On This Day

What Happened in December 1972

Historical Events

  • Dec 1 Wings release "Hi, Hi, Hi" in UK
  • Dec 1 2 people killed and 127 injured when 2 car bombs explode in the centre of Dublin, Republic of Ireland
  • Dec 2 "December Giant" largest sinkhole in US collapses (Alabama)
  • Dec 2 "Via Galactica" closes at Uris Theater NYC after 7 performances
  • Dec 2 In 1 of their worst trades Yanks get Rich McKinney for Stan Bahnsen
  • Dec 2 37th Iron Bowl: Auburn beats Alabama 17-16 in Birmingham

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 2 Romanian tennis star Ilie Năstase successfully defends his ATP Masters Grand Prix title with a 6–3, 6–2, 3–6, 2–6, 6–3 win over American Stan Smith in Barcelona, Spain

Tennis Champion Ilie Năstase
Tennis Champion
Ilie Năstase
  • Dec 2 USC tailback Anthony Davis becomes first to score 6 touchdowns against Notre Dame; in a 45-23 victory over the Fighting Irish Davis at the LA Coliseum he scores on runs of 1, 4, 5 & 8 yards and 2 kickoff returns
  • Dec 3 CFL Grey Cup, Ivor Wynne Stadium, Hamilton: Hamilton Tiger-Cats defeat Saskatchewan Roughriders, 13-10; Tiger-Cats first team in CFL's modern era to win Grey Cup at home
  • Dec 3 Convair 990A charter crashes in Tenerife Canary Island, 155 die
  • Dec 5 38th Heisman Trophy Award: Johnny Rodgers, Nebraska (FL)
  • Dec 5 Australia Labour party wins parliamentary election
  • Dec 5 Joseph A Walker's "River Niger" premieres in NYC

Famous PhotoThe Blue Marble

Dec 7 Apollo 17 launched, the final manned lunar landing mission where the crew takes the famous "blue marble" photo of the entire Earth

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The famous 'Blue Marble' photograph of the Earth taken by the crew of the Apollo 17
The famous 'Blue Marble' photograph of the Earth taken by the crew of the Apollo 17
Learn More

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 7 Philippine's first lady Imelda Marcos stabbed & wounded by an assailant

First Lady and Politician Imelda Marcos
First Lady and Politician
Imelda Marcos
  • Dec 8 United Airlines crashes at Chicago's Midway Airport killing 45

  • Dec 10 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • Dec 11 American Astronauts Eugene Cernan & Harrison 'Jack" Schmitt, a become 11th & 12th people on the Moon
  • Dec 11 New York Jets' Don Maynard becomes all time pro reception leader (632)
  • Dec 14 Eugene Cernan & Harrison Schmitt leave the Moon
  • Dec 16 Bangladesh Constitution goes into effect
  • Dec 16 Miami Dolphins become 1st undefeated NFL team (14-0-0)
  • Dec 17 New line of control agreed to in Kashmir between India & Pakistan
  • Dec 17 WGVC (now WUCX) TV channel 35 in Grand Rapids, MI (PBS) 1st broadcast
  • Dec 18 US launches Operation Linebacker II, its heaviest bombing of North Vietnam, as negotiations to end the Vietnam War collapse
  • Dec 19 Apollo 17 (last of Apollo Moon landing series) returns to Earth

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 20 Neil Simons "Sunshine Boys" premieres in NYC

Playwright and screenwriter Neil Simon
Playwright and screenwriter
Neil Simon
  • Dec 20 Five civilians (four Catholics, one Protestant) killed in gun attack on the Top of the Hill Bar in Derry, North Ireland
  • Dec 21 Soviet Union signs a separate peace with East Germany
  • Dec 22 6.25 earthquake strikes Managua Nicaragua, 12,000+ killed
  • Dec 23 16 plane crash survivors rescued from Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 after 72 days on the Andean Mountains, after only surviving through cannibalism
  • Dec 23 6.25 Earthquake destroys central Managua Nicaragua, 10,000 die
  • Dec 23 B. S. Chandrasekhar takes 8-79 India v England at Delhi
  • Dec 23 New York Islanders end 15 games winless streak
  • Dec 23 "Immaculate Reception" Steelers turns around a 7-6 defeat with a last second touchdown reception against Raiders to win 13-7
  • Dec 23 2nd Fiesta Bowl: #15 Arizona State beats Missouri, 49-35

