On This Day

What Happened in December 1973

Historical Events

  • Dec 1 Australia grants self-government to Papua New Guinea

Golf Tournament

Dec 1 Jack Nicklaus finishes at 13-under-par 275 to win the Walt Disney World Open by 1 stroke from Mason Rudolph; becomes the first player to reach $2 million in PGA Tour career earnings

  • Dec 1 38th Iron Bowl: Alabama beats Auburn 35-0 in Birmingham

Davis Cup

Dec 1 Davis Cup Men's Tennis, Cleveland, Ohio: Rod Laver and John Newcombe beat American pair Stan Smith and Erik van Dillen 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 to give Australia an unassailable 3-0 lead, (ends 5-0); 23rd Cup title for Australia

  • Dec 2 Davis Cup Men's Tennis, Cleveland: After clinching a famous victory the previous day, Australians Rod Laver and John Newcombe finish a 5-0 rout of the US with wins over Stan Smith and Tom Gorman
  • Dec 2 Capital Centre (USAir Arena) opens in Landover Maryland; NBA's Washington Bullets beat Seattle SuperSonics, 98-96 in opening game; arena demolished 2002
  • Dec 3 Pioneer 10 passes Jupiter (1st fly-by of an outer planet) [Dec 4-GMT]
  • Dec 5 Chicago Cubs Ron Santo becomes 1st baseball player to invoke 10-5 rule and veto his trade (with the California Angels)

Album Release

Dec 5 Paul McCartney & Wings release album "Band on the Run" in the US

  • Dec 6 Bahrain's constitution goes into effect

Election of Interest

Dec 6 Gerald Ford sworn-in as first unelected Vice President, succeeds Spiro Agnew who resigned over corruption allegations

  • Dec 6 NL votes to move San Diego Padres to Washington, D.C. (doesn't happen)
  • Dec 7 Orioles sell pitcher Eddie Watt to the Phillies
  • Dec 8 "Seesaw" closes at Uris Theater NYC after 296 performances
  • Dec 8 39th Heisman Trophy Award: John Cappelletti, Penn State (RB)

Sports History

Dec 8 Romanian tennis star Ilie Năstase wins his 3rd consecutive season-ending ATP Masters Grand Prix title with a 6–3, 7–5, 4–6, 6–3 win over Dutchman Tom Okker in Boston, Massachusetts

  • Dec 9 "Pajama Game" opens at Lunt Fontanne Theater NYC for 65 performances
  • Dec 9 NFL St. Louis Cardinal Jim Bakken kicks 6 field goals vs Atlanta Falcons
  • Dec 9 Sunningdale Agreement in Northern Ireland
  • Dec 9 Arab oil ministers announce a further production cut of 5 percent for January for non-friendly countries
  • Dec 10 Bruno Sammartino beats Stan Stasiak, to become WWWF champ for 2nd time

Sports History

Dec 10 First time since 1885, tennis has 2 top male players - Americans Stan Smith and Jimmy Connors

  • Dec 11 Houston Astro Caesar Cedino jailed for the death of 19 year old woman
  • Dec 11 NA Soccer League awards LA, San Francisco, Seattle & Vancouver franchises

Historic Event

Dec 11 West German chancellor Willy Brandt normalizes trade with Czechoslovakia

  • Dec 12 Canada begins selling Olympic coins ($5 & $10 silver coins)
  • Dec 12 San Diego files anti-trust against NL (stopping Padres move to DC)
  • Dec 13 MPLA/FNLA accord about combat against Portuguese Libya
  • Dec 13 World Football League grants 1st franchise (Detroit)
  • Dec 15 American Psychiatric Association declares homosexuality is not a mental illness
  • Dec 15 Pirates of Caribbean ride opens at Disneyland
  • Dec 15 Sandy Hawley becomes 1st jockey to win 500 races in 1 year
  • Dec 15 Tennessee beats Temple 11-6 in low scoring NCAA basketball game
  • Dec 15 American kidnap victim John Paul Getty III freed after ransom paid by oil tycoon grandfather John Paul Getty

