On This Day

What Happened in December 1977

Historical Events

  • Dec 2 First day of World Series Cricket at VFL Park in Melbourne; barely 200 people see Australia dismissed for 256 by West Indies; Ray Bright top scores with 69; Michael Holding captures 4 wickets & Andy Roberts 3; WI go on to win 1st WSC 'Test' by 3 wickets

Dictator Bokassa I

Dec 4 Jean-Bédel Bokassa crowns himself Emperor of the Central African Empire in a lavish ceremony costing US$20 million - one third of the nation's budget

  • Dec 4 NFL's 5,000th game, Cincinnati beats KC 27-7

Film & TV History

Dec 4 Neil Simon's "Chapter Two" premieres in NYC

  • Dec 4 West Indies win 1st World Series Cricket 'Test' against Australia at VFL Park in Melbourne by 3 wickets; chasing 235 for victory, Viv Richards with 56 and Clive Lloyd 44 guide WI to 237/7 with 2 days to spare
  • Dec 4 Davis Cup Men's Tennis, Sydney: John Alexander beats Adriano Panatta of Italy 6-4, 4-6, 2-6, 8-6, 11-9 in a 3 hour, 54 minute classic to give Australia a 3-1 victory
  • Dec 5 Egypt breaks off diplomatic relations with Syria, Libya, Algeria, Iraq & South Yemen
  • Dec 6 South Africa grants Bophuthatswana independence
  • Dec 7 Islander Billy Smith's 10th shut-out opponent-Black Hawks 4-0
  • Dec 8 43rd Heisman Trophy Award: Earl Campbell, Texas (RB)
  • Dec 10 Soyuz 26 carries 2 cosmonauts to Salyut 6 space station
  • Dec 11 Mairead Corrigan and Betty Williams, leaders of the group 'Peace People' (an organization dedicated to encouraging a peaceful resolution of 'the Troubles' in Northern Ireland) receive the Nobel Peace Prize
  • Dec 12 Yanks purchase Andy Messersmith from Braves
  • Dec 13 14 University of Evansville basketball players die in plane crash

Album Release

Dec 13 Asylum Records releases "Don Juan's Reckless Daughter", Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell's 9th studio album;

  • Dec 14 Egyptian & Israeli representatives gather in Cairo for first formal peace conference
  • Dec 14 MLB Boston Red Sox trade Fergie Jenkins to Texas Rangers for John Poloni & cash
  • Dec 14 Test Cricket debut of Pakistan spin bowling great Abdul Qadir v England in 1st Test at Lahore

Historic Event

Dec 14 Dutch war criminal Pieter Menten sentenced in Amsterdam to 15 years

  • Dec 17 Bobby Simpson scores 176 Australia v India at the WACA, aged 41

TV Show Appearance

Dec 17 Elvis Costello & The Attractions 1st US TV appearance on "Saturday Night Live"

  • Dec 17 France performs nuclear test at Mururoa atoll
  • Dec 17 Rookie defenseman Barry Beck scores first career hat trick and adds an assist in Colorado Rockies' 5-1 win v Minnesota North Stars; sets NHL record for rookie defensemen with a goal in his 6th straight game
  • Dec 18 NBA Cleveland Cavaliers retire jersey # 42, Nate Thumond
  • Dec 18 Dutch Antilles: premier Boy Rozendal points independence off
  • Dec 19 Dutch government of Van Agt/Wiegel forms
  • Dec 20 1st Space walk made by Soviet cosmonaut Georgy Grechko during Salyut 6 EO-1 mission
  • Dec 20 RAF -terrorist Knut Folkerts sentenced to 20 years
  • Dec 22 36 die as grain elevator at Continental Grain Company plant explodes

Music History

Dec 23 British singer-songwriter Cat Stevens formally converts to Islam, taking the name Yusuf Islam

  • Dec 24 "Ghost to the Post", Raiders tight end Dave Casper ("The Ghost") catches a 42-yard reception to set up the Raiders' tying field goal near the end of regulation (Raiders win in OT)

Meeting of Interest

Dec 25 Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin meets Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in Egypt

  • Dec 25 7th Fiesta Bowl: #8 Penn State beats #15 Arizona State, 42-30
  • Dec 26 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR

Football Awards

Dec 27 Ballon d'Or: Borussia Mönchengladbach's Danish forward Allan Simonsen is named Europe's best football player ahead of Hamburg forward Kevin Keegan and Nancy midfielder Michel Platini

  • Dec 29 Ronald Ribman's "Cold Storage" premieres in NYC
  • Dec 30 Carter holds 1st news conference by US President in Eastern Europe (Warsaw)

Australian Open Women's Tennis

Dec 30 Australian Open Women's Tennis: Evonne Goolagong Cawley wins her 6th career Grand Slam title; beats fellow Australian Helen Gourlay Cawley 6-3, 6-0