  • Dec 25 England beat India by six wickets in the 1st Cricket Test in Delhi
  • Dec 26 Ballon d'Or: Bayern Munich defender Franz Beckenbauer wins award for best European football player ahead of tied fellow German duo of Gerd Müller and Günter Netzer
  • Dec 27 "Purlie" opens at Billy Rose Theater NYC for 14 performances
  • Dec 27 Belgium recognizes German DR
  • Dec 27 LA Kings start Islanders on 12 game losing streak
  • Dec 27 New North Korean constitution comes into effect
  • Dec 28 Kim Il-song becomes president of North Korea

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 28 Martin Bormann's skeleton is found in Berlin (Hitlers deputy)

Nazi leader Martin Bormann
Nazi leader
Martin Bormann
  • Dec 28 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • Dec 28 2 people are killed in a Loyalist bomb attack on the village of Belturbet, County Cavan, Republic of Ireland
  • Dec 29 Eastern Tristar Jumbo Jet crashes near Everglades killing 101
  • Dec 29 Life magazine ceases publication
  • Dec 29 Test Cricket debut of Jeff Thomson and Max Walker v Pakistan at MCG
  • Dec 29 President of Sinn Féin Ruairi O Bradaigh is arrested and held under new legislation in Republic of Ireland
  • Dec 29 "Aguirre, the Wrath of God" film written and directed by Werner Herzog, starring Klaus Kinski premieres in West Germany

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 30 US President Richard Nixon halts bombing of North Vietnam & announces peace talks

37th US President Richard Nixon
37th US President
Richard Nixon
  • Dec 31 Leap second day; also in 1973-79, 1987
  • Dec 31 AFC Championship, Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh: Miami Dolphins beat Pittsburgh Steelers, 21-7

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 31 Martin McGuinness is arrested and held under the new Republic of Ireland legislation

Sinn Féin Leader Martin McGuinness
Sinn Féin Leader
Martin McGuinness
  • Dec 31 Australian Open Women's Tennis: Margaret Court beats Evonne Goolagong Cawley 6-4, 7-5 for her record 11th and final Australian singles crown
  • Dec 31 NFC Championship, RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C.: Washington Redskins beat Dallas Cowboys 26-3
  • Dec 31 39th Sugar Bowl: #2 Oklahoma beats #5 Penn State, 14-0

