On This Day

Historical Events in December 1973

  • Dec 1 Australia grants self-government to Papua New Guinea

Golf Tournament

Dec 1 Jack Nicklaus finishes at 13-under-par 275 to win the Walt Disney World Open by 1 stroke from Mason Rudolph; becomes the first player to reach $2 million in PGA Tour career earnings

  • Dec 1 38th Iron Bowl: Alabama beats Auburn 35-0 in Birmingham

Davis Cup

Dec 1 Davis Cup Men's Tennis, Cleveland, Ohio: Rod Laver and John Newcombe beat American pair Stan Smith and Erik van Dillen 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 to give Australia an unassailable 3-0 lead, (ends 5-0); 23rd Cup title for Australia

  • Dec 2 Davis Cup Men's Tennis, Cleveland: After clinching a famous victory the previous day, Australians Rod Laver and John Newcombe finish a 5-0 rout of the US with wins over Stan Smith and Tom Gorman
  • Dec 2 Capital Centre (USAir Arena) opens in Landover Maryland; NBA's Washington Bullets beat Seattle SuperSonics, 98-96 in opening game; arena demolished 2002
  • Dec 3 Pioneer 10 passes Jupiter (1st fly-by of an outer planet) [Dec 4-GMT]
  • Dec 5 Chicago Cubs Ron Santo becomes 1st baseball player to invoke 10-5 rule and veto his trade (with the California Angels)

Album Release

Dec 5 Paul McCartney & Wings release album "Band on the Run" in the US

  • Dec 6 Bahrain's constitution goes into effect

Election of Interest

Dec 6 Gerald Ford sworn-in as first unelected Vice President, succeeds Spiro Agnew who resigned over corruption allegations

  • Dec 6 NL votes to move San Diego Padres to Washington, D.C. (doesn't happen)
  • Dec 7 Orioles sell pitcher Eddie Watt to the Phillies
  • Dec 8 "Seesaw" closes at Uris Theater NYC after 296 performances
  • Dec 8 39th Heisman Trophy Award: John Cappelletti, Penn State (RB)

Sports History

Dec 8 Romanian tennis star Ilie Năstase wins his 3rd consecutive season-ending ATP Masters Grand Prix title with a 6–3, 7–5, 4–6, 6–3 win over Dutchman Tom Okker in Boston, Massachusetts

  • Dec 9 "Pajama Game" opens at Lunt Fontanne Theater NYC for 65 performances
  • Dec 9 NFL St. Louis Cardinal Jim Bakken kicks 6 field goals vs Atlanta Falcons
  • Dec 9 Sunningdale Agreement in Northern Ireland
  • Dec 9 Arab oil ministers announce a further production cut of 5 percent for January for non-friendly countries
  • Dec 10 Bruno Sammartino beats Stan Stasiak, to become WWWF champ for 2nd time

Sports History

Dec 10 First time since 1885, tennis has 2 top male players - Americans Stan Smith and Jimmy Connors

  • Dec 11 Houston Astro Caesar Cedino jailed for the death of 19 year old woman
  • Dec 11 NA Soccer League awards LA, San Francisco, Seattle & Vancouver franchises

Historic Event

Dec 11 West German chancellor Willy Brandt normalizes trade with Czechoslovakia

  • Dec 12 Canada begins selling Olympic coins ($5 & $10 silver coins)
  • Dec 12 San Diego files anti-trust against NL (stopping Padres move to DC)
  • Dec 13 MPLA/FNLA accord about combat against Portuguese Libya
  • Dec 13 World Football League grants 1st franchise (Detroit)
  • Dec 15 American Psychiatric Association declares homosexuality is not a mental illness
  • Dec 15 Pirates of Caribbean ride opens at Disneyland
  • Dec 15 Sandy Hawley becomes 1st jockey to win 500 races in 1 year
  • Dec 15 Tennessee beats Temple 11-6 in low scoring NCAA basketball game
  • Dec 15 American kidnap victim John Paul Getty III freed after ransom paid by oil tycoon grandfather John Paul Getty