  • Dec 31 "Bubbling Brown Sugar" closes at ANTA Theater NYC after 766 performances
  • Dec 31 "Man of La Mancha" closes at Palace Theater NYC after 124 performances
  • Dec 31 Amir Sheikh Jabir al-Ahmad al-Jabir Al Sabah becomes leader of Kuwait
  • Dec 31 Cambodia drops diplomatic relations with Vietnam
  • Dec 31 Donald Woods, a banned anti-Apartheid white editor flees South Africa

Historic Event

Dec 31 Ted Bundy escapes from jail in Colorado

  • Dec 31 WFAT (Brooklyn New York pirate radio station) begins broadcasting on 1620 AM

Australian Men's Tennis Open

Dec 31 Australian Open Men's Tennis: American Vitas Gerulaitis wins his first and only Grand Slam event; beats Englishman John Lloyd 6-3, 7-6, 5-7, 3-6, 6-2

  • Dec 31 Kenyan writer Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o is imprisoned for co-writing a play critical of the Kenyan government

Famous Birthdays

  • Dec 1 Brad Delson, American rock guitarist (Linkin Park), born in Agoura, California
  • Dec 2 Siyabonga Nomvethe, South African soccer forward (81 caps; Moroka Swallows, AmaZulu), born in Durban, South Africa
  • Dec 3 Adam Małysz, Polish ski jumper (record 4 individual World C'ship gold medals), Wisła, Poland
  • Dec 4 Shahid Nazir, Pakistani cricket fast bowler (15 Tests, 36 wickets; 17 ODIs), born in Faisalabad, Punjab
  • Dec 4 Big Pokey [Milton Powell], American rapper (Screwed Up Click), born in Houston, Texas
  • Dec 4 Ajit Agarkar, Indian cricket all-rounder (26 Tests, 58 wickets, top score 109; 191 ODIs), born in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
  • Dec 6 Kevin Cash, American baseball catcher (World Series 2007, 09; Boston Red Sox; New York Yankees) and manager (AL Manager of the Year 2020; TB Rays), born in Tampa, Florida
  • Dec 6 Andrew Flintoff, English cricketer, born in Preston, Lancashire, England
  • Dec 6 Paul McVeigh, Irish footballer (Norwich City), born in Belfast, Northern Ireland
  • Dec 7 Fernando Vargas, American welterweight boxer (Olympics 1996), born in Oxnard, California
  • Dec 7 Dominic Howard, English drummer (Muse), born in Stockport, England
  • Dec 7 Luke Donald, English golfer (US Masters 2005, PGA C'ship 2006 3rd), born in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire
  • Dec 8 Elsa Benítez, Mexican supermodel, born in Hermosillo, Mexico
  • Dec 8 Sébastien Chabal, French rugby union footballer, born in Valence, France
  • Dec 8 Ryan Newman, American NASCAR driver, born in South Bend, Indiana
  • Dec 9 Saskia Garel, Canadian actress, born in Kingston, Jamaica
  • Dec 9 Shayne Graham, American football player, born in Radford, Virginia
  • Dec 9 Imogen Heap, English singer-songwriter, born in London Borough of Havering, United Kingdom
  • Dec 10 Emmanuelle Chriqui, Canadian actress
  • Dec 11 Mark Streit, Swiss ice hockey player, born in Englisberg, Switzerland
  • Dec 12 Bridget Hall, American model (Ford), born in Dallas, Texas
  • Dec 12 Nicole, Erica and Jaclyn Dahm, American triplet Playboy models, born in Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Dec 12 Orlando Hudson, American baseball player, born in Darlington, South Carolina
  • Dec 13 Sascha Kindred, British Paralympic swimmer, born in Münster, Germany
  • Dec 13 Peter Stringer, Irish rugby union footballer, born in Cork, Ireland
  • Dec 14 Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Colombian-Austrian conductor (Houston Symphony, 2014-22; Frankfurt Radio Symphony, 2005-2021), born in Medellín, Colombia
  • Dec 15 Catherine Fox, American swimmer (Olympic gold 4×100m freestyle, 4×100m medley 1996; World C'ships gold 4×100m freestyle 1998), born in Roeland Park, Kansas
  • Dec 16 Sylvain Distin, French footballer
  • Dec 17 Arnaud Clement, French tennis player
  • Dec 18 José Acevedo, Dominican MLB baseball pitcher (Cincinnati Reds, 2001-04; Colorado Rockies, 2005), born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
  • Dec 18 Maria Brink, American heavy metal singer and songwriter (In This Moment), born in Schenectady, New York
  • Dec 19 Jorge Garbajosa, Spanish basketball forward and administrator (Toronto Raptors; president Spanish Basketball Federation), born in Madrid, Spain
  • Dec 20 David Feldman, Brazilian-Israeli jazz and bossa nova pianist, arranger, and composer, born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Dec 22 Joanna Hughes, Australian gymnast (Olympics 1996), born in Victoria, Australia
  • Dec 23 Becky Ruehl, American diver (Olympic 4th 1996), born in Lakeside Park, Kentucky
  • Dec 23 Alge Crumpler, American football player, born in Greenville, North Carolina
  • Dec 23 Jari Mäenpää, Finnish heavy metal guitarist and singer (Wintersun), born in Finland
  • Dec 23 Paul Shirley, American basketball player, born in Redwood City, California
  • Dec 25 Jim Greco, American skateboarder (Bakerboys Distribution, Deathwish Skateboards, Hammers), born in New Haven, Connecticut
  • Dec 25 Uhm Ji-won, South Korean actress, born in Daegu, South Korea
  • Dec 25 Israel Vázquez, Mexican boxer (WBC, IBF, Lineal Super bantamweight champion), born in Mexico City, Mexico
  • Dec 27 Kate Nelson, rhythmic gymnast (Olympics 1996), born in Evanston, Illinois
  • Dec 27 Jacqueline Pillon, Canadian actress
  • Dec 28 Shane Elford, Australian rugby league player, born in Penrith, Australia
  • Dec 29 Katherine Moennig, American actress, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Dec 29 Jimmy Journell, American baseball player, born in Springfield, Ohio
  • Dec 30 Laila Ali, American boxer
  • Dec 30 Grant Balfour, Australian baseball player
  • Dec 30 Scott Lucas, Australian rules footballer
  • Dec 30 Kenyon Martin, American basketball player
  • Dec 31 Donald Trump Jr., American businessman and son of Donald Trump and Ivana Trump, born in NYC, New York
  • Dec 31 Wardy Alfaro, Costa Rican footballer, born in Alajuela, Costa Rica