Sports History

Dec 16 O.J. Simpson becomes 1st NFL running back to rush for 2,000 yards in a season

  • Dec 17 Arabs terrorists shoot passengers on Boeing 737 to Kuwait
  • Dec 18 Soyuz 13 launched into Earth orbit for 8 days
  • Dec 18 Yanks sign Dick Williams as manager, overturned later by AL Pres
  • Dec 19 "Molly" closes at Alvin Theater NYC after 68 performances
  • Dec 19 Grenada adopts constitution

Sports History

Dec 20 AL president Joe Cronin refuses to allow Dick Williams to manage Yankees

  • Dec 20 Dutch Antillean government of Evertsz forms

Sports History

Dec 20 Montreal Canadien Henri Richard scores his 1,000th NHL point

  • Dec 21 Israel, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, US & USSR meet in Geneva to discuss the Arab-Israeli conflict
  • Dec 21 3rd Fiesta Bowl: #10 Arizona State beats Pittsburgh, 28-7
  • Dec 22 OPEC Gulf Six decides to raise the posted price of marker crude from $5.12 to $11.65 per barrel effective January 1, 1974
  • Dec 23 6 Persian Gulf nations double their oil prices
  • Dec 23 French Caravelle airliner crashes in Morocco, 106 killed
  • Dec 24 Ferryboat capsized off coast of Equador, drowning 200
  • Dec 24 District of Columbia Home Rule Act is passed, allowing residents of Washington, D.C. to elect their own local government.
  • Dec 25 Tommy Chambers (Scotland) finishes 51 yr cycle tour (799,405 miles)
  • Dec 25 The ARPANET crashes when a programming bug causes all ARPANET traffic to be routed through the server at Harvard University, causing the server to freeze.
  • Dec 25 Arab oil ministers cancel January 5 percent production cut; Saudi Arabian oil minister promises 10 percent OPEC production rise

Film Premiere

Dec 25 "The Sting" directed by George Roy Hill, starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford and music inspired by Scott Joplin premieres in Los Angeles and New York (Best Picture 1974)

Football Awards

Dec 25 Ballon d'Or: Ajax forward Johan Cruyff wins his second award for best European football player ahead of Juventus goalkeeper Dino Zoff and Bayern Munich striker Gerd Müller

Film Premiere

Dec 26 Horror film "The Exorcist" based on book and screenplay by William Peter Blatty, starring Linda Blair, rated X, premieres - 1st horror film to be nominated for Best Picture

  • Dec 26 2 Skylab 3 astronauts walk in space for a record 7 hours
  • Dec 26 Soyuz 13 returns to Earth
  • Dec 27 LA Dodgers announce night games will start at 7:30 instead of 8
  • Dec 28 US President Nixon signs Endangered Species Act into law
  • Dec 28 Akron Ohio's Chamber of Commerce terminates itself from Soap Box Derby

Historic Publication

Dec 28 Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn publishes "Gulag Archipelago" - a literary investigation of the police-state system in the Soviet Union

  • Dec 28 Comet Kohoutek at perihelion
  • Dec 30 1st picture of a comet from space (Comet Kohoutek-Skylab)

AFC Championship

Dec 30 AFC Championship, Miami Orange Bowl: Miami Dolphins beat Oakland Raiders, 27-10

  • Dec 30 NFC Championship, Texas Stadium, Irving: Minnesota Vikings beat Dallas Cowboys, 27-10
  • Dec 31 Johan Cruyff chosen European Football Player of theYear

Australian Open Women's Tennis

Dec 31 Australian Open Women's Tennis: Australian Evonne Goolagong Cawley beats Chris Evert 7-6, 4-6, 6-0 for her first of 4 home singles titles

  • Dec 31 40th Sugar Bowl: #3 Notre Dame beats #1 Alabama, 24-23

Famous Birthdays

  • Dec 1 Jon Theodore, American drummer (Queens of the Stone Age), born in Baltimore, Maryland

Monica Seles

Dec 2 Monica Seles, Yugoslavian-American tennis player (9-time Grand Slam title champion), born in Novi Sad, Serbia

