What Happened in December 1999

Historical Events

Music History

Dec 1 Rapper Jay-Z stabs record executive Lance "Un" Rivera at a night club in New York

  • Dec 2 The United Kingdom devolves political power in Northern Ireland to the Northern Ireland Executive
  • Dec 3 NASA loses radio contact with the Mars Polar Lander moments before the spacecraft enters the Martian atmosphere
  • Dec 3 Ottawa Senators' right wing Kevin Dineen becomes 5th player in NHL history to score 300 career goals and record 2,000 penalty minutes; picks up a misconduct penalty in 7-4 loss to NJ Devils
  • Dec 3 Worcester cold storage and warehouse fire in Worcester, Massachusetts claims lives of 6 firefighters
  • Dec 4 8th SEC Championship Game: #7 Alabama beats #5 Florida, 34-7
  • Dec 5 88th Davis Cup: Australia beats France in Nice (3-2)
  • Dec 7 The RIAA files a lawsuit against the Napster file-sharing client, on charges of copyright infringement.
  • Dec 13 65th Heisman Trophy Award: Ron Dayne, Wisconsin (RB)
  • Dec 14 Flash floods in Venezuela after torrential rainfall results in the deaths of thousands of people and causes a total collapse in the state's infrastructure

Sports History

Dec 17 Ray Bourque becomes just the 3rd player in NHL history to score 1,100 assists, and goaltender Byron Dafoe records his 100th NHL victory in Boston Bruin's 3-1 win over the Thrashers in Atlanta

  • Dec 17 The United Nations General Assembly passes resolution 54/134 designating November 25 as the annual International Day to Eliminate Violence Against Women
  • Dec 18 NASA launches into orbit the Terra platform carrying five Earth Observation instruments, including ASTER, CERES, MISR, MODIS and MOPITT.
  • Dec 20 Portugal returns Macau to China

Football Awards

Dec 21 Ballon d'Or: FC Barcelona's Brazilian midfielder Rivaldo is named best football player in Europe ahead of Manchester United midfielder David Beckham and Milan striker Andriy Shevchenko

  • Dec 21 The Spanish Civil Guard intercepts a van loaded with 950 kg of explosives that ETA intended to use to blow up Torre Picasso in Madrid.
  • Dec 22 The Spanish Civil Guard finds near Calatayud (Zaragoza) another van loaded by ETA with 750 kg of explosives (see related event on December 21, 1999).

Historic Event

Dec 24 Opening of St Peter's Holy Door by Pope John Paul II in approach of 3rd millennium

  • Dec 25 Opening of doors of St. John Lateran Pope John Paul II
  • Dec 26 Severe weather in France kills over 100 people and causes extensive damage to property, trees and the French national power grid (see Lothar).

Sports History

Dec 27 Joe Sakic records his 1,000th career point, an assist against the St. Louis Blues

  • Dec 28 Saparmurat Niyazov is proclaimed President for Life in Turkmenistan

Historic Event

Dec 31 Boris Yeltsin resigns as President of Russia, leaving Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as acting President

  • Dec 31 Control of Panama Canal reverts to Panama

Famous Birthdays

  • Dec 16 Ethan Dolan, American Vine and YouTube star with twin brother Grayson, born in New Jersey
  • Dec 16 Grayson Dolan, American Vine and YouTube star with twin brother Ethan, born in New Jersey
  • Dec 17 Holly Humberstone, English singer-songwriter ("The Walls Are Way Too Thin"), born in Grantham, England

Adut Akech

Dec 25 Adut Akech, South Sudanese-Australian model, born in Sudan


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Famous Weddings

Philippe of Belgium

Dec 4 Crown Prince Philippe of Belgium (38) and heir apparent to Belgium throne weds Mathilde d'Udekem d'Acoz (25) in Brussels, Belgium

Robbie Coltrane

Dec 11 Scottish actor Robbie Coltrane marries Rhona Gemmell (separated 2003)

Jerry Seinfeld

Dec 25 Comedian Jerry Seinfeld (45) marries PR executive Jessica Sklar (28)


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Famous Divorces

Divorce of Interest

Dec 16 Actress Linda Hamilton (43) divorces director James Cameron (45) due to irreconcilable differences after 2 years of marriage