Psy

Dec 31 Psy [Park Jae-sang], South Korean pop star (Gangnam Style), born in Seoul, South Korea


Famous Weddings

David Mamet

Dec 21 American Jewish playwright and screenwriter "Glengarry Glen Ross" David Mamet marries 1st wife actress Lindsay Crouse

Michelle Bachelet

Dec 23 Future President of Chile Michelle Bachelet (26) weds architect Jorge Dávalos


Famous Deaths

  • Dec 1 Paul Hardy, Belgian designer (Italian Country, dies at 69
  • Dec 1 Teun Struycken [Antoon Arnold Marie Struycken], Dutch Minister of Justice (1950-51) and Governor of the Netherlands Antilles (1951-56), dies at 70
  • Dec 4 Leila Hyams, actress (Red Headed Woman, Freaks), dies at 72
  • Dec 5 Aleksandr Vasilevsky, Soviet military commander (b. 1895)
  • Dec 5 Rahsaan Roland Kirk, American jazz multi-instrumentalist (Bright Moments, The Case of the 3 Sided Dream in Audio Color) dies of a stroke at 42
  • Dec 7 Paul Gibb, cricketer (England batsman, 8 Tests), dies

Peter Carl Goldmark

Dec 7 Peter Carl Goldmark, Hungarian-American engineer (developed the 33-1/3 rpm LP phonograph record format), dies in a car accident at 77

  • Dec 9 Clarice Lispector, Ukrainian-Brazilian writer (Laços de Família), dies at 56
  • Dec 10 Adolph Rupp, American basketball coach (b. 1901)
  • Dec 12 Baroness Clementine Spencer-Churchill (nee Hozier), widow of Sir Winston, dies at 92
  • Dec 12 Frank Boucher, Canadian Hockey HOF center (Ottawa Sens, Vancouver Maroons, NY Rangers), coach (Stanley Cup 1939–40 NY Rangers) and executive (GM NY Rangers), dies at 76
  • Dec 13 Charles Petrie, British historian known for his study of royalism and Jacobitism (If: A Jacobite Fantasy), dies at 82
  • Dec 15 Wilfred Kitching, English, 7th General of The Salvation Army (b. 1893)
  • Dec 16 Risto Jarva, Finnish filmmaker (b. 1934)
  • Dec 16 Benny de Weille, German swing jazz clarinetist and bandleader, dies at 62
  • Dec 18 Cyril Ritchard, Australian actor (Peter Pan; Hans Brinker), dies at 80
  • Dec 18 Louis Untermeyer, American poet and critic (Immortal Poems, Story Poems), dies at 92
  • Dec 18 Walter Breedveld, Dutch writer (Een ship vergaat), dies at 76
  • Dec 19 Nellie Tayloe Ross, American politician and the 1st woman to serve as a governor (Wyoming, 1925-27), dies at 101
  • Dec 22 Johann Nepomuk David, composer, dies at 82
  • Dec 24 Samael Aun Weor, Colombian writer (b. 1917)

Charlie Chaplin

Dec 25 Charlie Chaplin, British actor and comedian (Modern Times, The Kid), dies in Switzerland at 88

  • Dec 26 Howard Hawks, American director and producer (Rio Bravo, Scarface, The Big Sleep), dies at 81
  • Dec 26 Ivan Rezak, Czech composer, dies at 53
  • Dec 31 Nora Marlowe, actress (Sara-Gov & JJ), dies at 62
  • Dec 31 Sabah III Al-Salim Al-Sabah, ruler of Kuwait (b. 1924)