On This Day

Historical Events in December 1970

  • Dec 1 Luis Echeverria Alvarez sworn in as president of Mexico
  • Dec 1 Independent People's Republic of South Yemen renames itself as People's Democratic Republic of Yemen
  • Dec 2 Environmental Protection Agency begins in the US under Director William Ruckelshaus
  • Dec 2 Michael Tippett's opera "The Knot Garden" premieres in London
  • Dec 3 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • Dec 3 Claude Ruel resigns as coach of the NHL Montreal Canadiens; replacement Al MacNeil leads Habs to a Stanley Cup championship 5 months later
  • Dec 4 Unemployment in US increases to 5.8%
  • Dec 5 LA Rams Willie Ellison sets NFL record of 247 yards rushing
  • Dec 5 Stanley Cup, Conn Smythe Trophy & Bill Masterson Trophy stolen from Hockey Hall of Fame
  • Dec 5 Premiere of Dario Fo's Morte accidentale di un anarchico
  • Dec 6 Cleveland Cavaliers 1st NBA home victory, beating Buffalo Braves 108-106
  • Dec 7 Taizan Maezumi Roshi, head of LA Zen Center, receives dharma
  • Dec 7 West Germany & Poland normalize relations
  • Dec 8 Head of the Catholic Church in Ireland Cardinal William Conway publishes a pamphlet on the topic of segregation in education in Northern Ireland
  • Dec 9 Dutch Antilles: government of Petronia falls
  • Dec 9 OPEC meeting in Caracas establishes 55 percent as minimum tax rate and demands that posted prices be changed to reflect changes in foreign exchange rates
  • Dec 10 North American Soccer League awards NY & Toronto franchises

Nobel Prize

Dec 10 Soviet novelist Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn chooses not to claim his Nobel Prize in Literature for fear that the USSR would prevent his return afterwards. Accepts in 1974 after he was deported.

  • Dec 11 Start of the 1st Test match at the WACA, Australia v England
  • Dec 12 Polish government proclaims price rise
  • Dec 12 Small Astronomy Satellite Explorer 42 launched to study X-rays
  • Dec 12 USSR performs underground nuclear test
  • Dec 13 Greg Chappell scores 108 on Test debut v England at the WACA

Film & TV History

Dec 13 Neil Simon's "Gingerbread Lady" premieres in NYC

  • Dec 15 South Korean ferry Namyong-Ho sinks in Strait of Korea, 308 killed
  • Dec 15 Soviet Venera 7 is 1st spacecraft to land on another planet (Venus)
  • Dec 15 Illinois State Constitution is adopted at a special election

Sports History

Dec 15 Stan Smith and Rod Laver finish with 4-1 records atop inaugural season ending ATP Masters Grand Prix tennis standings in Tokyo, Japan; Smith wins event after beating Laver 4–6, 6–3, 6–4 in the rounds

  • Dec 15 Striking shipyard workers in Gdańsk, Poland set ablaze the ruling Provincial Committee's building; responding soldiers kill 8
  • Dec 16 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • Dec 16 "Love Story" film based on the novel by Erich Segal, directed by Arthur Hiller and starring Ryan O'Neal and Ali McGraw is released
  • Dec 16 Polish Vice-Prime Minister Stanisław Kociołek, condemns labor protesters and calls for the workers to get back to work, in a televised speech
  • Dec 17 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • Dec 17 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • Dec 17 Workers returning to shipyard in Gdynia, Poland are met by soldiers who shoot at the crowd, killing at least 18, wounding hundreds
  • Dec 18 "Me Nobody Knows" opens at Helen Hayes Theater NYC for 587 performances
  • Dec 18 Polish uprising fails
  • Dec 18 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • Dec 20 Edward Gierek succeeds Wladyslaw Gomulka as Poland's communist party leader

Elvis Meets Nixon

Dec 21 Elvis Presley meets US President Richard Nixon in the White House - the image of this meeting is the most requested photo from the entire National Archives

  • Dec 21 WUTV TV channel 29 in Buffalo, NY (IND) begins broadcasting
  • Dec 21 Oregon v. Mitchell Supreme Court case was decided, lowering the minimum voting age in U.S. federal elections to 18. The voting age for state and local elections was left to states discretion
  • Dec 22 Treblinka SS commander Franz Stangl sentenced to life imprisonment

Historic Event

Dec 23 7,511th performance of Agatha Christie's play "The Mousetrap" (record) in London's West End

  • Dec 23 French author Régis Debray freed in Bolivia
  • Dec 23 NYC World Trade Center reaches highest point (411 m)
  • Dec 23 USSR performs nuclear test
  • Dec 23 A Protestant man is shot dead at his home in Belfast, North Ireland
  • Dec 24 9 Jews are convicted in Leningrad of hijacking a plane
  • Dec 24 Walt Disney's "Aristocats" is released
  • Dec 27 Jerry Herman's musical "Hello, Dolly!" closes at the St. James Theatre, NYC, after 2844 performances and 10 Tony Awards
  • Dec 28 "Lovely Ladies, Kind Gentlemen" opens at Majestic NYC for 19 performances
  • Dec 28 Yemen Arab Republic (North Yemen) adopts constitution
  • Dec 29 Occupational Safety and Health Act (United States) signed into law by President Richard M. Nixon

Football Awards

Dec 29 Ballon d'Or: Bayern Munich striker Gerd Müller wins award for best European football player ahead of West Ham United defender Bobby Moore and Cagliari forward Luigi Riva

  • Dec 30 The financial cost of the disturbances and riots in Northern Ireland during 1969 and 1970 are today estimated to be £5.5 million

Historic Event

Dec 31 Congress authorizes Eisenhower dollar coin

Music History

Dec 31 Paul McCartney files a lawsuit to dissolve The Beatles

  • Dec 31 President Allende nationalizes Chilean coal mines
  • Dec 31 Would have been start of Aust/Eng Test Cricket at MCG, washed out