What Happened in December 1981

Historical Events

  • Dec 1 Yugoslavian charter flight crashes into Mont San-Pietro in Corsica, 180 killed

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 1 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar passes Oscar Robertson (26,710) to become the NBA’s second all-time leading scorer behind Wilt Chamberlain; scores 14 points in 117-86 Lakers' win over Utah Jazz in Los Angeles

  • Dec 2 Pitcher Fernando Valenzuela becomes 3rd consecutive LA Dodgers player to be named National League Rookie of the Year; Rick Sutcliffe 1979, Steve Howe 1980
  • Dec 2 Moscone Convention Center, San Francisco, opens at 11:30 AM
  • Dec 2 Spanish government requests membership of NATO
  • Dec 2 American 1,500m record holder Steve Scott sets record for fastest round of golf played on a regulation course; posts a 92, completing 18 holes in 29:33.05s at Miller GC in Anaheim, California
  • Dec 3 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • Dec 4 "Falcon Crest" premieres on CBS-TV

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 4 Reagan Executive Order on Intelligence (No 12333) that allows CIA to engage in domestic counter-intelligence

US President & Actor Ronald Reagan
US President & Actor
Ronald Reagan
  • Dec 4 According to South Africa, Ciskei gains independence. Not recognized as an independent country outside South Africa.
  • Dec 5 47th Heisman Trophy Award: Marcus Allen, Southern Cal (RB)
  • Dec 5 France performs nuclear test
  • Dec 6 Rob de Castella of Australia sets Marathon record at 2:08:18
  • Dec 7 Spain becomes a member of the NATO
  • Dec 8 France performs nuclear test
  • Dec 9 Porn star John Holmes charged with Laurel Canyon murders

  • Dec 10 -13] El Salvador army kills 900
  • Dec 10 Jules Feiffer's "Grownups" premieres in NYC
  • Dec 10 The United Nations General Assembly approves Pakistan's proposal for establishing nuclear free-zone in South Asia.
  • Dec 11 Argentine President General Roberto Viola flees

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 11 Muhammad Ali's 61st & last fight, losing to Trevor Berbick

Heavyweight Boxing Champion Muhammad Ali
Heavyweight Boxing Champion
Muhammad Ali
  • Dec 11 Spacelab I arrives at Kennedy Space Center
  • Dec 11 UN Secrity Council choses Javier Pérez de Cuélla of Peru as the 5th Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • Dec 11 Wash Capitals biggest margin of victory (9) beating Toronto 11-2
  • Dec 11 El Mozote massacre: Salvadoran armed forces kill an estimated 900 civilians in an anti-guerrilla campaign during the country's civil war.
  • Dec 12 "1st" closes at Martin Beck Theater NYC after 37 performances
  • Dec 12 Gambia & Senegal sign agreement to be known as Senegambia in Feb 1982
  • Dec 13 70th Davis Cup: USA beats Argentina in Cincinnati (3-1)
  • Dec 13 Poland's authoritarian communist government declares martial law and arrests Solidarity activists in a failed attempt to crush the opposition
  • Dec 14 Israel annexes Golan Heights (seized from Syria in war of 1967)
  • Dec 15 NASA launches Intelsat V satellite, no. 503
  • Dec 16 Dutch Van Agt's 2nd government falls
  • Dec 17 Members of Red Brigades kidnap Brigadier General James L Dozier
  • Dec 19 Sixteen lives are lost when the Penlee, Cornwall, lifeboat goes to the aid of the stricken coaster Union Star in heavy seas.
  • Dec 19 Romuald Spasowski, Polish ambassador to the United States defects to show support for the Solidarity movement amid a crackdown
  • Dec 20 Harry Krieger and Tom Eyen's musical "Dreamgirls" opens at Imperial Theater NYC for 1522 performances
  • Dec 20 Browns set team records for most fumbles (9) & most turnovers (10)
  • Dec 20 Winnipeg left wing Doug Smail sets NHL record by scoring just 4 seconds into Jets' 5-4 win over the St Louis Blues; fastest goal from opening face-off to back of net in history; later tied by Bryan Trottier and Alex Mogilny
  • Dec 21 Cincinnati beats Bradley 75-73 in 7 OTs (NCAA record)
  • Dec 22 Argentine general Leopoldo Galtieri sworn in as president
  • Dec 22 Belgium's 5th government of Martens forms
  • Dec 23 Geoffrey Boycott becomes leading run-scorer in Test Cricket with 8033
  • Dec 24 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • Dec 26 One of the great day's Test Cricket at the MCG Australia v West Indies
  • Dec 27 Lillee becomes the leading wicket-taker in test cricket with 310

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 27 Oiler Wayne Gretzky becomes fastest NHLer to get 100 pts (38th game)

