisonment

Historic Event

Dec 23 7,511th performance of Agatha Christie's play "The Mousetrap" (record) in London's West End

  • Dec 23 French author Régis Debray freed in Bolivia
  • Dec 23 NYC World Trade Center reaches highest point (411 m)
  • Dec 23 USSR performs nuclear test
  • Dec 23 A Protestant man is shot dead at his home in Belfast, North Ireland
  • Dec 24 9 Jews are convicted in Leningrad of hijacking a plane
  • Dec 24 Walt Disney's "Aristocats" is released
  • Dec 27 Jerry Herman's musical "Hello, Dolly!" closes at the St. James Theatre, NYC, after 2844 performances and 10 Tony Awards
  • Dec 28 "Lovely Ladies, Kind Gentlemen" opens at Majestic NYC for 19 performances
  • Dec 28 Yemen Arab Republic (North Yemen) adopts constitution
  • Dec 29 Occupational Safety and Health Act (United States) signed into law by President Richard M. Nixon

Football Awards

Dec 29 Ballon d'Or: Bayern Munich striker Gerd Müller wins award for best European football player ahead of West Ham United defender Bobby Moore and Cagliari forward Luigi Riva

  • Dec 30 The financial cost of the disturbances and riots in Northern Ireland during 1969 and 1970 are today estimated to be £5.5 million

Historic Event

Dec 31 Congress authorizes Eisenhower dollar coin

Music History

Dec 31 Paul McCartney files a lawsuit to dissolve The Beatles

  • Dec 31 President Allende nationalizes Chilean coal mines
  • Dec 31 Would have been start of Aust/Eng Test Cricket at MCG, washed out

