On This Day

What Happened in December 1976

Historical Events

  • Dec 1 Angola admitted to the UN
  • Dec 1 Bangladesh General Ziaur Rahman declares himself president

Historic Event

Dec 2 Communist revolutionary Fidel Castro becomes President of Cuba, replacing Osvaldo Dorticós Torrado

  • Dec 3 Patrick J Hillery elected President of Ireland

Historic Event

Dec 6 Dutch war criminal Pieter Menten arrested in Zurich, Switzerland

Historic Event

Dec 7 UN Security Council endorses Kurt Waldheim, Secretary-General for second 5 year term

  • Dec 8 UN General Assembly re-elects Kurt Waldheim Secretary-General
  • Dec 8 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • Dec 8 Asylum Records releases The Eagles fifth studio album "Hotel California"; it spawns two #1 singles and sells over 30 million copies
  • Dec 10 Wings release triple album "Wings Over America"

Nobel Prize

Dec 10 Samuel C. C. Ting is the first person to deliver a Nobel Prize lecture in Mandarin, during the ceremony to award him and Burton Richter the Nobel Prize for Physics for discovering the J/ψ particle

Sports History

Dec 12 QB Joe Namath last game as a NY Jet

  • Dec 12 Spaniard Manuel Orantes beats Wojtek Fibak of Poland 5–7, 6–2, 0–6, 7–6, 6–1 to win his first and only season-ending ATP Masters Grand Prix tennis title in Houston, Texas
  • Dec 13 Golden Gate Bridge District starts ferry service to Larkspur
  • Dec 13 Longest non-stop passenger airflight (Sydney to San Francisco 13h 14m)
  • Dec 14 Dutch 1st Chamber condemns Dutch Liberal/social dem abortion laws
  • Dec 15 Oil tanker Argo Merchant runs aground on the Nantucket Shoals, spilling 7.6 m million gallons of fuel oil - one of the largest oil spills at sea
  • Dec 15 Jamaica premier Manley wins elections
  • Dec 15 Samoa becomes a member of the UN
  • Dec 16 Andrew Young named Ambassador & Chief US Delegate to UN

Sports History

Dec 16 Charlie Finley's $10 million damage suit against Bowie Kuhn begins

  • Dec 16 Government halts swine flu vaccination program following reports of paralysis
  • Dec 16 Liberian tanker stranded at Nantucket, 180,000 barrels oil in sea
  • Dec 17 Superstation WTBS in Atlanta went national

Film Premiere

Dec 18 Second remake of "A Star is Born" film, directed by Frank Pierson and starring Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson, premieres

  • Dec 18 "Wonder Woman" debuts on ABC
  • Dec 18 Soviet dissident Viktor Bukovskiexchanged for Chile CP-leader Corvalan
  • Dec 19 John Lever takes 7-46 in 1st Test Cricket innings, v India Delhi

Historic Event

Dec 19 Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev receives his 5th Order of Lenin

  • Dec 19 Piper Cherokee plane crashes into Baltimore Memorial Stadium upper stands, 10 minutes after Colts lose 40-14 to Pittsburgh Steelers, no one seriously hurt
  • Dec 19 Davis Cup Men's Tennis, Santiago, Chile: Paolo Bertolucci & Adriano Panatta give Italy unassailable 3-0 lead; beat Patricio Cornejo & Jaime Fillol of Chile 6-3, 2-6, 9-7, 6-3; ends, 4-1
  • Dec 20 "Music Is" opens at St James Theater NYC for 8 performances
  • Dec 21 20th Islander shut-out opponent-Billy Smith 3-0 vs Bruins
  • Dec 21 Patricia R Harris named secretary of HUD
  • Dec 21 UN General Assembly passes a resolution declaring 1979-Year of Child
  • Dec 21 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • Dec 22 "Your Arm's Too Short..." opens at Lyceum NYC for 429 performances
  • Dec 22 35 Unification church couples wed in NYC
  • Dec 22 East Germany grants rock singer Nina Hagen her request to leave the country, after refusing her stepfather re-entry
  • Dec 25 Egyptian SS Patria sinks in Red Sea, about 100 killed
  • Dec 25 Takeo Fukuda becomes Japanese premier
  • Dec 25 6th Fiesta Bowl: #8 Oklahoma beats Wyoming, 41-7
  • Dec 26 Richard Adler and Will Holt's musical "Music Is", based on Shakespeare's "The Tempest", starring Christopher Hewitt, and directed by George Abbott, closes at St James Theater, NYC after 8 performances
  • Dec 26 The Communist Party of Nepal (Marxist-Leninist) is founded.