Ice Hockey Great Wayne Gretzky
Ice Hockey Great
Wayne Gretzky
  • Dec 27 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • Dec 28 Cleveland Metroparks Administrative offices move from downtown to Zoo
  • Dec 28 Warner-Elektra-Atlantic raises price of 45 records from $1.68 to $1.98
  • Dec 28 1st American test-tube baby, Elizabeth Jordan Carr is born in Norfolk, Virginia
  • Dec 29 Ballon d'Or: German 1-2-3 with Bayern Munich forward Karl-Heinz Rummenigge taking title of Europe's best football player for the 2nd straight year; beats team mate Paul Breitner and Barcelona midfielder Bernd Schuster
  • Dec 30 Wayne Gretzky scores 5 goals and an assist in Edmonton's 7-5 win over Philadelphia; gives Gretzky 50 goals in 39 games, the fastest 50 in 50 in NHL history; also sets NHL record with 15-game assist streak

Music releaseMusic Single

Dec 30 "That Girl" single released by Stevie Wonder (Billboard Song of the Year 1982)

Singer-Songwriter Stevie Wonder
Singer-Songwriter
Stevie Wonder
  • Dec 31 CNN Headline News debuts
  • Dec 31 Lt Jerry Rawlings becomes head of Ghana, suspends constitution
  • Dec 31 Netherlands unemployment stands at record 475,000

Famous Birthdays


Person of interestBritney Spears

Dec 2 Britney Spears, American popstar ("Baby One More Time," "Oops! ...I did it again" and "I'm A Slave 4 U"), born in McComb, Mississippi

Pop Star Britney Spears
Pop Star
Britney Spears
  • Dec 2 Danijel Pranjić, Croatian football player plays for SC Heerenveen
  • Dec 3 Brian Bonsall, actor (Family Ties, Star Trek Next Generation)
  • Dec 3 Ioannis Amanatidis, Greek footballer
  • Dec 3 David Villa, Spanish footballer
  • Dec 3 Tyjuan Hagler, American football player
  • Dec 5 Leila Tong, Hong Kong actress
  • Dec 8 Jeremy Accardo, American baseball player
  • Dec 8 Philip Rivers, American NFL quarterback (San Diego, LA Chargers), born in Decatur, Alabama
  • Dec 9 Mardy Fish, American tennis player
  • Dec 9 Diya Mirza, Indian actress
  • Dec 10 Fábio Rochemback, Brazilian footballer
  • Dec 10 Ryan Pini, Papua New Guinea swimmer
  • Dec 10 Taufik Batisah, Singaporean singer
  • Dec 11 Javier Saviola, Argentine footballer, born in Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Dec 11 Hamish Blake, Australian comedian, born in Melbourne, Australia
  • Dec 11 Paul Medhurst, Australian rules footballer, born in Western Australia, Australia
  • Dec 11 Zacky Vengeance, American musician (Avenged Sevenfold), born in Olympia, Washington
  • Dec 12 Pedro Ríos, Spanish footballer, born in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain
  • Dec 12 Ronnie Brown, American football player, born in Rome, Georgia
  • Dec 12 Shane Costa, American baseball player, born in Visalia, California
  • Dec 12 Jeret Peterson, American aerial skier (Olympic silver 2010), born in Boise, Idaho
  • Dec 12 Yuvraj Singh, Indian cricketer (Man of the Tournament, ICC World Cup 2011), born in Chandigarh, India
  • Dec 12 Stephen Warnock, English footballer, born in Ormskirk, England
  • Dec 13 Chelsea Hertford, American actress (Major Dad)
  • Dec 13 Amy Lee, American singer and songwriter (Evanescence), born in Riverside, California
  • Dec 14 Emilie Heymans, Canadian diver, born in Brussels, Belgium
  • Dec 14 Amber Chia, Malaysian model and actress, born in Teluk Intan, Perak, Malaysia
  • Dec 14 Johnny Jeter, American professional wrestler, born in San Diego, California
  • Dec 14 Shaun Marcum, American baseball player, born in Kansas City, Missouri
  • Dec 14 Liam Lawrence, English footballer, born in Retford, England
  • Dec 15 Andy González, Puerto Rican baseball player
  • Dec 15 Roman Pavlyuchenko, Russian football player
  • Dec 15 Najoua Belyzel, French singer
  • Dec 15 Brendan Fletcher, Canadian actor
  • Dec 15 Thomas Herrion, American football player (d. 2005)
  • Dec 15 Creighton Lovelace, American Baptist minister
  • Dec 16 Took Leng How, Malaysian criminal (d. 2006)
  • Dec 16 Flo Rida [Tramar Dillard], American rapper, born in Carol City, Florida
  • Dec 16 Anna Sedokova, Ukrainian singer
  • Dec 16 Gareth Williams, Scottish footballer
  • Dec 17 Emma Laaksonen, ice hockey defenseman (Finland, Olympics 1998)
  • Dec 20 Roy Williams, American football player, born in Odessa, Texas
  • Dec 20 James Shields, American baseball player, born in Santa Clarita, California
  • Dec 20 Chris Edwards, British musician (Kasabian)
  • Dec 21 Cristian Zaccardo, Italian football player, born in Formigine, Italy
  • Dec 21 Frankie Abernathy, American actress (The Real World: San Diego), born in Kansas City, Missouri (d. 2007)
  • Dec 21 Sajid Mahmood, English cricketer, born in Bolton, United Kingdom
  • Dec 21 Lynda Thomas, Mexican singer, born in Tijuana, Mexico
  • Dec 23 Yuriorkis Gamboa, Cuban boxer, born in Guantánamo, Cuba
  • Dec 23 Beth [Elisabeth Rodergas Cols], Spanish singer and actress, born in Súria, Catalonia
  • Dec 24 Dima Bilan, Russian actor & singer-songwriter, born in Ust-Dzheguta, Russia
  • Dec 25 Katie Wright, American actress, born in Kansas City, Missouri
  • Dec 25 Willy Taveras, Dominican baseball player, born in Tenares, Dominican Republic
  • Dec 25 Meena Lee, South Korean golfer (Canadian Open 2005), born in Jeonju, South Korea
  • Dec 27 Emilie de Ravin, Australian actress
  • Dec 27 Javine [Dionne Hylton], British singer (Surrender, Touch My Fire), born in London, England
  • Dec 28 Elizabeth Jordan Carr, 1st American test tube baby, born in Norfolk, Virginia
  • Dec 28 Khalid Boulahrouz, Dutch football player, born in Maassluis, Netherlands
  • Dec 28 Mika Väyrynen, Finnish football player, born in Eskilstuna, Sweden
  • Dec 28 Sienna Miller, British actress, born in New York City, New York
  • Dec 30 Ali Al Habsi, Omani footballer
  • Dec 30 Michael Rodríguez, Costa Rican footballer
  • Dec 30 Matt Ulrich, American football player
  • Dec 31 Jason Campbell, American football player, born in Laurel, Mississippi
  • Dec 31 Matthew Pavlich, Australian football player, born in Adelaide, Australia