Famous Birthdays

  • Dec 1 Norbert Wójtowicz, Polish historian and theologian
  • Dec 2 Alan Henderson, American basketball forward (NBA Most Improved Player 1998; Atlanta Hawks), born in Morgantown, West Virginia
  • Dec 3 Eva Němcová, Czech basketball forward (WNBA record 66 consecutive free throws 2000; Cleveland Rockers), born in Prague, Czech Republic
  • Dec 3 Bucky Lasek, American skateboarder (10 x Summer X Games gold), born in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Dec 4 Ted Johnson, American NFL inside linebacker (Super Bowl 2001, 03-04; New England Patriots), born in Alameda, California
  • Dec 5 Cliff Floyd, MLB outfielder and 1st base (Montreal Expos), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • Dec 5 Kevin Sally, Canadian archer (Olympics 1996), born in Richmond Hill, Ontario
  • Dec 5 Randolph Ross, American 110m hurdler, born in Shelby, North Carolina
  • Dec 5 Roderick Mullen, American NFL defensive back (Green Bay Packers-Super Bowl 31), born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • Dec 5 Mike Mahoney, American baseball player, born in Des Moines, Iowa
  • Dec 5 Angela Shelton, American actress and screenwriter (Tumbleweeds), born in Asheville, North Carolina
  • Dec 6 Brendan Garard, Australian field hockey halfback (Olympics 1996)
  • Dec 6 Gary Bandy, American NFL defensive end (Atlanta Falcons), born in Kansas City, Missouri
  • Dec 6 James Logan, American NFL linebacker (Seattle Seahawks), born in Opp, Alabama
  • Dec 6 Mike Gruttadauri, American football center (St Louis Rams), born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Dec 6 Sarah Rafferty, American actress (Suits), born in New Canaan, Connecticut
  • Dec 7 Bobby Schoonens, Dutch soccer player (RKC), born in Den Bosch, Netherlands
  • Dec 7 Clay Shiver, American NFL center (Dallas Cowboys, Carolina Panthers), born in Tifton, Georgia
  • Dec 7 Jordi Buritlo, Spanish tennis player, born in Barcelona, Spain
  • Dec 7 Kevin Dogins, American NFL player (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), born in Eagle Lake, Texas
  • Dec 7 Hermann Maier, Austrian skier (2 Olympic gold medals 1998), born in Altenmarkt im Pongau, Austria
  • Dec 7 'Sunny' Tammy Lynn Sytch, American professional wrestler (WWF), born in Matawan, New Jersey
  • Dec 8 Marco Abreu, Angolan footballer, born in Lubango, Angola
  • Dec 8 Frank Shamrock, American mixed martial artist, born in Santa Monica, California
  • Dec 9 Fabrice Santoro, Tahitian tennis star, born in Tahiti, French Polynesia
  • Dec 9 Reiko Aylesworth, American actress, born in Evanston, Illinois
  • Dec 9 Tré Cool, German-born American drummer (Green Day), born in Frankfurt, Germany
  • Dec 10 Marcos di Palma, Argentine racing driver, born in Arrecifes, Argentina
  • Dec 10 Brian Molko, Belgian-born singer and songwriter (Placebo - "Nancy Boy"), born in Brussels, Belgium
  • Dec 10 Dimitri Tikovoi, French pop, rock, and dance musician and record producer, born in Paris
  • Dec 11 Daniel Alfredsson, Swedish NHL right wing (Ottawa Senators), born in Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Dec 11 Francisco Rodriguez, American pitcher (Minnesota Twins), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • Dec 11 Robert Robinson, CFL defensive linebacker (Winnipeg Blue Bombers)
  • Dec 11 Dana Macsim, Romanian television news reporter, born in Piatra Neamt, Romania
  • Dec 12 Greg Randolph, American road cyclist (Olympics-74th-96), born in Denver, Colorado
  • Dec 12 Jamal Willis, American NFL running back (SF 49ers), born in Lawton, Oklahoma
  • Dec 12 Missy Francis, American actress (Little House on the Prairie), born in Los Angeles, California
  • Dec 12 Nicky Eaden, English footballer, born in Sheffield, England
  • Dec 12 Wilson Kipketer, Kenyan-born Danish middle-distance runner, born in Kapchemoiywo, Nandi County, Kenya
  • Dec 12 Kevin Parent, French Canadian singer and songwriter, born in Greenfield Park, Quebec, Canada
  • Dec 12 Brandon Teena, American trans man and hate crime victim, born in Lincoln, Nebraska (d. 1993)
  • Dec 12 Yeoryios Theodoridis, Greek sprinter, born in Athens
  • Dec 12 Abubacarr Tambadou, Gambian human rights lawyer (International Court of Justice case against Myanmar persecution of Rohingya)
  • Dec 13 Craig Sauer, American NFL linebacker (Atlanta Falcons), born in Sartell, Minnesota
  • Dec 14 Johnny Mcwilliams, American football tight end (Arizona Cardinals), born in Pomona, California
  • Dec 14 Eric Anderson, American musical theatre actor, born in Newport Beach, California
  • Dec 14 Marcus Jensen, American baseball player, born in Oakland, California
  • Dec 14 Miranda Hart [Miranda Hart Dyke], English comedian and actress (Miranda), born in London, England
  • Dec 15 Rodney Harrison, American NFL safety (San Diego Chargers), born in Markham, Illinois
  • Dec 15 Stuart Townsend, Irish actor
  • Dec 16 Angela Bloomfield, New Zealand actress
  • Dec 16 Charles Gipson, American baseball player
  • Dec 16 Željko Kalac, Australian soccer player
  • Dec 17 Brian Williams, NFL linebacker (Green Bay Packers-Super Bowl 31)
  • Dec 17 Dewayne Washington, cornerback (Minnesota Vikings)
  • Dec 17 Don Davis, linebacker (New Orleans Saints)
  • Dec 17 Ivan Pedroso, Cuba, long jumper (Olympic 4th 1992)
  • Dec 17 John Abraham, Indian actor
  • Dec 17 Laurie Holden, American actress (The Walking Dead), born in Los Angeles, California
  • Dec 18 Jeff Nelson, Prince Albert, NHL center (Washington Capitals)
  • Dec 18 Marcos Ondruska, South Africa, tennis star
  • Dec 18 Trevor Chowning, American Pop Artist
  • Dec 18 DJ Lethal, Latvian-born American DJ (House of Pain, Limp Bizkit)
  • Dec 18 Raymond Herrera, American drummer (Fear Factory) and businessman

