On This Day

What Happened in December 1974

Historical Events

  • Dec 1 Boeing 727 crashes in Upperville Virginia, 92 died
  • Dec 1 American Jacqueline Hansen runs female world record marathon 2:43:54.5 in Culver City, California
  • Dec 1 LA Skid Row slasher kills 1st of 8
  • Dec 1 South Africa is awarded the Davis Cup tennis title after India refuses to travel to South Africa for the final in protest of the South African government's apartheid policies
  • Dec 2 Giant Baba beats Jack Brisco in Kagoshimi, to become NWA champ
  • Dec 2 Soyuz 16 launched into Earth orbit for 6 days
  • Dec 2 MLB Rules Committee changes long time philosophy to permit the use of cowhide, rather than just horsehide in the manufacture of baseballs
  • Dec 4 Dutch DC-8 charter crashes in Sri Lanka killing 191 Muslim pilgrims

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 4 Jean-Paul Sartre visits Red Army Faction leader Andreas Baader in prison

  • Dec 5 1st Wash Cap penalty shot, Tom Williams unsuccessful vs Buff Sabres
  • Dec 5 1st World Football League Bowl, Birmingham Americans beat Florida
  • Dec 5 Airport terminal roof in Tehran collapses killing 17

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 5 Final episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus airs on BBC TV

Comedian and Actor Michael Palin
Comedian and Actor
Michael Palin
Actor, Comedian John Cleese
Actor, Comedian
John Cleese
  • Dec 5 NFL's Seattle Seahawks forms
  • Dec 5 Oliver Tilden Triangle in the Bronx named
  • Dec 5 Tom Williams is unsuccessful on Wash Capitals 1st NHL penalty shot

  • Dec 5 Birmingham Americans defeat the Florida Blazers 22-21 in the WFL's World Bowl

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 6 George Harrison releases "Ding Dong, Ding Dong"

Singer-Songwriter George Harrison
Singer-Songwriter
George Harrison
  • Dec 8 Greek monarchy rejected by referendum
  • Dec 8 Irish Republican Socialist Party forms
  • Dec 8 Soyuz 16 returns to Earth
  • Dec 9 Dow Jones index hits 570.01
  • Dec 9 Jack Brisco beats Giant Baba in Tokyo, to become NWA wrestling champ
  • Dec 9 Johnson Grigsby freed after 66 years in jail in Indiana
  • Dec 10 European Economic Community calls for a European Parliament
  • Dec 10 Helios 1 launched by US and Germany; later makes closest flyby of the Sun
  • Dec 13 Jim "Catfish" Hunter wins free agent claim against A's owner Finley
  • Dec 13 Malta becomes a republic
  • Dec 14 Islander Glenn Resch's 1st shut-out opponent-Kings 3-0
  • Dec 14 Viv Richards scores 1st Test Cricket ton 192 v India 20 fours 6 sixes
  • Dec 15 A's Catfish Hunter is ruled a free agent (later signs with Yankees)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 15 Guillermo Vilas of Argentina beats defending champion lie Năstase 7–6, 6–2, 3–6, 3–6, 6–4 to win his first and only season-ending ATP Masters Grand Prix tennis final in Melbourne, Australia

Tennis Player and Four-Time Major Champion Guillermo Vilas
Tennis Player and Four-Time Major Champion
Guillermo Vilas
  • Dec 16 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • Dec 16 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh, Semipalitinsk USSR
  • Dec 18 San Francisco Visitors Center at City Hall opens

Film release premierFilm Premier

Dec 19 "The Man with the Golden Gun", 9th James Bond film, starring Roger Moore, Britt Ekland and Christopher Lee, premieres in London


  • Dec 19 Dave Kryskow scores Washington Capitals 1st NHL shorthanded goal

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 19 Nelson Rockefeller is sworn in as Vice President of the United States

Businessman and US Vice President Nelson Rockefeller
Businessman and US Vice President
Nelson Rockefeller

Film release premierFilm Release

Dec 20 "The Godfather Part II", directed by Francis Ford Coppola and starring Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, is released (Academy Awards Best Picture 1975)

  • Dec 21 Raiders RB Clarence Davis somehow catches game-winning touchdown pass among "the sea of hands" of three Dolphins defenders with 24 seconds left in the game, eliminating Miami from the playoffs, 1st time in 3 years
  • Dec 22 2nd cease-fire between IRA & British; lasts until approx April 1975