Famous Weddings


HeartWedding of Interest

Dec 23 Astronaut Chris Hadfield (22) weds high-school girlfriend Helene Walter

Astronaut Chris Hadfield
Astronaut
Chris Hadfield
  • Dec 24 Guardian Angels Curtis Sliwa & Lisa Evers marry

Famous Deaths

  • Dec 2 Hershy Kay, composer, dies at 62
  • Dec 2 Cola, Debrot, Dutch author and Governor of the Netherlands Antilles, dies at 79
  • Dec 2 Wallace K[irkman] Harrison, US architect (UN), dies at 86

Person of interestWalter Knott

Dec 3 Walter Knott, American farmer who created the Knott's Berry Farm amusement park in California and introduced the boysenberry to America, dies at 91

Farmer and Creator of Knott's Berry Farm Walter Knott
Farmer and Creator of Knott's Berry Farm
Walter Knott
  • Dec 8 Shakey, [Walter Horton], harmonicist (Everybody's Fishin'), dies at 64
  • Dec 9 Sonny Til [Earlington Carl Tilghman], American doo-wop singer (The Orioles), dies from heart failure at 56
  • Dec 9 Daniel Faulkner, Philadelphia police officer (b. 1955)
  • Dec 10 John Kieran, American columnist and author (Natural History of NYC), dies at 89
  • Dec 11 I. D. du Plessis, South African writer and director (3rd World), dies at 81
  • Dec 13 Cornelius Cardew, British composer (Scratch Orchestra), dies in a hit and run accident at 45
  • Dec 13 Pigmeat Markham, American comedian (Here Comes da Judge-Laugh In), dies at 75
  • Dec 17 Edwin Erich Dwinger, German writer (General Vlassov), dies at 83
  • Dec 18 Mehmet Shehu, PM Albania (1954-81)/"US-Russ spy", commits suicide
  • Dec 20 Dimitris Rontiris, Greek actor and director (b. 1899)
  • Dec 21 Allan Dwan, Canadian-born American director and screenwriter (b. 1885)
  • Dec 26 Savithri, Indian actress (b. 1937)
  • Dec 26 Amber Reeves, feminist writer (b. 1887)
  • Dec 27 Hoagland "Hoagy" Carmichael, American composer, singer and actor (In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening), dies at 82
  • Dec 28 Allan Dwan, Canadian-born film director (b. 1885)
  • Dec 29 Guido Provoost, Belgian historian, dies at 41
  • Dec 29 Miroslav Krleža, Croatian writer (b. 1893)
  • Dec 30 Alfie Anido, Filipino actor (b. 1959)
  • Dec 31 Frantisek Chaun, composer, dies at 60