AFC Championship

Dec 26 AFC Championship, Oakland Coliseum: Oakland Raiders beat Pittsburgh Steelers, 24-7

  • Dec 26 NFC Championship, Metropolitan Stadium, Bloomington: Minnesota Vikings beat Los Angeles Rams, 24-13
  • Dec 27 Albania constitution goes into effect
  • Dec 28 "Fiddler on the Roof" opens at Winter Garden Theater NYC for 167 performances
  • Dec 28 Genie Francis joins "General Hospital" as Laura Vining
  • Dec 28 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • Dec 28 Ballon d'Or: Bayern Munich defender Franz Beckenbauer wins title of Europe's best football player for a 2nd time; beats Anderlecht winger Rob Rensenbrink and Dukla Prague goalkeeper Ivo Viktor
  • Dec 30 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • Dec 31 TV soap "Somerset" ends 6 year run
  • Dec 31 The Cars played their 1st gig

Famous Birthdays

  • Dec 1 Konerak Sinthasomphone, Jeffrey Dahmer's victim, born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Dec 1 Brently Heilbron, American satirist
  • Dec 1 Matthew Shepard, American murder victim (d. 1998)
  • Dec 1 Tomasz Adamek, Polish boxer (WBC light heavyweight title 2005-07; IBF, Ring magazine and lineal cruiserweight title 2008-09), born in Żywiec, Poland
  • Dec 3 Byron Kelleher, New Zealand rugby union halfback (57 caps; Highlanders, Chiefs, Toulouse), born in Dunedin, New Zealand
  • Dec 3 Mark Boucher, South African cricket wicketkeeper (147 Tests, record 555 dismissals; 295 ODIs), born in East London, Eastern Cape, South Africa
  • Dec 4 Amie Comeaux, American country music singer, born in Brusly, Louisiana (d. 1997)
  • Dec 4 Kristina Groves, Canadian speed skater (Olympic silver 1,500m, team pursuit 2006, silver 1500m bronze 3000m 2010), born in Ottawa, Ontario
  • Dec 4 Betty Lennox, American basketball guard (WNBA champion, WNBA Finals MVP 2004, Seattle Storm), born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • Dec 5 Xavier Garbajosa, French rugby union footballer, born in Toulouse, France
  • Dec 5 Amy Acker, American actress (Root-Person of Interest), born in Dallas, Texas
  • Dec 5 Evonne Hsu, Taiwanese-American Mando-pop singer, born in Longview, Texas
  • Dec 6 Alicia Machado, Venezuelan-American actress, winner of Miss Universe 1996 and Donald Trump critic, born in Maracay, Venezuela
  • Dec 6 Lindsay Price, American actress (Bold & Beautiful, All My Children), born in Arcadia, California
  • Dec 6 Colleen Haskell, American television personality (Survivor: Borneo 2000 contestant), born in Bethesda, Maryland
  • Dec 7 Alan Faneca, American football player (Pittsburgh Steelers), born in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Dec 7 Brent Johnson, Canadian football player (BC Lions), born in Kingston, Ontario
  • Dec 7 Georges Laraque, Canadian ice hockey player (Edmonton Oilers), born in Montreal, Quebec
  • Dec 7 Derek Ramsay, British-Filipino actor (No Other Woman), TV personality ("Eat Bulaga!"), and ultimate frisbee player, born in Enfield, England
  • Dec 7 Mark Duplass, American filmmaker and musician (The Morning Show), born in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Dec 8 Naimee Coleman, Irish singer and songwriter, born in Dublin, Ireland
  • Dec 8 Reed Johnson, American baseball player, born in Riverside, California
  • Dec 8 Dominic Monaghan, English actor (The Lord of the Rings, Lost), born in Berlin, West Germany
  • Dec 9 Chris Booker, American baseball player, born in West Virginia
  • Dec 11 Shareef Abdur-Rahim, NBA forward (Vancouver Grizzlies), born in Marietta, Georgia
  • Dec 12 Dan Hawkins, English guitarist (The Darkness), born in Chertsey, England
  • Dec 12 Lloyd Owusu, English-Ghanaian football player, born in Slough, England
  • Dec 13 Radosław Sobolewski, Polish footballer, born in Białystok, Poland
  • Dec 13 Søren Friis, Danish footballer (AC Horsens)
  • Dec 13 Josh Fogg, American baseball player, born in Lynn, Massachusetts
  • Dec 14 Leland Chapman, American bounty hunter, born in Groom, Texas
  • Dec 14 André Couto, Portuguese racing driver, born in Lisbon, Portugal
  • Dec 14 Santiago Ezquerro, Spanish footballer (Athletic Bilbao), born in Calahorra, Spain
  • Dec 15 Baichung Bhutia, Indian soccer striker (80 caps; SC East Bengal, AC Mohun Bagan), born in Tinkitam, India
  • Dec 15 Elix Skipper, American professional wrestler, born in Roosevelt, New York


