On This Day

Historical Events in December 1951

  • Dec 1 17th Heisman Trophy Award: Dick Kazmaier, Princeton (HB)

Music Premiere

Dec 1 Benjamin Britten's opera "Billy Budd" premieres in London

  • Dec 1 Golden Gate Bridge closes due to high winds
  • Dec 1 Legendary Australian cricket fast bowler Ray Lindwall takes his 100th Test wicket when he bowls West Indian spinner Sonny Ramadhin in the 2nd Test in Sydney; Australia wins by 7 wickets
  • Dec 2 "Borscht Capades" closes at Royale Theater NYC after 90 performances
  • Dec 2 Philadelphia Eagles set NFL record of 25 1st-downs rushing in 35-21 win over Washington Redskins at Griffith Stadium

Sports History

Dec 2 Future Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver Don Hutson has his #14 jersey retired by the Green Bay Packers; first number retired in franchise history

  • Dec 2 16th Iron Bowl: Alabama beats Auburn 25-7 in Birmingham
  • Dec 4 Superheated gasses roll down Mount Catarman, Philippines, killing 500 people
  • Dec 4 Mir Waiz Maulvi Muhammad Yusouf is appointed President of Azad Kashmir Government
  • Dec 8 "Tree Grows in Brooklyn" closes at Alvin Theater NYC after 267 performances
  • Dec 8 AL alters its restrictions on night games, adopting NL's suspended game rule & lifting its ban on lights for Sunday games
  • Dec 9 West German voters approve merger of 3 states to form Baden-Wurttemberg

Sports History

Dec 11 Joe DiMaggio announces his retirement from baseball

  • Dec 11 "The Wild Side of Life" single recorded by Hank Thompson and His Brazos Valley Boys (Billboard Song of the Year, 1952)
  • Dec 16 NBC premiere of "Dragnet" in black and white
  • Dec 17 Dutch Communist Party members forbidden to be civil servants
  • Dec 19 Nazi General Christiansen leaves Netherlands
  • Dec 20 Walter Zinn's Experimental Breeder Reactor I, the first nuclear reactor to produce electric power, goes live at the Argonne National Laboratory, USA
  • Dec 21 Pioneering telenovela "Sua Vida Me Pertence" premieres in Brazil
  • Dec 22 Australia cricket all out 82 v West Indies at Adelaide
  • Dec 23 Last Belgian communities get electricity
  • Dec 23 National Football League Championship, LA Memorial Coliseum: Los Angeles Rams beat Cleveland Browns, 24-17; first coast-to-coast televised NFL title game
  • Dec 24 1st opera commissioned for television - "Amahl and the Night Visitors" by Gian Carlo Menotti premieres on NBC with the NBC Opera Theater
  • Dec 24 United Kingdom of Libya gains independence from Italy via UN
  • Dec 25 West Indies wrap up 6 wicket defeat of Australia on first Christmas Day of Test cricket, the 3rd day of 3rd Test at the Adelaide Oval

Film Release

Dec 26 "The African Queen", directed by John Huston and based on the 1935 novel of the same name, starring Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn, is released in LA, California (Academy Awards Best Actor 1952)

  • Dec 28 Davis Cup Men's Tennis, White City, Sydney: Frank Sedgman outclasses Vic Seixas 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 in the deciding rubber as Australia beats US, 3-2 in Sydney to retain Cup
  • Dec 31 1st battery to convert radioactive energy to electricity announced