  • Dec 2 Jan Ullrich, German road cyclist (Olympic gold road race 2000; Tour de France 1997; Vuelta a España 1999), born in Rostock, Germany
  • Dec 2 Graham Kavanagh, Irish soccer midfielder (16 caps, Rep of Ireland; Stoke City, Cardiff City), born in Dublin, Ireland
  • Dec 3 Holly Marie Combs, American actress (Picket Fences; Charmed), born in San Diego, California
  • Dec 3 Francisco Islas Rueda [Super Crazy], Mexican pro wrestler (WWE; NJPW, Zero-1, AJPW), born in Tulancingo, Hidalgo, Mexico
  • Dec 3 Sammy Leung, Hong Kong disc jockey
  • Dec 4 Corliss Williamson, American basketball forward (NBA C'ship 2004, Detroit Pistons; NBA 6th Man of the Year 2002; NCAA Final 4 MOP 1994), born in Russellville, Arkansas

Tyra Banks

Dec 4 Tyra Banks, American supermodel and actress (Higher Learning; Fresh Prince of Bel Air), born in Inglewood, California

  • Dec 4 Racci Shay, American musician, born in LaGrange, Georgia
  • Dec 4 Ferry Corsten, Dutch musician and DJ, born in Rotterdam, Netherlands
  • Dec 4 Steven Menzies, Australian rugby league lock (13 Tests; NSW 20 games; Manly Sea Eagles), born in Sydney, Australia
  • Dec 4 Kate Rusby, English folk singer and songwriter, born in Barnsley, England
  • Dec 5 Corissa Yasen, American WNBA forward and guard (Sacramento Monarchs), born in Omaha, Nebraska
  • Dec 5 Shalom Harlow, model (House of Style, Harper's Bazaar), born in Toronto, Ontario
  • Dec 5 Luboš Motl, Czech theoretical physicist, born in Plzeň, Czech Republic
  • Dec 5 Sorin Grindeanu, Romanian Prime Minister (2017), born in Caransebeș, Romania
  • Dec 6 Rebekah "Bekah" Mercer, American "Mercer Family Foundation" director and Republican donor, born in Yorktown Heights, New York
  • Dec 7 Terrell Owens, American Pro Football HOF wide receiver (5 × First-team All-Pro; 6 × Pro Bowl; 3 × NFL receiving TD leader; SF 49ers, Dallas Cowboys), born in Alexander City, Alabama
  • Dec 8 Mitch Jacoby, American football tight end (St Louis Rams), born in Port Washington, Wisconsin
  • Dec 8 Doron Bell Jr., Canadian actor, born in Montreal, Canada
  • Dec 8 Corey Taylor, American singer (Slipknot, Stone Sour), born in Des Moines, Iowa
  • Dec 9 Tony Batista, Dominican baseball infielder (Oakland A's), born in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
  • Dec 9 Stacey Abrams, American politician, lawyer and voting rights activist, born in Madison, Wisconsin
  • Dec 10 Bernard Holsey, defensive tackle (NY Giants)
  • Dec 10 Marcus Wall, CFL receiver (Montreal Alouettes)
  • Dec 10 Rusty LaRue, NBA guard (Chicago Bulls)
  • Dec 11 Valentina Lisitsa, Ukrainian-American concert, pianist born in Kiev, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic
  • Dec 11 Erin Moorad, America pairs skater (with partner Richard Gillam), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • Dec 11 Luke Casserly, Australian soccer defender (Olyroos, Olympics 1996), born in Sydney, Australia
  • Dec 11 Ralph Intranuovo, Canadian NHL center (Edmonton Oilers), born in East York, Toronto, Ontario
  • Dec 11 Mos def [Yasiin Bey], American rapper, singer-songwriter and actor, born in Brooklyn, New York City
  • Dec 12 Michael Di Venuto, Australian cricketer (exciting Tasmanian batsman), born in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
  • Dec 12 Reinard Wilson, American football linebacker (Cincinnati Bengals), born in Gainesville, Florida
  • Dec 12 Walter Otta, Argentine footballer (Blooming), born in Río Tercero, Argentina
  • Dec 13 Christie Clark, American actress (Carrie Brady-Days of Our Life), born in Los Angeles, California
  • Dec 13 Shandon Anderson, American NBA forward (Utah Jazz), born in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Dec 14 Eelco Wassenaar, American field hockey midfielder (Olympics 1996)
  • Dec 14 Tia Texada, American actress and singer, born in Louisiana
  • Dec 14 Thuy Trang, Vietnamese-American actress (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers), born in Saigon, Vietnam (d. 2001)
  • Dec 15 Tammy Pearman, American soccer defender (9 caps; NY Power FC), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • Dec 15 Ryu Seung-wan, South Korean actor and director, born in Onyang, South Korea
  • Dec 16 Kristie Boogert, Rotterdam Neth, tennis star (1996 Paris)
  • Dec 16 Scott Storch, Canadian-American hip-hop producer, born on Long Island, New York
  • Dec 16 Mariza [Marisa dos Reis Nunes], Portuguese fado singer, born in Maputo, Portuguese Mozambique
  • Dec 17 Paula Radcliffe, English long-distance runner (marathon world record holder), born in Davenham, England
  • Dec 18 Jason Williams, Gonzales LA, baseball infielder (Olympic bronze 1996)
  • Dec 18 Keith Washington, NFL defensive end (Minnesota Vikings, Baltimore Ravens)
  • Dec 19 Takashi Sorimachi, Japanese actor
  • Dec 19 Zulfiya Zabirova, Russian cyclist
  • Dec 20 Cory Stillman, Canadian NHL center (Calgary Flames), born in Peterborough, Canada
  • Dec 20 Jenny Boucek, WNBA guard (Cleveland Rockers), born in Nashville, Tennessee
  • Dec 20 Muadianvita Kazadi, American football linebacker (St Louis Rams), born in Zaire
  • Dec 21 Mike Alstott, American football fullback (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), born in Joliet, Illinois
  • Dec 21 Karmen Stavec, German-born Slovenian singer, born in West Berlin
  • Dec 22 Annie Pelletier, Canadian diver (Olympic bronze 1996), born in Montreal, Quebec
  • Dec 22 Jamel Williams, American football safety (Washington Redskins), born in Gary, Indiana
  • Dec 22 Katarzyna Duda, Polish concert violinist, born in Warsaw, Poland
  • Dec 23 Tony Graziani, American football quarterback (Atlanta Falcons), born in Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Dec 24 Eddie Pope, soccer defender (Olympic gold 1996), born in Greensboro, North Carolina

