What Happened in December 2002

Historical Events

  • Dec 1 Davis Cup Tennis, Paris: Mikhail Youzhny beats Paul-Henri Mathieu 3-6, 2-6, 6-3, 7-5, 6-4 to give Russia 3-2 win over France; only time in event history that a 2-set deficit turned around in a live 5th rubber of a Final
  • Dec 2 New climate-controlled vault to conserve and display the Sarajevo Haggadah illuminated manuscript (c. 1350) dedicated in Sarajevo’s National Museum

Film Premiere

Dec 5 "The Two Towers" 2nd Lord of the Rings film directed by Peter Jackson and starring Elijah Wood and Ian McKellen premieres in New York

Film Premiere

Dec 6 "Adaptation" directed by Spike Jonze, starring Nicolas Cage and Meryl Streep premieres

  • Dec 7 11th SEC Championship Game: #4 Georgia beats #22 Arkansas, 30-3
  • Dec 8 The Caribbean Community Heads of Government meet with the Government of Cuba and declare the date to be "CARICOM-Cuba Day" - To celebrate diplomatic ties between the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and Cuba.

Film Premiere

Dec 9 "Star Trek: Nemesis" film directed by Stuart Baird, and starring Patrick Stewart and Jonathan Frakes premieres

NHL Record

Dec 11 Joe Sakic scores his 500th career goal at Vancouver

Football Awards

Dec 12 Ballon d'Or: Inter/Real Madrid forward Ronaldo is named best football player in Europe for a second time ahead of Real Madrid left back Roberto Carlos and Bayern Munich goalkeeper Oliver Kahn

  • Dec 13 The European Union announces that Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia will become members from May 1, 2004
  • Dec 15 68th Heisman Trophy Award: Carson Palmer, USC (QB)
  • Dec 17 Second Congo War: The Congolese parties of the Inter Congolese Dialogue sign a peace accord which makes provision for transitional governance and legislative and presidential elections within two years.

Film Premiere

Dec 18 "The Hours" premieres in the US, based on the novel by Michael Cunningham and starring Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore and Nicole Kidman

Film Release

Dec 18 "The Two Towers", 2nd of the Lord of the Rings films is released. Makes US$62 opening weekend and $926 million total worldwide.

Historic Event

Dec 18 Fashion designer Calvin Klein announces he is selling his company to shirt-maker Phillips-Van Heusen for $430 million

  • Dec 18 Governor of California Gray Davis announces the state faces a record budget deficit of $35 billion, roughly double the figure reported during his reelection campaign one month earlier
  • Dec 20 US Senator Trent Lott resigns as majority leader.
  • Dec 23 A MQ-1 Predator is shot down by an Iraqi MiG-25, making it the first time in history that an aircraft and a modern unmanned drone had engaged in combat

Film Release

Dec 27 "Chicago" (Best Picture 2003), based on John Kander and Fred Ebb's musical, directed by Rob Marshall, starring Renée Zellweger, Richard Gere, and Catherine Zeta-Jones released.

  • Dec 27 Kenyan General Election: National Rainbow Coalition headed by Mwai Kibaki wins, overthrowing 39 year rule by the Kenya African National Union
  • Dec 27 Two truck bombs kill 72 and wound 200 at the pro-Moscow headquarters of the Chechen government in Grozny, Chechnya.

Historic Event

Dec 28 LinkedIn is founded by Reid Hoffman and others in Mountain View, California


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Famous Birthdays

  • Dec 23 Finn Wolfhard, Canadian actor (Stranger Things; It), and rock sinnger (Calpernia; The Aubreys), born in Vancouver, British Columbia

Famous Weddings

Shaquille O'Neal

Dec 26 Los Angeles Lakers center Shaquille O'Neal (30) weds Shaunie Nelson at The Beverly Hills Hotel's Crystal Garden

  • Dec 31 Actress Rachel Griffiths (34) weds Australian artist Andrew Taylor (35) at Star of the Sea Chapel in Gardenvale, Australia

