On This Day

What Happened in December 1998

Historical Events

  • Dec 1 Exxon announces a $73.7 billion USD deal to buy Mobil, creating Exxon-Mobil, the world's largest company.
  • Dec 4 The Unity Module, the second module of the International Space Station, is launched
  • Dec 5 7th SEC Championship Game: #1 Tennessee beats #23 Mississippi State, 24-14
  • Dec 5 3rd Big 12 Championship Game: #10 Texas A&M beats #2 Kansas State, 36-33 (2 OT)

Election of Interest

Dec 6 Hugo Chávez is elected President of Venezuela

  • Dec 6 87th Davis Cup: Sweden beats Italy in Milan (4-1)
  • Dec 8 Tadjena massacre: 81 people are killed by armed groups in Algeria.

Nobel Prize

Dec 10 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine presented to Gertrude B. Elion, George H. Hitchings and James W. Black for development of new drugs

Nobel Prize

Dec 10 Indian Professor Amartya Sen is awarded the 1998 Nobel Prize in Economics for his contributions to welfare economics

  • Dec 11 Thai Airways Airbus A310-200 crashes near Surat Thani Airport, killing 101

President's Cup

Dec 13 Presidents Cup Golf, Royal Melbourne GC: International team wins for first time; Shigeki Maruyama and Steve Elkington unbeaten as Internationals beat US 20½–11½

  • Dec 14 64th Heisman Trophy Award: Ricky Williams, Texas (RB)
  • Dec 16 Iraq disarmament crisis: Operation Desert Fox - the United States and United Kingdom bomb targets in Iraq

Impeachment Trial of Bill Clinton

Dec 19 US House of Representatives votes to impeach President Bill Clinton, forwarding the articles of impeachment to the Senate for a trial

Football Awards

Dec 22 Ballon d'Or: Juventus' French midfielder Zinedine Zidane is named best football player in Europe ahead of Real Madrid striker Davor Šuker and Inter forward Ronaldo

  • Dec 26 Iraq announces its intention to fire upon U.S. and British warplanes that patrol the northern and southern no-fly zones
  • Dec 26 Severe gales over Ireland, northern England, and southern Scotland cause widespread disruption and widespread power outages in Northern Ireland and southern Scotland
  • Dec 29 Leaders of the Khmer Rouge apologize for the 1970s genocide in Cambodia that claimed over a million people
  • Dec 31 US movie box office hits record $6.24 billion for year
  • Dec 31 Exchange rates between the euro and legacy currencies in the Eurozone become fixed.

Famous Birthdays

  • Dec 2 Juice Wrld [Jarad Higgins], American rapper and singer-songwriter (All Girls Are the Same, Lucid Dreams), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 2019)
  • Dec 5 Conan Gray, American singer-songwriter (Sunset Season), born in Lemon Grove, California
  • Dec 17 Martin Odegaard, Norwegian footballer, youngest to play for Real Madrid, born in Drammen, Norway

Kylian Mbappé

Dec 20 Kylian Mbappé, French soccer forward (France, PSG, Monaco), born in Paris, France

Dylan Wang

Dec 20 Dylan Wang [Wang Hedi], Chinese actor and singer (Meteor Garden), born in Chengdu, Sichuan

  • Dec 27 Briar Nolet, Canadian actress and dancer (The Next Step, Blood Hunters), born in Toronto, Ontario
  • Dec 29 Danny Wagner, American drummer (Greta Van Fleet), born in Frankenmuth, Michigan
  • Dec 31 Hunter Schafer, American model, actress and LGBTQ activist, born in Trenton, New Jersey

Famous Weddings

  • Dec 12 TV personality Melissa Rivers (30) weds horse breeder John Endicott at The Plaza Hotel in New York City
  • Dec 19 American actress Vivica A. Fox (34) weds American singer Christopher Harvest at the Park Plaza in Los Angeles, California; divorce in 2002
  • Dec 20 "Def Jam" business magnate Russell Simmons (41) weds model Kimora Lee (23) on the French Caribbean island of Saint Barthelemy

Clyde Drexler

Dec 30 NBA player Clyde Drexler (36) weds attorney Gaynell Floyd; divorce in 2011

Angela Merkel

Dec 30 Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel (44) weds quantum chemist Joachim Sauer (49) in Bonn, Germany