Famous Deaths

  • Dec 1 Gene Baker, American baseball infielder (MLB All-Star 1955; World Series 1960; Chicago Cubs, Pittsburgh Pirates), dies at 74
  • Dec 1 William "Pop" Gates, American Basketball Hall of Fame guard and coach (Harlem Globetrotters "Legends" Ring 1995), dies at 82
  • Dec 2 Charlie Byrd, American jazz and bossa nova guitarist (Desfinado), dies of lung cancer at 74
  • Dec 2 Joey Adams [Joseph Abramowitz], American comedian, actor and columnist (ABC's Back That Fact), dies at 88
  • Dec 3 "Scatman" John [Larkin], American jazz pianist and singer ("Scatman (Ski-Ba-Bop-Ba-Dop-Bop)"), dies of lung cancer at 57
  • Dec 3 Horst Mahseli, Polish soccer striker (9 caps; Legia Warsaw), dies at 65
  • Dec 3 Jarl Wahlström, 12th General of The Salvation Army (b. 1918)
  • Dec 3 John Archer [Ralph Bowman], American actor (Destination: Moon, White Heat, Blue Hawaii), dies of lung cancer at 84
  • Dec 3 Madeline Kahn, American stage and screen actress (What's Up, Doc?; Young Frankenstein; Paper Moon; Blazing Saddles), and singer, dies of ovarian cancer at 57
  • Dec 4 Rose Elizabeth Bird, California Supreme Court Justice (1977-87), dies at 63
  • Dec 4 Sylvester Clarke, West Indian cricket fast bowler (11 Tests, 42 wickets), dies from a heart attack at 44
  • Dec 5 Robert Parris, American composer (Book of Imaginary Beings), dies at 75
  • Dec 8 Péter Kuczka, Hungarian writer (b. 1923)

Franjo Tuđman

Dec 10 Franjo Tuđman, Croatian politician and President of Croatia (1990-1999), dies of stomach cancer at 77

  • Dec 10 Lex Goudsmit, Dutch actor (Fiddler on the Roof, Thomas en Senior op het spoor van Brute Berend), dies at 86
  • Dec 10 Rick Danko, Canadian rock bassist and singer (The Band - "Stagefright"), dies of heart failure at 55
  • Dec 10 Shirley Hemphill, American actress (b. 1947)
  • Dec 11 Charles Earland, American jazz Hammond organist, and bandleader, dies of heart failure at 58
  • Dec 12 Joe Benner, American pistol shooter and coach (Olympic gold 1952; World C'ship gold 1949, 52, 54), dies at 82
  • Dec 12 Joseph Heller, American author (Catch-22), dies at 76
  • Dec 12 Leo Smit, American classical pianist, composer (The Alchemy of Love), teacher and photographer, dies of congestive heart failure at 78
  • Dec 12 Paul Cadmus, American artist (b. 1904)
  • Dec 13 Allen Breed, American inventor of the first automotive airbag sensor, dies of a heart attack while suffering from lung cancer, at 72
  • Dec 15 George Elrick, Scottish-British singer ("I Like Bananas Because They Have No Bones"), and broadcaster known as 'The Smiling Voice of Radio' (BBC's "Housewives' Choice"), dies at 95
  • Dec 17 Grover Washington Jr., American jazz saxophonist ("Just The Two Of Us"; "Mr Magic"; "Let It Flow"), dies of a heart attack at 56
  • Dec 17 Rex Allen, American singer-songwriter known as the "the Arizona Cowboy", and actor (Frontier Doctor - "Dr. Baxter"), dies at 78
  • Dec 18 Robert Bresson, French film director (A Man Escaped, Balthazar, at Random), dies at 98
  • Dec 18 Robert Dougall, English TV host and broadcaster, dies at 86
  • Dec 19 Desmond Llewelyn, Welsh actor, dies at 85
  • Dec 19 Hemchandra Tukaram "Bal" Dani, Indian cricketer (Test Ind v Pak, 1-19, ct 1, DNB), dies at 66
  • Dec 20 Riccardo Freda, Italian film director and screenwriter (Theodora, Slave Empress), dies at 90
  • Dec 20 [Clarence] Hank Snow, Canadian country singer ("I'm Moving On"; "I Went To Your Wedding"), dies of heart failure at 85
  • Dec 21 John Arnatt, British actor (A Challenge for Robin Hood, Circumstantial Evidence), dies at 82
  • Dec 23 Marcel Landowski, French composer (Un enfant appelle), dies at 84
  • Dec 24 Bill Bowerman, American track and field coach and co-founder of Nike, dies at 88
  • Dec 24 João Baptista de Oliveira Figueiredo, President of Brazil (b. 1918)
  • Dec 24 Maurice Couve de Murville, French politician, Prime minister of France (b. 1907)
  • Dec 24 Zeke Carey, American R&B singer (The Flamingos - "Goodnight Sweetheart"; "I Only Have Eyes For You") dies of a heart attack at 66
  • Dec 25 Peter Jeffrey, British character actor (Dr Phibes Rides Again, Twinsanity), dies at 70
  • Dec 26 Curtis Mayfield, American singer-songwriter and soul musician ("Freddie's Dead"; "Superfly"), dies from complications of type 2 diabetes at 57
  • Dec 26 Shankar Dayal Sharma, Indian politician and 9th President of India (1992-97), dies at 81
  • Dec 27 Bernard Chacksfield, British Air Vice-Marshal, dies at 86
  • Dec 28 Clayton Moore, American actor (The Lone Ranger), dies at 85
  • Dec 29 Leon Radzinowicz, British criminologist (b. 1906)
  • Dec 30 Fritz Leonhardt, German structural engineer, dies at 90
  • Dec 30 Sarah Knauss, American, once considered the world's oldest living person (b. 1880)
  • Dec 31 Elliot Richardson, American politician (b. 1920)