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 22 Phil Esposito, Boston, became 6th NHLer to score 500 goals

NHL Star Phil Esposito
NHL Star
Phil Esposito
  • Dec 22 Referenda in Comoros-3 islands for independence, 1 stays French

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 22 Provisional Irish Republican Army bomb home of former UK Prime Minister, Edward Heath, just before announcing Christmas ceasefire

British Prime Minister Edward Heath
British Prime Minister
Edward Heath
  • Dec 22 Iraq announces plans to increase its oil production capacity
  • Dec 23 "Good News" opens at St James Theater NYC for 16 performances

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 23 Leningrad: premier of Dmitri Shostakovich' Michelangelo-liederen

  • Dec 24 Cardinals' Lou Brock is named Sportsman of the Year

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 24 Former US astronaut John Glenn join the Senate for Ohio

Astronaut and Politician John Glenn
Astronaut and Politician
John Glenn
  • Dec 25 Cyclone Tracy virtually destroys Darwin, Australia
  • Dec 25 Marshall Fields drives a vehicle through the gates of the White House, resulting in a four-hour standoff.
  • Dec 26 Washington Capitals 1st NHL sellout
  • Dec 27 40th Heisman Trophy Award: Archie Griffin, Ohio State (RB)
  • Dec 27 Dear Abby show ends run on CBS radio after 11 years
  • Dec 27 FSLN seizes government hostages at a private Managua party
  • Dec 27 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • Dec 28 6.3 earthquake strikes Pakistan: 5200 killed
  • Dec 28 Senegalese marxist group Reenu-Rew founds the political movement And-Jëf at a clandestine congress.
  • Dec 28 4th Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma State beats #17 BYU, 16-6
  • Dec 29 Murray Schisgal's "All Over Town" premieres in NYC

Sport awardAFC Championship

Dec 29 AFC Championship, Oakland Coliseum: Pittsburgh Steelers beat Oakland Raiders, 24-13

NFL Coach and Sportscaster John Madden
NFL Coach and Sportscaster
John Madden
  • Dec 29 NFC Championship, Metropolitan Stadium, Bloomington: Minnesota Vikings beat Los Angeles Rams, 14-10
  • Dec 30 Beatles are legally disbanded (4 years after suit was brought)
  • Dec 31 Gold legal in US, Franklin Mint strikes Panama's Gold 100 balboa coin
  • Dec 31 Lindsey Buckingham & Stevie Nicks join Fleetwood Mac
  • Dec 31 NY Yankees sign Jim "Catfish" Hunter for 5 yrs for a record $3.75 million
  • Dec 31 Popular Electronics displays Altair 8800 computer

Sport awardTennis Open

Dec 31 Australian Open Women's Tennis: Australian Evonne Goolagong Cawley retains her title; beats Martina Navratilova of Czechoslovakia 6-3, 6-2

Tennis Player Martina Navratilova
Tennis Player
Martina Navratilova
  • Dec 31 41st Sugar Bowl: #8 Nebraska beats #18 Florida, 13-10
  • Dec 31 Ballon d'Or: Ajax forward Johan Cruyff wins back-to-back awards, and his 3rd overall, for best European football player ahead of Bayern Munich defender Franz Beckenbauer and Legia Warsaw midfielder Kazimierz Deyna

Famous Birthdays

  • Dec 1 Costinha, Portuguese soccer midfielder and manager (53 caps; Porto, Monaco), born in Lisbon, Portugal
  • Dec 1 David Ludwig, American composer
  • Dec 3 Ralph Staten, safety (Baltimore Ravens)

Person of interestAnke Huber

Dec 4 Anke Huber, German tennis player (Fed Cup 1992, Hopman Cup 1995), born in Bruchsal, Germany

