On This Day

What Happened in December 2013

Historical Events

  • Dec 2 China launches its first moon rover mission

Film Premiere

Dec 2 "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug", 2nd film in the Hobbit series, directed by Peter Jackson, starring Martin Freeman and Ian McKellen, premieres in Los Angeles

  • Dec 4 Xavier Bettel becomes Luxenberg's first openly gay Prime Minister
  • Dec 4 Mosconi Cup nine-ball pool, Las Vegas, Nevada: 4 consecutive titles for Europe after an 11-2 thrashing of US; MVP: Niels Feijen (Netherlands)
  • Dec 5 52 people are killed and 167 are injured in a militant attack on a defense ministry compound in Sana'a, Yemen

Historic Event

Dec 6 Pope Francis gives his ascent to a proposal to create a permanent post on the Pontifical Commission on cases of sin and sexual abuse of minors

  • Dec 6 A 2-year old boy dies from Ebola in Meliandou, Guinea
  • Dec 7 22nd SEC Championship Game: #3 Auburn beats #5 Missouri, 59-42
  • Dec 7 9th ACC Championship Game: #1 Florida State beats #20 Duke, 45-7

Sports History

Dec 9 Mike Ditka's #89 jersey is retired by the Chicago Bears

  • Dec 9 MLB pitcher Roy Halladay announces his retirement due to persistent back injury
  • Dec 10 Mary Barra of General Motors becomes the first female CEO of a major automotive company
  • Dec 10 Uruguay becomes the first country to legalize the growth, sale, and use of marijuana
  • Dec 11 Pope Francis is named Time magazine's person of the year
  • Dec 11 20 people are killed by the bubonic plague in a small Madagascan village
  • Dec 12 The United States announces sanctions on the two dozen companies who assisted Iran with their nuclear program

Album Release

Dec 13 "Beyoncé" 5th studio album by Beyoncé is released

Film & TV History

Dec 14 Venkatraman Ramakrishnan is named as one of the 25 Greatest Global Living Indians by NDTV Channel, India

Election of Interest

Dec 15 Michelle Bachelet is re-elected President of Chile

  • Dec 15 China successfully lands its moon rover on the moon
  • Dec 16 21 people are killed and 20 are injured after a bus falls from an elevated highway in Manila, Philippines
  • Dec 16 79th Heisman Trophy Award: Jameis Winston, Florida State (QB)
  • Dec 17 Australia wins the 3rd test to take win the 2013-14 Ashes test cricket series

Election of Interest

Dec 17 Angela Merkel is elected Chancellor of Germany for a third term

  • Dec 19 81 people are injured after part of the ceiling caved in at London's Apollo Theatre

Film Release

Dec 25 "The Wolf of Wall Street", starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill, is released

  • Dec 27 29 people are killed after a bus plunged off the Huay Tong Bridge, Thailand
  • Dec 28 Chris Weidman defeats Anderson Silva to retain the UFC Middleweight Championship
  • Dec 28 Early signs of Ebola epidemic: 2 year old child in Guinea dies of an unidentified hemorrhagic fever; mother, sister and grandmother soon follow
  • Dec 29 Chaparrastique volcano erupts in El Salvador
  • Dec 29 16 people are killed and 40 are wounded by a suicide bomb attack at Volgograd-1 railway station, Russia
  • Dec 29 Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says barrel bombs on Aleppo have killed 517 people since 15th December

Sports History

Dec 29 7-time world F1 motor racing champion Michael Schumacher suffers a serious head injury in a ski accident in the French Alps; his condition still remains unclear

  • Dec 30 15 people are killed in a trolley-bus bomb attack in Voglograd, Russia

Sports History

Dec 30 NFL head coach Mike Shanahan is fired by the Washington Redskins


Famous Weddings

  • Dec 21 Actress and model Teresa Palmer (27) weds actor/director Mark Webber (33) in Mexico
  • Dec 22 Actress Lacey Chabert (31) weds longtime boyfriend David Nehdar in Los Angeles, California

Casey Neistat

Dec 29 YouTube star Casey Neistat (32) weds Candice Pool in Cape Town, South Africa

Kaley Cuoco

Dec 31 "The Big Bang Theory" actress Kaley Cuoco (28) weds professional tennis player Ryan Sweeting (26) at Hummingbird Nest Ranch in Santa Susana, California

Lily Tomlin

Dec 31 Actress-comedian Lily Tomlin (74) weds screenwriter Jane Wagner (78) in Los Angeles, California