Famous Birthdays

  • Dec 1 Todd Steussie, American NFL guard / tackle (Pro Bowl 1997-98; Minnesota Vikings), born in Canoga Park, California
  • Dec 1 Jouko Ahola, Finnish strongman and power-lifter (World's Strongest Man 1997, 99), born in Hämeenlinna, Finland
  • Dec 1 Sarah Silverman, American actress and comedian (The Sarah Silverman Program), born in Bedford, New Hampshire
  • Dec 2 Maksim Tarasov, Russian pole vaulter (Olympic gold 1992; World C'ship gold 1999), born in Yaroslavl, Russia
  • Dec 2 Alex Čejka, Czech-German golfer (Volvo Masters 1995), born in Mariánské Lázně, Czech Republic
  • Dec 3 Jennifer Rothschild [Rubin], actress (Judas Project)
  • Dec 3 Laura Schuler, Canadian ice hockey forward and coach (World C'ship gold 1990, 92, 97; coach Dartmouth College), born in Scarborough, Ontario
  • Dec 3 Lindsey Hunter, American basketball guard (NBA C'ship 2002, 04; LA Lakers, Detroit Pistons), born in Utica, Mississippi
  • Dec 3 Paul Byrd, American baseball pitcher and broadcaster (MLB All Star 1999; Philadelphia Phillies; Fox Sports Southeast), born in Louisville, Kentucky
  • Dec 3 Christian Karembeu, French soccer midfielder (53 caps; Nantes, Olympiacos), born in Lifou, New Caledonia
  • Dec 3 Amy Helm, American singer-songwriter (Ollabelle), born in Woodstock, New York
  • Dec 4 Jeff Blake, American NFL quarterback (Pro Bowl 1995; Cincinnati Bengals), born in Daytona Beach, Florida
  • Dec 4 Kevin Sussman, American actor (Ugly Betty, The Big Bang Theory), born in NYC, New York
  • Dec 4 Sylvester Terkay, American pro wrestler (Ultimate Pro Wrestling's first Heavyweight Champion), born in Washington, Pennsylvania
  • Dec 5 Kevin Haller, Canadian NHL defenseman (Philadelphia Flyers), born in Trochu, Alberta, Canada
  • Dec 5 Susan Sloane, American tennis star, born in Lexington, Kentucky
  • Dec 5 Thomas Smith, American NFL cornerback (Buffalo Bills), born in Gates, North Carolina
  • Dec 6 Eric Mahlum, American NFL guard (Indianapolis Colts), born in San Diego, California
  • Dec 6 Isabelle Arnould, Belgian swimmer, born in Liège, Belgium
  • Dec 6 Ulf Ekberg, Swedish pop singwriter and keyboardist (Ace of Base - "All That She Wants"), born in Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Dec 7 Courtney Browne, Barbadian cricketer (West Indies Test wicket-keeper 1995), born in Lambeth, London
  • Dec 9 Marlin Cannon, American 200m/400m runner, born in Dallas, Texas
  • Dec 9 Kara DioGuardi, American songwriter, record producer, and singer, born in Ossining, New York
  • Dec 10 Bryant Stith, American NBA guard (Denver Nuggets), born in Emporia, Virginia
  • Dec 11 Danan Hughes, American NFL wide receiver (KC Chiefs), born in Bayonne, New Jersey
  • Dec 11 Doug Nussmeier, American NFL quarterback (New Orleans Saints), born in Portland, Oregon
  • Dec 11 Errict Rhett, American NFL running back (Tampa Bay Bucs), born in Pembroke Pines, Florida
  • Dec 12 Regina Hall, American actress (Scary Movie), born in Washington D. C.
  • Dec 12 Ivano Newbill, American NBA center (Vancouver Grizzlies), born in Sedalia, Missouri
  • Dec 12 Jennifer Connelly, American actress (Labyrinth, Requiem for a Dream), born in the Catskill Mountains, New York,
  • Dec 12 Mädchen Amick, American actress (Shelly Johnson-Twin Peaks), born in Reno, Nevada
  • Dec 12 Orlando Brown, American NFL tackle (Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens), born in Washington, D.C.
  • Dec 13 Basit Ali, Pakistani cricketer (exciting Pakistani batsman 1993-), born in Karachi, Sindh
  • Dec 13 George Van Os Jr, team handball left back (Olympics 1996), born in Houston, Texas
  • Dec 13 Tonja Yevette Buford-Bailey, American 400m hurdler (Olympic bronze 1996), born in Dayton, Ohio
  • Dec 14 Bradford Banta, American NFL tight end (Indianapolis Colts), born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • Dec 14 Nadine Garner, Australian actress (The Still Point), born in Knoxfield, Victoria, Australia
  • Dec 14 Anna Maria Jopek, Polish jazz, pop and world music singer, born in Warsaw, Poland
  • Dec 14 Beth Orton, English singer and songwriter, born in East Dereham, Norfolk, England
  • Dec 14 Toby Anstis, British radio and TV presenter, born in Northampton, Northamptonshire, England
  • Dec 14 Nicholas Angelich, American concert pianist, born in Cincinnati, Ohio (d. 2022)
  • Dec 15 Frankie Dettori, Italian jockey (20 x English classics; 3 x GB flat racing champion jockey; rode all 7 winners British Champions' Day Ascot 1996; 6 x Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe), born in Milan, Italy
  • Dec 15 Michael Shanks, Canadian actor and director (Stargate), born in Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Dec 17 Benedictine, a St. Bernard dog who grew to become the heaviest known dog (137 kg)
  • Dec 17 Michael Mols, soccer player (FC Twente)
  • Dec 17 DJ Homicide [Craig Bullock], American musician, rapper, DJ, and record producer (Sugar Ray), born in Pasadena, California
  • Dec 18 Lucious Harris, NBA guard (NJ Nets, Dallas Mavericks)
  • Dec 18 Anthony Catanzaro, American fitness model
  • Dec 18 Cowboy Troy [Troy Lee Coleman III], American country rapper (MuzikMafia, Big & Rich), born in Victoria, Texas
  • Dec 18 DMX [Earl Simmons], American rapper (..And Then There Was X), and actor (Romeo Must Die), born in Mount Vernon, New York (d. 2021) [1] [2]
  • Dec 18 Miles Marshall Lewis, American author
  • Dec 18 Rob Van Dam, American professional wrestler
  • Dec 18 Johnny Yeo, English artist
  • Dec 18 Roman Glick, American rock bassist (Brother Cane; Jackyl), born in Dayton, Ohio
  • Dec 19 Jon Cleveland, Canadian 100m/200m swimmer (Olympic bronze 1992, 96), born in Fresno, California
  • Dec 19 Robert Lang, Teplice CZE, NHL forward (Team Czech Rep, Los Angeles)
  • Dec 19 Zac Foley, English rock bassist (EMF "Unbelievable"), born in Gloucester (d. 2002)
  • Dec 19 Tyson Beckford, American model (Ralph Lauren), born in Rochester, New York
  • Dec 20 Grant Flower, Zimbabwean cricketer, born in Harare, Zimbabwe
  • Dec 20 Tony Semple, NFL guard (Detroit Lions), born in Springfield, Illinois
  • Dec 20 Travis Green, Canadian NHL center (NY Islanders; Toronto Maple Leafs; World C'ship gold 1997) and coach (Vancouver Canucks), born in Castlegar, Canada
  • Dec 20 Nicole DeBoer, Canadian actress, born in Toronto, Ontario

Todd Phillips

Dec 20 Todd Phillips, American filmmaker (Road Trip, Joker), born in Brooklyn, New York