Tennis Player Anke Huber
Tennis Player
Anke Huber
  • Dec 4 Tadahito Iguchi, Japanese baseball player and manager (Chiba Lotte Marines), born in Nishitōkyō, Tokyo, Japan
  • Dec 5 Charlie Batch, National Football League quarterback
  • Dec 6 Arjan Ebbinge, soccer player (FC Groningen)
  • Dec 7 Alex Radutescu, Romania, tennis star
  • Dec 7 Annette Salmeen, 200m butterfly/800m freestyle relay (Olympics 1996)
  • Dec 7 Nicole Appleton, Canadian-born singer
  • Dec 7 Kang Full, South Korean webcomic artist
  • Dec 8 Paul Staight, Victoria Australia, badminton player (Olympics 1996)
  • Dec 8 Cristian Castro, Mexican singer
  • Dec 8 Nick Zinner, American guitarist (Yeah Yeah Yeahs), born in Massachusetts
  • Dec 9 Canibus, American rapper
  • Dec 9 Wendy Dillinger, American female soccer player and coach
  • Dec 10 Meg White, American drummer (The White Stripes), born in Grosse Point Farms, Michigan
  • Dec 11 Kevin Devine, American football cornerback and kick returner (Jacksonville Jaguars), born in Jackson, Mississippi
  • Dec 11 Rey Mysterio, American professional wrestler, born in Chula Vista, California
  • Dec 11 Ben Shephard, English TV personality, born in Epping, Essex, United Kingdom
  • Dec 12 Nolberto Solano, Peruvian footballer, born in Callao, Peru
  • Dec 13 Chris Lewis, CFL safety (Calgary Stampeders)
  • Dec 13 Sara Cox, English TV and radio presenter (The Radio 1 Breakfast Show), born in Bolton, Greater Manchester, England
  • Dec 13 Nicholas McCarthy, German-English guitarist (Franz Ferdinand), born in Blackpool, England
  • Dec 14 Billy Koch, American baseball pitcher (Olympic bronze 1996), born in Garden City, New York
  • Dec 15 Jeffrey van der Stone, soccer player (RKC)
  • Dec 16 Frida Hallgren, Swedish actress
  • Dec 17 Giovonni Ribisi, actor (Cory-My 2 Dads, New Leave it To Beaver)
  • Dec 17 Duff Goldman, American chef
  • Dec 17 Sarah Paulson, American actress (American Horror Story), born in Tampa, Florida
  • Dec 18 Peter Boulware, linebacker (Baltimore Ravens)
  • Dec 18 Euroboy, Norwegian musician (Turbonegro)
  • Dec 18 Kari Byron, artist and television personality
  • Dec 18 Bill Duggan, American television actor and host
  • Dec 19 Bryant Westbrook, cornerback (Detroit Lions)
  • Dec 19 Jake Plummer, quarterback (Arizona Cardinals)
  • Dec 19 Ricky Ponting, Australian cricket batsman, captain, coach and broadcaster (168 Tests, 13,378 runs @ 51.85; 41 x 100s), born in Launceston, Tasmania
  • Dec 19 Mikko Paananen, Finnish bassist (HIM)
  • Dec 20 Augie Ojeda, American baseball infielder (Olympic bronze 1996), born in Los Angeles, California
  • Dec 20 Die, Japanese musician (Dir en grey), born in Mie, Japan
  • Dec 21 Karrie Webb, Australian golfer (7 major titles; US Open 2000-01; 14 LPGA Tour titles), born in Ayr, Queensland
  • Dec 21 Raymond Austin, American defensive back (NY Jets), born in Greensboro, North Carolina
  • Dec 22 Heather Donahue, American writer & actress, born in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania
  • Dec 23 Agustín Delgado, Ecuadorian footballer, born in Ambuquí, Ecuador
  • Dec 24 Marcelo Salas, Chilean footballer, born in Temuco, Chile
  • Dec 24 Ryan Seacrest, American television host, born in Dunwoody, Georgia
  • Dec 25 Chris Naeole, American football coach (New Orleans Saints), born in Kailua, Hawaii
  • Dec 25 Nagma [Nandita Arvind Morarji], Indian actress, born in Mumbai
  • Dec 26 Tiffany Brissette, American actress (Vicki-Small Wonder), born in Paradise, California
  • Dec 26 Tony Brackens, American football defensive end (Jacksonville Jaguars), born in Fairfield, Texas
  • Dec 27 Masi Oka, Japanese-American actor
  • Dec 27 Jay Pandolfo, American ice hockey player
  • Dec 28 Rob Niedermayer, Canadian NHL center (Florida Panthers), born in Cassiar, British Columbia
  • Dec 29 Brad Hodge, Australian cricketer (promising Victorian middle-order batsman), born in Sandringham, Australia
  • Dec 29 James Darling, American football linebacker (Philadelphia Eagles), born in Denver, Colorado
  • Dec 29 Tom Knight, American football cornerback (Arizona Cardinals), born in Summit, New Jersey
  • Dec 29 Mekhi Phifer, American actor, born in Manhattan, New York City
  • Dec 29 Richmond "Richie" Sexson, American baseball player, born in Portland, Oregon
  • Dec 30 Johanna Sällström, Swedish actress (d. 2007)
  • Dec 31 Mario Aerts, Belgian cyclist, born in Herentals, Belgium
  • Dec 31 Tony Kanaan, Brazilian racing driver, born in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil
  • Dec 31 Ryan Sakoda, Japanese American professional wrestler, born in Tokyo, Japan

