On This Day

Historical Events in December 1972

  • Dec 1 Wings release "Hi, Hi, Hi" in UK
  • Dec 1 2 people killed and 127 injured when 2 car bombs explode in the centre of Dublin, Republic of Ireland
  • Dec 2 "December Giant" largest sinkhole in US collapses (Alabama)
  • Dec 2 "Via Galactica" closes at Uris Theater NYC after 7 performances
  • Dec 2 37th Iron Bowl: Auburn beats Alabama 17-16 in Birmingham

Sports History

Dec 2 Romanian tennis star Ilie Năstase successfully defends his ATP Masters Grand Prix title with a 6–3, 6–2, 3–6, 2–6, 6–3 win over American Stan Smith in Barcelona, Spain

  • Dec 2 USC tailback Anthony Davis becomes first to score 6 touchdowns against Notre Dame; in a 45-23 victory over the Fighting Irish Davis at the LA Coliseum he scores on runs of 1, 4, 5 & 8 yards and 2 kickoff returns
  • Dec 3 CFL Grey Cup, Ivor Wynne Stadium, Hamilton: Hamilton Tiger-Cats defeat Saskatchewan Roughriders, 13-10; Tiger-Cats first team in CFL's modern era to win Grey Cup at home
  • Dec 3 Convair 990A charter crashes in Tenerife Canary Island, 155 die
  • Dec 5 38th Heisman Trophy Award: Johnny Rodgers, Nebraska (FL)
  • Dec 5 Australia Labour party wins parliamentary election
  • Dec 5 Joseph A Walker's "River Niger" premieres in NYC

The Blue Marble

Dec 7 Apollo 17 launched, the final manned lunar landing mission where the crew takes the famous "blue marble" photo of the entire Earth

Historic Event

Dec 7 Philippine's first lady Imelda Marcos stabbed & wounded by an assailant

  • Dec 8 United Airlines crashes at Chicago's Midway Airport killing 45
  • Dec 10 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • Dec 11 American Astronauts Eugene Cernan & Harrison 'Jack" Schmitt, a become 11th & 12th people on the Moon
  • Dec 11 New York Jets' Don Maynard becomes all time pro reception leader (632)

Film Premiere

Dec 12 "The Poseidon Adventure", starring Gene Hackman, Ernest Borgnine, Shelley Winters and Jack Albertson premieres in NYC

  • Dec 14 Eugene Cernan & Harrison Schmitt leave the Moon
  • Dec 16 Bangladesh Constitution goes into effect
  • Dec 16 Miami Dolphins become 1st undefeated NFL team (14-0-0)
  • Dec 17 New line of control agreed to in Kashmir between India & Pakistan
  • Dec 17 WGVC (now WUCX) TV channel 35 in Grand Rapids, MI (PBS) 1st broadcast
  • Dec 18 US launches Operation Linebacker II, its heaviest bombing of North Vietnam, as negotiations to end the Vietnam War collapse
  • Dec 19 Apollo 17 (last of Apollo Moon landing series) returns to Earth

Film & TV History

Dec 20 Neil Simons "Sunshine Boys" premieres in NYC

  • Dec 20 Five civilians (four Catholics, one Protestant) killed in gun attack on the Top of the Hill Bar in Derry, North Ireland
  • Dec 21 Soviet Union signs a separate peace with East Germany
  • Dec 22 6.25 earthquake strikes Managua Nicaragua, 12,000+ killed
  • Dec 23 16 plane crash survivors rescued from Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 after 72 days on the Andean Mountains, after only surviving through cannibalism
  • Dec 23 6.25 Earthquake destroys central Managua Nicaragua, 10,000 die
  • Dec 23 B. S. Chandrasekhar takes 8-79 India v England at Delhi
  • Dec 23 New York Islanders end 15 games winless streak
  • Dec 23 "Immaculate Reception" Steelers turns around a 7-6 defeat with a last second touchdown reception against Raiders to win 13-7
  • Dec 23 2nd Fiesta Bowl: #15 Arizona State beats Missouri, 49-35

Football Awards

Dec 26 Ballon d'Or: Bayern Munich defender Franz Beckenbauer wins award for best European football player ahead of tied fellow German duo of Gerd Müller and Günter Netzer

  • Dec 27 "Purlie" opens at Billy Rose Theater, NYC; runs for 14 performances
  • Dec 27 Belgium recognizes German DR
  • Dec 27 LA Kings start Islanders on 12 game losing streak
  • Dec 27 New North Korean constitution comes into effect
  • Dec 28 Kim Il-song becomes president of North Korea

Historic Event

Dec 28 Nazi leader Martin Bormann's skeleton and remains are found in Berlin

  • Dec 28 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • Dec 28 2 people are killed in a Loyalist bomb attack on the village of Belturbet, County Cavan, Republic of Ireland
  • Dec 29 Eastern Tristar Jumbo Jet crashes near Everglades killing 101
  • Dec 29 Life magazine ceases publication
  • Dec 29 Test Cricket debut of Jeff Thomson and Max Walker v Pakistan at MCG
  • Dec 29 President of Sinn Féin Ruairi O Bradaigh is arrested and held under new legislation in Republic of Ireland
  • Dec 29 "Aguirre, the Wrath of God" film written and directed by Werner Herzog, starring Klaus Kinski premieres in West Germany

Historic Event

Dec 30 US President Richard Nixon halts bombing of North Vietnam & announces peace talks

  • Dec 31 Leap second day; also in 1973-79, 1987
  • Dec 31 AFC Championship, Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh: Miami Dolphins beat Pittsburgh Steelers, 21-7

Historic Event

Dec 31 Martin McGuinness is arrested and held under the new Republic of Ireland legislation

Australian Open Women's Tennis

Dec 31 Australian Open Women's Tennis: Margaret Court beats Evonne Goolagong Cawley 6-4, 7-5 for her record 11th and final Australian singles crown

  • Dec 31 NFC Championship, RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C.: Washington Redskins beat Dallas Cowboys 26-3
  • Dec 31 39th Sugar Bowl: #2 Oklahoma beats #5 Penn State, 14-0