  • Dec 21 Monique Ambers, WNBA forward (Phoenix Mercury)
  • Dec 22 Ted Cruz [Rafael Edward], Canadian-born US politician (Senate-R-Texas 2013-), born in Calgary. Alberta
  • Dec 22 Gary Anderson, Scottish darts player (PDC World Champion 2015-16), born in Musselburgh, Scotland
  • Dec 23 Raymont Harris, American football running back (Chicago Bears), born in Lorain, Ohio
  • Dec 23 Shannon Bream [DePuy], American Journalist (Fox News) Miss Virginia (1991), born in Lynchburg, Virginia
  • Dec 24 Michael Batiste, NFL/WLAF defensive tackle (Cowboys, Frankfurt Galaxy), born in Los Angeles, California
  • Dec 24 Romeo Wouden, Dutch soccer player (Dordrecht '90, Heerenveen), born in Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Dec 24 Amaury Nolasco, American actor, born in Puerto Rico
  • Dec 24 Will Oldham, American singer and songwriter, born in Louisville, Kentucky
  • Dec 26 Radka Zrubakova, Slovakian tennis star (1994 Futures-GER), born in Bratislava, Slovakia
  • Dec 26 Willie Williams, NFL cornerback (Pittsburgh Steelers, Seahawks), born in England, United Kingdom
  • Dec 26 James Mercer, American rock singer-songwriter, and guitarist (The Shins - Wincing The Night Away), born in Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Dec 26 Krissada Terrence, Thai-American pop singer & actor, born in Thailand
  • Dec 27 Lorenzo Neal, NFL fullback (New Orleans Saints, NY Jets)
  • Dec 28 Brenda Schultz-McCarthy, Dutch tennis player (95, 96 Oklahoma City), born in Haarlem, Netherlands
  • Dec 28 Elizabeth McIntyre, Miss West Virginia (1996), born in Dunbar, West Virginia
  • Dec 28 James Jett, US Olympic sprinter and NFL wide receiver (Oakland Raiders), born in Charles Town, West Virginia
  • Dec 29 Yaroslav Ihorovych Pustovyi, Ukrainian cosmonaut, born in Kostroma, Ukraine
  • Dec 29 Aled Jones, Welsh pop-opera singer, born in Bangor, Gwynedd, Wales
  • Dec 29 Hidetoshi Mitsusada, Japanese racing driver, born in Osaka, Japan
  • Dec 29 Glen Phillips, American rock singer-songwriter (Toad The Wet Sprocket), born in Santa Barbara, California
  • Dec 29 Kevin Weisman, American actor, born in Los Angeles, California
  • Dec 30 Grant Carter, CFL defensive end (Winnipeg Blue Bombers)
  • Dec 30 Gus Nketia, 100m sprint (Olympics 1996), born in Auckland, New Zealand
  • Dec 30 Sister Bliss [Ayalah Bentovim], British elcectronia and trip-hop keyboardist and DJ (Faithless), born in London, England
  • Dec 31 Bryon Russell, American NBA forward (Utah Jazz), born in San Bernardino, California
  • Dec 31 Dan Howe, Canadian canoeist (Olympics 1996), born in Kingston, Ontario
  • Dec 31 Michel Brunet, Canadian ice dancer (1996 Canadians-2nd), born in Gatineau, Quebec

Famous Deaths

  • Dec 1 Frank Smailes, English cricket all-rounder (1 Test; 8 County C'ships, Yorkshire), dies at 60
  • Dec 6 Thomas S Power, American USAF-gen (Raid on Tokyo-March 1945), dies at 65

Rube Goldberg

Dec 7 Rube Goldberg, American cartoonist whose carttoons inspired the Rube Goldberg contests (Pulitzer Prize 1948), dies of cancer at 87

  • Dec 7 Romaine Brooks [Beatrice Romaine Goddard], American painter, dies at 96
  • Dec 8 Christopher Kelk Ingold, English chemist (Cahn–Ingold–Prelog priority rules), dies at 77
  • Dec 9 Artem Mikoyan, Russian aircraft designer (MIG), dies at 65
  • Dec 9 Sir Feroz Khan Noon, Prime Minister of Pakistan (b. 1893)
  • Dec 12 Louis Zimmer, Flemish astronomer and clock maker (Jubelklok, Wonder Clock), dies at 82
  • Dec 12 Doris Blackburn, Australian politician (Member of the Australian Parliament for Bourke), dies at 81
  • Dec 14 Franz Schlegelberger, German Nazi politician, dies at 94
  • Dec 14 Elmer Schoebel, American jazz pianist, arranger (New Orleans Rhythm Kings; Isham Jones), and composer ("Farewell Blues"; "Prince Of Wails"), dies at 73
  • Dec 23 Charlie Ruggles, American actor (Bringing Up Baby, The Patchwork Girl of Oz), dies at 84
  • Dec 23 Mimi Benzell, American operatic soprano (Gilda-Rigoletto), dies at 52
  • Dec 23 Bessie Abramowitz Hillman, Russian-American labor leader and founder of Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, dies at 71
  • Dec 24 Gideon Nxumalo, South African jazz pianist, marimba player, and composer (Jazz Fantasia), dies at 41
  • Dec 26 Lillian Board, British 400m athlete (Olympic silver 1968), dies at 22
  • Dec 28 L. Mendel Rivers, US politician (Rep-D-SC), dies at 65
  • Dec 29 John de Mol, Dutch accordionist, dies at 58
  • Dec 29 Marie Menken, American experimental filmmaker and socialite, dies at 61
  • Dec 29 William King Gregory, American palaeontologist (mammalian teeth, evolutionary theory), dies at 94

Sonny Liston

Dec 30 Sonny Liston, American boxer (world heavyweight champion 1962-64), dies of lung congestion and heart failure at 40; foul play suspected

  • Dec 31 Cyril Scott, English composer and author (Alchemist), dies at 91