On This Day

What Happened in December 2008

Historical Events

  • Dec 1 The US economy has been in recession since December 2007, the National Bureau of Economic Research announces today
  • Dec 2 Thai Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat resigns after the 2008 Thailand political crisis

Sport awardFootball Awards

Dec 2 Ballon d'Or: Manchester United's Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo wins his first award as best football player in the world; Barcelona forward Lionel Messi 2nd, Liverpool striker Fernando Torres 3rd

Football Star Cristiano Ronaldo
Football Star
Cristiano Ronaldo
Football Star Lionel Messi
Football Star
Lionel Messi

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 5 Human remains previously found in 1991 are finally identified by Russian and American scientists as those of Tsar Nicholas II

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 5 Former NFL star O.J. Simpson is sentenced to 33 years in prison for kidnapping and armed robbery

NFL Running Back and Convicted Criminal O.J. Simpson
NFL Running Back and Convicted Criminal
O.J. Simpson

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 6 American pin-up model Bettie Page (85) is hospitalized in critical condition after suffering a heart attack

Queen of Pinups Bettie Page
Queen of Pinups
Bettie Page
  • Dec 6 17th SEC Championship Game: #2 Florida beats #1 Alabama, 31-20
  • Dec 6 4th ACC Championship Game: Virginia Tech beats #18 Boston College, 30-12
  • Dec 6 13th Big 12 Championship Game: #4 Oklahoma beats #19 Missouri, 62-21
  • Dec 8 Kirsty Williams elected as Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats. The first female leader of a political party in Wales.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 9 The Governor of Illinois, Rod Blagojevich, is arrested by federal officials for a number of alleged crimes including attempting to sell the United States Senate seat being vacated by President-elect Barack Obama's election to the Presidency

44th US President Barack Obama
44th US President
Barack Obama
  • Dec 11 Bernard Madoff arrested and charged with securities fraud in $50 billion Ponzi scheme
  • Dec 12 Andrei Klepach, a deputy economics minister of Russia, states that Russia has entered the recession, with two quarters of contraction expected, meaning Russia will fall short of reaching the 6.8% growth forecast for 2008

Conference meetingConference of Interest

Dec 14 President George W. Bush make his fourth and final trip to Iraq as president and is almost struck by two shoes thrown at him by Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi during a farewell conference in Baghdad

43rd US President George W. Bush
43rd US President
George W. Bush
  • Dec 15 74th Heisman Trophy Award: Sam Bradford, Oklahoma (QB)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 19 Chanda Kochhar is named as the successor of K. V. Kamath to the post of CEO and Managing Director of ICICI Bank

Businesswoman and CEO of ICICI Bank Chanda Kochhar
Businesswoman and CEO of ICICI Bank
Chanda Kochhar

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 25 Phil Jackson becomes the sixth coach in NBA history to win 1,000 games

NBA Coach Phil Jackson
NBA Coach
Phil Jackson
  • Dec 27 Israel launches Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip, beginning with an airstrike that hits 100 targets in 220 seconds killing around 250 people
  • Dec 28 Detroit Lions crash to a 31-21 loss to Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field; first team in NFL history to go winless in a 16-game season

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 30 NFL head coach Mike Shanahan is fired by the Denver Broncos

NFL Head Coach Mike Shanahan
NFL Head Coach
Mike Shanahan

Famous Weddings

  • Dec 6 "Lonestar" bass guitarist John Rich (34) weds former model Joan Bush in Nashville
  • Dec 12 Fashion mogul Tommy Hilfiger (57) weds former model Dee Ocleppo in Greenwich, Connecticut

LoveWedding of Interest

Dec 21 Talk show host Craig Ferguson (46) weds art dealer Megan Wallace Cunningham (26) in Chester, Vermont

Actor & Comedian Craig Ferguson
Actor & Comedian
Craig Ferguson

LoveWedding of Interest

Dec 28 "Cheers" actor Woody Harrelson (47) weds longtime girlfriend Laura Louie (43) in Maui Island

  • Dec 31 Former American Idol finalist Gina Glocksen (24) weds teacher Joe Ruzicka (32) at the Century Memorial Chapel at Naperville Settlement in Naperville, Illinois

Famous Divorces

  • Dec 1 "CSI" actress Marg Helgenberger (50) divorces actor Alan Rosenberg (58) due to irreconcilable differences after 19 years of marriage

Broken heartDivorce of Interest

Dec 15 Pop singer Madonna (50) divorces film director Guy Ritchie (40) due to unreasonable behavior after almost 8 years of marriage