Dec 16 Stuart Ashen, English YouTube personality (Ashens, Ashens and the Quest for the GameChild), born in Norwich

  • Dec 17 Nir Davidovich, Israeli footballer
  • Dec 17 Patrick Müller, Swiss footballer
  • Dec 17 Takeo Spikes, American football player
  • Dec 17 Andrew Simpson, Chertsey, Surrey, sailor (Olympic gold 2008), (d. 2013)
  • Dec 18 Koyuki, Japanese actress and model
  • Dec 20 Jang Hyuk, Korean actor, born in Busan, South Korea
  • Dec 20 Aubrey Huff, American baseball player, born in Marion, Ohio
  • Dec 20 Adam Powell, Welsh computer programmer and game designer (Neopets), born in Newport, Wales
  • Dec 20 Ramon Stoppelenburg, Dutch traveler and author, born in Leiden, Netherlands
  • Dec 21 Mirela Manjani, Greek javelin thrower, born in Durrës, Albania
  • Dec 22 Brian A. Alexander, American screenwriter and director
  • Dec 22 Katleen De Caluwé, Belgian athlete, born in Rumst, Belgium
  • Dec 22 Jason Lane, American baseball player, born in Santa Rosa, California
  • Dec 23 Dimitris Mavrogenidis, Greek footballer, born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan
  • Dec 23 Brad Lidge, American baseball player, born in Sacramento, California
  • Dec 23 Jamie Noble, American professional wrestler, born in Hanover, West Virginia
  • Dec 25 Tuomas Holopainen, Finnish rock keyboardist and songwriter (Nightwish), born in Kitee, Finland
  • Dec 25 Armin van Buuren, Dutch DJ & producer, born in Leiden, Netherlands
  • Dec 26 Lea De Mae, Czech actress, born in Prague, Czech Republic (d. 2004)
  • Dec 27 Fernando Pisani, Canadian/Italian ice hockey player
  • Dec 27 Aaron Stanford, American actor
  • Dec 28 Joe Manganiello, American actor (Spider-Man, Magic Mike XXL, True Blood), born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Dec 29 Saqlain Mushtaq, British-Pakistani cricketer (Pakistan Test off-spinner 1995), born in Lahore, Pakistan
  • Dec 29 Danny R. McBride, American actor, writer, and producer, born in Statesboro, Georgia
  • Dec 30 A.J. Pierzynski, American baseball player
  • Dec 31 Craig Reucassel, Australian comedian, member of The Chaser, born in South Africa