Famous Deaths

  • Dec 1 Freddie Young, British cinematographer (Lawrence of Arabia), dies at 96
  • Dec 1 Bertil Nordahl, Swedish soccer midfielder and manager (15 caps; Atalanta; Olympic gold 1948), dies at 81
  • Dec 1 Albert de Klerk, Dutch organist, composer, and conductor, dies at 81
  • Dec 2 Bob Haggart, American dixieland, swing jazz, and session double bass player, and composer ("What's New?"), dies at 84
  • Dec 3 Pierre Hétu, French Canadian conductor and pianist, dies at 62
  • Dec 3 Ed Widseth, American College Football Hall of Fame tackle (University of Minnesota; Pro Bowl 1938; NY Giants), dies at 88
  • Dec 5 Al Gore, Sr., American politician (b. 1907)
  • Dec 6 César Baldaccini, French sculptor, dies at 77
  • Dec 7 John Addison, British composer (b. 1920)
  • Dec 9 Shaughnessy Cohen, Canadian politician (b. 1948)

Archie Moore

Dec 9 Archie Moore, American light-heavyweight boxing champion (1952-60), dies at 84

  • Dec 11 André Lichnerowicz, Polish-French physicist (b. 1915)
  • Dec 11 [James] Lynn Strait, American singer (Snot), dies in a car accident at 30
  • Dec 12 Marco Denevi, Argentine writer (b. 1922)
  • Dec 12 Mo Udall, American politician (Rep-D-AZ, 1961-91), dies at 76
  • Dec 12 Lawton Chiles, U.S. Senator from Florida (1971-89) and Governor of Florida (1991-98), dies at 68
  • Dec 13 Richard Thomas, British admiral (Royal Navy) and NATO representative, dies at 66
  • Dec 14 Annette Strauss, American philanthropist, dies at 74
  • Dec 14 Norman Fell, American actor (Three's Company, The End, Graduate), dies of bone marrow cancer at 74
  • Dec 14 Aloyisus Leon Higginbotham, Jr., American civil rights activist & author, dies at 70
  • Dec 15 Jan Meyerowitz, German-American composer, dies at 85
  • Dec 16 William Gaddis, American writer (b. 1922)
  • Dec 18 Lev Demin, Soviet cosmonaut (b. 1926)
  • Dec 19 Antonio Ordóñez, Spanish bullfighter (b. 1932)
  • Dec 19 Mel Fisher, American treasure hunter (b. 1922)
  • Dec 20 Irene Hervey, American actress (b. 1910)
  • Dec 20 Chester P. Lyons, Canadian naturalist and author (b. 1915)
  • Dec 20 Alan Lloyd Hodgkin, British biophysicist (Nobel 1963), dies at 84
  • Dec 21 Roger Avon, British actor (Doctor Who, Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D.), dies at 84
  • Dec 21 Karl Denver [Angus McKenzie], Scottish pop singer ("Never Say Goodbye"; "Wimoweh"), dies of a brain tumor at 67
  • Dec 21 Ernst Gunther Schenck, German doctor who joined the Sturmabteilung in 1933 {b. 1904)
  • Dec 22 Michelle Thomas, American actress (b. 1969)
  • Dec 22 Virginia Graham, American TV personality (Girl Talk, Where Was I), dies at 86

Raemer Schreiber

Dec 24 Raemer Schreiber, American Physicist (Manhattan Project) who helped develop the first atomic bomb during World War II and prepared the Fat Man bomb that was used in the bombing of Nagasaki, dies at 88

  • Dec 25 John Pulman, English snooker player (World Champion 1957-68; News of the World Snooker Tournament 1954, 57, 58), dies after a fall at 75
  • Dec 25 Bryan MacLean, American singer, musician and songwriter (Love) (b. 1946)
  • Dec 25 Hugh Martell, British Vice Admiral, dies at 86
  • Dec 27 Ricardo Tormo, Spanish Grand Prix motocycle racer, dies at 46
  • Dec 29 Donald "Don" Taylor, American director and actor (Father's Little Dividend, Escape from the Planet of the Apes), dies of hear failure at 78
  • Dec 29 Jean-Claude Forest, writer and illustrator of comics (Barbarella) (b. 1930)
  • Dec 29 Jeanne Stern, German screenwriter (The Condemned Village), dies at 90
  • Dec 30 Johnny Moore, American singer (The Drifters) (b. 1934)
  • Dec 30 George Webb, British actor (Keeping Up Appearances), dies of natural causes at 86