Sports History

Dec 16 O.J. Simpson becomes 1st NFL running back to rush for 2,000 yards in a season

  • Dec 17 Arabs terrorists shoot passengers on Boeing 737 to Kuwait
  • Dec 18 Soyuz 13 launched into Earth orbit for 8 days
  • Dec 18 Yanks sign Dick Williams as manager, overturned later by AL Pres
  • Dec 19 "Molly" closes at Alvin Theater NYC after 68 performances
  • Dec 19 Grenada adopts constitution

Sports History

Dec 20 AL president Joe Cronin refuses to allow Dick Williams to manage Yankees

  • Dec 20 Dutch Antillean government of Evertsz forms

Sports History

Dec 20 Montreal Canadien Henri Richard scores his 1,000th NHL point

  • Dec 21 Israel, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, US & USSR meet in Geneva to discuss the Arab-Israeli conflict
  • Dec 21 3rd Fiesta Bowl: #10 Arizona State beats Pittsburgh, 28-7
  • Dec 22 OPEC Gulf Six decides to raise the posted price of marker crude from $5.12 to $11.65 per barrel effective January 1, 1974
  • Dec 23 6 Persian Gulf nations double their oil prices
  • Dec 23 French Caravelle airliner crashes in Morocco, 106 killed
  • Dec 24 Ferryboat capsized off coast of Equador, drowning 200
  • Dec 24 District of Columbia Home Rule Act is passed, allowing residents of Washington, D.C. to elect their own local government.
  • Dec 25 Tommy Chambers (Scotland) finishes 51 yr cycle tour (799,405 miles)
  • Dec 25 The ARPANET crashes when a programming bug causes all ARPANET traffic to be routed through the server at Harvard University, causing the server to freeze.
  • Dec 25 Arab oil ministers cancel January 5 percent production cut; Saudi Arabian oil minister promises 10 percent OPEC production rise

Film Premiere

Dec 25 "The Sting" directed by George Roy Hill, starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford and music inspired by Scott Joplin premieres in Los Angeles and New York (Best Picture 1974)

Football Awards

Dec 25 Ballon d'Or: Ajax forward Johan Cruyff wins his second award for best European football player ahead of Juventus goalkeeper Dino Zoff and Bayern Munich striker Gerd Müller

Film Premiere

Dec 26 Horror film "The Exorcist" based on book and screenplay by William Peter Blatty, starring Linda Blair, rated X, premieres - 1st horror film to be nominated for Best Picture

  • Dec 26 2 Skylab 3 astronauts walk in space for a record 7 hours
  • Dec 26 Soyuz 13 returns to Earth
  • Dec 27 LA Dodgers announce night games will start at 7:30 instead of 8
  • Dec 28 US President Nixon signs Endangered Species Act into law
  • Dec 28 Akron Ohio's Chamber of Commerce terminates itself from Soap Box Derby

Historic Publication

Dec 28 Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn publishes "Gulag Archipelago" - a literary investigation of the police-state system in the Soviet Union

  • Dec 28 Comet Kohoutek at perihelion
  • Dec 30 1st picture of a comet from space (Comet Kohoutek-Skylab)

AFC Championship

Dec 30 AFC Championship, Miami Orange Bowl: Miami Dolphins beat Oakland Raiders, 27-10

  • Dec 30 NFC Championship, Texas Stadium, Irving: Minnesota Vikings beat Dallas Cowboys, 27-10
  • Dec 31 Johan Cruyff chosen European Football Player of theYear

Australian Open Women's Tennis

Dec 31 Australian Open Women's Tennis: Australian Evonne Goolagong Cawley beats Chris Evert 7-6, 4-6, 6-0 for her first of 4 home singles titles

  • Dec 31 40th Sugar Bowl: #3 Notre Dame beats #1 Alabama, 24-23