Stephenie Meyer

Dec 24 Stephenie Meyer, American author (Twilight Saga), born in Hartford, Connecticut,

  • Dec 25 Chris Harris, American professional wrestler, born in Kentucky
  • Dec 25 Alexandre Trudeau, Canadian journalist, born in Ottawa, Canada
  • Dec 26 Ryan Berube, American 800m freestyle relay (Olympic gold 1996), born in Tequesta, Florida
  • Dec 26 Reichen Lehmkuhl, American television personality, born in Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Dec 27 Bill Clay, Yokosuka Japan, US sprint cyclist (Olympics 1996)
  • Dec 27 Wilson Cruz, actor (My So Called Life, Ally McBeal)
  • Dec 27 Kristoffer Zegers, Dutch composer
  • Dec 27 Dee Ferris, British painter
  • Dec 28 Bobby Taylor, NFL cornerback (Philadelphia Eagles), born in Houston, Texas
  • Dec 28 Garth John Da Silva, heavyweight boxer (Olympics 1996), born in Auckland, New Zealand
  • Dec 28 Herborg Kråkevik, Norwegian singer and actress, born in Jondal, Norway

Seth Meyers

Dec 28 Seth Meyers, American actor, comedian, writer and producer (Late Night with Seth Meyers, Saturday Night Live), born in Evanston,, Illinois

