What Happened in December 2009

Historical Events

Ballon d'Or

Dec 1 Ballon d'Or: FC Barcelona forward Lionel Messi is named best football player in the world; wins award by a then record margin, 240 points ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid with Barcelona midfielder Xavi 3rd

  • Dec 4 Montreal Canadiens retire Hall of Fame center Elmer Lach's jersey (No. 16), as part of team's centennial celebration
  • Dec 5 14th Big 12 Championship Game: #3 Texas beats #21 Nebraska, 13-12
  • Dec 5 18th SEC Championship Game: #2 Alabama beats #1 Florida, 32-13
  • Dec 5 5th ACC Championship Game: #12 Georgia Tech beats #25 Clemson, 39-34
  • Dec 6 98th Davis Cup: Spain beats Czech Republic in Barcelona (5-0)

Theatrical Finale

Dec 6 Final Broadway performance of "A Steady Rain", starring Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig

  • Dec 7 "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer" becomes "PBS NewsHour", upon Jim Lehrer's stepping down as anchor
  • Dec 8 Bombings in Baghdad, Iraq kill 127 and injure 448.

Nobel Prize

Dec 10 US President Barack Obama accepts the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo

  • Dec 11 Angry Birds, a Finnish puzzle video game released internationally

Sports History

Dec 11 Tiger Woods announces an indefinite leave from professional golf to focus on his marriage.

  • Dec 14 75th Heisman Trophy Award: Mark Ingram, Jr., Alabama (RB)
  • Dec 15 Boeing's new 787 Dreamliner makes its maiden flight from Seattle, Washington.

Historic Event

Dec 16 Ben Bernanke, Chair of the US Federal Reserve is named Time's Person of the Year for rescuing the global economy from the Great Recession

Film Release

Dec 18 James Cameron's "Avatar" starring Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana and Sigourney Weaver, released in the US, becomes highest-grossing film of all time

  • Dec 19 Former Welsh and Lions captain Gareth Thomas is the first international rugby player to reveal he is gay

Historic Event

Dec 25 Chinese human rights activist Liu Xiaobo sentenced to 11 years in prison in Beijing, China for "inciting subversion of state power"

  • Dec 25 Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab unsuccessfully attempts a terrorist attack against the US while on board Northwest Airlines Flight 253
  • Dec 27 The World Health Organization says 208 countries, territories and communities have reported H1N1 cases, including at least 12,220 deaths
  • Dec 28 43 people die in a suicide bombing in Karachi, Pakistan, where Shia Muslims were observing the Day of Ashura.

Theater Premiere

Dec 28 Scarlett Johansson makes her debut on Broadway in the Arthur Miller play "A View from the Bridge"


Famous Weddings

  • Dec 19 American pop singer, musician, and actor Kevin Jonas (22) weds Danielle Deleasa (23) at Oheka Castle in Huntington, New York

Famous Deaths

  • Dec 1 Éva Szörényi, Hungarian actress and freedom activist for Hungary, dies at 92
  • Dec 1 Gustavo Adolfo Palma, Guatemalan singer (b. 1920)
  • Dec 1 Ramses Shaffy, Dutch singer and cabaret actor (Zaak MP, Liefdesbekentenissen), dies at 76
  • Dec 1 Tommy Henrich, American baseball utility (MLB All Star 1942, 1947–50; World Series 1938, 41, 47, 49, 51; NY Yankees), dies of a stroke at 96
  • Dec 2 Eric Woolfson, Scottish singer and producer (The Alan Parsons Project), dies at 64
  • Dec 2 Foge Fazio, American college football coach (University of Pittsburgh), dies of leukemia at 71
  • Dec 2 Maggie Jones, English actress (b. 1934)
  • Dec 3 Richard Todd, Irish-born British actor (Dorian Gray, Assassin Yangtse Incident), dies at 90
  • Dec 4 Eddie Fatu, Samoan-American professional wrestler (b. 1973)
  • Dec 5 Garfield Morgan, British actor (Odessa File, To Catch a Spy), dies at 78
  • Dec 5 Vimolchatra, Princess of Thailand and cousin of King Bhumibol Adulyadej (b. 1921)
  • Dec 7 Mark Ritts, American actor (b. 1946)
  • Dec 8 Luis Días, Dominican Composer (b. 1952).
  • Dec 9 Gene Barry [Eugene Klass], American actor (The Atomic City, Bat Masterson), dies of congestive heart failure at 90
  • Dec 11 Claudia Boyarskikh, Soviet cross country skier (5 Olympic gold 1964, 1968), dies at 70
  • Dec 13 Aubrey Bowman, British pianist, composer, and conductor (Workman's Music Association), dies from injuries after being struck by a car at 91
  • Dec 13 Joe Castro, American bebop and West Coast jazz pianist (Teddy Edwards Quartet; June Christy), dies at 82
  • Dec 14 Alan A'Court, English footballer, dies at 75
  • Dec 15 Carolyn DeZurik, American country and polka singer and yodeler (The Cackle Sisters; Prairie Ramblers; The Polka Chips), dies at 90
  • Dec 15 Oral Roberts, American television evangelist and author (b. 1918)
  • Dec 16 Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, controversial South African Health Minister (b. 1940)
  • Dec 16 Roy E. Disney, American businessman (b. 1930)
  • Dec 16 Yegor Gaidar, Russian politician (b. 1956)
  • Dec 17 Chris Henry, American football player (b. 1983)
  • Dec 17 Dan O'Bannon, Screenwriter, after a short illness (b.1943)