Famous Weddings

Elizabeth Taylor

Dec 4 Actress Elizabeth Taylor (44) marries for the 7th time to politician John Warner (49)

Famous Deaths

  • Dec 1 George Earnshaw, American baseball pitcher (World Series 1929-30; Philadelphia Athletics), dies at 76
  • Dec 2 Danny Murtaugh, American baseball infielder and manager (World Series 1960, 71; Pittsburgh Pirates), dies from a stroke at 59
  • Dec 2 William Tannen, American actor (Jailhouse Rock, Sitting Bull), dies at 65
  • Dec 3 Mary Nash, actress (Philadelphia Story, Till the Clouds Roll By), dies at 91
  • Dec 4 Ace Gutowsky, Russian/American football fullback (Portsmouth Spartans, Brooklyn Dodgers; NFL C'ship 1935, Detroit Lions), dies of cancer at 67

Benjamin Britten

Dec 4 [Edward] Benjamin Britten, English composer (The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra; Peter Grimes), dies of heart failure at 63

  • Dec 4 Tommy Bolin, American rock guitarist and songwriter (Deep Purple), dies of heroin and other substances overdose at 25
  • Dec 4 W. F. McCoy, Northern Irish politician (b. 1886)
  • Dec 5 Benjamin Thackston "Tack" Knight, American cartoonist ("Little Folks"), dies at 81
  • Dec 6 João Goulart, President of Brazil (b. 1918)
  • Dec 9 Nino Martini, Italian actor (The Gay Desperado, Here's to Romance), dies from a heart attack at 71
  • Dec 9 Wes Ferrell, American baseball pitcher (MLB All-Star 1933, 37; no-hitter 1931; record 37 career HRs hit by a pitcher), dies at 68
  • Dec 12 John "Jack" Cassidy, American singer and actor (Oscar-He & She; The Eiger Sanction), dies in an apartment fire at 49
  • Dec 12 Vinko Zganec, Croatian ethnomusicologist (b. 1890)
  • Dec 13 Eduard Claudius, writer, dies
  • Dec 16 George, a goose that lived to 49 years 8 months, dies
  • Dec 16 Réal Caouette, French Canadian politician (Social Credit Party of Canada), dies at 59
  • Dec 18 George Emmett, cricketer (England opener v Aust Old Trafford 1948), dies
  • Dec 20 Richard J Daley, American politician (38th Mayor-Chicago-D:1955-76), dies of a heart attack at 74
  • Dec 20 Walter Fitzgerald, actor (Adv of Sadie, Fallen Idol), dies at 80
  • Dec 21 Edward Bartlett, cricketer (WI Test batsman in 5 Tests 1928-31), dies
  • Dec 23 Frank Forest, actor (Big Broadcast of 1937, Champagne Waltz), dies
  • Dec 23 Paul M Frank Forest, dies at 80
  • Dec 23 Walter Bauer, German Canadian writer, dies at 72
  • Dec 24 Victor Stanitsin, actor (War & Peace, Jubilee), dies at 79
  • Dec 24 Duarte Nuno, Duke of Braganza, heir to the throne of Portugal (b. 1907)
  • Dec 25 Arthur Mitchell, English cricket batsman (6 Tests, 2 x 50; Yorkshire CCC), dies at 74
  • Dec 25 Frankie Darro [Frank Johnson], American actor (Radio Ranch, Wild Boys of the Road, Valley of Wanted Men), dies of a heart attack at 58
  • Dec 26 Philip Hart, American lawyer and politician (U.S. Senator (D) from Michigan, 1959-76), dies from cancer at 64
  • Dec 27 Main Rousseau Bocher, American uniform designer (Red Cross, Girl Scouts, Waves), dies at 86
  • Dec 28 Freddie King, American blues singer (Hideaway), dies at 42
  • Dec 28 Katharine Byron, U.S. Congresswoman, dies at 73
  • Dec 29 Ivo van Damme, Belgian 800/1500 m sprinter (Olympic silver 1976), dies at 22