  • Dec 29 Tomas Perez, Barquisimeto Venezuela, infielder (Toronto Blue Jays), born in Lara, Venezuela
  • Dec 29 Theo Epstein, American baseball executive and President of Baseball Operations, born in NYC, New York
  • Dec 30 Don Reid, NBA guard/forward (Detroit Pistons)
  • Dec 30 Robert Walker, Australian rower (Olympics 1996)
  • Dec 30 Ato Boldon, Trinidadian athlete
  • Dec 30 Jon Theodore, American drummer (The Mars Volta, 2001-06; Queens of the Stone Age, 2013-present), born in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Dec 31 Curtis Myden, Canadian 200m/400m swimmer (Olympic 2 bronze-96), born in Calgary, Alberta
  • Dec 31 George Jones, American running back (Pittsburgh Steelers), born in Greenville, South Carolina
  • Dec 31 Hiroyuki Miura, Japanese hockey defenceman (Team Japan 1998, Montreal Canadiens), born in Hokkaido, Japan
  • Dec 31 Malcolm Middleton, Scottish musician (Arab Strap), born in Dumfries, United Kingdom

Famous Weddings

Gale Sayers

Dec 1 NFL running back Gale Sayers (30) weds second wife Ardythe Bullard

Pete Rozelle

Dec 4 NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle (47) weds activist Carrie Cooke

Famous Deaths

  • Dec 2 Watson Washburn, American tennis player (runner-up Wimbledon doubles 1924, US Nationals 1921, 23; founder International Tennis Hall of Fame), dies at 79
  • Dec 3 Emile Christian, American jazz trombonist, dies at 78
  • Dec 4 Michael O'Shea, American actor (Smart Woman), dies of a heart attack at 67

Robert Watson-Watt

Dec 5 Robert Watson-Watt, Scottish physicist and developer of the radar and radio direction finding in WWII, dies at 81

  • Dec 6 Justus Hermann Wetzel, composer, dies at 94
  • Dec 10 Earle Foxe, actor (Dance Fools Dance), dies at 81
  • Dec 13 Henry Green, English author (b. 1905)
  • Dec 14 Yitzhak Edel, Israeli composer, dies at 77
  • Dec 15 Orest Alexandrovich Evlahkov, Russian composer, dies at 61
  • Dec 16 Sid Barnes, Australian cricket batsmen (13 Tests, 3 x 100, 5 x 50, HS 234; NSWCA), dies of barbiturate and bromide poisoning at 57
  • Dec 17 Charles Greeley Abbot, American astronomer (Solar Constant), dies at 101
  • Dec 17 Patrick Hadley, composer, dies at 74
  • Dec 18 Julio César Brero [or Giulio Cesare], Italian-born Argentine composer (Novella), and lawyer, dies at 64
  • Dec 18 Rasheed Turabi, Pakistani scholar, orator and philosopher, dies at 65
  • Dec 20 Bobby Darin [Walden Robert Cassotto], American singer ("Mack the Knife"; "Splish-Splash"; "Beyond the Sea"), and actor, dies of a heart attack at 37
  • Dec 20 Luis Carrero Blanco, Prime Minister of Spain (1973), assassinated by ETA
  • Dec 22 Domingo Julio Gomez Garcia, composer, dies at 87
  • Dec 22 James Anderson, Australian tennis player (Australasian C'ship 1922, 24, 25), dies at 79
  • Dec 23 Irna Phillips, American scriptwriter who created 6 soap operas (Guiding Light), dies at 72
  • Dec 23 Arthur Richardson, Australian cricketer (9 Tests 1924-26), dies at 85
  • Dec 23 Gerard Kuiper, Dutch-American astronomer after whom the Kuiper belt is named, dies at 68
  • Dec 24 Periyar E. V. Ramasamy, Indian Social social activist and reformer, dies at 94
  • Dec 25 İsmet İnönü, Turkish statesman (b. 1884)
  • Dec 25 Gabriel Voisin, French aviation pioneer (b. 1880)
  • Dec 26 Harold B. Lee, American religious leader, Head of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, dies at 74
  • Dec 26 Steven Geray, American actor (French Line), dies at 69
  • Dec 26 William Haines, American actor (Little Annie Rooney), dies of cancer at 73
  • Dec 30 Henri-Paul Busser, composer, dies at 101