Person of interestAlyssa Milano

Dec 19 Alyssa Milano, American actress (Who's the Boss, Charmed) and activist, born in Brooklyn, New York

Actress and Activist Alyssa Milano
Actress and Activist
Alyssa Milano
  • Dec 19 Warren Sapp, American NFL Hall of Fame defensive tackle (Tampa Bay Bucs), born in Orlando, Florida
  • Dec 19 Waverly Jackson, American NFL player (Carolina Panthers), born in South Hill, Virginia
  • Dec 19 Rosa Blasi, American actress, born in Chicago, Illinois
  • Dec 20 Scott Slutzker, American football tight end (Indianapolis Colts), born in Oakland, California
  • Dec 20 Jan Caloun, Czech hockey forward (Team Czech Olympic gold 1998), born in Ústí nad Labem, Czech Republic
  • Dec 20 Jonathan Wyatt, New Zealand 5000m runner (Olympics 1996), born in Wellington, New Zealand
  • Dec 20 Anders Odden, Norwegian musician, born in Stavanger, Norway
  • Dec 21 Latroy Hawkins, American baseball player, born in Gary, Indiana
  • Dec 21 Dustin Hermanson, American baseball player, born in Springfield, Ohio
  • Dec 21 Erwin Schrott, Uruguayan opera singer, born in Montevideo, Uruguay
  • Dec 22 Anthony Edwards, Australian rower (Olympics 1996), born in Ballarat, Australia
  • Dec 22 Kirk Maltby, NHL right wing (Edmonton Oilers), born in Guelph, Canada
  • Dec 22 Mike Thompson, NFL defensive tackle (Jacksonville Jaguars), born in Portage, Wisconsin
  • Dec 22 Vanessa Paradis, French model (Channel)/actress (White Wedding), born in Saint-Maur-des-Fossés, France
  • Dec 22 Big Tigger [Darian Morgan], American television host & radio personality, born in Co-op City, New York
  • Dec 24 Alvaro Mesen, Costa Rican footballer, born in Alajuela, Costa Rica
  • Dec 25 Fantasia [Tonya Manley], American dancer & actress (Pump it Up), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • Dec 25 Josh Freese, American session and touring rock drummer(Devo; Sting; Nine Inch Nails; Kelly Clarkson), born in Orlando, Florida
  • Dec 26 Burnell Roques, American NFL wide receiver (Atlanta Falcons), born in Claremont, California
  • Dec 26 Derrick Cullors, American football running back (New England Patriots), born in Dallas, Texas
  • Dec 26 Esteban Fuertes, Argentine footballer, born in Coronel Dorrego Partido, Argentina
  • Dec 26 Robert Muchamore, English children's author, born in Islington, London
  • Dec 27 Charles Way, NFL fullback (NY Giants)
  • Dec 27 Dewayne Washington, NFL cornerback (Minnesota Vikings)
  • Dec 27 Thomas Wilson Brown, American actor (Jason-Knots Landing), born in Lusk, Wyoming
  • Dec 27 Matt Slocum, American musician (Sixpence None the Richer)
  • Dec 28 Adam Clawson, US slalom canoeist (Olympic-19th-96), born in Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Dec 28 Adam Vinatieri, US NFL placekicker (Amsterdam Admirals, NE Patriots), born in Yankton, South Dakota
  • Dec 28 Jean-Francois Jomphe, Canadian professional ice hockey player (Anaheim), born in Havre-Saint-Pierre, Canada
  • Dec 28 Jim Kitts, US NFL running back (Frankfurt Galaxy, Miami Dolphins), born in Portsmouth, Virginia
  • Dec 28 Patrick Rafter, Australian tennis player (US Open 1997-98), born in Mount Isa, Australia
  • Dec 28 Roberto Palacios, Peruvian footballer, born in Lima, Peru
  • Dec 28 Kevin Stitt, American politician, Governor of Oklahoma (2019-), born in Milton, Florida
  • Dec 29 Malcolm Seabron, NFL wide receiver (Houston Oilers)
  • Dec 29 Jude Law, English actor (The Talented Mr. Ripley), born in London