Famous Deaths

  • Dec 1 Richard Coughlan, English drummer, dies from pneumonia at 66
  • Dec 1 Martin Sharp, Australian cartoonist, album cover artist songwriter (Cream), and filmmaker, dies of emphysema at 71
  • Dec 2 Jean-Claude Beton, Algerian-born French businessman, entrepreneur and soft-drink manufacturer (Orangina), dies at 88
  • Dec 2 Pedro Rocha, Uruguayan soccer midfielder and manager (52 caps; Peñarol, São Paulo F.C.), dies from mesencephalic atrophy at 70
  • Dec 2 Vernon Shaw, President of Dominica (1998-2003), dies at 83
  • Dec 3 Khalid Hasan, Pakistani cricket leg-spin bowler (1 Test; 16 years, 352 days, then youngest Test player), dies at 76
  • Dec 4 McDonald Bailey, British-Trinidadian 100m runner (Olympic bronze 1952), dies at 92

Nelson Mandela

Dec 5 Nelson Mandela, South African anti-apartheid activist, political prisoner (1962-90) and President of South Africa (1994-99), dies of a lung infection at 95

  • Dec 5 Colin Wilson, English writer (Afterlife, Book of Great Mysteries), dies at 82
  • Dec 6 Stan Tracey, British jazz pianist, dies at 86
  • Dec 7 Édouard Molinaro, French film actor, director and screenwriter (La Cage aux Folles), dies a respiratory insufficiency at 85
  • Dec 7 Jacob Matlala, South African boxer (WBO, WBU, IBA flyweight champion; shortest world champion ever at 1.47m [4-foot-10]), dies from pneumonia at 51
  • Dec 8 John Cornforth, Australian-British chemist (Nobel Prize 1975), dies at 96
  • Dec 8 Don Mitchell, American actor, dies at 70
  • Dec 8 Sándor Szokolay, Hungarian composer and pedagogue, dies at 82
  • Dec 9 Eleanor Parker, American actress (Caged, Detective Story, Hans Brinker), dies from pneumonia at 91
  • Dec 10 Jim Hall, American jazz guitarist and composer, dies at 83
  • Dec 10 Rossana Podestà, Italian actress, dies at 79
  • Dec 11 Nadir Afonso, Portuguese geometric abstractionist painter, dies at 93
  • Dec 11 Barbara Branden, Canadian writer, dies from a lung infection at 84
  • Dec 12 Audrey Totter, American actress (Carpetbaggers, Set-Up, The Unsuspected), dies from a stroke at 95
  • Dec 12 Tom Laughlin, American actor and director (Billy Jack), dies of complications from pneumonia at 82
  • Dec 12 Zbigniew Karkowski, Polish composer and experimental musician (Sensorband), dies of pancreatic cancer at 55

Peter O'Toole

Dec 14 Peter O'Toole, Irish actor (Lord Jim, Beckett, Lawrence of Arabia), dies at 81

  • Dec 14 Janet Dailey, American Romance author, dies at 69

Joan Fontaine

Dec 15 Joan Fontaine [de Haviland], British-American actress (Gunga Din; Ivanhoe; Rebecca), dies of natural causes at 96

  • Dec 15 Harold Camping, American evangelist and founder of Family Radio, dies at 92
  • Dec 16 Ray Price, American singer, dies from pancreatic cancer at 87
  • Dec 17 Leland Smith, American composer, bassoonist and computer coder who led music publishing into the digital age (SCORE), dies at 88
  • Dec 21 Eli Beeding, American Air Force Captain and rocket test pilot, dies at 85
  • Dec 21 Lars Edlund, Swedish composer, dies at 91
  • Dec 21 Bronzell Miller, American WLAF linebacker (Amsterdam Admirals), dies at 42
  • Dec 21 David Coleman, British sports commentator (BBC 1954-2000), dies at 87
  • Dec 22 Ed Herrmann, American baseball player, dies from prostate cancer at 67
  • Dec 23 Yusef Lateef, American jazz saxophonist and flautist, dies at 93
  • Dec 23 Ricky Lawson, American musician, dies at 59
  • Dec 23 Vito Rizzuto, Italian-Canadian alleged mafia boss, also known as "Montreal's Teflon Don", dies at 67
  • Dec 25 Mike Hegan, American baseball utility (MLB All Star 1969 NY Yankees; World Series 1972 Oakland A's), dies from heart failure at 71
  • Dec 26 Paul Blair, American baseball outfielder (MLB All-Star 1969, 73; World Series 1966, 70, 77-78; Gold Glove Award 1967, 69–75; Baltimore Orioles), dies from a heart attack at 69
  • Dec 28 Andrew Jacobs Jr., American politician (Rep-D-IN, 1965-73, 75-97), dies at 81
  • Dec 29 Wojciech Kilar, Polish classical (Missa Pro Pace), and film score composer (Bram Stoker's Dracula; The Pianist), dies from cancer at 81
  • Dec 29 Leonard "Red" Balaban, American jazz tuba and sousaphone player, dies at 84
  • Dec 31 John Fortune [John C. Wood], English satirist and comedian (Bremner, Bird and Fortune), dies at 74
  • Dec 31 James Avery, American actor, dies from complications from surgery at 68