Pop Star Madonna
Pop Star
Madonna

Famous Deaths

  • Dec 1 Mikel Laboa, Basque singer and songwriter (b. 1934)
  • Dec 1 Joseph B Wirthlin, American businessmen, religious leader, member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (LDS Church), dies at 91
  • Dec 1 Paul Benedict, American actor (Harry-Jeffersons), dies at 70
  • Dec 2 Ted Rogers OC, Canadian entrepreneur and MLB team owner (Toronto Blue Jays), dies of heart failure at 75
  • Dec 2 Kathleen Baskin-Ball, American United Methodist Pastor
  • Dec 2 Odetta [Odetta Holmes], American folk singer (Sanctuary), actress and civil rights activist, dies of heart disease at 77
  • Dec 2 Renato de Grandis, Italian composer, dies at 81
  • Dec 3 Robert Zajonc, Polish-American social psychologist (b. 1923)
  • Dec 5 Patriarch Alexy II of Russia, head of the Russian Orthodox Church (b. 1929)
  • Dec 5 Constantin Ticu Dumitrescu, Romanian politician and president of the Association of Romanian Former Political Prisoners. (b. 1928)
  • Dec 5 Nina Foch, Dutch-American actress (The Ten Commandments, Spartacus, An American in Paris), dies from complications of myelodysplastic syndrome at 84
  • Dec 5 Anca Parghel, Romanian jazz singer and composer (b. 1957)
  • Dec 5 Beverly Garland [Fessenden], American actress (My Three Sons, Scarecrow and Mrs. King), dies at 82
  • Dec 7 Marky Cielo, Filipino and Igorot dancer and actor (b. 1988)
  • Dec 7 Dennis Yost, American vocalist, dies at 65
  • Dec 8 Kerryn McCann, Australian athlete, dies at 41
  • Dec 8 Robert Prosky, Polish-American actor and comedian (Christine, Thief), dies at 77
  • Dec 8 Oliver Postgate, English animator, puppeteer and writer, dies at 83
  • Dec 9 Ibrahim Dossey, Ghanaian football player (b. 1972)
  • Dec 9 Yury Glazkov, Soviet Air Force officer and cosmonaut (Soyuz 24), dies at 69
  • Dec 10 Didith Reyes, Filipino singer (b. 1948)

Person of interestBettie Page

Dec 11 Bettie Page, American pinup model considered the 'Queen of Pinups' and the 'Dark Angel', dies at 85

Queen of Pinups Bettie Page
Queen of Pinups
Bettie Page
  • Dec 11 Maddie Blaustein, American voice actress (b. 1960)
  • Dec 11 Ron Carey, American labor leader (International Brotherhood of Teamsters), dies of lung cancer at 72
  • Dec 12 Avery Dulles, Roman Catholic Cardinal, heologian (b. 1918)
  • Dec 12 Van Johnson, American actor (Brigadoon) always wore red socks, dies at 92
  • Dec 12 Tassos Papadopoulos, Cypriot former president (b. 1934)
  • Dec 13 Horst Tappert, German director, actor and former SS member (Derrick), dies of diabetes at 85
  • Dec 13 John Drake, New Zealand rugby union footballer (b. 1959)
  • Dec 13 Kathy Staff [Minnie Higginbottom], British actress (Mary Reilly, Last of the Summer Wine, Open All Hours), dies from a brain tumour at 80
  • Dec 14 Ramon Barce, Spanish composer, dies at 80
  • Dec 15 León Febres Cordero, Ecuador's former President (b. 1931)
  • Dec 17 Dave Smith, American baseball player (b. 1955)
American Football Player and Coach Sammy Baugh
American Football Player and Coach
Sammy Baugh
  • Dec 17 Freddy Breck, German schlager singer, composer, record producer and news anchor (b. 1942)
  • Dec 18 Majel Barrett, American actress and producer (Star Trek), and the widow of Gene Roddenberry, dies at 76
  • Dec 18 Mark Felt, the infamous "Deep Throat", American FBI official and whistle blower during the Watergate Scandal dies aged 95

Person of interestJames Bevel

Dec 19 James Bevel, American civil rights activist (Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Direct Action), dies of cancer at 72

Civil Rights Activist James Bevel
Civil Rights Activist
James Bevel
  • Dec 19 Kenny Cox, American jazz musician (b. 1940)
  • Dec 19 Dock Ellis, American baseball pitcher (b. 1945)
  • Dec 19 Carol Chomsky, American linguist and education specialist (b. 1930)
  • Dec 20 Dorothy Sarnoff, American operatic soprano, Broadway actress (Rosalinda), author and pioneer of the self-help movement (Speech Can Change Your Life, Speech Dynamics), dies at 94
  • Dec 23 Eric Charles Twelves Wilson, English British Army officer (awarded Victoria Cross), dies at 96
  • Dec 24 Harold Pinter, British playwright (The Birthday Party, The Homecoming), dies at 78

Person of interestSamuel P. Huntington

Dec 24 Samuel P. Huntington, American political scientist (The Clash of Civilizations) and presidential adviser, dies at 81

Political Scientist and Presidential Adviser Samuel P. Huntington
Political Scientist and Presidential Adviser
Samuel P. Huntington
  • Dec 25 Eartha Kitt, American singer (Santa Baby), dancer, comedian, actress and activist (Catwoman-Batman), dies at 81
  • Dec 26 Gösta Krantz, Swedish actor (b. 1925)
  • Dec 27 Delaney Bramlett, American rocker (Shindogs, Delaney & Bonnie), dies at 69
  • Dec 29 Freddie Hubbard, American jazz trumpet player (b. 1938)
  • Dec 29 Kees [Cornelis Pieter] van Dijk, Dutch minister of the Interior, dies at 77
  • Dec 29 Daniel Nagrin, American modern dancer and choreographer, dies at 91
  • Dec 30 Dick Green, Canadian actor
  • Dec 30 Derek Wadsworth, British jazz composer and arranger, dies at 69
  • Dec 31 Donald E. Westlake, American author (The Hunter), dies at 75