Famous Weddings

LoveWedding of Interest

Dec 27 Actor Billy Dee Williams (35) weds Teruko Nakagami

Famous Deaths

Person of interestAntonio Segni

Dec 1 Antonio Segni, Italian politician, Prime Minister of Italy (1955-57, 59-60, 62-64), dies at 81

Prime Minister of Italy Antonio Segni
Prime Minister of Italy
Antonio Segni
  • Dec 2 Friedrich Christian Christiansen, German Luftwaffe general, dies
  • Dec 2 Jose Limon, Mexican/US dancer (moor's pavane), dies at 64
  • Dec 2 Ip Man, Chinese martial artist, and a master teacher of Wing Chun, dies at 79
  • Dec 3 Bill Johnson, American musician (b. 1872)
  • Dec 3 Mike Brady, American golfer (US Open 1911, 19 runner-up; 9 PGA Tour titles), dies at 85
  • Dec 5 Kenny Dorham [McKinley], American jazz trumpeter, dies at 48
  • Dec 6 Janet Munro, actress (Crawling Eye, Swiss Family Robinson), dies at 38
  • Dec 8 George Collins, (Rep-Ill), dies at 47, in airplane crash
  • Dec 9 Louella Parsons, American gossip columnist, dies at 91
  • Dec 10 Mark van Doren, American poet and author (Happy Critic, Transients), dies at 78
  • Dec 11 John Mills, New Zealand cricketer (7 Tests for NZ in early 1930's, 241 runs), dies at 67
  • Dec 11 Semjon I. Kirsanov, Ukrainian poet (Zolushka), dies at 66
  • Dec 15 Edward Earle, Canadian actor (Charlie Chan-Meeting at Midnight), dies at 90
  • Dec 15 Herbert Eimert, German composer (Glockenspiel), dies at 75
  • Dec 17 Erwin Dressel, German composer, dies at 63
  • Dec 18 Neilia Biden, Joe Biden's first wife and their 13-month-old daughter Naomi, are killed in an automobile accident a few days before he takes office as the newly elected Senator for Delaware
  • Dec 20 Gabby Hartnett, American Baseball Hall of Fame catcher (MLB All Star 1933–38; NL MVP 1935; Chicago Cubs) and manager (Chicago Cubs), dies of cirrhosis at 72
  • Dec 21 Horace Mann Bond, president of Lincoln University (Pa), dies at 70
  • Dec 23 Andrej Tupolev, Russian aircraft builder, dies at 84
  • Dec 23 Abraham Joshua Heschel, Polish-born Jewish American rabbi and theologian dies in New York aged 65
  • Dec 24 Charles Atlas [Angelo Siciliano], Italian-American bodybuilder, dies at 79
  • Dec 24 Ernst Kreuder, German writer (The Attic Pretenders), dies at 69
  • Dec 24 Melville Ruick, American actor (Sun Valley Serenade, City Hospital), dies at 74
  • Dec 25 C. Rajagopalachari, India's freedom fighter and the first Governor General of independent India, dies at 94

Person of interestHarry Truman

Dec 26 Harry Truman, 33rd US President (Democrat: 1945-53), dies in Kansas City Mo at 88

33rd US President Harry Truman
33rd US President
Harry Truman

Person of interestLester B. Pearson

Dec 27 Lester B. Pearson, 14th Canadian Prime Minister (Nobel Peace Prize 1957), dies at 75

Prime Minister of Canada Lester B. Pearson
Prime Minister of Canada
Lester B. Pearson
  • Dec 29 Fritz Behrend, composer, dies at 83

Person of interestRoberto Clemente

Dec 31 Roberto Clemente, Puerto Rican Baseball Hall of Fame outfielder (15 x MLB All Star; World Series 1960, 71 [MVP]; Pittsburgh Pirates), dies in a plane crash at 38

Baseball Player Roberto Clemente
Baseball Player
Roberto Clemente