Famous Deaths

  • Dec 1 Dave McNally, American baseball pitcher (MLB All Star 1969-70, 72; World Series 1966, 70; Baltimore Orioles), dies from lung cancer at 60
  • Dec 2 Arno Peters, German historian (b. 1916)
  • Dec 2 Ivan Illich, Austrian priest and philosopher (b. 1926)
  • Dec 3 Glenn Quinn, Irish actor (b. 1970)
  • Dec 4 Bernie Dwyer, British rock drummer (Freddie and The Dreamers - "I'm Telling You Now"), dies at 61
  • Dec 5 Arvell Shaw, American jazz double-bassist (Louis Armstrong; Teddy Wilson), dies at 79
  • Dec 5 Ne Win, Burmese leader (b. 1911)

Roone Arledge

Dec 5 Roone Arledge, American sports broadcasting pioneer, President of ABC Sports (Monday Night Football) and ABC News, dies of prostate cancer at 71 [1] [2]

  • Dec 6 Philip Berrigan, American peace activist and Roman Catholic priest, dies at 79
  • Dec 9 Ian Hornak, American Painter, Draughtsman and Sculptor (b. 1944)
  • Dec 9 Mary Hansen, Australian guitarist and singer (Stereolab), dies at 36
  • Dec 9 Stan Rice, American painter, educator, and poet (b. 1942)
  • Dec 10 Andres Küng, Swedish-Estonian politician and journalist, dies at 57
  • Dec 11 Lou Stein, American pianist (Tonight! America After Dark), dies at 80
  • Dec 12 Brad Dexter [Boris Milanovich], American actor (Macao, The Magnificent Seven), dies of emphysema at 85
  • Dec 12 Dee Brown, American author (b. 1908)
  • Dec 12 Jay Wesley Neill, American convicted mass murderer, dies at 37
  • Dec 13 Zal Yanovsky, Canadian rock guitarist (Lovin' Spoonful - "Do You Believe in Magic?"), dies of a heart attack at 57
  • Dec 14 Ruth Kobart [Kahn], American actor & singer (King's Quest VII, Forum), dies at 78
  • Dec 17 Angelo "Hank" Luisetti, American collegiate basketball forward (Stanford, 1935-38), 1st to use a one-handed shot, dies at 86
  • Dec 17 James Hazeldine, British stage and screen actor (London's Burning), dies of an aortic dissection at 55
  • Dec 18 Ray Hnatyshyn, Governor-General of Canada (b. 1934)
  • Dec 18 Wayne Owens, former U.S. Congressman (D-Utah) (b. 1937)
  • Dec 19 Arthur Rowley, English soccer forward (most goals in English league football, 434 from 619 games; Leicester City, Shrewsbury Town), dies at 76
  • Dec 19 Will Hoy, English auto racer (British Touring Car C'ship 1991), dies from a brain tumour at 50
  • Dec 22 Hugh Desmond Hoyte, Guyanese politician and President of Guyana (1985-92), dies at 73
  • Dec 22 Joe Strummer, British lead singer of the punk band "The Clash" (Rock the Casbah), dies at age 50
  • Dec 22 Kenneth Tobey, American actor (The Thing from Another World, Innerspace, Whirlybirds), dies of natural causes at 85
  • Dec 23 Tatamkhulu Afrika, South African poet & writer, dies at 82
  • Dec 24 James Ferman, American director and secretary (British Board of Film Classification), dies at 72
  • Dec 24 Kjell Aukrust, Norwegian author (b. 1920)
  • Dec 24 Laci Peterson, American murder victim, dies at 27
  • Dec 24 Luciano Chailly, Italian opera composer (L'Idiota) and artistic director (La Scala), dies at 82
  • Dec 25 William T. Orr, American actor (The Big Street), and television producer (Cheyenne), dies at 85
  • Dec 26 Armand Zildjian, American cymbal manufacturer (b. 1921)
  • Dec 26 Herb Ritts, American fashion photographer, dies at 50
  • Dec 27 George Roy Hill, American film director (b. 1922)
  • Dec 27 Richard Mitchell, American professor and author (The Underground Grammarian), dies at 73
  • Dec 30 Mary Brian, American actress (b. 1906)
  • Dec 30 Mary Wesley, English novelist (b. 1912)
  • Dec 31 Kevin Macmichael, Canadian guitarist, songwriter and record producer (Cutting Crew - "(I Just) Died in Your Arms"), dies of lung cancer at 51