Jennifer JonesJennifer Jones (1919-2009)

Dec 17 American actress (Farewell to Arms), dies of natural causes at 90

  • Dec 18 Connie Hines, American actress (Mister Ed), dies of heart problems at 78
  • Dec 18 Oskar Danon, Yugoslav conductor (Belgrade Opera, 1944-65), dies at 96
  • Dec 19 Hossein-Ali Montazeri, Iranian dissident cleric Grand Ayatollah (b. 1922)
  • Dec 19 Kim Peek, American prodigious savant and inspiration for the 1988 film Rain Man, dies of a heart attack at 58
  • Dec 20 Arnold Stang, American comedian and actor (Broadside, Milton Berle, Top Cat), dies at 91
  • Dec 20 Brittany Murphy, American actress (Drop Dead Gorgeous), dies at 32
  • Dec 20 Jack Hixon, English football talent scout (b. 1921)
  • Dec 20 James Gurley, American rock lead guitarist (Big Brother and the Holding Company), dies of a heart attack at 69
  • Dec 20 Mairoon Ali, Trinidadian comedienne and actress (b. 1954)
  • Dec 22 Luis Francisco Cuéllar, Colombian politician (b. 1940)
  • Dec 23 Edward Schillebeeckx, Belgian Roman Catholic theologian (influential at Second Vatican Council), dies at 95
  • Dec 23 Irvine Shillingford, West Indian cricketer (4 Tests for WI), dies at 65
  • Dec 23 Ngapoi Ngawang Jigme, Tibetan senior official (b. 1910)
  • Dec 23 Robert L. Howard, highly decorated officer of the United States Army (b. 1939)
  • Dec 24 George Michael, American sportscaster (The George Michael Sports Machine) (b. 1939)
  • Dec 24 Rafael Caldera, lawyer, sociologist, writer, speaker, politician, and ex-president of Venezuela (b. 1916)
  • Dec 24 Tim Hart, British folk-rock singer, guitaist, mandolin and dulcimer player (Steeleye Span, 1969-82 - "All Around My Hat"; "Gaudete"), dies of lung cancer at 61
  • Dec 25 Tony "T-Bone" Bellamy, American rock guitarist (Redbone), dies of liver failure at 63
  • Dec 25 Vic Chesnutt, American singer-songwriter, dies of an overdose of muscle relaxants at 46
  • Dec 26 Felix Wurman, American cellist and composer, dies of Cancer at 51
  • Dec 28 James Owen Sullivan, American drummer and songwriter (Avenged Sevenfold), dies aged 28
  • Dec 29 Akmal Shaikh, British drug trafficker, executed by lethal injection in the People's Republic of China (b. 1956)
  • Dec 29 David Levine, American artist (New York Review of Books caricatures), dies at 83
  • Dec 29 Steve Williams, American professional wrestler, known as "Dr. Death", and USFL football player, dies of throat cancer at 49
  • Dec 30 Abdurrahman Wahid, 4th President of Indonesia, dies at 69
  • Dec 30 Rowland S. Howard, Australian guitarist (The Birthday Party) (b. 1959)
  • Dec 31 Earl Gaines, American R&B, soul, and electric blues singer (It's Love Baby (24 Hours a Day)), dies at 74