Famous Deaths

  • Dec 1 Lajos Zilahy, Hungarian/American author (Angry Angel), dies at 83
  • Dec 1 Stephen Gill Spottswood, US bishop/chairman (NAACP), dies at 77
  • Dec 2 Sofie-Carmen Eckhardt-Gramatte, composer, dies at 72
  • Dec 2 Max Weber, Swiss Federal Councilor, dies at 77
  • Dec 4 Lee Kinsolving, actor (Explosive Generation), dies at 36
  • Dec 5 Hazel Hotchkiss Wightman, American tennis player (US Nat C'ship 1909-11, 19), dies at 87
  • Dec 5 Henry Wadsworth, American actor (The Thin Man, Applause, Fast & Loose), dies at 77
  • Dec 5 Pietro Germi, Italian actor, writer and director (Divorce Italian Style, The Facts of Murder), dies from hepatitis at 60
  • Dec 6 Nikolay Kuznetsov, Russian naval commander (Admiral of the Fleet during World War II), dies at 70
  • Dec 9 George Carew, cricketer (4 Tests for WI between 1935 & 1949), dies
  • Dec 9 Jorge Croner de Vasconcelos, Portuguese composer, dies at 64
  • Dec 10 Paul Richards, American actor (Dr Thompson-Breaking Point), dies of cancer at 50
  • Dec 11 Reed Hadley, American actor (Zorro's Fighting Legion, Racket Squad, Shock, Grand Canyon), dies from a heart attack at 63
  • Dec 13 Rufus "Rufe" Davis, American actor (Cocoanut Grove, Trail Blazers, Gangs of Sonora), dies at 66
  • Dec 13 Yakup Kadri Karaosmanoglu, Turkish writer and translator, dies at 85
  • Dec 13 John G. Bennett, British scientist and author, dies at 77

Person of interestWalter Lippmann

Dec 14 Walter Lippmann, American journalist (Public Opinion), dies at 85

Writer and Political Commentator Walter Lippmann
Writer and Political Commentator
Walter Lippmann
  • Dec 15 Erich Walter Sternberg, composer, dies at 83
  • Dec 15 Anatole Litvak, Russian-born American film director, writer and producer (Mayerling, Anastasia, The Snake Pit), dies at 72
  • Dec 16 Kostas Varnalis, Greek poet, dies at 90
  • Dec 16 Helen Hicks, American golfer (Western Open 1937, Titleholders Championship 1940), dies of throat cancer at 63
  • Dec 18 Harry Hooper, American baseball player, dies at 87
  • Dec 20 André Jolivet, French composer (Jeune France, Mana), dies at 69
  • Dec 21 Richard Long, American actor (Prof-Nanny and the Professor), dies at 47
  • Dec 21 James Henry Govier, British artist (b. 1910)
  • Dec 22 Fosco Giachetti, Italian actor (Wastrel, We the Living), dies at 74
  • Dec 22 Lorraine Gauguin, entertainer, dies at 50
  • Dec 24 Tilly Losch, Austrian dancer and actress actress (Duel in the Sun, Good Earth), dies at 70
  • Dec 26 Jack Benny [Benjamin Kubelski], American comedian (Jack Benny Show), dies of pancreatic cancer at 80
  • Dec 26 Knudage Riisager, composer, dies at 77
  • Dec 26 Robert Levine Sanders, American composer, dies at 68
  • Dec 26 Farid al-Atrash [El-Atrache], Syrian composer, musician, virtuoso oud player, and actor (Akher kedba), dies of heart disease at 59
  • Dec 27 Amy Vanderbilt, American authority on etiquette, dies of multiple fractures of the skull at 66
  • Dec 27 Raymond Glenn, American actor (Raisin in the Sun, Carmen Jones), dies at 76
  • Dec 28 Paul Dixon, Ohio talk show host (Paul Dixon Show), dies at 56